This short dynamic session will be helpful for practitioners of any level who are looking to bring some release to tight or restricted shoulders.
Start in Supta Baddha Konasana to bring some opening to the upper back area and to prepare for your yoga session.
Come up and go forwards in Virasana, placing the lower edge of your wrists onto the horizontal bolster. Keep the elbows straight and your head in line with the arms.
Adho Mukha Svanasana with blocks placed at about 45 degrees up against the wall. Start with the fingers pointing out, and then change to fingers pointing towards each other.
Come up for Prasarita Padottanasana, concave spine, using blocks turned on their side for your hands.
Three hand positions, holding each variation for 5-6 breaths: fingers pointing forward, fingers pointing out, and fingers pointing back.
Stand up in Tadasana. Take a belt and do it up creating as big a loop as possible. Slide the belt over the shoulders, take hold of the longer loop, and pull downwards with your thumbs. This will draw the trapezius muscles down and help to release the shoulders away from the neck.
Take a chair for the next few poses.
Start with the chair back near the wall, and bend the elbows placing them onto the chair back, elbows pointing towards the wall, hands in Namaskar (Prayer position). Extend the upper arms from the armpits and draw the fingers back towards the lower ribs.
Then, we will do two standing poses with the chair.
Place the Left heel to the wall and the Right foot forward, with the chair seat facing you about one foot or so away from the front foot. Extend the Right arm out and place the Right hand onto the chair back, with full extension through the lower Right ribs. Extend the Left arm behind you and then, if possible, extend the Left arm up towards the ceiling. Change sides.
Place the chair on the Right side of the front foot, Left heel to the wall. Turn the trunk and take the Left arm across and, with the palm facing up, extend the arm and turn the lower back ribs towards the floor. Keep the Left arm behind you or try extending it up towards the ceiling. Change sides.
Straddle the chair, facing backwards, with the feet wide and pointing out in line with the shins, knees over the heels. Hold the front of the chair seat with your Right hand, Left hand onto the chair back, and turn to the Right. Change and turn to the Left.
Sit sideways on the chair, the Right hip parallel to the back of the chair, feet on the floor, together. Hold the backrest of the chair, and turn to the Right side, inhaling to lift the sternum, and exhaling to turn for 3-4 breaths. Then change to turn to the Left.
Half Uttanasana, placing the palms onto the backrest of the chair, extend through the side of the trunk with the buttocks in line over the heels.
Prepare for Savasana, with your belt rolled into a small coil to place under the mid-thoracic, lower to mid-shoulderblade level. A blanket for under the back of the head.
Stay in Savasana for 3-5 minutes, observing how the small roll of the belt helps to gently open the thoracic spine which creates more space around the shoulders and neck.