Time to Open My Shoulders
I was listening to the Podcast, Yoga Talk Show, yesterday on my way home from work. That episode was Corrective Exercise (episode 214). They were talking about how we could do some simple exercises when sitting in the office to release tension around the lower back, neck and shoulders. I was more interested in the shoulder stretch because I had relatively tight shoulders. One of the exercises mentioned in the show was to reach the arms out to a T, and simply rotate both arms to turn the palms up (external rotation). The exercise really helped to keep my front body open and undo shoulders rounding forward from sitting in front of the computer all day.
I decided to incorporate the shoulder rotation to my practice this morning. In the standing sequence, instead of having the palms facing down when arms were out to a T, I turned my palms up. I wanted to keep my front body open and scapulae down away from ears. I loved turning my palms up as it brought good sensation (stretch) to my neck and shoulders.
Here was what I did. From Samasthiti, I stepped the right foot back and brought the arms out to a T with palms facing down. Then I turned the palms up preparing for the next poses such as Trikonasana, Parivritta Trikonasana, Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivritta Parsvakonasana and Prasarita Padottanasana. Basically, I entered these poses with palms up rather than palms down. Although this was not how Ashtanga yoga was taught, there was no warm to play around and to figure out what worked for my body the best. I also added Gomukhasana arm to my practice before Kapotasana. Gomukhasana was such a great pose to open shoulders, which was a must for the deep back bend.
I realized there was something that I need to work on today. My eyes!!! My teacher was joking that she needed to hire someone to draw a cartoon picture of me doing Kapotasana. My eyes were super tense that I rolled my pupils way up and only the whites were visible. I actually caught myself doing that a lot when photo shooting. I will start working on softening the parts of my body that do not need to be tensed during the practice.
Just want to share the picture of me in Trikonasana. You shall see how tense my face is and how my eyes are rolled up.
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