Try these 3 quick and easy yoga poses to relax and soften your shoulders
It's no joke that we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. This area of the body is susceptible to tension and injury simply from how we use it, or misuse it. Whether you carry a bag, sit at a computer, drive, or sleep poorly, chances are you've probably experienced some sort of issue with your shoulders.
Enter, yoga. There are so many ways to restore and relax your shoulders through your yoga practice. Today we're sharing 3 gentle, easy poses that can be done basically anywhere. In any practice of healing, breath and intention are always at the forefront of your approach. Remember to go slow and listen to the feedback your body gives you, especially if you are dealing with injury. Forcing into these gentle areas of the body will only prolong the issue, so remember that love and patience are the keys to freedom.
Reverse Prayer Mudra
Because we inherently spend so much time rolling our shoulders forward, they tend to naturally fall that way after time. It is generally only with conscious effort that we roll them back, lift our heart, and feel open across our chest. Inviting space into the front of your heart will help draw your shoulders onto and down your back. This action helps soften the tissues that connect your shoulders to your chest, and places your shoulders back into proper alignment.
- to modify this pose, try grabbing for opposite elbows behind your back
- to deepen this pose, clasp your hands at your lower back and take a small back bend, lifting your gaze to the sky
- in each variation, invite your shoulders to "kiss" on your back, drawing the blades together and down your back
- breathe into the centre of your heart and visualize the heads (front) of your shoulders melting back
Balasana is wonderful to soften everything from your hips to your fingertips. And what lives between those? Your shoulders! Again, shoulder softness comes with an open heart, so allow yourself to hang out in this space with the support of your forehead and legs grounding you. If your mat and forehead don't connect, place a block in between so you can really let go. Feel your shoulders spreading wide and moving down your back and focus your breath to the space around your heart and armpits.
To reach the back of your heart, that juicy spot between your shoulder blades, try eagle pose. This shape helps to open up and soften your shoulder blades away from one another, moving more into the midline of the back. Once you've wrapped your arms in front of your face (or, try hugging opposite shoulders for a less intense version), you may try squeezing your forearms together, lifting your elbows, and gently tucking your chin. Send your breath BIG into the back of your heart and visualize exhales melting away tension.
Want to get more in-depth on this topic? Join us at Yogalife Studios South on November 28 from 2:30-5:30 Psoas & Supple Shoulders w/ Brea Johnson register now!