Want to know a little secret? Even yoga teachers have neck and shoulder pain sometimes. This pain comes from muscles that are too tight or too weak or both, imbalances, injuries, and long-standing holding patterns. We all spend way too much time sitting at computers, driving, and – lately — sitting on the sofa watching the Olympics. All of these activities promote a forward slouch, even when we think we know better. Add generalized stress to the mix, and for those who carry tension in their upper bodies, shoulders and necks can get pretty cranky.
It Starts with Tension
Neck and shoulder tension can lead to headaches, fatigue, and generalized pain. Many people experience upper back and trapezius tension as tightness and believe the best answer is stretching. It may seem counterintuitive, but the “traps” can also be weak and simply overworked. Often the trapezius muscles need to be strengthened as well.
Chronic “head forward” positioning is tiring to the muscles of the upper back and neck. Most of us are completely unconscious of poor posture until we feel fatigued or in pain. And as our tissues adapt to poor posture, it becomes harder to make lasting healthy postural changes without a practice dedicated to targeting proper alignment.
Yoga Can Help
The good news is that yoga can help! Yoga helps your shoulders, spine, and chest to open up, bringing your whole body into better balance. Yoga that teaches you about aligning your bones, moving your limbs safely, and balancing your musculature is smart physical yoga. And yoga that teaches you to coordinate your breath with movement increases your awareness. The more conscious you are in your body, the easier it is to change old, unhealthy patterns. Imagine being able to enjoy greater range of motion and freedom from pain — because you practice re-aligning your own body every day!
Learn How at our Neck and Shoulder Workshop
On Sunday, September 25, I hope you will join me for a special 2-hour workshop dedicated to releasing neck and shoulder tension. Aside from targeted exercises and poses that support good head/neck/shoulder posture, you’ll enjoy breathing practices to support tension release and relaxation.
Register online or at the Bindu. Early bird discount is $35. After September 10, price is $45. You’re going to love how you feel after giving yourself this gift!