The upper body often harbors tightness and tension caused by bad habits, especially poor posture from hunching over to look at smartphones or sitting for the majority of the day. The good news is that yoga postures can help stretch the upper body and release this tension, leaving us to feel more open, healthy, and happy in the process. Stretch to create space in your upper body by practicing these yoga postures.
Sukhasana that has a ‘T’ position Arms
Sit in an Easy posture (or in a chair if the sitting isn’t possible) and stretch your arms until they are in the ‘T’ position. Incorporate this stretch into the neck and upper back by lifting the hands towards upwards and downwards, pushing the fingertips upwards and downwards to stimulate the arms. Incorporate your breathing into the movement and notice the way that sensations in your upper body change.
Gomukhasana, also known as the Cow-Face Pose, allows you to relax your upper back, relax the chest, and stretch the shoulders and arms. Should your shoulders seem particularly tight, you can apply straps to connect your hands. After clicking using the hands behind your back, let the upper arm extend upwards while bringing the bottom elbow to move downwards. In the classic form of the posture, crossing your legs helps stretch the lower part of your body.
A variation on Eagle arms assists in stretching shoulders and the upper back. To try the pose, slowly move your elbows up and down, paying attention to how movement affects the upper back.
Cobra position (bhujangasana) can be described as a well-known pose to stretch the chest and activate the arms while the shoulder blades are pulled towards each other. A fresh twist on this classic is called Super Cobra. For this version, spread your hands out off the mat, thereby activating your shoulder’s girdle. After doing several rounds of bhujangasana and bhujangasana, you can bring your hands out wide and press your fingers to the floor. Keep your elbows bent, and the chest is opened and stretched deeply into your upper back and shoulders.
Uttana Shishosana, also known as puppy pose, is a stretch of shoulders, chest, and arms. It’s a wonderful pose to focus and hold your breathing. To begin the practice, start by seated on all fours, and then move your hands forward by pressing your palms against the mat while straightening the elbows. If your forehead doesn’t extend to the carpet, you can place blocks underneath to support your body. Place your palms on the mat to increase the strength of the stretch.
Thread the Needle
Thread the Needle poses help to stretch out an extremely tight, difficult-to-reach region, the upper back. To begin the posture, start on the tabletop, then extend one arm upwards before bringing the arm across your body and then under the armpit to the other side while keeping the palm facing up.
Make the stretch more flexible by pressing the palm of your hand against the ground. To create an opening in the chest, pull the arm that is not stretched into the binding position (as shown).
The Cat-Cow combo that you can practice while sitting can aid in bringing a little vinyasa into your upper-body stretch. In a sitting position, Inhale, then reach your arms back, releasing the shoulders and chest.
When you exhale, draw your lower belly into the air, move your hands forward, and stretch the back of your upper body. You can find your groove by linking the breath to every move, stretching your upper body.
Supta Baddha Koasana and Block
If you’re feeling tired, the yoga supta konasana variation using the block could be a good alternative. The block should be placed between the shoulder blades and allow the chest to expand. The soles of your feet together, and then let the arms relax and allow the stretch to come in passively.
Incorporating these poses into your routine helps the upper body remain supple and flexible. Take a look at the postures and discover which ones work best for you!