Advance your practice and relieve shoulder pain with Yoga Blocks

It doesn’t matter if you are suffering from bad posture, chronic pain or trying to free the chest for more meaningful expressions of Asana…healthy and elastic chest and shoulders is crucial for your quality of life.

Below are 3 ways you can use Yoga Blocks (or books) to free the chest and shoulders.

Childs Pose

Take a relatively wide stance. Feet touching and knees apart. Using two blocks (or you can do this in front of a sofa, placing the hands on the seat) turn them upright at their highest placement. You will need to adjust them so you can fold deeply with straight arms. Breathe into the posture as you bring the head to the mat. This keeps the shoulder slightly above the ears. Hold for 3-5 breaths if intense. Hold for up to 2 minutes as a warm up.

Reclined Hero Pose with Upper Back Support

Begin in Hero Pose. Again, you’ll need to play with your blocks or books to get the correct placement. Adjust your blocks so that they support your upper back across the shoulder blades with little discomfort. Using your arms as support, walk the hands back until you recline onto the blocks. Bring the arms over head, close to the ears, and drop the head back onto the mat. If two blocks is too intense begin with one or a bolster. Breathe here up to 2 minutes.

Reclined Hero Pose with Lower Back Support

Begin the same as you did for the upper back support version. Adjust the blocks so they support the lower back just above the spines natural bend. This will take some adjusting to get right. Be patient. Do not rest on bend of spine or tail bone. Breathe here for up to 2 minutes. 

Repeating these daily will show great improvement in posture, pain and help to deepen your pratice.