In yoga teacher training we’re taught to teach from a beginners perspective. However, that’s not always easy. Especially when you have an area of your body that is hypermobile, like my shoulders! But I’m hoping that this slow yoga class will be just that for beginners and advanced alike. This Somatic yoga for shoulders explores mobility exercises using a yoga block.
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Somatic Yoga for Shoulders
For this practice, we use a yoga block. If you don’t have a block I’d suggest using a book or something else flat like a plate. The temptation is to use a weight, but if you’re using a weight I suggest something like a sandbell. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. The yoga block is laid flat across the palm of your right hand. Slowly push the block towards the ceiling and then lower back towards the floor.
The next two exercises in this somatic yoga for shoulders routine have names stolen straight out of Karate Kid. The first is wax on, and wax off. Reach the block up, then take small slow circles, gradually spiraling from the center outwards. This is your wax on. After we get out to a wide circle pause and reverse your direction. Waxing off.
If you remember wax on and wax off, do you recall “paint the fence”? Reach the block up and then slowly lower behind you towards the floor. Hovering inches above the floor rather than touching. Then lift back up and towards the knees.
Our somatic yoga for shoulders ends with a half snow angel, but the floor is lava! From paint the fence, reach the arm back and hold it there. Sweep the arm out to the side keeping the palm up. A half snow angel. But again, have the block lifted from the floor. It’s interesting to note if your motion is smooth and controlled. Or bobbing around in a wave-like fashion. Repeat everything on the other arm. Then as you go about your day notice your shoulders and any difference in their movement in daily activities. This routine is simple but effective, move slowly with mindful awareness!
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- Do you have issues with shoulder mobility?
- Which direction is more difficult for your shoulders?
- Anyone wanting to rewatch Karate Kid?