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Healing yoga poses for shoulders, neck and hips

A miscellaneous sequence focusing on many different parts of the body.

Contents

Introduction

This class focuses on miscellaneous poses that may not always be covered in other classes. Each one has a slightly different focus. This class looks at the neck, shoulders and hips in the Iyengar method. It would be best suited for students that have completed a beginners course at a certified Iyengar yoga studio. The class allows you to build on the work that you would have already done in a beginners course.

We start out in Supta Swastikasana, reclining over a bolster with the arms outstretched and a blanket under the head before lying forward over a bolster in a variation on Virasana forwards.

We then come to some arm extension poses from a base of Tadasana. We move through Baddangulyiasana (fingers interlocked with arms above the head), Garudasana with arms crossed in front of the chest and Gomukhasana, clasping the hands behind the back with or without the belt for support. Urdhva Hastasana with the arms straight above the head finishes these off.

We move to some Adho Mukha Svanasana (dogpose) variations using the blocks. Keeping the legs as normal, we shift the hands through 3 positions which each provide a different opening for the shoulders.

Then we move through four standing poses with the back to the wall for better alignment: Trikonasana, Parsva Konasana, Ardha Chandrasana, Prasarita Paddotanasana.

We move to the floor and lie back over blocks in 3-stages to release tension and tightness in the upper thoracic area before some sitting poses: Parvatasana in Virasana, Baddha Konasana with and without the belt, Siddhasana and Gomukhasana.

We finish with a combination of Setu Banda over a bolster to quieten the mind and open the chest. We finish with Savasana.

View sequence

Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
Starting in Tadasana, exhale and reach down towards your feet. Let your spine release downwards. You can bend your knees or place your hands on blocks if you lack the necessary flexibility.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Upward Salute with Interlocked Fingers
Stretch your arms in front of you and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms inside out and lift your arms up overhead, making sure to keep your shoulders open. Change the interlock of your fingers and repeat.
Garudasana
Eagle Pose
Sit your hips back into Utkatasana (Chair Pose). Cross one leg over the other and balance. Then, cross your arms at the elbows so that both your pinkies are pointing forwards. Then try to lift your hands to capacity while keeping your shoulders level and chest open.
Gomukhasana Arms
Cow Face Pose
Extend your left arm up and the right one down. Bend your elbows and reach your hands toward each other from behind. If clasping them is not possible, use a belt or strap. Pull your elbows in opposite directions. Repeat on both sides.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body and lift your hips up as high off the ground as possible without losing the stable foundation created by your hands and feet. If you lack the hamstring flexibility, bend your knees a little.
Virasana Forward into Adho Mukha Svanasana
Forward Facing Hero Pose into Downward Facing Dog Pose
Back and forward transition from Virasana Forward to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Change poses on the breath, attempt to go deeper into each pose with every repetition.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Utthita Trikonasana
Extended Triangle Pose
Keep the toes and kneecap of your left leg pointed forward and, keeping your spine straight and long, stretch over your leg. Place your left hand on your ankle or on a block next to your foot. Look up towards your extended right arm.
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Extended Side Angle Pose
Bend your front leg and place your hand by of your foot as you stretch your other arm up and over your head. Pull your waist away from the floor, keep your back straight. Place a block under your hand if necessary.
Ardha Chandrasana
Half Moon Pose
Get rooted through your left foot, point your toes and kneecap forward. Then, place your left hand on the floor or a block in front of you as you stretch your other right leg back in line with your straight back. You can use the wall for support if you lack the balance. If possible, lift your right arm up.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Concave Spine)
Wide Legged Forward Bend with Concave Spine
Spread your weight evenly between your feet and keep your back straight as you tip from your hips, placing your hands on the floor, blocks, or chair seat, depending on your flexibility.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Headstand Preparation with Blocks
Headstand Preparation
Place your forearms flat on the floor next to a wall and interlock your fingers behind the back of your skull. Keeping your head on the floor and your back straight, start to walk your feet closer toward your trunk. Straighten your back and pull your hips up to capacity. This can also be done with your feet to the wall.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Neck release over blocks
Place support in the form of blocks or folded up blankets beneath your back all the way from your thoracic to your lumbar spine. Your shoulders and head should be allowed to release down toward the floor. Relax in this pose. Start with knees bent, eventually extending your legs out in front of you. Use support under your head if you feel excess strain in your neck.
Healing yoga poses for shoulders, neck and hips
Hero Pose
Fold your legs under you with your heels on either side of your buttocks. Keep your back straight, avoid sinking forward or back. This pose is to be avoided if you lack mobility in your knee joints due to injuries. Cross your legs instead or assume the Baddha Konasana position.
Parvatasana in Virasana
Mountain Pose in Hero Pose
Sit in Virasana, stretch your arms in front of you, and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms outward and, keeping your shoulders open and ribs in neutral, extend your arms upward.
Dandasana
Staff Pose
Point your sit-bones down and extend upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose
Bring your feet as close as possible to your pelvis and join them together. Straighten your back and let gravity pull your knees down toward the floor. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Dandasana
Staff Pose
Point your sit-bones down and extend upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Healing yoga poses for shoulders, neck and hips
Perfect Pose
Start in a seated position. Bend the left leg at the knee and press the sole of the foot to the thigh. Bend the right leg and place the foot over the left ankle. The heel of the right foot is pressed against the pubic bone. Your hands rest on your knees. Change sides and repeat.
Gomukhasana
Cow Face Pose
Cross your legs over each other, bringing your knees one over the other. Place your feet next to your hips, and point your toes backward. Bring your hands behind your back, your elbows pointing in opposite directions. Join your hands or grab onto a belt if necessary. (A variation involves Garudasana arms)
Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supported Bridge Pose
Lie down over support placed under the whole of your body from the thoracic spine down to your knees. The shoulders swoop down to touch the floor. Spread your arms outward or slightly at your side. Activate your feet and press them into the wall.
Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Savasana
Corpse Pose
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.