Feeling tight shoulders? Here are some stretches that you can do to open them up! With a daily practice of these, you can gain more flexibility and shoulder mobility.
We can warm up our shoulders by doing some shoulder rolls. Keep the spine straight and slowly roll the shoulders up and then back down in a fluid motion. Repeat this about 10 times and reverse it forward and do the same 10 times.
- Standing Wall Stretch
Place your hands on a wall so that they are at a 90 degree angle to your body. Walk your feet back until your arms are straight and bow, moving forward at the hips. Don’t bring the shoulders too high and don’t push the wall. Stay here for a few breaths.
- Extended Puppy Pose – Uttana Shishosana
Come on to all fours. Make sure your shoulders are above your wrists and your hips are above your knees. You can warm up you back doing a few cat-cow poses.
Next, walk your hands forward and curl your toes under. Start bringing your chin and chest towards the ground while keeping your hips in the air. If you are very flexible, you could try bringing your sternum towards the floor. Don’t let the elbows rest on the ground. To feel the stretch in the shoulders, press the hands down, stretch through the arms while pulling your hips backwards towards the heels.
- Bow Pose – Dhanurasana
Lie down on your stomach with your feet hips width distance apart and arms by your sides. Bend your knees, grab your ankles. Inhale, push the feet into your hands and lift the chest up off the ground. Hold and breathe here for 5 breaths. Exhale and slowly release.
- Cow Faced Pose – Gomukhasana
Sit on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Gently bend your left leg and place it under your right glute. Fold your right leg and place it over your left thigh. Bring your knees close together as they are stacked on top of one another.
*If it is hard for you to sit down, you may come up onto your knees (as they are stacked) and open your feet as wide as they can go in order for you to sit down in a comfortable position.
As your right leg is on top, you will now bring your left arm up and place it behind your back. With the right arm you will reach behind the back to grab your left hand. You may use a strap if your hands do not reach each other. Keep the spine straight, open the chest and slightly lean back. Breathe and hold the pose for as long as you are comfortable with.
Exhale and switch the legs and arms to do the other side.
- Uttanasana III
Come to (mountain pose), interlace the fingers behind the back. Inhale, straighten the arms and open the chest. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. With each inhale, lift and lengthen the torso and with each exhale, release a little more down into the forward bend. Stay here for about 5 breaths. Slowly bend the knees and inhale to come back up, and release the bind.
We hope you enjoyed these stretches and postures to getting your shoulders more open. Remember to always breathe through each stretch and posture and take your time. <3
Featured Image: carolineanne92
Images & Instructions by: mana_yoga