By: Natalie Anthony
It’s a new week, and you are still in exam study mode. Now that we’ve targeted the neck, let’s check in with our shoulders.
Shoulders: There are several great stretches to release tension in different parts of your shoulders.
- Raise your right arm along your ear, then bend it behind your head. Use your left hand to press down on the right elbow – the hand might move farther down your spine. To go deeper, bend your left elbow behind your back and try to clasp your fingers. If you’re tight, pull on a strap or use your shirt to help bring your fingers closer together. Repeat with your left arm.
- Extend your arms out to the side into a T shape. Draw the right arm across your body and hook the left elbow under it. Gradually pull the right arm towards you. For a deeper stretch, bend the right elbow and try to bring the palms of your hands to touch. This pose is known as ‘eagle arms.’ You can even curl in to feel a deeper stretch in the shoulder blades. Try this using your left arm as well.
- Sitting down, place your elbows on the edge of your desk shoulder distance apart. Drop your chest through your elbows. Then try to touch your palms behind your head in prayer. Hold for a few breaths and feel free to close your eyes. Come out of this pose slowly.
Tip: Every half hour of sitting at a desk, check your shoulders to make sure they haven’t crept up to the ears. If they have, bring them back down – release them by rolling them up and back down.
Natalie Anthony, Yoga Instructor B.A., Corp. Comm., RYT-200
As a former triathlete, turned corporate leader, turned yoga instructor, Natalie discovered yoga makes her strongest and happiest.A serious accident brought Natalie to yoga. A passion for making others happy keeps her on the mat. Natalie is an internationally certified and registered Vinyasa and Yin yoga instructor. She currently teaches customized group and private sessions at Balance Fitness and at various corporate offices in downtown Toronto. Natalie also combines her love of yoga with a passion for communications and is a regular contributor for Village Living magazine.