thread the needle

The Thread the Needle Pose Is the Only Stretch You Need to Relieve Tightness in Your Entire Upper Body

Feeling the tension in your neck and shoulders? Do this one stretch that can give some instant relief. 

The thread the needle pose, also known as the Urdhva Mukha Pasana in Sanskrit is a yoga pose that stretches your neck, shoulders, and spine. 

This simple and easy pose is known to help improve your spinal mobility and loosening of the muscles in your back, shoulders, neck, and arms. 

If you frequently look down at a laptop, the chances are you hunch your shoulders and tilt your neck forward. You may also be suffering from the forward head posture that causes a range of issues including neck pain, 

This natural inclination to crane your neck can put extra pressure on the neck to support the head. 

Over time, this can lead to chronic neck and shoulder pain, poor posture, and limited range of motion in the upper body. 

The thread the needle pose is one stretch you can perform anywhere and bring some quick relief. 

Whenever you feel tightness around the shoulders, you can perform this stretch with no equipment. 

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​What is the thread the needle exercise?​ 

Urdhva Mukha Pasana - thread the needle pose

It’s a gentle upper-body stretch that primarily engages the muscles in your chest, neck, shoulders, and back. 

It starts in the tabletop pose and threads one arm under your torso. The stretch involves the twisting of your spine and releasing any tightness in the back to deltoids. 

This stretch is often utilized as a part of warm-up in yoga practice and is a great pose for any beginner. 

The Thread the Needle Stretch Muscles Used

This floor yoga pose opens up the neck, shoulders, upper back, and arms. It also stretches the muscles in your chest, rhomboid, and deltoids. 

This stretching exercise may also press on your knees and wrists. If you have weaker joints, this may not be suitable for you. 

How to perform the thread needle exercise

  1. Get on all fours with your hands on a yoga mat and your knees hip-width apart. Adjust your hands so they are shoulder-width apart and directly under the shoulders. (Messinascatering) Your knees should be positioned directly under the hips. 
  2. Slowly raise your right arm up toward the ceiling and tilt your neck up to follow the hand. 
  3. Bring your arm down and reach under your chest. Continue until your right shoulder touches the mat and your right-hand passes the left side of your body. Follow the right arm with your head and have it rest on the mat as your right shoulder rests on the mat. The right side of your face should be faced down. 
  4. Feel the stretch in your neck, shoulders, rhomboid, and back. 
  5. Take a few deep breaths. 
  6. Return to the starting position and switch sides. 

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