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Thread the Needle Pose

Thread the Needle Pose

Thread the Needle Pose is a yoga pose that offers a fantastic stretch for the upper back, shoulders, and neck. It is a gentle yet effective exercise that can be done either on the mat or as a part of a post-workout stretch routine. To perform the Thread the Needle Pose, start in a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the ground. Keep your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. From there, lift your right arm off the ground and thread it underneath your left arm, placing your right shoulder and ear on the mat. Keep your left hand firmly planted on the ground for stability. Take a deep breath in and feel the stretch in your upper back and shoulder. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds before switching sides. This pose helps release tension and tightness in the upper back, shoulders, and neck by increasing flexibility and mobility in these areas. It also helps to improve posture and reduce discomfort caused by sitting for long periods or performing activities that strain the upper body. Regular practice of the Thread the Needle Pose can also help prevent and alleviate shoulder and neck pain. Remember to listen to your body and adjust the pose to fit your comfort level. Take slow, deep breaths throughout the pose to encourage relaxation and allow for a deeper stretch. It is always beneficial to incorporate a warm-up before attempting any exercise, even gentle stretches like this one, to prepare your muscles and joints for movement. So, try incorporating the Thread the Needle Pose into your routine to experience the incredible benefits it has to offer for your upper body flexibility and mobility. Happy stretching!


  • Start in a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, and then thread it underneath your left arm so that your right shoulder and side of your head come to the mat.
  • Extend your left arm out in front of you and lower your left shoulder towards the ground.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths and feel the stretch in your upper back and shoulders.
  • To release, slowly unwind and return to the tabletop position.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other side, threading your left arm under your right arm.

Tips & Tricks

  • Maintain proper alignment by keeping your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips over your knees.
  • Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
  • Focus on your breath, inhaling deeply as you lengthen through the spine and exhaling fully as you twist.
  • Start with gentle movements and gradually increase the intensity and depth of the twist.
  • Keep your neck relaxed and in line with your spine.
  • Seek guidance from a qualified yoga teacher to ensure proper form and prevent injury.
  • Practice regularly to increase flexibility and strength in your upper back and shoulders.
  • Modify the pose as needed by using props such as blocks or bolsters.
  • Listen to your body and only go as far into the pose as feels comfortable for you.
  • Consider incorporating complementary exercises such as shoulder stretches or core strengthening exercises to improve overall flexibility and stability.

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