Ouch! As I awoke, the other day and found tension had accumulated in my shoulders. They were so stiff, and I felt like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. I knew my yoga routine would help, but felt I had to go a bit deeper with the shoulder and upper back care. So I remembered these two tension releasing poses.
(Remember to always check with your doctor before trying any form of exercise and exercise at your own risk)
My Anti-Stiff Upper Back warm up.(Great to do alone or as part of a routine)
- 1. Shoulder rolls (I use to call shoulders, soldiers as a child) My method: The first thing I do is sit up with my legs crossed on the floor ( sitting straight on a hardback chair also works) Having made sure my posture is good e.g. no slouching, I begin to take some slow deep breaths… in and out through the nostrils. I allow myself to connect to my body and listen intuitively to what it needs, e.g., movement. So with just my left shoulder, I begin to move it up towards my ear on the inhalation and as exhale I surrender the shoulders back down. The important thing I feel is to work at one’s comfortable edge. No forcing. I do the movements ten times and then repeat on the other side, followed by double shoulder lifts for a further ten. I repeat all movements depending on how much time I have. TIP: Connect with the breathing and send the breath mentally to any areas of tension within the body.
- Thread the Needle My method: Begin by kneeling on the floor with knees hip distance apart, and toes turned under and flexed. Hands are flat on the floor in line with shoulders. Please don’t do this pose if any neck or back issues. If in doubt leave this pose out. Engage the belly slightly, meaning don’t let the belly just hang out like a balloon.
From this position thread the right hand underneath left and bring the right side of the head to the floor. Please keep the toes turned under; knees are precious, and it is important to protect them.
No forcing, go slow and remember to breathe!For many, this is enough so just stay here for 5-10 breaths. It is important to come out slowly and repeat on the other side. If you have the flexibility, you can place the left hand on the hip with the elbow pointing up as in the picture.
- Finally, I find when a lot of tension has accumulated in my shoulder that it can be down to me not breathing deeply nor calm enough. Deep conscious breathing works wonders on tension. So what are you waiting for?
Tension? No more!
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