12 Yoga Poses For Sore Muscles

Are you suffering from sore muscles? Could it be that yesterday’s swimming activity included a higher number of strokes than you’re accustomed to? Perhaps you should not have gone up the hill at such a sluggish pace?

It’s possible that you haven’t been running on the track for quite some time…or perhaps never? However, it has been a day and it is difficult to even raise your arms above your head or get to your feet without feeling pain. The consequences from the day before can be worse on the second day, like an increase in stiffness, soreness, pain, and inflammation…and it can be intimidating.

Chances are you’re not injured. You simply have delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Don’t grab the Aspirin right away; instead, take out your yoga mat and stretch those aching muscles. This can help to reduce the discomfort arising from DOMS and help you recuperate quickly.

Muscle sore

When you engage in any action that stretches your muscles and then applies pressure with any type of weight, it will cause minor harm to your muscle cells. Swimming, biking, and running are all activities that would fit into this category. These micro-tears cause inflammation and pain.

In the aftermath of physical activity, the body strives to mend or reinstate the harmed fibres, leading to the development of more potent muscle power.

Over the next 3 days, you will experience soreness as your body mends the fibres damaged during your workout. This is commonly referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Although DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be seriously uncomfortable- typically in the butt, legs, shoulders and other areas- it’s just a normal part of muscle recovery and muscle growth. And ultimately, this type of pain can lead to greater strength.

One of the strategies to assist your body in recovering and reducing the feeling of DOMS is to do some light exercise.

You may not be particularly eager to do it, but increasing circulation and blood flow will facilitate the recovery of your muscles. You don’t need to do strenuous exercise; we just recommend a minimal amount of stretching, jogging at a slow pace, or going biking leisurely.

Doing stretches for painful muscles may provide some respite, so we gathered a few of our favourite Yoga Journal positions that can help to reduce tightness in the muscles and not make going from the living room to your kitchen such a tough task.

Yoga poses for stretching sore muscles

1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

This pose allows for gravity to help lengthen the spine and stretch the back by stretching and loosening the hamstrings, calves, and hips.

Position yourself at the top of your mat in Tadasana, with your hands on your hips. Take your feet a little wider than your hips.

Breathe out and bend your trunk forward at the hips, not the waist, and bring your breast downwards to your legs. Place your hands on the mat in front of your feet, on blocks or stacks of books, or press your arms across each other.

Relax your neck and shoulders. If you need, bring a bend to your knees. Plant your heels securely on the floor, and raise your hips upwards towards the sky. Rotate your inner thighs slightly inward and in the direction of the wall behind you.

Breathe. With each inhale, lift your body slightly. With every breath out, let yourself sink deeper into the posture. Allow your head to droop and sense your shoulder blades to relax. Remain here for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. Slowly rise to stand.

2. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Similar to Standing Forward Bend, Seating Forward Bend elongates the back, hamstring muscles, and shoulders while eliminating weariness and pacifying the mind.

Perch on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. You can place a folded blanket beneath your bottom if it helps your pelvis to tilt more comfortably.

Push your feet in the direction of the front of your yoga mat and pull your knees up toward your waist.

Inhale deeply and as you lean forward from your hips, not your waist, extend your back and chest as far as possible. Cease stretching if you feel your upper back hunching or the strain in your back or hamstrings intensifying.

Place your hands next to your ankles or grab them with your toes. If you’re unable to reach your toes, use a belt, cloth, or jumper to wrap around the bottom of your feet.

Breathe. Inhale by lifting and making the chest a bit longer; exhale by allowing the body to become more deeply immersed in the stretch. Remain here for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.

3. Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)

Hamstrings howling? This stretch is great for targeting and increasing flexibility in your hamstrings exclusively. Feel the love.

Lay down on the mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. If you find it more comfortable, you can prop your head up with a blanket that has been folded. Breathe in and bring your right leg up towards your chest, bending the knee.

Push with your left heel towards the front of the mat. Wrap a belt, a cloth, or a hoodie around the curve of your right foot and grasp the belt in both of your hands.

Breathe out and begin to stretch your right leg, lifting your right heel in the air while keeping your shoulder blades on the floor. Imagine you are making a footprint on the ceiling. Maintain a flexion in your right leg if that is necessary.

Move your hands up the belt until your arms are extended. Push your shoulder blades into the mat lightly and spread your collarbones away from your chest.

Breathe. Remain here for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. Flex your right leg, draw it to your upper body, and let the belt hang. Straighten your right leg and switch sides.

4. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes/Seated Twist)

When your muscles are feeling stiff, a good twist can be a great way to help them relax. This pose gives you the ability to do multiple tasks and stretches the back, butt, shoulders, hips, and neck.

Take a seat on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. If desired, you can place a folded blanket beneath your bottom for extra comfort.

Flex your knees, press your feet onto the floor, and then move your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right side. Cross your right leg over your left and put it down on the ground outside your left hip.

Your knee joint will be pointing straight up towards the roof. Take a deep breath out and twist your body towards the right, laying your right hand flat on the floor just behind your right side and pressing your left arm against your outer right leg near your knee.

Pull your chest and inner right thigh snugly together. Actively press your right foot into the mat. Take a deep breath in and raise the top of your head, stretching your back.

Exhale and relax into the twist. Tilt your head to glance behind you on the right side or peer over your left shoulder. Breathe. Remain here for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Switch sides.

5. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

This stretch for the inner thigh and groin region can be relatively strong, yet incredibly therapeutic.

Starting off in Baddha Konasana, gradually slide your hands backwards to lower your body onto your forearms, and eventually lie on your back. Place a towel under your head and neck for additional support, if needed.

Put your hands on the inside of your legs and make a slight pushing motion towards the outer edge to rotate your legs outwards. Avoid forcing your knees to the ground, simply allow gravity to take effect.

If the intensity level of the exercise is too much, then you can put blocks, pillows, or blankets that have been folded beneath your knees for support. Keep your arms along your sides with your hands open, facing upward. Breathe. Remain here for 1 minute. If you prefer, you can take on up to 5 minutes of work.

Shoulders sore yoga poses

6. Marjaryasana (Cat Pose)

This exercise aims to aid the neck, back, and shoulders, offering a relaxed and soothing effect.

  1. Begin on the Tabletop with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your knees below your hips.
  2. On an exhalation, round your spine toward the ceiling and press through your palms, letting your shoulder blades glide apart.
  3. Release your head to the floor, bringing your chin toward your chest.

7. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)

Although the main focus of this position is stretching your hamstrings and lower body, the use of the hands will also offer some relief for your shoulders. Instead of having your hands reach the floor in front of you, it is easier to relax your deltoids and trapezius if you hold them up in the air above your head.

  1. Begin in Tadasana with your arms extended by your sides.
  2. Step your feet out so they’re in line with your wrists, keeping them parallel.
  3. Introduce an arm variation by clasping your hands together behind your back, letting your thumbs rest on your sitting bones.
  4. On an exhalation, fold forward from the hip joints, keeping your torso open. With fingers still interlaced and arms straight, press your knuckles toward the ceiling.

8. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Unlock your upper body and relax the muscles in your trapezius by performing Cobra Pose.

  1. Begin by lying on your mat with your legs straight behind you and your hands underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked in.
  2. Press the tops of your feet and thighs into the mat.
  3. On an inhalation, straighten your arms to lift your chest off the mat.
  4. Gently pull the shoulder blades back while opening up your chest, lifting through the top of your sternum without pushing your ribs forward.
  5. Lightly lift your hands off the mat and hover them above the ground about an inch before lowering them back down again. This motion ensures that the arch is coming from your back instead of pushing too hard with your hands.

9. Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)

This posture, combining elements of Child’s Pose and Downward-Facing Dog, helps to alleviate tension in your arms, shoulders, and neck, as well as stretching your spine. If the tension in your shoulder muscles is too much, put your hands on a block to decrease the strain.

  1. Begin on the Tabletop in the centre of your mat.
  2. Walk your hands toward the top of your mat while keeping your arms straight and elbows in. Then curl your toes under.
  3. On an exhalation, rock your buttocks halfway back toward your heels.
  4. Release your forehead to the floor and allow your neck to relax while continuing to press down through the hands, keeping your arms straight.

10. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Broaden your chest while allowing any strain in your neck, shoulders, and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to disperse. This stance elongates your whole spine and battles the adverse consequences of stooping.

  1. Lie on your belly with your arms by your sides, and palms facing up.
  2. On an exhalation, bend your knees so that your heels are near your buttocks. Keep your knees at a hip-width distance.
  3. Reach back with your hands to grab your ankles.
  4. On an inhalation, lift your heels toward the ceiling while elevating your thighs off your mat.
  5. Press your shoulder blades against your back to open your chest, and draw the tops of your shoulders away from your ears.

11. Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose)

The Lord of the Dance Pose is like Bow Pose but done while standing with only one arm and one leg extended at a time. By standing upright, you can use more force to pull and push further, achieving a greater lengthening of your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

  1. Begin in Tadasana. On an inhalation, lift your left heel to your left buttocks as you bend your left knee.
  2. Reach your left hand back, grasping your left ankle or the outside of your left foot.
  3. Lift your left foot up toward the ceiling and away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor.
  4. To go deeper, focus on pressing your foot into your hand instead of leaning farther forward.

12. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

This posture stretches the deltoids and upper back. You need to pay attention to the way your arms are positioned when you are trying to stretch your shoulders, so you can adjust your position by sitting or standing with both of your feet on the ground.

  1. Begin in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up, and cross your left thigh over your right thigh, wrapping your left foot around your right calf.
  2. Stretch your arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Cross your arms in front of your torso so your right arm is overtopped of your left arm. Then, bend your elbows, placing your right elbow into the nook of your left elbow. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor with the backs of your hands facing each other.
  3. Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch your fingers toward the ceiling.


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