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3 Reasons to Focus on Your Neck, Back, & Shoulders in Yoga

3 Reasons to Focus on Your Neck, Back, & Shoulders in Yoga

Have you ever received upsetting news and immediately your jaw, shoulders, and neck grow rigid?

Were you aware that yogis and psychologists agree that unprocessed emotions become trapped in your physical body? In our current time, many of us are having to navigate an intense collective experience, as well as how everything occurring is impacting every aspect of our own personal lives.

Our yoga practice is a tool to alleviate stress and tension and fortify us emotionally, mentally, and physically. This week, join us as we explore some yoga classes designed to not just make you strong enough to handstand like a master but to soften the knots in your neck and the pain in your back.

Here are three major benefits of focusing on your upper body:

1. Physical Strength and Suppleness: By paying special attention to creating muscular strength and flexibility in your neck, shoulders, and back, you are creating support for your spine and alignment for your entire body. Strong shoulders and arms give you functional strength needed in your daily life from picking up your child to carrying groceries. A strong upper half is vital for proper posture and preventing stooped shoulders that can result from poor posture or simply aging. Of course, endurance for your chataranguas and the control to balance on your hands are visible benefits, which give you a sense of empowerment.

2. Emotional Tension Release: If you’ve practiced yoga even a few times, you’ve noticed the direct correlation between opening tight muscles and joints and the release of emotions. The sensations arising in your body are your emotions speaking to you. Often the hips are associated with holding past trauma and grief, the chest house fear and anxiety, and the neck and shoulders trap anger. By learning to direct your awareness inside, you discover where your own stress and emotional tension reside. Awareness is the first step to releasing the negative and creating space for positive feelings. 

3. Clear Mind: In addition to physical and emotional impacts from our yoga practice, we garner the benefits of a calm, clear mind. Often, tense shoulders and tight neck muscles cause headaches, fuzzy thinking, and shallow breathing. Most of us are on our computers or phones for extensive periods of time and that repetitive stressful position causes chronic damage if not balanced out with strong, supple muscles. Simple stretches practiced throughout the day are an excellent way to maintain clarity and sustained attention.

Whether you’re looking to improve your arm balances, release negativity, or foster calm, try these beneficial classes this week.  

1. Keith Allen - 30-Minute Shoulder & Upper Body Love

2. Desiree Rumbaugh - Yoga for Upper Body Strength

3. Elise Fabricant - Gentle Yin for Your Neck

4. Kylie Larson - Upper Back & Shoulder Opening Flow

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