Yoga Sequences

Short & effective shoulders & neck sequence 

These are my favourite shoulder openers at the moment. Since the birth of my daughter I’ve been on a constant hunt for quick & effective ways to release shoulder & neck tension.

There are three parts to the sequence. No props, using a strap & on the wall. This is a fantastic little sequence you can quickly fit into your morning routine. Do one section, all three or take your favourite posture & repete through out the day when you think of it. We spend so much of our day hunched forward at a desk, driving, cooking, etc or if you have a baby or young children, feeding or carrying. Let’s open our bodies up in the opposite direction & remember what it feels like to stand tall & open! 
*Even though this is a quick sequence I find it helpful to be mindful of my approach to each stretch- especially when I’m really particularly tight & sore. Just because it’s quick doesn’t mean it has to be strong- in fact I find I see better ‘results’ when I relax my breathe & my expectations of the final result- just be there, breathe & see the space that arises from a gentle attitude.

  • Actively press the palm away from you with the finger tips pointing towards the ceiling
  • As you exhale drop the opposite ear towards the shoulder
  • I feel this one all the way down through the forearm & into the hand – amazing!

  • Make a fist & actively press through the fist & extend the arm
  • As you exhale drop the opposite ear towards the shoulder

  • Interlace fingers & bring them towards the right side of the body
  • Drop right ear to right shoulder, breathe
  • Drop chin towards chest to get the side/back of the neck, breathe
  • Repeat other side

  • Press through the palms of the hands
  • Draw the elbow towards the back of the head
  • Swap over the interlace of the fingers & repeat on other side

  • Begin with the strap in front of you with the hand about one arm length apart
  • Inhale the strap up over the head & exhale the strap behind you towards the hips (if you need to bend the elbows to circle the arms take the hands wider. As the shoulder & chest open the hands can slowly move closer together)
  • Move slowly & mindfully, especially through the tightest point
  • Draw the front ribs in & lengthen the back body to avoid crunching through the lower back & keep the stretch in the chest & shoulders

  • Start in the same position as 5. & inhale the arms up over the head
  • Drop one arm to the side & lift the other towards the ceiling- keep gentle tension between the two hands
  • Then start to take both arms back to open the chest & shoulder further. Gentle pull the hands in opposite directions
  • Be mindful that the front ribs don’t stick out as the arms move back, draw them it & lift the back body

  • Stand close to & face the wall with one arm extended. Exhale to turn away from the wall
  • Keep the shoulder blades rolling down the back away from the ears & slightly squeezing together to tone the upper back muscles
  • Try the palm face up & palm on the wall. When the palm is facing up gently press the back of the hand down like you want to take the hand to the floor without actually moving it to tone the tricep. Notice the difference?

Do you have a favourite shoulder stretch or neck release? Fill me in- I’m always looking for new ones to try 🙏💜

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