3 Yoga Poses to Relax Your Shoulders
Many moons ago I started yoga-ing because my body hurt a lot from my days of rowing in college. My right shoulder was so tight that it permanently rolled way forward and I could never find a comfortable resting position to sleep in. Thankfully, I discovered yoga, went all in and got totally obsessed with the way that it healed my body. I realize this sounds very alternative. I honestly never thought that I would be this person. I used to think yoga was totally weird, but now I am addicted and it's my job. Joke's on me!
Probably one of the biggest questions that I get about yoga is how do I stretch my shoulders? I know, I know. As a former shoulder-pain-sufferer I totally get it Which is why I am here to help! Today I'm sharing my three favorite (and pretty darn beginner friendly) poses to get into the front and back of your shoulders, and make you feel like the true goddess you are.
(Oh and if you need a new yoga mat, check out my tips here!)
You know that sweet spot between your shoulders that is impossible to stretch? This will get right into it. First, find your way to a comfy seat. Then, bring your right elbow under your left elbow and cross at your wrists. If that's too tight, grab your shoulders like you're giving yourself a big old hug. You can hang out in one spot OR (my personal favorite) move your arms around. I find students like this pose the most when they reach their fingertips up to the sky, hold for a few breaths, and then round the spine and pull their elbows into their belly for a few breaths. You can also sway side to side and get creative with it. After a few minutes with the right arm on the bottom switch sides. Both sides are going to feel super different, let it happen.
Heart Opener with a Block
Not all blocks are created equally, but these are some good ones that will hold up for the long haul:
Place a yoga block between your shoulder blades and lay across it with your chest facing up. If you don't have a block you can use a tightly rolled towel or blanket. I have really tight shoulder from rowing and like to reach my arms overhead here for the most opening across my chest. If that's too intense for you, let your arms rest open wide or next to your sides. Hang out here for a few minutes so that your chest and shoulder muscles can really start to relax. Do whatever feels best with your legs!
Start laying on your belly with your right ear on the floor. Reach your right arm to the right with your palm face down on the floor. Then, bring your left hand under your left shoulder and slowly push into it until you feel a big stretch across your chest and shoulders. Keep your head and neck completely relaxed on the floor. On this side (the right side), find a comfortable resting position for your left arm and leg. It doesn't matter what that looks like, as long as your body is relaxed and you feel safe. Repeat on the left.