This yoga sequence is designed to help release tension in the upper back. It can be done on its own, or as part of a longer practice like Savasana (which you’ll do after this stretch). Dig your hands into either side of your back and bring them up towards the shoulder blades. While keeping these hand positions, take deep breaths in through your nose while exhaling out through pursed lips.

The “yoga stretches for upper back and shoulders” is a 12-minute yoga routine that will help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your upper back.

12-Min Yoga For Upper Back Tension: Stretch & Strengthen

Choosing A Yoga Mat: The Ultimate Guide

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Laura has completed 300 hours of yoga teacher training and is a qualified yoga instructor.

Long lengths of time spent hunched over a computer, wearing a backpack all day, or holding a kid may all cause upper back tightness and discomfort. This fast yoga routine helps strengthen and stretch the parts of the body that experience the greatest tension during everyday activities: the shoulders, upper back, and neck.

The following is a yoga routine for upper back tension:

This 12-minute yoga sequence for the upper back is perfect if you’re short on time or seeking for a fast shoulder mobility workout.

Effective – to relieve stress and promote range of motion, this yoga practice for upper back stiffness mixes strength with length. For optimal feel-good outcomes, we first boost blood flow into the tight regions by practicing strengthening postures, and then we stretch it.

This yoga sequence for upper back stiffness is suitable for people of all abilities since it does not feature any difficult yoga postures or stretches. Every position is essential and may be tailored to your present physical and emotional condition.

Also, see this article for tips on how to reduce upper back and neck stress, as well as the top 15 yoga positions for tight upper back and neck.

The contents of the book are shown in the table of contents.

1. Do you like to watch? With This Follow-Along Video, You Can Improve Your Skills.


2. Yoga Flow for Upper Back Tension in 12 Minutes

Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat-Cow Stretch)

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Cat Cow Stretch

  • Start with your shoulders over your wrists and knees under your hips in a tabletop posture.
  • Inhale, lower your belly button, and rise your chest and tailbone to form a U-shape in your spine.
  • Round your spine and softly tuck your chin to your chest as you exhale, reversing the curvature of your spine.
  • Rep for another 30 seconds.


  • To cushion your knees, fold a yoga mat or use a yoga blanket.
  • Do the position on your forearms if you have wrist discomfort. To raise your body, use a small bolster or a folded blanket beneath your forearms.
  • Keep your neck in check and transition between postures smoothly.

Kneeling Mountain – Open Arm Twist Flow – Child Pose/Balasana

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Child Pose Flow

  • Exhale and return to Child’s Pose by bringing your buttocks back to your heels from Table Top.
  • Lift your knees and sweep your arms out to the sides and above as you inhale. Kneeling Mountain is the name of the mountain.
  • Exhale and twist to the right, reaching back with your right arm and forward with your left arm. Turn your gaze to the rear of your mat.
  • Inhale and twist to the left, your left arm going back and your right arm going forward.
  • Return to Kneeling Mountain after taking a deep breath.
  • Return to Child’s Pose with your hands on your lower back after exhaling.
  • For 30 seconds, repeat the flow.


  • To cushion your knees, fold a yoga mat or use a yoga blanket.
  • Place a tiny bolster or a wrapped yoga blanket between the calves and the back of the thighs if you have trouble sitting on your heels in Child’s Pose.
  • Place a bolster or a yoga block beneath your forehead for support if your forehead does not touch the floor in Child’s Pose.

Bhujangasana (Dynamic Cobra Pose)

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Dynamic Cobra

  • Come forward on your belly from Child’s Pose into Cobra.
  • Bend your elbows and place your hands on the ground, palms facing down. Lengthen your tailbone by pressing your pubic bone into the ground.
  • Open your chest, roll your shoulders back, and raise your upper body off the mat as you breathe in. Maintain a neutral neck and activate the muscles that go down the spine.
  • Exhale and lower yourself.
  • Rep for another 30 seconds.


  • For extra support, keep your hands on the mat beneath your shoulders. However, rather of relying on your arm power to raise and stretch your spine, utilize the muscles in your back.
  • If you’re having trouble with your lower back, try Sphinx instead.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Downward Dog

  • In Downward-Facing Dog, lift into a neutral tabletop position, tuck your toes, and send your hips up and back.
  • Root with your hands and drag your navel back to your spine to activate your core muscles.
  • By pressing your chest towards your thighs and keeping your knees bent, you may discover length in your spine.
  • Your body should resemble the letter “V” reversed.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.


  • Straight legs are less significant than a long spine. Maintain the integrity of your spine by keeping your knees fully bent.
  • To maintain your chest open, draw your shoulder blades down your spine.
  • Rather of putting all of your weight into the middle of your hands, press hard onto the outside borders of your palms, fingers, and knuckles. In the event of wrist discomfort, place the heel of your hand on a towel or blanket.

Variation of Low Lunge Twist/Anjaneyasana

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Low Lunge Twist

  • As you exhale, move your right foot forward in-between your hands from Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Come into Low Lunge by lowering your back knee to the ground and untucking your toes.
  • Contract your core and pull your body upright as you sweep your arms above, palms facing each other, as you breathe in.
  • Exhale as you rotate your body toward your front leg, pressing your hands together.
  • To twist farther, hook your elbow over your front knee and utilize it as leverage. Keep your belly button off your thigh.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Rep on the other side.


  • To cushion your knees, fold a yoga mat or use a yoga blanket.
  • Start with an Open Arm Twist to ease yourself into the posture.


Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Inchworms

  • Exhale and lean forward from Mountain.
  • Place your hands in front of you and take a deep breath in as you gently creep forward one hand at a time until you reach Plank Pose.
  • While in Plank, engage your abs, thighs, and shoulders.
  • Hold for a few seconds before crawling your hands back to your feet.
  • Return to the Mountain that is still standing.
  • Rep for another 30 seconds.


  • When folding forward, keep your knees slightly bent.
  • In Plank, look between your hands.
  • If necessary, you may drop your knees to the ground in Plank stance.
  • To experience the stretching and strengthening effects of the workout, move gently.

Plank with forearms

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Plank with forearms

  • Begin in a knelt posture.
  • Place your forearms on the mat so that your elbows are just under your shoulders.
  • Lift your knees off the mat and make a straight line with your body by broadening your upper body, drawing your navel in, and lifting your knees off the mat.
  • To cushion your lower back and keep your glutes engaged, tuck your tailbone.
  • Hold the position for around 30 seconds.


  • Keep your neck in alignment with your spine by looking between your forearms or slightly forward.
  • If necessary, lower your knees to the mat. Lift one foot off the mat for a more difficult task.

Mayurasana/Dolphin/Ardha Pincha

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Dolphin

  • From Plank with forearms, start to slowly walk your legs forward into Dolphin.
  • You may also begin with a tabletop variant on your elbows and knees. Curl your toes beneath and relax. Exhale and push your buttocks up and back as you raise your knees off the mat.
  • If your hamstrings/calves are tight, keep your knees bent and concentrate on stretching your spine and keeping open through your collarbone.
  • If it’s comfortable, take a step forward with your feet, forming an A-shape with your body.
  • Keep your neck relaxed yet in alignment with your spine.
  • Hold the position for around 30 seconds.


  • Keep your core moving and avoid letting your ribs fall to the floor. This is most likely to happen if your spine is very flexible.

Variation of RagDoll/Uttanasana

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Ragdoll

  • Lower your knees and walk your hands back into Ragdoll from Dolphin.
  • Bring your abdomen closer to the tops of your thighs by bending your knees in a healthy way.
  • Take a hold of the opposite elbow and let your head dangle heavily between your arms.
  • Concentrate on stretching your spine and releasing any stiffness in your shoulders.
  • Sway lightly from side to side or hang heavily.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.


  • Even if your hamstrings and lower back are highly flexible, maintain a micro-bend in your knees.
  • Maintain a relaxed neck.

Variation of Warrior I with Eagle Arms/Virabhadrasana I

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Warrior I Variation

  • Slowly rise and move your right leg forward, bending your front knee, and settle into Warrior I from Ragdoll.
  • Keep your hips squared to the front, and if necessary, correct them with your hands.
  • Spread your arms in the shape of a W, like Cactus arms, then wrap your right elbow over your left elbow to form an Eagle.
  • Lift your forearms so that the fingers point up to the sky and press hard into your palms.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Switch the bind of your arms and the sides of your legs.


  • Maintain a safe distance between your forearms and your brow.
  • If you can’t wrap your wrists, put your hands over your shoulders and place them there. At around shoulder height, maintain your elbows apart from your body.

Prasarita Padottanasana I Variation: Wide Legged Forward Bend with a Twist

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Wide-Legged Forward Bend

  • Step your feet wide and parallel to each other from Warrior I.
  • Inhale and expand your chest, then exhale and bend forward into a Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend.
  • Place your hands on the mat, approximately beneath your face, after you’ve bowed halfway.
  • Inhale as you roll your right shoulder back and pull your right arm up, twisting your body to the right and up.
  • Return to the fold after exhaling.
  • For 30 seconds, alternate between twisting left and right.


  • If your hamstrings are tight, broaden your stance; if you want a deeper stretch, shorter your stance.
  • For a deeper hamstring stretch, shift your weight to the balls of your feet.
  • If reaching the mat with your hands is difficult, place a yoga block beneath your hands.

Malasana/Yogi Squat

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Yogi Squat

  • Shorten your stance from Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend.
  • At a 45-degree angle, point your toes to the front corners of your mat. Bring your hands to your heart and hold them there.
  • Squat down into Garland Pose or Deep Yogi Squat while exhaling.
  • Allow your hips to expand by gently pressing your elbows into your knees.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.


  • Maintain a long spine from the top of your head to your tailbone.
  • To assist the hips open up further, engage your buttocks.
  • For further support, sit on a yoga block or a bolster.
  • Roll up a yoga blanket and tuck it under your heels if you can’t keep your feet level on the ground.

Cat-Cow in a seated position, hands clasped

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Seated Cat Cow

  • Sit down in a comfortable posture with a neutral spine after Yogi Squat.
  • Make a butterfly form by interlacing your fingers and bringing your palms to the back of your head. Extend your elbows to the sides.
  • Inhale deeply and expand your chest. Look up and open your elbows as much as possible.
  • Exhale. Bring your elbows forward, chin tucked, and spine curled forward.
  • Rep for another 30 seconds.


  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if attempting to hold a pencil between them as you inhale.
  • You may gently push your hands on the back of your head as you curl forward.

Stretch with your arms outstretched.

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Stretch with your arms outstretched.

  • Extend your arms to the sides as far as you can.
  • Imagine touching the walls with your hands. Inhale deeply and attempt to draw these barriers apart by stretching your arms and spine.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and down. You should already be feeling a significant stretch in your arms and chest muscles.
  • Exhale and hunch your shoulders up to your ears, as though the walls are closing in around you.
  • Inhale deeply and stretch your arms.
  • Rep for another 30 seconds.


  • Keep your palms and fingers pointed up and active.
  • If the stretch is too powerful, maintain your arms straight. If the stretch is too intense, retain a tiny bend in your elbows.

Ardha Matsyendrasana/Half Lord Of The Fishes

Yoga for Upper Back Tension: Half Lord Of The Fishes

  • Stretch your legs out in front of you. Maintain a flexed foot in front of your body.
  • Bring your right foot near to you by bending your right leg. Cross your right foot over to the outside of your left hip by lifting it. Your right knee should be pointing upwards.
  • To maintain your spine straight, place your right hand behind you.
  • As you lift your left arm to the heavens, take a deep breath.
  • Exhale and rotate your body to the right, hugging the right knee with your left hand.
  • Look over your right shoulder to the right.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Rep on the other side.


  • Begin by twisting from your center, then go up to your upper back and neck. Lead with the neck, then the upper body, and finally the core to emerge out of the twist.
  • Your buttocks should be pressed into the mat. While twisting, both of your sit bones should remain on the floor.
  • Keep your back hand from collapsing. Instead, push your hand into your palm to elevate your spine.
  • Continue to pull your shoulders back and down your spine.
  • Sit on the edge of a yoga block if your spine continues to round.

Have you found this brief yoga for upper back stiffness to be helpful? Please let me know in the comments section below!

The “upper back stretches” is a yoga technique that can help to relieve tension in the upper back. It’s a 12-minute routine that includes stretching and strengthening exercises.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stretch your upper back with yoga?

A: You can do a few different yoga poses that target the upper back muscles. Forward bends or lunges are good to stretch out your spine, and twisting your torso in circles can also help with stretching it out if youre not ready for a full-on forward bend yet.,

How do you loosen tight upper back muscles?

A: Tight upper back muscles often result from being in the same position for a long period of time. Try getting up and moving around multiple times to help relieve any tension. You can also try using an ice pack on your back or alternating between hot and cold showers until you feel relief!

Which yoga is best for upper back pain?

A: Hatha yoga is a good choice, as it focuses on the lower back and legs.

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