Shoulder release med Mercedes Gilett

Are you feeling a little tight in the shoulders, back or neck? Do you wanna open up your hearts and spread your wings?
 
As a fellow yogini and yoga teacher here at StudioFrid, I want to share some warm-ups that can help release some of these blockages and tension in the shoulders.

Whether you work in an office typing all day, gardening, cooking or housework, we find ourselves hunched over with a rounded back and arms reaching out in front of us attending to the task at hand. While we want to keep doing all the things we do, it can be helpful to practice to counter-balance these positions. Over time, we may begin to feel closed and tight the chest, strains in the back muscles and, ultimately, tension behind the shoulder blades and up into the neck.
 
In addition, many of us tend to carry our emotional distresses in the muscles of the back and neck further exasperating the tension and tightness caused by our physical activities of our daily lives. As we continue in these patterns our shoulders start to come forward and our chest starts to sink in. This can cause limited space for healthy prana (breathe) and our bodies start to close in on itself. It can become a ripple effect leading to discomfort in the back, neck and inability to bring new life into our bodies through our breath and a continued inability to relax and feel at ease even when we are not working.
 
Although progress can be slow at times, I have been a vast improvement in my shoulder flexibility over the years. Here are some of the practices that I continue to do, starting with awareness of your posture. The awareness of your body will come with time and practice spent with it. It's important to take time out of our busy days to focus on ourselves whether it be sit in meditation, get in some yoga practice or sit silently over a cup of tea in the sun. We need to start tuning in to our bodies and do that we need to pay attention.
 
Try sitting in easy pose, a basic cross legged position and breathe, inhaling and exhaling through your nose with the eyes closed. Bring yourself to the present moment with the rhythms of your breathe, allow the mind to be open and fluid, changing our perspective to that of the observer (versus the thinker in us). Let thoughts, ideas and our daily activities come and go in the mind, while gently bringing yourself back to the breathe and the present moment. Find your rhythm from within and practice to quiet the mind.
 
Let's get moving with a gentle spine warm up, see the video. Continue with this video for some additional shoulder warm-ups, full shoulder rotations, melting heart, garudasana arms and gomukasana arms and a heart opener with hands clasp behind the back. When practicing these exercises, breathe and breathe space into your body, into those tight spaces in the shoulders, back and neck. As you exhale soften the edges, finding that balance of effort and ease and settling into the pose and/or stretch.
 
Thank for checking in here!
 
See you on the mat!
 
Peace, Mercedes