SHOULDERS + BACK BENDS

18

LEVEL         

WARMING UP AND STRENGTHENING THE SHOULDERS IN PREP FOR ADVANCED FOOT HOLDING BACK BENDS  nice on its own or partnered with any back bending vinyasa class or shoulder open class.

0.. COW FACE ARMS - Reach right arm to the right, turn thumb down, then place hand behind your back, reaching up with your fingers in between the shoulder blades. Reach up over head with left hand, bend elbow behind head and find the right hand. Interlace hands and hold keeping good posture.. your spine neutral. Tips - If you can't reach your hand use a strap and walk your hands closer together. If your chest is jutting forward focus on pulling ribs in. 

3 mins.. RECLINING HERO - Separate the feet, roll calves outward with hands and slowly sit in between the feet. If too much to sit down, sit on a pillow or block and stay here. If you'd like more lean backwards onto the forearms, tucking the tailbone under.. then leaning further back onto your back. Hold elbows over head, shoulders away from the ears and neck lengthened on the floor. Tips- if ankles tight or uncomfortable use a blanket underneath or back off. Same with knees make sure there's no strain feeling here. If reclined and feeling pinching in your lower back either focus on tucking the tailbone under or sit back up. 

5.25 mins.. EASY BOW - Hold your right foot with your right hand, internally rotate your left foot so that your knee faces down and press your left foot into the floor lifting the left knee cap.. press the hips down, roll your right shoulder back and push the right foot into the right hand straightening the arm, extending and lifting the right knee. Lift straight up without twisting the body.

6.25mins.. HALF FROG POSE - Pressing into your left forearm lift your chest and stay supported here. Bring your right heel in towards your right buttock, stay here or slowly rotate your elbow towards the ceiling as you slide your fingers over the top of the foot and curl them over the toe tips. The base of the palm pressing the top of the foot down. If you want more press the foot along side of your body pressing hips down and focussing on lifting the knee. Square your shoulders keeping the left shoulder rolled back and down lifting your chest.

9.50mins.. SUPPORTED CAMEL POSE - Place hands on your sides, relax your shoulders down and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Inhale as you lift your chest toward the ceiling. Keep lifting your chest until your body naturally begins to arch back instead of jutting the hips forward and compressing in the lower back. Let the arch feel big, like you’re rounding back over a large ball. With your neck long and your head in line with your spine, gaze up.

14 mins.. BOW POSE - holding both feet, roll your shoulders back, press down into whats on the floor - hips, and start to push the feet back into the hands lifting your chest keep the knees hip width lift the heels and thighs upwards.

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