4 Ways to Stretch Your Shoulders

Is there anything you’d like to work on in your practice today?

I keep hearing “shoulders.” This is fine with me since I’m the one carrying a heavy backpack all over Europe. However, in “normal life” our shoulders are usually killing us from hunching over a computer 9-5…or longer.

There are two ways to stretch our shoulders — forward and back. Sometimes we think a shoulder stretch is a shoulder stretch and eagle arms do the same thing as cactus arms. This isn’t exactly true…

Our shoulders are connected to both back muscles and chest muscles. This is why we practice stretching our shoulders both forward and up (eagle arms) to stretch our upper backs as well as back and down (cactus arms) to open our chests, opposite of hunching.

The next time you’re stretching your shoulders notice how it either opens your chest or stretches your upper back. It’s all connected!

© Yoga By Candace

There are many ways to stretch your shoulders. Here are a few of my favorites:

Shoulder/back stretch:

  1. Lie on your stomach and cross your arms on the ground. Gaze towards the ground neck relaxed. Switch arms, do both sides.
  2. Eagle arms: don’t forget to do both sides!

Shoulder/chest stretch:

  1. Cactus arms with circles, slight back bend, drawing arms up and slowly draw shoulder blades down back.
  2. Bow pose, for a more intense stretch while in bow roll onto your side, pressing shoulder into the ground. Do both sides.