Yoga Therapy for the Shoulders and Upper Back

Erica Fritch
Instructor Erica Fritch
Average: 4.4 (133 votes)
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This short shoulder sequence is for everyone - yoga practitioners, office workers, weight lifters, new moms, musicians, and everyone else who uses their hands and arms throughout the day. These therapeutic exercises are not yoga poses, but will help you with your asana practice and will generally give you more space and mobility in your shoulders. Practice regularly to bring ease to your body at work and at home.

Equipment: Block
Style: Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Back Care


erinlein 4 years ago

Thanks for your response! I took your advice and used the counter or desk at first but now I can do it on the block too :)

I have been doing this sequence often, and on days when I have to work at a desk all day even twice a day -- my shoulders and upper back are feeling a million times better than a month ago. This is a great little routine that I can always spare 10 minutes for.

Cori.pacanins 4 years ago

I am a dental assistant so frequently suffer from aches in my shoulders and back. This was my first time with this segment and I am already feeling some relief. I look forward to an ache-less future with consistent practice!

Erica Fritch 4 years ago

So glad to hear it, Cori! I realized at the dentist a few years ago that you guys so need some of these exercises I have to offer! I tried to get a class going at my dentist's office, and hoped to work with dental students in our town. I'd love to be able to work with professionals in all areas at the student level to ingrain the importance of taking care of YOU while you take care of others.
Glad to hear it hit the spot for you!

mlo2144 4 years ago

I tried this video after feeling "off" while lifting weights; both the pushing and pulling exercises. I've done this sequence about 10 times in the past month (I love that it only takes 10 minutes) and I have definitely noticed more mobility in my shoulders. Specifically, the motion feels "smooth" now.
Of note, I can't even come close to grabbing my thumbs during eagle arms, but the pose still works/feels great.

Erica Fritch 4 years ago

I'm glad you found some relief, mlo2144. I have done lots of weight lifting myself, and I found that the more i did of it, the more my shoulders and forearms need lots of stretching and opening up. I have worked with a kettle bell team locally, and boy, do they need that daily dose.
I'm glad 10 minutes is enough for you to notice a difference! It's amazing how quickly it comes. And equally amazing how quickly it goes if you stop.
Keep up the great combo of weights and yoga. You'll be glad you did!

ruth.joyce 4 years ago

I have chronic tendonitis in my shoulders and this short yoga segment for shoulder therapy is the absolute perfect way for me to get the blood flowing in my shoulders when I wake up. I go to this segment every morning right now because springtime is the worst for my shoulders. It's great that DoYogaWithMe has so many wonderful options for yoga, especially therapy and gentle yoga, for those days when you aren't up to a full practice.

Erica Fritch 4 years ago

I'm so glad to hear this, ruth.joyce! Shoulders are one of those areas that even those who don't have something like tendonitis to contend with, can use all the help we can get. I'm happy that this makes things more manageable for you. Keep up the good work!

johnapaz 4 years ago

If you are just starting out, have really tight shoulders, or have preexisting shoulder problems be wary of trying this out too soon.

The first half of the video I could barely accomplish.

Erica Fritch 4 years ago

Hi Johnapaz,
Sorry to hear you had trouble with these movements! I see that in students pretty consistently -when we start with targeted shoulder work, people are amazed at how hard it is. But within a month or two, even just practicing once a week, I can see, and people report a difference.

I hope you try this sequence again and find some relief, after getting past the initial challenges of it. Let me know if you do!

MadRain 5 years ago

This is a great video and loosened up my tight shoulders. I love to do these exercises when I don't have time for an entire 45 minute practice but desperately need shoulder loosening. You can do most of this without a block -- for the block part 1. I use a box set of DVD's, part 2, The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Not ideal, but does the trick!