Yoga Friday: Release shoulder pain and stiffness

My shoulders are always tight and constricted from side-sleeping, being hunched over my computer all day, and not doing things that move my arms in all directions.

Many of us have tight shoulders whose movements are restricted from lack of full range motions; that is, 360 degrees. We mostly rest our arms in front of us, reach up or to the sides, but somehow no longer do things that require full rotation of the shoulder joint.

As a result, our connective tissue adheres to itself and becomes like scar tissue, causing restriction and pain. In today’s video, Wendy Krauss Talis will show you a great way to open up those tight and restricted shoulders. Get ready to feel better…

What to do

Stand with feet at a natural width and raise your arms up from the sides.

  1. Lower your arms and reach them behind your back and clasp your fingers, palms up. Press the hands down to drop the shoulders and open the chest. Lift your chin and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Bring your hands over to the right side. Your right arm pulls your left over. Once the left arm is as far to the right as it can go, roll your shoulders and clasp your palms together. Squeeze your shoulder blades and move right elbow over left arm. Turn your head to the left and drop your chin slightly and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Lower the arms and return to the center starting position. Press the hands down to drop the shoulders and open the chest. Lift your chin and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Ring your hands over to the right side. Your left arm pulls your right over. Once the right arm is as far to the left as it can go, roll your shoulders and clasp your palms together. Squeeze your shoulder blades and move left elbow over right arm. Turn your head to the right and drop your chin slightly and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Lower the arms and return to the center starting position. Press the hands down to drop the shoulders and open the chest. Lift your chin and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  6. Bend your knees and push your butt back for balance as you bend forward. Bend until your belly rests on your thighs, then raise arms up as if gong over your head, as you raise the legs and bend forward.
  7. Release hands and bend knees and slowly come back to center, ending in a “chair pose.” That is, knees bent as if sitting with arms held outstretched above your head for balance. You can also hold your hands at your chest in a “prayer position,” or simply down by their sides. Make sure you can look down and see your toes; to keep balance and strain off your knees.

Raise arms up from their sides above your head, touch palms and lower hands to chest to center and finish.

If your shoulders bother you regularly, you might start incorporating this brief exercise daily. If you work in an office, try to take a break each midday and allow yourself a few minutes to go through the movements.

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Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.