yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins

How much do you really know about the inner workings of your shoulders in yoga training? It’s important that anatomy be covered within every teacher training course. If there is so much emphasis on asana in the physical styles, it would be natural for instructors to know exactly how the body works, its limitations and how to modify asanas for people with ailments.

The shoulder is a complex joint because it acts as the meeting point for the collar bone, the upper arm bone and the shoulder blade. Many muscles, ligaments and tendons run along and between the shoulder and these other bones, making it an integral part of many of our movements. We use our shoulders for a variety of functions like lifting, pulling and pushing, as well as smaller movements of the arms and hands. It goes without saying that the condition of our shoulders is important and should not be overlooked.

Many people carry stress and tension in the shoulders. Others have a job that requires a repetitive arm motion that puts strain on the shoulders. Athletes often focus on building shoulder strength to improve performance. Whether you’re suffering from overuse, under-use or something in between, a host of shoulder issues can be remedied with yoga training.

Yoga postures can help reduce shoulder tightness and soreness. Poses specifically for shoulders will increase range of motion and flexibility, thereby reducing any discomfort or pain. As regular maintenance, yoga postures are just a nice way to unwind and recharge at the end of the day. Imagine the feeling of a shoulder massage and give it to yourself through a series of yoga poses designed to release and recharge the shoulders.

Camel Pose

Camel pose allows you to open up the chest and shoulders, creating a nice stretch in the front of the shoulder joint. Camel pose uses the shoulders to feel strong and grounded.

Chair Pose

In chair pose you must consciously pull the shoulders down and in, pressing the shoulder blades together. This gives a gentle stretch to the tops of your shoulders.

Cow Face Pose

A more advanced pose, cow face will give an intense stretch to tight shoulders. Over time, progress will occur and your shoulders will crave this wonderful way to release tension, stress and tightness.

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin pose is similar to downward-facing dog pose. Both poses provide stretch to the entire backs of the legs. Dolphin pose further accentuates a shoulder stretch by resting on the forearms.

Eagle Pose

At first glance, eagle pose is a twisting convolution of limbs. After a bit of practice, it becomes a nice way to improve balance and concentration while loosening up the shoulder joints.

Extended Side Angle Pose

This pose calls for the shoulders to open wide, squeezing the shoulder blades together. As one shoulder reaches down to the floor and the other up to the ceiling, it provides a nice, open stretch.

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