A remedy at any time of day or night for shoulders that feel tight or tired or perhaps weary from holding an umbrella for that Autumn rain and wind or in fact from scrumping apples in the golden orchards (could one also “scrump” pumpkins?)
It´s great for stretching and relieving tension around the neck, upper back and between the shoulder blades. It tones the arms and flexes the rotator cuffs plus it supports the immune system by tapping into the lymph nodes under the arms and giving them a little squeeze. Obviously, if you have any injuries in your arms or shoulders that you´re aware of, you might want to avoid the pose.
There are many ways of coming into this position, but here´s a suggestion:
- Open your arms wide so they are parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows making a “cactus” shape, the upper arms still parallel to the ground but the lower arms vertical with fingers facing the sky. Spread out your fingers, draw your elbows back (as if they might meet behind your body) and take a couple of steady, even and deep breaths here and feeling the space you´re making in your chest.
- Cross your right arm over your left and hug the upper arms together. Tap into sensation and listen to your body (as always). If it´s possible to wrap your forearms and bring your palms to touch do that, but if there is any sign of “uh-uh girlfriend” (sorry!) then take a variation. Ease the back of your hands towards each other – no force and no pain!
- Check in with your breath, then on an inhale, lift your elbows up to shoulder height, then as you exhale, ease the hands away from your face. Relax your shoulders away from your ears so your neck is long, soften the muscles in your jaw and around your eyes, hold for up to 10 breaths then when you´re ready to come out, unravel your arms into the “cactus” shape, then repeat on the other side.
Is it trippy video time yet? Oh goody!