6 Yoga Poses for Shoulders (Video)

Yoga with Music City Doulas

Many new parents experience tightness in their upper back, upper chest, and shoulders often caused by carrying and feeding a new baby. These 6 poses help stretch and loosen these tight muscles, straightening the posture and allowing the shoulders to relax.

  1. Start on the hands and knees. Inhale to reach the right arm, your gaze will follow your thumb. Exhale to thread the right arm under the left arm and relax the shoulder and head to the floor. Stretch your left arm overhead and stay here for 5 breaths. Take the left hand under the left shoulder and use it to press yourself back up to hands and knees. (Repeat on the other side and hold for 5 breaths).
  2. Press yourself back up and come on to the tops of the feet and sit on the heels. Reach the right arm up on your inhale. You can either hold the elbow with your left hand, or take your left arm down, bend the elbow, and hold your opposite hand. Release and repeat on the other side, holding for the same length of time.
  3. Come down onto your belly. Reach your arms behind your back and clasp your hands together, pressing the palms into each other. On your inhale, roll your shoulders back, lift the chest, and gaze forward. Remember to breathe in this posture. Exhale and release.
  4. Stretch the arms forward, lift the chest, and thread the right arm under the left, palm down. Walk both arms away from the center and press your chin onto your left bicep. For an extra stretch, curl your toes under and press them into the floor to roll your body deeper onto the shoulder. Slowly release the toes first, release the chin, and then return to the arms stretched forward. Lift the chest, thread the left arm under, walk the hands apart, press the chin into the right bicep, and option to curl your toes and roll forward. Release toes, chin, and return to neutral with your hands under your shoulders.
  5. Take the right arm out the side, bending at the elbow, making a 90 degree angle. Bend the left knee and press your left hand into the floor, roll towards the right and bring your left foot to the floor behind you. Release by returning your left leg back to the floor. Take your left arm to a 90 degree angle to the side and your right hand under your right shoulder. Bend the right knee, roll to place the right foot onto the floor behind you. Release by bringing the right leg back to the starting position.
  6. Take both hands under the shoulders and press up to your knees, stretch the arms forward and bring either your forehead, chin, or chest to floor. Try to keep the hips stacked on top of the knees. Release by pressing into the hands and walking them back under your shoulders.
Sit back and enjoy a more open heart and chest and better posture.

Ashley Stebbins, e-RYT RPYT