This is a yoga guide that I have been wanting to do for the longest time, and it is also one of the most highly requested yoga guides by my friends on tumblr! I shot the yoga guide 2 weeks ago and I finally can get to write a comprehensive yoga guide for people who are in a desk job like I do!

This sequence is restorative and is really useful to do to start or end off your day. I do this on an almost daily basis before I go to sleep, and it really helped me relieve a lot of tension in my shoulders especially after staring at the computer screen for the entire day. I hope this will be really useful for you too! <:

1. Cow face pose cow face

Sitting nice and easy on your mat, you can opt to either sit cross-legged, or place your knee on top of one another. Making sure that your spine is straight, reach back and try to have your hands touch each other. If this is pretty easy for you, deepen the stretch by grabbing your fingers or wrists. If touching your hands is an issue, use a towel so that you can still have a grip. Remember to repeat on both sides, and breathe deeply. As you exhale, deepen the stretch by pulling your hands closer to each other.

 

seated spinal twist 2  seated spinal twist

2. Seated spinal twist

Come into a nice seated twist on your mat, either opting to come into a bind (shown in the first picture), and if a bind is not accessible to you yet, then just feel free to come into a regular seated twist. Make use of your elbow to push against your knee in order to deepen your stretch, and be careful not to strain your neck. Make sure that your chin does not go beyond your shoulder when you’re in a seated twist.

 3. Puppy stretch puppy

This is a great shoulder opener and also helps you to warm up your back with a slight backbend. Come into all fours, and slowly reach your hands forward, making use of the floor to give your back a nice and gentle stretch. If your shoulders are really stiff, you may not be able to come down to your chin. Instead, you can use a yoga block to prop up your chin, or use some books if you don’t have a yoga block. Just go as low as you feel comfortable in, and stay there. You should feel a great opening in your shoulders, and a slight stretch in your back.

4. Thread the needle pose thread the needle

From the puppy stretch, come into thread the needle pose, pressing your shoulder against the ground to open it up slightly. Try to lean backwards and feel a greater stretch in your back and shoulders. Rest your ear on the mat and close your eyes if that feels good for you.

5. Seated side stretch side stretch

Coming back into seated position, this seated side stretch variation helps to open up your sides and obliques, and this can help immensely in loosening your back. This variation also adds in an additional shoulder stretch. Remember to reach upwards rather than sideways so that you won’t collapse into your shoulders. Inhale to lengthen your spine, exhale to melt sideways. When you are in your seated side stretch, remember to ensure that your sitting bones are still touching the mat to ensure that you do not tilt your weight on one side too much!

6. Passive standing forward fold passive standing forward fold

Slowly come into standing, drape your torso over your legs and come into passive standing forward fold. Make sure that the weight is on the balls of your feet rather than your heels, and make sure that you are not tilting backwards. Lean your weight forward and this can be a great hamstring stretch as well. Grab on to opposite elbows and relax your neck and shoulders. This is a great pose that uses gravity to stretch out your spine and neck. Stay in this pose for as long as it feels comfortable for you. Remember to come out of the pose slowly, with your head coming up last, and keep breathing.

7. Downward facing dog downward dog

Downward facing dog is a great way to open up your chest and also stretch out the backs of your legs. Be careful not to place the weight on your wrists as that can cause unnecessary stress on your wrists. Paddle your feet from side to side if this is your first downward dog of the day.

8. Bridge pose bridge

Bridge pose is also a very beneficial pose that helps to stretch out your chest and back, and works your legs at the same time. As you come into bridge pose, tuck your shoulders underneath your back to deepen that chest opener, and lift your hips as high as you can.

9. Reclining spinal twist reclining spinal twist

This is my personal favourite because it is so relaxing and really helps you loosen that lower back tension if you have any. To deepen the stretch, place your knees higher towards your torso, and make sure you shift your gaze away from your legs. Make sure that your shoulder blades are touching the mat!

10. Shoulder stretch shoulder stretch

Come into a good ol’ shoulder stretch to end off the sequence! Roll on your mat and place your hands behind you. Using the ground, turn your torso towards your back to deepen that shoulder stretch and open up your chest.

 

I hope you’ve found this yoga guide useful for you, especially if you’ve always had stiff neck and shoulders! <: Feel free to comment below if there are certain yoga guides you want to see for the upcoming instalments, or if you have any other poses that you think would help with stiff neck and shoulders immensely! Have a great week ahead everyone! <3

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