Yoga for tight shoulders! Improve your posture today!
Do you get to the end of the week and feel like your shoulders are all hunched up? Do you look at photos and see that you are stooped a little when you thought you were stood up tall? Can you keep your spine in neutral alignment and lift your hands up above your head?
Why are my shoulders so tight?
Having tight shoulders is an extremely common problem that evolves very easily from computer work and travelling/sitting a lot. The problem grows from the fact that we rarely use our back muscles to sit up so they become longer and weaker over time as we round into chairs, the weight of our shoulders only increasing the problem. Along side this the chest muscles get used to being shorter and they become tight too.
Two pairs of muscles work in symbiosis – the muscles between the shoulder blades and the muscles at the top of the shoulder. The weaker the former are, the more the latter have to do – an overuse of these means that they often never fully relax leaving our shoulders slightly raised. After long periods with shoulders raised, it starts to feel normal and sure enough, it becomes the default normal posture for your body…NOT OK!!! Without being too depressing or telling any horror stories, this just leads to scapula dysfunction and the wrong muscles take the strain of daily life leading to back pain and problems…NOT FUN!
So what to do?
- Strengthen your back muscles
- Stretch your chest and shoulders regularly
- Focus on opening more through the front of your body when stretching and doing yoga
- Strengthen your core
- Try to be mindful and bring awareness to your posture on a daily basis
Yoga practice at home!!
Here is a little yoga session that you can do at home. All you need is the time – I recommend that you also try to do this when you have a little space to yourself. See it as the opportunity to focus on YOU and your body, your breath. It is very hard to have this mental focus when the dog is jumping up in your face, your partner asking you a million questions and the kids whirling around you. Having said that, if this is the best you can do then make it work!
Improving your posture requires both muscular understanding and body awareness. It may be that when you lift your arms up, your final shape looks like this.
And when you try to take your hands up higher, your back looks like this.
How should I stretch?
If you carry on without awareness, you may thing you are stretching your shoulders but actually just be increasing flexibility or putting strain through your back. So when stretching your shoulders, try to remember that your back needs to stay in neutral with your core muscles engaged and supporting the stretch. This is the shape that you are working towards. Notice how my arms are up, armpits open but ribs drawing down slightly and pelvis in a neutral tilt
People often think that when stretching you just let your whole body relax and in certain yoga poses (particularly in yin) that may often be the case but if you want to isolate a part of the body then often you need to engage some muscles so that you get the stretch you want!.
Can I come to a class?
I am not teaching classes at the moment with the intention of building up my online video library so that I can offer more support to you guys at home. Let me know if you would like a yoga session that focuses on something in particular and I will add it to my schedule .
What are we currently offering?
If you are interested in 1 to 1 session, yoga sessions with your partner/family or with a group of pals then contact us! We are really excited to now offer corporate classes too so if you would like us to come to your work place to offer you and your colleagues a 45 minute lunch time stretch out then drop us an email. Places are being booked up so act soon if you are keen!
Delighted to support you on your yoga journey,
Love and light,
” Free Spirit works for me!! I’m back on track, and feel much leaner, healthier and brighter … eating well, exercising and enjoying being back in control of me!! I’d have no hesitation in recommending Free Spirit!! “