We all experience tight shoulders at some point, whether it is from sitting too long at a computer, stress built up in this area, or a simple lack of movement.
Our shoulders are a ball-and-socket joint, built for mobility.
Injuries occur when we are moving the joint without the correct alignment in the movement. It is important to keep the shoulders mobile and not static, but just as important to move them in the correct way.
In yoga, healthy shoulders should come through using poses which stretch the muscles around the shoulders as well as poses that strengthen and tone.
Here are a few poses to help you do this…
5 yoga poses to open your shoulders
1. Tadasana (mountain pose)
- Draw the shoulders up to the ears, before rolling back and down.
- Stack the ears over the shoulders and keep the chin parallel to the floor
- Rotate the arms so that the palms are facing forward
- Lift the chest and ground the lower body.
2. Chaturanga Dandasana (4 limbed staff pose)
- The muscles around the shoulder blade keep the blades on the back in this pose, and also help to keep the upper arms in line with the elbows.
- If the shoulders are dipping, come to your knees and built up over time.
- From plank pose, shift forwards, bend the arms whilst hugging the elbows into the sides.
- The elbows should be at 90 degree angles, with the shoulders in line with the elbows.
3. Purvottonasana (upward plank pose)
- This compliments the previous pose by stretching out the muscles we have just worked.
- Legs are extended on the mat, fingertips are behind you (palms shoulder distance apart)
- Press into the palms and lift the hips, soles of the feet move down towards the mat.
- Chest is open and hips lift high
- The neck can stay in line with the spine or slowly released back.
4. Makarasana (Dolphin pose)
- In dolphin, the muscles that hold the scapula on the back of the ribcage are working the most.
- Place the forearms on the mat with the elbows shoulder width apart. Interlace the fingers or keep the palms flat.
- Actively press into the forearms and elbows
- Come to the feet, reach the heels down to the mat. Send the shoulders down the back, widen them and reach the shoulder blades towards the waist.
5. Gomukhasana (Cow face pose)
- This one opens the shoulder blades and encourages flexibility because the pose inwardly rotates the arm.
- Extend the arms to the side, rotate one arm inwards and wrap it around the back of the spine, reaching up towards the sky.
- Rotate the other arm outwards, reach up overhead and bend the elbow. Join the palms or fingers, binding if that is accessible to you.
- 1 elbow moves up overhead, the other moves down towards the mat. The shoulder blades move against the back of the ribcage and the chest lifts.
Your daily yoga workout
Yoga has a lot to offer when you incorporate it into your daily practice. And life.
From stress reduction and meditation to fitness yoga can improve your life from a number of standpoints. Remember, when practicing yoga regularly for a long period of time the health and wellness benefits just become your life. And it can escape you to remember to credit your yoga practice for that.
Yoga really is for everybody.
So try these poses to relieve neck and shoulder tension, especially if you work in front of a computer all day.
Looking for local yoga classes near you? Simply click the link to get started…