Friday, May 29, 2015

A Tip for Vinyasa Yogis

Calling all Vinyasa yogis! How many downward facing dogs, planks, low planks, and updogs do you think you've done?

Chances are, if you've been in a lot of Vinyasa classes, your shoulders will start to feel it. It's important that you use proper alignment to avoid stressing the shoulder joint.

Next time you're doing your yoga practice, try this: place your hands a little wider on your mat. Take up a little more space than you have before. We're talking maybe an inch difference... separate the hands a little bit, and really spread the fingers wide.

Photos by Jobi Otso. 

Notice the freedom that is created in the shoulder joint as you move through a vinyasa sequence with your palms placed a little wider.

Also concentrate on activating the upper back; firm the shoulder blades and draw them down toward the tailbone.

Before starting class you can even do a few shoulder rolls to notice sensation in the upper back. Lift the shoulders up toward the ears, and then roll them back and down. Hold them there, trying not to let them creep up towards the ears at all. Think, lower ribs in. Shoulders away from the ears.

Photo by Lucid Reflections.

As always, check in with your teacher and ask questions if anything feels uncomfortable. Trust your body and be willing to try mixing it up a little bit every now and then... even seasoned yogis can fall into some bad habits! Namaste.

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