less is often more!

it amazes me how often we search for a fix to something that hurts in all the wrong places. a pill, a stretch, a diagnosis, a weight-bearing move, too little movement, ice too late... you get the idea.

I, along with all other yoga instructors, are NOT doctors, and neither is your neighbor who has the same pain. that covers me.

so one of my students, and actually, probably many, has a shoulder issue. it was one of those classes where I dumped my plan and focused on all aching body parts that showed up instead!

'so how do you teach and know what to do next?' I don't, but I offer my best shot based on my own body, my own learning from especially my students, the years behind me, watching bodies as they enter a room, hitting the books when I'm not sure, and really being willing to say 'I have no idea'!

my own experience of shoulder therapy, and my experience of yoga really came in handy the other night. playing it very safe, I chose just two simple moves that I have picked up along the way. let me explain since my little stick figures are not great.

the top two:

stand in mountain, with your lower core in and up (always!)

reach one arm way far forward (thumb up) without leaning forward

this action creates mobility in the shoulder joint in that direction

then, draw the arm bone back toward the shoulder blade

core engaged, and arm straight

this action creates stability in the shoulder joint in that direction

do this 3- 5 times with breath, and moving slowly and mindfully

the bottom two:

stand in mountain, core engaged, bend elbow and pull arm back

like a rowing action, keep hips square and same shoulder back

this actions releases tension on front of shoulder and engages upper back

then, reach the arm diagonal across the chest, even leaning into the stretch

this action releases tight back and shoulder muscles

(teach me how to draw that one please!)

same thing, 3-5 times with breath.....

hope this helps!

happy to say it helped at least one of my students!

and, as always, if it hurts instead, don't do it!

not a cure for all the crazy ailments that can inflict our shoulder joints,

but maybe worth a try....

#lessons #yoga #community #mindfulness #myteachers

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Photo credits: Amy Geibel