Hello all! I was asked by the lovely undisclosed-free-spirit to recommend some shoulder opening poses that will increase flexibility in order to perform reverse prayer pose (as shown above). This really got me thinking about how often neglected stretching out the shoulders and arms really is! Most people love to focus on leg and back flexibility, but we have to remember to give our upper body a good stretch–especially if you incorporate a lot of inversions in your practice! So here are a few poses I figured could really help aid in increased shoulder flexibility, and ultimately a wider range of motion :)
Bow pose, also known as Dhanurasana, is one of my favorite poses. Because I have a very flexible back, it is one that I have always been able to easily come into and feels fantastic. Bow pose is a backbend and therefore strengthens the back muscles while opening the entire front of the body including the chest, abs, thigh, groin and throat. It is also a hip opener giving a deep stretch to the hip flexors. Bow pose is an energizing pose that helps with fatigue, anxiety and gives a little extra kick to your metabolism. It is a recommended pose for those with respiratory and digestive issues as well as menstrual discomfort. Last but certainly not least, Bow pose helps to improve your posture!