These 5 beginner yoga poses are designed to open up your shoulders.
The shoulders are some of the largest joints in our bodies, but did you also know that they’re one of the most neglected parts? Many people develop shoulder pain from regular slouching and excessive sitting. It’s important to build and maintain strong, flexible shoulders to prevent this pain from occurring. To do this, we need to be more intentional about moving the shoulder joints and allowing them to open up to the wide range of motion they are capable of!
Check out the 5 beginner yoga poses below for open, flexible, pain-free shoulders.
By Tega at Social Hermit
Thread the Needle Pose
Begin in tabletop pose. On an inhale, lift your right hand up and on your exhale slide it down on the floor behind your left hand. In the same breath, lean forward until your right shoulder and the right side of your face is resting lightly on the mat. On another inhale, lift your left hand up and behind you, and on the exhale, rest is your left palm softly on your right thigh. To come out, bring your left hand back to the mat and push your upper body up and back to kneeling position. Don’t forget to repeat on the other side!
Cow Face Pose
Begin in a seated position with your legs bent on the left side of your hips. Bring your left leg forward and cross it over the right leg so that your knees are stacked on top of one another, and your left foot is resting by your right hip. On an exhale, bend your left hand behind you so that the back of your hand is resting on your back with your fingers point up towards your neck. The reach your right hand up and bending from your elbow, bring your right palm to connect with your left palm. If comfortable, interlace your fingers here. Ensure that both shoulders are relaxing down your back and away from your ears. To come out, slowly release your hand first, and then stretch your legs out in front of you. Then repeat on the other side
Extended Puppy Pose
Begin in tabletop pose and as you exhale, slowly walk your hands out in front of you. Making sure your hips remain directly above your knees, begin to lower your forehead to the mat. With each exhale, feel your heart sink closer to the mat. To come out, slowly walk your hands back towards your chest and return to tabletop.
Standing Forward Bend with Yoga Lock
Begin in mountain pose. On an inhale, lift your hands up, and on your exhale hinge forward from your hips to bring your upper body towards your legs. Interlace your fingers behind you and let your arms relax over your head and towards the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and let your arms relax towards the mat. To come out slow lift your body back into mountain pose. Remember to keep your belly drawing in towards your spine.
Begin seating in a cross legged position. On an inhale, stretch both arms out in front of you, and then cross your right arm above your left arm and wrap your forearms around one another to bring your palms together. Lift your elbows up to shoulder height while pulling your shoulders down and away from your ears. Ensure that your fingers are pointing straight up and that your spine is elongated. To come out, slowly unwrap your arms and then repeat on the other side!
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All images courtesy of Tega at Social Hermit.