How Yoga Can Remove Neck And Shoulder Pain
(Especially For Office Workers)
According to master yoga teacher Aadil Palkhivala
„true yoga is not about the shape of your
body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what
you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose,
and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied“.
As outlined, yoga is a very healthy practice and, for many people, an incredibly healthy way of life. In this essay, the importance
of this ancient practice will be touched and the benefits, especially for office workers with neck and shoulder pain, will be outlined.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word „yuj“ and can be translated into „to join“.
It describes, on a practical level, the union of body, mind and soul and, on a spiritual level,
the union of individual and universal consciousness. The union on the practical level must
take place before a union on a higher, spiritual level can be achieved. This implies that people
who would like to achieve a union with a higher reality first have to incorporate the practice
of shatkarma, pranayama, bandha, mudra, asana and meditation into their lives.
When I started practicing yoga, I thought it is simply a practice that will help to improve
my body strength and flexibility. I was not aware that there is so much more to yoga than only
benefits to my physical appearance. I found out for myself that practicing yoga helps me in
many aspects of my life. It gives me clarity, makes me feel more present in the moment and
allows me to pause and live – breath by breath. It gives me more awareness of my body and
mental state and makes me feel more healthy, calm and balanced. Yoga improved my quality
of life so much that I decided that I would like to share it with other people in order for them
to experience the benefits of this practice as well. It is the reason why I am doing this teacher
training and would like to pursue my goal of becoming a yoga teacher.
BENEFITS OF YOGA 1
During the last three years I had an office job in a big IT company, which forced me to
have a seated position for a major period of time of my day in front of a laptop screen. This
constant seated position and usage of mouse and keyboard (that we human beings are simply
not made for) caused a range of health issues but especially permanent neck, shoulder and
back pain that influenced my overall wellbeing a lot. If all this sounds familiar to you, I have
some advice on specific asanas and pranayama instructions and guidelines which may be
beneficial for you in order to improve your overall well-being and eliminate neck and shoulder
The first two asanas that you may incorporate into your daily yoga practice are
Marjariasana and Bitilasana. They are normally performed in succession and are also known
as cat-cow pose. In order to practice these asanas you first have to come into table top
position with knees in line with hips and wrists in line with shoulders. From this neutral
starting position you inhale while raising your head and depressing your spine so that your
back becomes concave. Expand your abdomen fully in this position, breath deeply and hold
your breath for three seconds. From this position – the cat pose – start exhaling while
stretching your spine upward and lowering your head. Pull in your buttocks and contract your
abdomen. Hold your breath for three second and repeat the pose five to ten times. The cat-
cow pose has a range of benefits. It, for example, improves your spine, shoulder and neck
flexibility. Moreover, it helps releasing menstrual cramps by toning the female reproductive
Another pose which helps to release back, neck and shoulder pain is Ardha
Matsyendrasana – the half spinal twist. It stretches the muscles on one side of the back and
abdomen while simultaneously contracting the muscles on the other side. It makes your back
muscles supple, tones the nerves of your spine and reduces the tendency of adjoining
vertebrae to develop calcium deposits and inflammatory problems. In this asana you first need
to sit with stretched out legs in front of you. Then, you need to bend your right leg and place
the right foot on the outside of the left knee. You also need to bend your left leg and place the
left foot around the right buttock. Reach back with your left arm and place it against the
outside of your right leg while holding your right ankle or foot with your left hand and
bringing the right knee close to the left armpit. Slowly twist to the right, look backwards and
exhale. Hold this position for one to two minutes and then repeat on the other side.
The third asana which I would like to recommend to you is Garudasana, also known as
eagle pose. It is good for the upper back, loosens the joints of legs, arms and shoulders,
BENEFITS OF YOGA 2
strengthens muscles and improves concentration. Guradasana is a standing asana in which
you focus your gaze one a fixed point. You need to bend your right leg and twist it around
your left leg. At the same time you have to twist your forearms around each other with the left
elbow remaining below. Place the palms together, bend your left knee to lower the body and
keep the back straight. Hold this position as long as you feel comfortable and repeat with the
Proper breathing should be, as you know, a vital part of every person’s yoga practice. I
am, however, not only referring to the correct inhalation and exhalation during your yoga
session, but also to the use of certain pranayama techniques. Here, breathing is utilized to
influence the flow of prana in the energy channels of the energy body.
One pranayama, which also positively influences neck and shoulder pain, is Sheetali.
During the practice of this technique, you have to sit in a meditative asana of your choice.
You then need to role your tongue and simultaneously inhale through your mouth. The air
going inside your mouth will be cooled by your tongue. Afterwards, you have to exhale from
both nostrils. This pranayama technique stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and
has, therefore, a calming effect. It is very effective for relaxation of body and mind.
To conclude, yoga is an ancient practice from which every person can somehow benefit
mentally and physically. It is the union of body, mind and soul. In the outlined examples of
different asanas and pranayama, it has been shown how neck- and shoulder pain can be
released through yoga. Hence, incorporating yoga into your life would come along with a lot
of benefits and should therefore be seen as a clear improvement of your well-being.