Yoga poses for shoulders - Unfreeze your shoulders

In this modern age and times, the physical body tends to take a lot of strain and stress from the hectic, daily urban lifestyle. One of the areas that gets most affected from stress and tension is the shoulders. The human body was designed to be a mobile instrument, active during the day: walking around, gathering food and, for the most part, being in a state of activity.  Yet, this is no longer the case! We merely drive to work, sit in front of a computer the whole day, perhaps, eat lunch at our desks, and then come home to sit, once again, in front of the television set.  Consequently, during this time, our shoulders crunch, and eventually, become frozen. Generally, the right shoulder tends to suffer significantly.

Yoga helps to reduce shoulder pain

In addition to the modern sedentary lifestyle, involving sitting at a desk all day, much of the tightness and blockage in the shoulder region, comes from anxiety and negative emotions stored here. So what kind of activity can help in “defrosting” these tight shoulders? Can </strong><em><strong>yoga help for shoulder pain?

Yes, no doubt yoga asanas (poses) can be beneficial to open and release tension in these muscles - not only in the shoulder area, but also in the chest and upper back areas. Tightness in the upper chest causes the shoulders to hunch, and weakens these muscles. Yoga can help prevent the slumping of the spine by lengthening it, for an overall better posture.

Yoga should be used as a preventive measure, rather than a curative one. Yoga asanas can help strengthen or stretch your muscles in the shoulder, neck and upper back region. It is best to expect results from yoga for shoulder pain, over a period of time, and under the guidance of a trained Yoga teacher, as the suggested postures must cater to your problem specifically.

Yoga asanas for shoulders

What are some of the best asanas in yoga for frozen shoulders? After you wake up in the morning, do some warm-up exercises like light jogging, shaking, or jumping jacks - or better yet, start your mornings with suryanamaskars or sun salutations! After the body is warm and ready, you can focus on shoulder exercises like shoulder rolling (back, down and under), neck rolls, and then, move onto twisting postures and, eventually, do some advanced poses like back-bending and heart-opening.  It is always best to do these shoulder yoga exercises, with a trained yoga teacher, who can guide you effectively.

Most people start off being very stiff, but, with time and regular practice, their body begins to open up. The blockages get removed and the tightness reduces, as the shoulders become more supple and flexible. So, start off with these simple yoga poses for shoulders:

  1. Garudasana
  2. Paschim Namaskarasana
  3. Ustrasana
  4. Dhanurasana
  5. Purvottanasana
  • Stretches the shoulders and upper back.
  • Loosens the shoulders and releases any tension in them.
  • Stretches the shoulder joints and pectoral muscles.
  • Stretches the upper back.
  • Stretches and strengthens the front of the body.
  • Relieves the body of lower backache.
  • Opens the chest, neck and shoulders.
  • Good stress buster and fatigue buster.


Purvottanasana image
  • Stretches the shoulders, chest and neck
  • Strengthens the shoulders, back, ankles and wrists












A few critical things to remember in all these poses are:

  • Move into poses slowly and with awareness.
  • Attention should be on the breath, enabling it to be continuous and smooth.
  • Start the practice with a certified teacher, and once you are comfortable with the poses, continue at home, as instructed by your teacher.

The best idea would be to join a Sri Sri Yoga class, or find instructors in your area and ask them for upcoming Sri Sri Yoga seasons.

This piece was written by Mina Ercel.

Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits. Even so, it is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practise yoga postures, under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practise yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us at