Unfreeze Your Shoulders with Yoga

In this modern age and times, our physical bodies tend to take a lot of strain and stress from a daily urban lifestyle. One of the areas that get affected the most from stress and tension is our shoulders. The human body was designed to be a mobile instrument– to be active during the day, walking around, gathering food and in a state of activity during most of the time.  Yet this is no longer the case! We merely drive to work, sit in front of a computer the whole day, perhaps eat lunch at our desks and then come home to sit again in front of the television set.  Consequently during of this time, our shoulders crunch forward and eventually yet inevitably they come frozen. Particularly the right shoulder tends to suffer significantly.

In addition to sitting at a desk and lack of activity, much of the tightness and blockages in our shoulder area comes from storage of anxiety and negative emotions in this region.

So what kind of activity can help in “defrosting” these tight shoulders? Can yoga help?

Yes, no doubt yoga asana (poses) can be beneficial to open and release tension– in not only our shoulder area but also the chest, upper back and create lengthening to our spine for an overall better posture.

Which are some of the best yoga poses for frozen shoulders? Once we wake up in the morning, we can slowly warm up the body with some light jogging, or shaking, or jumping jacks– or better yet with sun salutations! After the body is warm and ready, we can focus of shoulder openings like shoulder rolling (back, down and under), neck rolls, and more onto twisting postures and eventually some advanced poses like back bending and heart opening.  It is best to start off with a yoga teacher who can guide one effectively.

Most people start real stiff and with time and regular practice, the body begins to open up and the blockages and tightens slowly start to melt.

Try out these simple yoga poses to begin with:


  • Stretches the shoulders and upper back.
  • Loosens the shoulders and releases any tension in them.

Paschim Namaskarasana

  • Stretches the shoulder joints and pectoral muscles.
  • Stretches the upper back.


  • Stretches and strengthens the front of the body.
  • Relieves the body of lower backache.


  • Opens the chest, neck and shoulders.
  • Good stress buster and fatigue buster.

A few critical things to remember in all poses:

  • Move into poses slowly and with awareness.
  • Attention should be on the breath, enabling it to be continuous and smooth.
  • Start the practice with a certified teacher and once you’re comfortable with the poses, continue at home as instructed by your teacher.

The best would be to find a Art of Living Yoga class or instructors in your area and ask them for upcoming Art of Living Yoga seasons.


This piece was written by Mina Ercel.

The seeds of Yoga were first planted in Mina in New York City while she was working in the financial and banking sector in 1999. Upon completing Teacher Training Program in 2010, Mina has been actively teaching in Turkey and overseas. In addition to yoga, she works as a Financial Consultant, writes weekly for the International New York Times Turkish edition and is an Art of Living Happiness Program teacher.


Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]

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