Hello beautiful star seeds!
If you’re like me, we spend a lot of our time working at a desk, staring into a computer screen, shoulders tense, typing clicking typing…
Our bodies adjust to the discomfort. Our shoulders get tense. We get tense.
Let’s care of ourselves and unwind our bodies from work torture. Today I’m going to show you 6 shoulder stretches to relieve upper back and shoulder tension.
One of my favorite ways to relax is through stretching my shoulders to release shoulder tension. Releasing shoulder tension is simply a pleasure with yoga.
These are my top 6 stretches for tight shoulders that you can do anywhere, anytime.
As always, it’s best to warm up first with a few round of Sun A and B, and chaturanga.
1) Extended Puppy Pose
A cross between childs pose and down dog. It feels good across the collar bone and upper back.
- Good for calming mind.
- Improves posture.
- Spine lengthener, shoulder opener.
Practice: Come into table top, with your knees hips distance. Extend arms forward, palms shoulder width apart, forehead rests on ground or block. Take deep breaths. Hang out for 30 seconds – 1 min.
2) Dolphin Pose
Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
Great upper body stabilizer. Opens back of shoulders, widens collar bones. Really good pose if you’re learning inversions.
- Relieves digestive and menstrual issues
- Calms the mind and relieves stress
- Strengthens arms and shoulders while broadening upper back and lengthening the spine
Practice: Start in Down Dog. Bend arms and come onto forearms. Release neck in a straight line with your back. Press through elbows. Hold 45 secs – couple mins.
3) Half Frog Pose
Relaxing shoulder opener. Also massages stomach and digestive organs. Easy stretch to do when you wake up or winding down before you go to bed. Did I mention this pose is super relaxing?
- Stretches entire front body, arms chest stomach groin psoas thighs and calves
- Improves posture
- Stimulates stomach organs
Practice: Lay down on your stomach. Knees apart. Come up in sphinx pose. Bend one leg, and reach back with matching hand. Grab the ankle or toes and look forward. Hold 30 secs – 1 min. Switch legs. Do both at same time if possible.
4) Wheel Pose (or modify with Bridge Pose)
A wonderful way to open your heart is with the Wheel (for modification please do Bridge Pose). When I learned how to dropback into Wheel, I started doing it everywhere. It feels so good, my heart gets a rush and a tingle, and my arms and chest feel really good and open.
- Stretches chest and lungs.
- Strengthens our arms, wrists, legs, butts, and abs.
- Stimulates Thyroid Gland (good for those of us with thyroid differences!)
- Increases energy and fights depression
Practice: Start in bridge pose. Press pelvis up. Flip palms face down and plant them next to your shoulders. Press up. Be mindful that feet face forwards and do not turn out (turn out will compress your lower spine). Take 6-8 slow deep breaths. Slowly lower down, mindful of head, roll body in a ball. Roll for recovery.
5) Partner Stretch
- Stretches chest and shoulders
- Person to Person contact is healing
- Powerful heart opener and mood booster.
Practice: Sit back to back with a friend. Cactus arms out. Interlock forearms and palms. Take a deep breath. On the exhale, partner b leans backward as partner a leans forward, stretching partner b. Take 3 breaths. Return to upright and repeat to stretch partner a.
6) Eagle Arms Pose
This is probably my favorite stretch for shoulder/back pain caused by computer posture. Half eagle, just the arms. It opens you up!
- Powerful shoulder opener
- Stretches between shoulder blades
- Relieves tension and pain
Practice: Standing or sitting, stretch and reach arms up on inhale. Exhale arms extended in front of you. Bend elbows. Lift and wrap right forearm over left. Press palms together. Chin should be straight. Lift elbows while pressing palms. Feel the relief!
I sincerely hope these stretches open up your shoulders! Please incorporate these wonderful asanas into your daily practice. In time you’ll feel more relaxed and loose in your shoulders, and hopefully your emotionally state as well!
Lots of love and light to you, space explorers!