Tense shoulders are something I have suffered with a lot. It runs in my family. If you suffer from this too, I hope my ideas will help to relieve, restore and release that which no longer serves. Shoulders matter!
On an emotional level, I believe rounding shoulders comes from not wanting to be seen due to fear.
When I was a teenager in my Maths class, a boy for no reason suddenly punched me from behind between the shoulders blades. Energetically his stuff I feel somehow got wedged between a vertebra.
The shining light is I have been doing/ teaching yoga for decades now, and it has been transformative. I still get tension, though on a lesser scale. My self-belief has grown. I can though easily slip back into old habits of standing/sitting poorly if I fall out of being aware.
I use to force my shoulders into place but found that created more tension! So this is what I now do instead…
I love my shoulders, but as you can see from the photo, they are naturally round.
Drop the idea that you are an Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Norman Vincent Peale
Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, the spine is straight, the neck is long, and you aren’t sticking your chin out. Make sure you maintain the natural curve in the spine again. Shrug the right shoulder up to the ear with an inhalation and as you exhale relax. Do five rounds of these repeating on the other side.
Next, shrug both your shoulders up and back drawing circles with them. Make sure you are breathing deeply. Do around five and then repeat in the opposite direction so that you start at the back and draw the circles forward.
Next from your seated position slide your left hand behind your back so that the little finger is between the shoulder blades if you can bring the right hand back, too, into a prayer position. Be careful not to force out of frustration. Keep the spine long. The modified version is to bring the hands behind you and hold onto opposite elbows instead of palms together. Take long, deep breaths and with an exhalation feel the tension melt away.
Breathing into the hands
Breathe out that tension
Sitting up tall, place the hands just below the belly button, fingertips, horizontal, facing towards each other. Inhale and watch how the hands separate a little as the belly expands. Exhale as the fingertips come closer together as the diaphragm comes in. On the next breath, start inhaling into the belly, the sides of the body, then the chest, armpits, upper chest. Imagine the breath reaching the shoulders. Remember the lungs start at the shoulders. Exhale and squeeze all that stale air out. As you exhale, mentally let go of anything that no longer serves you. As you inhale, breathe in positivity. Do this for 1 to 5 minutes.
As you do this routine try and imagine you are letting go of emotional stuff that no longer serves you and allowing space for your dreams to flow.
Lastly, as you walk and sit in life, try not to stick out your neck. Stop walking like a pigeon and start being more like a giraffe.
So all in all, learn to let go both physically and emotionally in the shoulders.
Let me know how you get on!
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