Avayasana: Improves neck, shoulder, and wrist mobility

By Atul Vyas

There is a very simple, traditional, uncommon but effective yoga pose called Avayasana or the assurance pose.

The spine is the center of the body’s universe. The functions of the spine are support, balance, connection, protection and movement. It connects the lower extremity to the upper extremity. By articulating ribs, it protects the heart and lungs.

The vertebra is divided into five sections namely cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccyx. They each have their own specialities.

The main cervical area (C3-C7) is the most mobile, little limited in side bending or lateral flexion. These vertebrae are small and thin, therefore easy to move.

The C-1 (the atlas) and C-2 (the axis) are the more specific. The C-1 vertebra articulates with the skull to create a movement where only flexion and extension can occur, that is, up and down movements. C-1 and C-2 join together to create rotational movements.

The cervical (neck) region with its shallow anterior curve and 7 vertebrae, balances the head and allows turning movements. Since it is the most moveable section, it not only balances the skull weight but also maintains it in constant equilibrium. Any deviation in load will affect not only the cervical area but the rest of the spine as well.

Stress affects this area through various means like by tightening shoulder and neck muscles. This can change postures, compress vertebral discs and misalign the spinal vertebrae.

There are many yogic exercises to help such conditions but this Avayasana pose, despite being simple, is very effective.


  • Sit cross legged in sukhasana
  • Keep spine erect
  • Raise the right hand at shoulder level and stretch it with open palm at right angle to the arm with fingers towards sky
  • Turn the face in opposite direction, hold for 10 seconds with normal breathing
  • Now interchange the position


  • Very efficacious for pain and aches of lower and upper extremity including the clavicle, scapula, arm with humerus, elbow joints, forearms
  • Helps wrist, hands as well by promoting the tone and power of the associate muscles and mobility of the associated joints
  • Improves blood circulation towards upper and lower limbs
  • Increases lymphatic flow
  • An effective neck and shoulder exercise for writer’s cramp, paraesthesia, tremor and multiple sclerosis

Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of Freepik and Provided

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