Yoga Poses That Loosen Up Your Traps, Neck, and Shoulders

Yoga Poses That Loosen Up Your Traps, Neck, and Shoulders

Choose any three poses (or try all eight!) for maximum tension relief.

01 of 08

Seated Side Bend with Neck Opener

Seated Side Bend with Neck Opener
Fredy Soberanis
  • Begin in easy seat pose with arms relaxed on either side of you.
  • Reach left arm long to the ceiling, on the side of your face.
  • Take right hand to the ground and crawl it over to the right, allowing right forearm to move toward the ground, then lean torso to the right.
  • Turn chin up and then down and find the position that feels the tightest. Breathe there for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
02 of 08

Puppy Pose Variation

Puppy Pose Variation
Fredy Soberanis
  • Begin on all fours. Walk hands a few inches forward and come on to fingertips.
  • Tuck toes and allow hips to fall back toward heels.
  • Allow forehead to drop to the ground.
  • Hollow out armpits and actively engage shoulder blades down and together on back. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
03 of 08

Thread the Needle

Thread the Needle
Fredy Soberanis
  • Begin on all fours. Reach right arm underneath body, allowing the right shoulder and temple to release to the ground.
  • Allow left hand to stay where it is or crawl it a bit to the right over to your head.
  • Stay here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
04 of 08

Half Cow Face Arms with Neck Opener

Half Cow Face Arms with Neck Opener
Fredy Soberanis
  • Kneel and reach right arm to the ceiling. Bend right elbow and allow right hand to fall between shoulder blades.
  • Take left hand to right elbow and allow weight of hand to deepen the shoulder opening (no pushing!).
  • From here, turn head slightly up and then down, and find the place where the neck feels the tightest.
  • Stay here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
05 of 08

Eagle Arms

Eagle Arms
Fredy Soberanis
  • Begin seated any way that is comfortable (you can do this in your desk chair if you like).
  • Wrap right arm under left arm, take forearms together, and press palms together, fingertips facing up.
  • Reach elbows up to shoulder height, fingertips facing away from you to deepen the shoulder opening.
  • Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
06 of 08

Reverse Prayer

Reverse Prayer
Fredy Soberanis
  • Sit comfortably. Float arms down to either side of body and bend elbows to reach arms behind back.
  • Press palms together in a prayer position on spine and reach hands as high up spine as feels good. Press elbows back so that forearms create one line.
  • Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
07 of 08

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose
Fredy Soberanis
  • Begin on hands and knees. Hold opposite elbows to get shoulder's distance, then place forearms parallel to one another.
  • Drop head and reach chest back through arms in the direction of your feet to enhance shoulder opening.
  • Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
08 of 08

Wide-Legged Forward Fold with Clasp

Wide-Legged Forward Fold with Clasp
Fredy Soberanis
  • Stand with feet wide apart, clasp hands behind back, and take a big inhale to open chest.
  • On the exhale, soften knees and fold forward, letting head fall toward the ground.
  • Keep shoulders away from your ears. Do your best not to shrug them.
  • For a deeper shoulder opening, press the meat of your palms together. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
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