Proper shoulder alignment and training is vital not just to keep up with your strength and conditioning goals, but also to combat the physical and mental stress that comes with everyday life. Without proper shoulder alignment, daily activities such as walking and reaching up high can become a struggle. To help you achieve optimal shoulder alignment, yin yoga poses can be very helpful. Yin yoga poses help improve flexibility and relieve tension in the shoulders, allowing them to stay better aligned and moving freely.
This yin yoga pose with you looking up and arms outstretched is great for targeting tight shoulders. The eagle arms pose works isometrically on the arms and shoulders, and can also be used to stretch the muscles in the back and neck. As you take the posture, keep your head in a neutral position and avoid looking down or up. Relax your shoulders and soften the skin of your face and jaw.
Supported fish is a great yin yoga pose to open up the chest and improve shoulder mobility. It helps to increase circulation within the shoulders and chest area, as well as allowing a good stretch in the neck and spine. When in this pose, use a block, blanket or bolster and place it underneath your body. This will help you to rest more deeply, allowing more of a stretch in the chest and arms.
The child’s pose is a great pose for relieving neck and shoulder tightness. To do the pose, sit on your heels with your toes together and your arms stretched out in front of you. Place your forehead on the floor, preferably on a folded blanket, to make the pose more comfortable. As you stay in the pose, concentrate on relaxing your upper back and shoulders and take some deep breaths.
Reclining Bound Angle
This pose is great for stretching the chest and shoulders as well as the inner thighs. It is best practiced with the support of two blocks, either a folding chair or two yoga bolsters. Lie down on the floor and bend your knees, letting the soles of your feet come together so your legs form a diamond shape. Place your hands in the pose to the side of your body and relax. As you stay in the pose, keep your shoulders relaxed and breathe deeply.
Thread the Needle
Thread the needle is a great pose for releasing tight shoulders. To do the pose, start in a tabletop position with your wrists underneath your shoulders, your hands directly underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips. Take your right arm and cross it underneath your left, reach through and press your palm into the floor. You can stay here and focus on taking deep breaths, or if you need more intensity you can use your left arm to reach over your right and press your shoulder down to the floor.
By practicing these yin yoga poses, you will be able to improve flexibility and reduce tension in your shoulders. Proper shoulder alignment is an important part of staying healthy and injury-free and is critical to leading a fulfilling and active lifestyle. Make sure to practice these poses often to reap the most benefits.