You know what I wish? That I could invite every single one of you to come share a yoga class with me. I would love that. Whether it be you taking a class I teach or us taking a class at my fave studio together…it would rock. Just because that isn’t our weekly reality doesn’t mean we can’t still connect and share yoga. For that reason, I will share these weekly videos – inspired by what I taught in my classes the previous week. Then we can yoga together. In our own way. Sound good? Good!
In Red Hot Yoga’s classes this past week, we emphasized a shoulder opening yoga sequence. Between hunching over our phones, slouching at a computer desk, and many other activities we do daily, almost all of us can benefit from opening up restriction in the shoulders. We need strength in our shoulders but we also need mobility. This practice works to balance the shoulders with cues to bring stability into the shoulder girdle, but also to develop an increased range of motion.
This combination of stability and mobility in the shoulders helps us to safely perform:
- all kinds of yoga postures like downward facing dog and chatarunga
- other exercises you may do in your fitness routine, such as shoulder presses and bench presses, push-ups and pull-ups, kettlebell swings and “Wall Balls” <—for you Cross Fit fans!
- everyday movements – like any time you have to lift something overhead
So let’s get to opening those shoulders and feeling less restricted! Enjoy this 20 minute practice!
20 Minute Shoulder Opening Yoga Sequence
- “Turbo Dog” – Downward Facing Dog with variation to strengthen the shoulder girdle
- Utkatasana Variation – Chair with Boxed Arms Overhead
- Warrior 2 Variations – with Eagle Arms and half binds
- Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Angle or Pyramid Pose) with hands in Reverse Prayer or Interlace
- Garudasana (Eagle) with Gomukhasana (Cow Face) arm variation
**It is recommended to have a strap or a towel available for this practice – to interlace the hands behind the back or when doing a deeper shoulder opener (Gomukhasana arm variation).
If you have any injuries, health conditions, or recent surgeries, or if you are pregnant, seek guidance from your doctor and/or a personal yoga instructor before doing these at-home videos. Always move within a pain-free range of motion and immediately stop any pose that doesn’t feel right for your body.Be especially aware of any shoulder or neck injuries in this practice.