Neck, Shoulder & Upper Back Care

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we apply knowledge to choosing and adapting asana for students with neck, shoulder or upper back issues.


Apply knowledge of anatomy, causes of neck, shoulder and upper back issues, and cautions to choosing and adapting asana.


Explain which poses are generally not recommended for students with neck or shoulder issues or excessive rounding in the upper back. Describe the factors which increase the likelihood of a student using poor form in repetitive vinyasa, thereby putting their shoulders at risk. Note practices that may help to release associated tension and ways you might assist students in increasing awareness that supports upper back, shoulder and neck care. Give examples of types of asana that may help to correct some common physical imbalances related to upper back and shoulder issues and describe the vital importance of employing a mindful, safe progression of shoulder strengthening. Describe practices that can help to strengthen the shoulder girdle without engaging in risky weight-bearing asana and sequences that can support class planning for neck, shoulder and upper back care.