Day 58 Intention ~ Release Some Tension in My Shoulders
Tension. We all feel it at different times in our lives. How we feel it and how we deal with it are individual. Some of us get angry and snappy to those around us, some of us drop out of situations (not dealing with it), some of us overeat, some can't sleep, the list goes on and on....
Where we hold it in our bodies also differs from person to person. Back pain, tight hips and tense shoulders and necks are common areas to let our tensions reside.
For me, it's a struggle between sleep, grinding my teeth during sleep and tight shoulders. Today, is one of those days. Between due dates, my tax appointment this evening and my laundry list of things to get done, my body and unconscious mind are reacting. During the day, I feel like my cheery, go with the flow self, but the last couple nights, the grinding teeth and tossing and turning have told a completely different story. So with my shoulders jacked up to my ears, today's intention may seem simple, but believe me, it will make a huge difference in my body and my mindset. Huge difference.
Some of my favorite shoulder openers include:
- Gomukhasana arms (cow-face pose)~ as pictured above, lifting one arm overhead and bringing the heel of the hand to the back of the neck, with the other arm behind you, try to clasp fingers. You can also use a blanket, strap, or just grab your shirt to get a grip. Try to draw the lifted bicep in towards the ear and bring the shoulder blades together. Switch sides.
- Binding in poses~ students who have taken my class, know that I love to bind the arms. Whether it is in extended side angle, bird of paradise or a seated posture, bringing the arm behind the back and letting the chest and shoulder open, is a fantastic way to get that area to release some tension and open. Students moan sometimes during the binding, but almost always say how much better their shoulders and chest feel afterwards.
- Crossing the arms on the floor~ I actually don't know the name of this pose, but it was recently introduced to me by one of my favorite teachers, and it is now one of my favorite poses. Laying on the floor on the stomach, cross your arms, trying to walk the hands as far apart from each other as you can. The palms face down and you will feel the shoulder blades separate, allowing that middle upper back open. Rest your chin on your upper arm, or wherever it will rest when you practice and breathe. You can hold this for 3 to 5 minutes or as long as you like, but be sure to switch sides and hold it evenly on each side, so that you are balanced.
There are many more amazing shoulder openers out there, but these are just of few of my favorites.