Ok-without thinking about it, quickly check the position your shoulders are in right now. There's a good chance that they are hunched up by your ears. Especially if you are stressed or you've been working at a computer all day. This position can cause some unpleasant tension in your neck and shoulders. Stress, a tough workout or a bad night's sleep can all contribute to neck and shoulder pain or discomfort.
But don't worry, there's a yoga pose for that! Cow Face pose is an easy way to unwind some of that tension. Silly name, effective pose!
Beginners: Come to a seated position, legs crossed in easy pose
If you are an experienced yogi you may choose to take the advanced pose.
Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top. Bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Knees face foward, feet are to the sides of the hips. Adjust feet as needed sit comfortably and evenly.
Holding a yoga strap* in your right hand inhale, bring right arm straight up. Exhale, bend the elbow, and place your hand by your upper back. Inhale. Reach the left arm behind your back and reach up between the shoulder blades to grasp the strap. Gaze forward, lengthen the torso, and draw your right elbow and shoulders down. Slowly and gently work the hands closer together on the strap until you feel a good stretch but no sensation of pain.
If you have good flexibility in your shoulders and do not need the strap follow the instructions above but instead of working the hands together on the strap you will interlock the hands behind your back.
Breathe steadily. Stay for five breaths or longer. Switch sides reversing the arms (and the legs if practicing the advanced posture).
* No strap? No problem! You can use a dish towel rolled lengthwise, any fitness band, a tie, an old pair of panty hose or just about any narrow piece of fabric that is the length of your back!
Hi! I'm Erica, a fitness and healthy food loving wife and mother of three here to inspire you on your wellness journey!