Yoga for Sitting at the Computer, aka, Yoga for Rounded Shoulders
Let’s talk about posture…
Since quarantine, I found myself locked into a tiny Brooklyn apartment without the ability to provide massage therapy to my clients. I had to pivot quickly. Since then, I’ve logged over 70 hours of yoga therapy sessions! Some hours as a part of my work at Finish Line Physical Therapy and most hours as a part of yoga therapy school with Prema Yoga Institute. Of all the clients I’ve worked with, 95% complain of sitting too much at the computer, rounding the shoulders forward and holding tension in their upper trap muscles. A lot of my clients came to me having issues lifting their arms up without pain and some have pain in their shoulders riding a bike!
Does this describe you?
Here are three yoga postures designed to open your shoulders and chest and improve your posture:
1. Adho Mukha Śvānāsana (Downward Facing Dog):
- This posture does a lot, but today we are practicing this to help separate the shoulders from the ribs
- As the pelvis lifts upwards and back, focus on lifting your abdominal core up and towards your hips, inhale to expand your lower back ribs and exhale the front ribs so they integrate with the abdomen, scoop the outer part of your arm-pits so the inner elbows begin to rotate upward and pull the shoulder blades closer, simultaneously, allow the head to drop and the neck to lengthen.
2. Uṣṭrāsana (Camel):
- Today we are focusing opening the side ribs upward and stretching the pectoral muscles
- Feel the side body lengthen upward, breathe into and expand the side ribs. With an up and back motion, expand the chest upward and reach the arms back to the heels. Simultaneously, pull the shoulder blades closer and allow the pectorals to open and stretch, allow the chin to lift up slightly and back; for beginners, keep your hands on your lower back
3. Chaturaṅga Daṇḍāsana (Four Limbed Staff):
- Today, we are building strength in the muscles that retract, or pull together the shoulder blades. These muscles work to expand the chest and align the shoulders for weight bearing (like riding a bike), or simply sitting with good posture
- Beginners may practice this alignment in a quadruped position first; spread your fingers and press through the fingerpads and knuckles. Using the muscles under your arm-pit, rotate your upper arm bones away from the midline of your body so the elbow points point behind you and the inner elbows are forward. Exhale powerfully into your front ribs so they integrate with the abdomen, inhale to expand the lower back ribs, press the ground away from you so the shoulder blades pull apart—NOW pull the shoulders away from your ears so the neck lengthens activating the muscles below the arm-pits.
In addition to massage therapy, Amanda is seeing clients for private, therapeutic yoga sessions at Finish Line PT. Her work addresses the physical, emotional, energetic and subtle parts of who you are. Amanda has nearly 800 hours of yoga therapy study and eight years of teaching experience; her work is influenced by Dana Slamp, Sonja Rzepski, and Dr. Loren Fishman at Prema Yoga Institute; Amanda recently studied Iyengar yoga for five months with Nikki Costello’s Teacher’s practice, including a 30-hour Enrichment Practice.
Give us a call for more information and to book your appointment today!