“Don’t quack like a duck. Soar like an eagle.” ~~ Ken Blanchard
Eagle Pose (Photo Courtesy of Yoga Journal)
How many of you out there have shoulders that seem to be constantly sore and tight? If you work at a job that has you sitting at a desk for many hours a day, carry around a baby or toddler frequently, or drive a lot, I’d be willing to bet you do. Maybe you’ve suffered an injury. Whatever the reason, tight shoulders can cause us to “round forward”, affecting our posture, our breathing, and our health. Think about it. The phrase, “to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders” didn’t come from nowhere.
If you do suffer from tight and sore shoulders, first examine what the cause could be. Is it from an injury? Is it from your everyday lifestyle (driving, computer work, etc.)? Or maybe it’s coming from a more emotional place (i.e., relationship issues, loss of a job, grief), as a blocked heart chakra tends to manifest itself in the shoulders and upper back.
Yoga can help alleviate pain in the shoulders, while also helping you to achieve better alignment even when you’re not on your mat. This week in class, we’ll continue to focus on shoulders, with a particular emphasis on the arm portion of Eagle Pose.
Eagle Pose is not only an excellent pose for helping us open up our hips and improve our balance, but the arm portion of it is amazing for opening and stabilizing the shoulder joints, and creating space between the shoulder blades. Creating this space opens up the back, helping with such things as asthma and overall improvement to breathing efficiency. You can even incorporate Eagle Arms into a variety of other yoga poses (like Warrior 1 and Warrior 3) to add a bit of variety to your practice.
If you’re not able to make it to class, you can get detailed instructions about how to get into the pose by clicking here. Since the focus is on the shoulders this week, don’t worry if you can’t get the legs just right. Just focus on trying to get the arm part of the pose, making sure that you keep the shoulders from hunching up towards your ears, and making sure your elbows stay raised.
You’ll be amazed at how open you feel after even just a couple of rounds of Eagle Arms. With the weight of the world off your shoulders, you may just feel your spirit soar.