Fundamentals of Practice Day 5

Rachel Scott
Instructor Rachel Scott
Average: 4.8 (18 votes)
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Shoulder stability and mobility is essential in preparing you for inversions. In this faster-paced practice, Rachel reinforces the essential actions you need to develop functional strength and stability in preparation for more advanced poses. This class can either be done as a stand-alone or as part of Rachel's 7-Day Fundamentals of Practice Yoga Challenge.

Equipment: Strap, Block
Style: Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga


nickos1979 1 month ago

I love your classes Rachel. Pretty fantastic. My question is about shoulder alignment. I seem to hear a lot of conflicting ways of positioning shoulders. I have unstable shoulder or at least have that hunch a little forward. How should my shoulders be when I'm standing for instance and also in chatarunga followed by upward then downward dog. In downward dog I've heard some instructors say have them flat against the back but sliding away from the spine, but I don't think that's right. What are your thoughts? Thank you!

Rachel Scott 1 month ago

Howdy! This is an AWESOME question, but complicated. LOL In plank and chaturanga, you need to balance the action of the primary muscles that stabilize the shoulder blade on the back. Essentially, the scapula don't move at all on the back from plank - chaturanga - to updog. So you have to balance two actions: drawing front ribs in as you slightly hug shoulder blades together. You can see my chaturanga tutorial on DoYogaWithME or check this out for info on chaturanga to updog:

For downward facing dog, your shoulder blades need to upwardly rotate to take your arms overhead. This means that, yes, they widen away from your spine. The inner borders of your scapula move down, as the outer edges move UP. Like there's a little pivot on your shoulder blade and they turn. They will also wrap slightly around your ribcage (forward). Don't worry about "flat" bone is flat, and your ribs aren't flat either :)

Let me know if that helps!

kimchi 3 months ago

This practice felt really good in my shoulders. I'm chronically tight in my shoulders but yoga helps. It would be helpful for students to prepare their straps with a loop at outer shoulder width to avoid having to fumble with the strap during class.

Erski 3 months ago

Am I the only one whose arms don’t go backwards over my head like that?. The part where you reach all the way up in front of you, grasping strap, then lower arms backwards to lower back, then return up and forward.
Impossible for me and in fact didn’t realize anyone’s shoulders moved that way!

hrevans0804 3 months ago

Wow! What a workout for my weak shoulders! I injuried my shoulder 2 yrs ago and have struggled to gain strength since. This class definitely helped with getting back into proper alignment. Do you have any classes similar to this?

yogiAndermoser 5 months ago

Wonderful commentary. I absolutely LOVE Rachel's classes. Reminders exactly where and when I need them, easy to follow instructions, helpful imagery. Love, love, love!

sng4ever 8 months ago

A really nice shoulder practice and one I can use time and time again!