SHOULDER OPENERS WITH A BLOCK : variations Urdhva Hastasana
Justification : Shoulder opener
Benefits : Increases mobility in shoulders , chest and upper back.
Limitations : Avoid if you have intense shoulder injury or pain- always move within your own pain limits.
How To Practice :
Phase I :
Sitting in Vajrasana or Sukhasana or Standing (tadasana) take a block in both hands keeping the roots of the thumbs at the edge of the block. On the inhale, lift striaght arms up to the ceiling very slowly sucking the belly button to the spine, keeping the upper thighs back and coccyx tucked down towards the heels going just beyond the ears if possible on the exhale. Breathe for 3. Inhale back up and then bring them back down on the exhale. Repeat 5-6 times. On the last one, hold for a few seconds and try to spread the shoulder-blades apart keeping the shoulders relaxed and down.
Phase II :
Holding the block in the same manner, arms completely straight, take the brick up above your head very slowly. Once your hands are towards the ceiling, on the exhale, start to lower the brick behind your head bending the elbows all the while keeping them as close together as possible. Breathe for 3. Inhale and straighten your arm, hands towards the ceiling and exhale bringing the arms back down to starting position. Repeat 5-6 times.
Note : If you have pain in your shoulders, try this lying on your back and move into it only as much as your pain limit will allow you to. It is very important to go as slowly as possible in order to feel and hear the ‘music’ both of your shoulders will be singing. If you quiver, it’s a good sign ! Do not do this on auto-pilot- you’ll be wasting your time. This must be executed with serious one-pointedness.