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Maybe you’re like me and are fairly flexible, but still stiff and achy through the shoulders. Or maybe, you spend far too much time hunched over a desk/smartphone/television/steering wheel. Whatever it is, try these 3 poses to open up this problem area.
I highly recommend adding these in to your daily routine to keep mobile and flexible through the chest and shoulders.
Grab a yoga strap if you’ve got one, or a long belt or theraband will do. Do these either sitting on your mat or standing.
1. Symmetrical – Bring the strap in front of you, clasping fairly wide. The closer you bring the hands together, the more intense you will feel it. Keep the floating ribs reaching down, avoiding popping the chest forward. Lift the hands up overhead. Keep taking the hands back behind you. If you can’t take the hands back behind you, hold wider on the strap. You might notice a difference between the two sides here. This should be a sensation, not a pain. Do this a few times.
2. Asymmetrical – Starting from a similar position, start to isolate one shoulder. Keep the left arm straight and down, as you lift the right hand. Making a circle shape, right fist comes forward and then all the way up, back and down. Reverse. The chest might rotate open, that is okay here. Do a few rounds on one side, then repeat on the other side.
3. Behind the Back – Bring your hands and strap back behind you, clasping hold just about hip width apart. Squeeze the shoulder blades back behind you as you lift the hands up off the back. If you want to open further, bring the head down (to the mat if kneeling, or in to forward fold if standing). Lift your knuckles up and over. Holding here for several breaths, squeezing the shoulders back behind you. Slowly release the hands down and lift the head up. Drop the strap and relax the shoulders.
If you prefer to be walked through these step by step the first time through, watch the video below.
Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.