The shoulders are a common place of where many people hold a lot of tension, and struggle with mobility and strength. It is important that we look after our shoulders as issues here can cause pail in the back, arms and neck too.
Here are a few easy yoga postures you can try at home to relieve your tight shoulders and arms, improve mobility and even increase strength. Hold each pose for 10 breaths. If you find you are tighter more on one side than the other, then go back and repeat the tighter side again to promote balance.
Yoga for Sore Arms & Shoulders
1. Down Facing Dog
Come to your hands and knees, hands slightly forwards of your shoulders, knees under hips. Exhale to tuck your tone and lift knees away from the floor, pushing your sit bones high towards the ceiling and creating an upside down V-shape. Heels may or may not come to the ground, feel free to take a slight bend in the knees if the stretch is too much. Head should hang loosely, crown towards the ground. Now push your head through your arms, whilst pressing evenly through the palms to of your hands. You should rotate your shoulders outwards to create space between the shoulder blades, broadening your back, wrapping your lateral muscles around your ribcage for stability. Feel free to pedal the feet to ease off tight hamstrings. Aim to stay in this pose for at least 10 breaths.
2. Dolphin Pose
From down facing dog, kneel, then bring your elbows, forearms, and hands to the floor in front of your knees, shoulder-width apart. Exhale as you push your sit bones up and back, lifting the knees off the floor, returning to a similar leg position of down facing dog. Keep pushing through the upper arms ensuring your ears are well away from your shoulders, head should be off the floor and eye gaze downwards. Make sure your shoulders are over your elbows. Stay here for 10 breaths. Exhale to lower back down to kneeling.
3. Extended Childs Pose
From kneeling, touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Exhale as you fold your torso over and between your thighs, reaching the arms straight out in front of you as far as they can go without lifting your buttocks away from you heels. Try to maintain and promote length in the spine, whilst completely relaxing the body, allowing it to melt, folded, into the ground. Head comes to the floor just in front of your knees. Stay here for 10 breaths or more. This pose stretches the spine, hips, knees and relieves tension in the body.
4. Thread the Needle (do both sides)
Come to your hands and knees, wrists directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips, toes untucked, shins to floor. Exhale to slide your right arm under the left, palm facing up. Bring your right shoulder all the way down to the mat, creating a twist, resting the right side of your head on the ground, gaze should be looking under and up through your left armpit. Keep the hips raised and actively pressing through your left arm to avoid strain on the neck or right shoulder. Broaden you upper back, creating space between the shoulder blades, let the lower back soften and relax. Stay here for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
5. Puppy Pose
Come to your hands and knees, shoulders stacked over your wrists, your hips stacked over your knees, and the tops of your feet relaxed down on the mat. Walk your hands out in front of you lowering your chest down toward the mat. Keep your hips over your knees. Allow your forehead down to the ground. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, reach your hips up high toward the ceiling, creating a deeper back bend. Allow you neck to relax. Stay here for 10 breaths.
6. Bow Pose
Start by laying on your stomach with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. Bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can towards your buttocks whilst reaching back with your hands and take hold of your ankles, keeping the feet flexed. Make sure your point your knees directly backwards, no wider than hip distance, do not let your legs splay outwards.
Inhale to lift the chest and the knees off the floor at the same time, creating a back bend, kicking your heals away from your buttocks to pull your arms further back and open your chest. Stay here for 5-10 breaths, then exhale to lower back to the ground.
From kneeling, knees hip distance apart, press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into floor. Option to place your hans on the lower section of your back/top of buttocks, or reach further back so that they rest on your heals. Inhale to lift through spine, creating length and bending through the thoracic or the upper part of the back, opening the shoulders and chest. Keep pushing the thighs forwards so they remain vertical and lifting through the chest. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
8. Cow Face Arms (do both sides)
Whilst seated. Inhale to lift your left up above you, turn your palm to face the wall behind you. Exhale as you bend at the elbow, reaching backwards before you slide the hand down between your shoulder blades.
Inhale to take your right arm straight out to the side, parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inwardly, then exhale as you ben at the elbow and try to grab your left hand. Use a strap to bridge the gap at first. Also try to keep a straight back as leaning forwards only increase the distance your hands have to reach. Stay here for 10 breaths, then release the arms and the legs and switch to do the other side.
Option to do full cow face pose – From seated with legs straight out in front of you, then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left leg under the right knee and placing the left foot to the outside of the right hip, sole facing upwards. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the knees vertically, and placing the right foot to the outside of the left hip, sole facing upwards. Hips should be level and you should be sat evenly on the sit bones, use a block if not.
9. Eagle Arms (do both sides)
Want to try one of our classes?
If you are new to yoga, or just would like to try to practice more regularly with company, then why not pop along to one of our classes. We have various levels and styles of classes from the more strength focused Yoga for Fitness classes, to our very chilled Restore & Recover gentle yoga sessions, or if you are looking for something in the middle why not try our Stretch & Tone class. Full timetables , price and class details can be found here.
We also offer 1-2-1 sessions and private bookings for those who would like something a little more personalised. Read more here.
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