Yoga Poses that Help With Shoulder Posture
Yoga helps correct posture and rounded shoulders
Right now, check to see what position your shoulders are in. Did you just sit up a little straighter when you became aware of them? Did you roll them back even just a little?
We all do it, slouch that is. We sit all day long at a keyboard with our shoulders rolled forward. We abuse our shoulders by carrying laundry baskets around, and lifting children up. We load heavy purses and bags on our shoulders and hurt ligaments and tendons by not warming up before our weekly softball game.
As we age, we tend to lose flexibility. We end up with rounded shoulders and we find ourselves with stiff shoulders from doing even the lightest physical activity.
Yoga poses for shoulders
Yoga can be used to target specific areas of the body and the poses – “asanas” as they are called – covered here are great yoga shoulder exercises. You will feel a difference in your posture and have increased shoulder flexibility after just a few weeks of doing these shoulder yoga poses.
Please read this article on how to maintain good posture while working at a computer desk
- Guidelines for Good Posture at a Computer Desk
Sitting postures to avoid back pain while sitting at a computer workstation or desk starts with an office ergonomic chair. Choosing the right office chair to lower pain is key to good posture for computer use. Lower your lower back pain from sitting
This can be done from a seated position and is an easy way to release tension and increase flexibility in the shoulders, neck and upper back. To begin, inhale as you lift both shoulders toward your ears. Don’t scrunch up your neck, keep it neutral. Exhale as you slowly let your shoulders back down.
Now, roll your shoulders around and create a circle with them by raising them toward your ears, then outward, then down, and finally back. Do this two or three times, and then repeat by reversing the direction. Keep your neck soft and remember to breathe.
Shoulder press and squeeze
This movement is a fundamental part of many yoga asanas, and can also be done on its own to help with stiff shoulders. You can do this yoga stretch while standing or even while sitting in a chair.
To begin, sit on your mat with your legs crossed, arms at your sides. Raise your shoulders gently toward your ears and hold for two or three breaths. Relax them back down.
Now, clasp your fingers together behind your back with your palms up and the backs of your hands toward the floor. Straighten your elbows, gently roll your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. You should feel a gentle stretch across your clavicles (collarbones) and in the fronts of your shoulders. Try to get a nice little squeeze going between your shoulder blades. Breathe, and then relax back down. Do this two or three times. To progress in this position, turn your hands so that your palms are toward the floor and the backs of your hands are facing up.
Cow Face or Cow’s Head Pose (Gomukhasana)
This is a wonderful shoulder yoga pose. It improves posture, flexibility and rounded shoulders. We will focus on the part of the asana that works the shoulders.
Begin by raising your right arm and then extending your hand down toward the area between the middle of your shoulder blades as if you were going to scratch your back. At the same time, bring your left arm behind your back, starting with your arm at your lower back and sliding your hand up, palm out, as far as you can.
Now, try to clasp your fingers together. Don’t worry if you can’t get them to even touch at first. This will come as you practice. If you can’t clasp your fingers together, try to give yourself a little bit more of a stretch by grabbing your shirt and pulling your hands gently toward each other. Breathe. Try to hold for two or three breaths, and then gently relax your arms back down. Repeat by doing this with the left arm up and the right arm down. You will probably notice that one side is tighter than the other, especially in the front of the shoulder. This will loosen up as you practice your yoga for shoulders.
In the video below, you can incorporate the leg movements as well, or simply sit cross-legged and focus on the arms.
Cow Face Pose
Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
This pose is wonderful for shoulder flexibility and for the body as a whole. In order to focus on the shoulder area, we will do something called “Eagle Arms”.
To begin, bring both arms straight out in front of you at about shoulder height. Now, cross your left elbow over top of your right one and bend your left arm up, left palm facing outward. Now, reach your right arm and hand up and try to get both palms together (your right hand will be very close to your face). This may not be possible at first, but don’t worry. You will feel a wonderful stretch in your shoulders. Try to get your elbows up and your arms as straight up as possible. Try to hold for two or three breaths, and then gently relax your arms down. Repeat by crossing the right arm over the left.
Yoga for shoulders - Eagle Arms
Progressing with shoulder yoga poses
Try to do these poses every day and in no time, you will notice a difference in shoulder flexibility. After just a few weeks, you will probably find that you don’t have stiff shoulders, but you will have improved range of motion and better posture as well. As with any other exercise regimen, you should always check with your primary health care practitioner before attempting any yoga exercises for the first time.