Ever woken up to find that things aren’t as you thought they were? Well, I recently realized that my shoulders had become two wings of Fort Knox – solid, impenetrable & immovable. Now, just at the beginning of summer I remember grasping my hands behind my ribcage, one elbow skypointing, the other earth. Now, I need a strap, and progress and has meant that I can touch my fingers after a minute or so.
How this happened is a matter for introspection, for sure. Some combination of stress & inattention is sure to be the culprit. I have been awfully focused on my hips….
So some attention is in order. I found a really intense shoulder opener while going through back issues of Yoga Journal (August 05) to toss out. It’s step one in their master class.
You need a chair & a block. I’ve found that a chair with a leather or fabric seat makes it easier than the slicker seats. The block you squeeze between your facing hands to maintain a constant distance between forearms & elbows. Kneeling in front of the seat of the chair, place your elbows as close to the edge as you can and begin to walk back on your knees so your hips move away from the chair, til your back is parallel to the floor with all its natural curves. Keep the rib cage in alignment with the pelvis creating ample room for your kidneys.
Allow your head to hang and then allow your shoulderblades to cascade off the back. For a final stretch, bend elbows so that you touch the block to your upper back.
I’ve found that this so proufoundly released the lateral musculature – latisimus dori, rhomboids, subscapularis, teres, etc – that when I was done my traps and neck muscles unwound like cut ropes. Makes me wonder what all I’ve been storing so greedily in there. I’m sure I won’t miss it!
So there’s my shoulder revolution…. leave a comment and share your favorite shoulder opener. Is it one of the traditional moves that keeps you mobile and ready to embrace the world? Or do you have a special twist on an old fave? Whatever it is, leave a quick description and know you’ve done your part to encourage more and grander hugging in the world!