Thursday night I attend my community choir. It makes me happy to go along and sing with a whole group of people who enjoy joining together in harmonies.
The dedicated choir director, Telly, lets me lead some yoga stretches at the beginning of the 1.5 hr. session, so the group follows along as I demonstrate and instruct.
I think about what will prepare us best for singing, so we do stretches that open up the lungs, loosen the rib cage and release tension from shoulders. I can hear some audible sighs when I offer an opportunity to let go of shoulder tightness, whether it’s due to physical work or anxiety.
This week, as members of our household have been engaged in doing hard landscaping yakka, our shoulders and backs have needed remedial work.
Here’s a practice I can recommend for addressing upper back and shoulder tension:
First, get centred in Tadasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana, hands on blocks
Uttanasana, hands on blocks
Padangusthasana, concave back
Parvritta Trikonasana, with block
Pincha Mayurasana , with belt and block
Lying supine, shoulder blades over foam wedge, Urdhva Hastasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana, blocks and belt
Bharadavajasana, seated on folded blanket
Sirsasana, using blocks at the wall
Sarvangasana, supported on bolster, sacrum on chair
Halasana, legs supported on bolster on chair
Janu Sirsasana, with hands on blocks
Ujjayi pranayama, lying with shoulder blades supported
Hi Eve, Thanks for this very relieving sequence. I have a question regarding Urdva Dhanurasana. I am teaching Yoga here on Christmas Island and many of my students are quite new to yoga with various injuries and restrictions. I have tended to avoid this pose thinking it is too difficult for beginners. What advice can you give regarding introducing more difficult asanas and assessing if your students are ready for them or not?
Nice to hear from you. Christmas Island yoga sounds so exotic. Yet living on our own island on the mid north coast of New South Wales, I realise that after a while it seems quite “normal” living surrounded by water.
Your question is good and, if I may, I’ll answer it as a post on my blog today.