Many yoga practitioners will probably tell you that they practice yoga for its beneficial results on their health. Many also consider yoga a great method for reducing stress, strengthening the muscles, achieving relaxation, and improving one's meditation techniques.
Due to our day-to-day problems and worries, many of us have to deal with stress, and its accompanying pains and discomforts. Most of us realize that it is harder for to concentrate when under stress, so, we become more and more restless, and find it even less possible to relax.
Stress tends to be most commonly experienced in two areas of the body...the shoulders and the neck. These parts of our body can hold a lot of tension, which produces severe headaches, lack of ability to concentrate, and other disruptions of our normal behavior.
Speculation is that when our caveman ancestors were attacked, they tended to lift their shoulders to protect their heads. Back then, that happened once in a while. Nowadays, we often feel "under attack" 24 hours a day.
To relieve this physical manifestation of stress, yoga trainers recommend the practice of doing shoulder lifts as many times a day as necessary.
It is simple to perform these moves. You only have to raise one shoulder at the time, or both shoulders at once, hold, relax, and repeat the movement at least five times. Make sure you do it as slowly as possible and you keep your spine straight.
Of course, as with any yoga pose or movement, your should be paying attention to the way you breathe, as a controlled deep breath can maximize the beneficial effects of your exercises. You might want to review The Science of Breath.
When you begin regularly practicing the shoulder lift, you will start to feel more relaxed, and the tension you feel in your shoulders will gradually fade away...at least to some degree...if not completely.
Probably the best thing about this yoga pose is the fact that you can practice them anywhere, including at work, while watching TV, or, during a long, boring journey...and the results are always amazing.