How to Do the Shoulder Release Pose in Yoga?

(July 2, 2010)

There are many poses to benefit the shoulders in yoga. However, none of the poses are as effective as the shoulder release pose. The shoulder pose is a beginner’s yoga pose and is very effective for those who have been suffering chronic pain in their back, shoulders, and neck. These problems are common for people who are in sedentary jobs and spend the most of their day sitting at a desk. Poor posture and lack of physical activity are some of the other causes of pain in the shoulders.
The muscles of the neck, shoulders and the back are interconnected. Working on any one of these muscles can help relieve the interconnected muscles too. Muscles which are shortened often cause a lot of pain and discomfort. However, with the shoulder release pose, you can stretch and elongate the muscles of your shoulders and neck, relieving the pent up stress in the muscles and release the lactates that cause stiffness.
The shoulder release pose also helps to relieve the stress in the joints of the shoulder. This is a very simple pose to perform and therefore is suitable for beginners. Here’s how to perform the pose:
1. Stand erect in the mountain pose with both your feet aligned to your shoulders. Let your arms relax by the sides.
2. Raise your right arm over your head, bending it slightly so that the left hand just hangs right in the middle of where your shoulder blade is. With your left hand, grab the elbow of the right hand and breathe in deeply.
3. In the next step, inhale deeply and with your left hand pull down on the left elbow. Feel the muscles stretching throughout your back as well as your neck.  Let your face be at an angle where your chin touches the chest. This will allow the muscles to stretch without pulling.
4. Hold the pose for about three breaths and feel the tension seep through the shoulders. You will instantly begin to feel your upper body relaxing. The neck and the shoulders will begin to feel at ease and the stretch that you were experiencing towards your back will also ease off. Slowly exhale and release your arms to come back into the mountain pose.
The steps can be repeated using the other arm. This helps in relieving the stress from the other shoulder as well. You can repeat the steps once again to become more comfortable. Since this is a beginner’s pose, it is not very difficult to perform. You can perform it two to three times at first, but increase the frequency as you continue practicing the pose.

Submitted by A on July 2, 2010 at 06:16

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