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Healing yoga poses for shoulders, neck and hips


Many of us spend hours at our desks or on our phones, and the repetitive movement patterns can cause severe neck, hip and shoulder strain. This class helps you relieve stress and tension, by focusing on some neck, hip and shoulder poses that you don't often see in other classes. Explore this sequence for students with 3-9 months experience with Iyengar yoga, and beyond.

Healing yoga poses for shoulders, neck and hips

A sequence for general or level 1 students with a special focus on neck, shoulders, and hips

This class focuses on miscellaneous poses that may not always be covered in other classes. Each one has a slightly different focus and consists of healing yoga poses for either the shoulders, neck, or hips. This class looks at the neck, shoulders, and hips in the Iyengar method. It is intended 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.

Video stills from this sequence

Neck hips and shoulders focus sequence to build your foundations in Iyengar yoga

Explore Yoga Vastu – Australia’s leading Iyengar Yoga resource

Whether you’re looking for relief of shoulder, neck and hip pain or yoga for lower back pain, Iyengar yoga poses could be exactly what your body needs. If you’d like to incorporate this healing practice into your daily life, we recommend listening to our audio yoga classes, or watching our Iyengar yoga videos for a range of step-by-step pose tutorials and classes that are there to strengthen your practice.

Equipment required

  • Mat
  • 2x Block
  • 2x Blanket
  • Belt
  • Bolster

Illustrated sequence of video

Download and print the free illustrated sequence of this video.

View sequence