Yoga Therapy for the Shoulders and Upper Back

Erica Fritch
Instructor Erica Fritch
Average: 4.4 (137 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


Erica Fritch 5 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 5 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 5 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 6 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!

Erica Fritch 6 years ago

Great to hear, MadRain. I think it's pretty safe to say that we ALL need shoulder loosening! And way to improvise on the block. Blocks are so handy - I just love them for so many things - but you can usually find an easy substitute around the house.

Glad to hear you are practicing and taking care of your body. Keep it up!

elissalynnette 6 years ago

I have been suffering from pretty severe upper back and shoulder pain since starting a job recently that requires me to type for pretty much 8 hours straight. This helps SO much!

govinda 6 years ago

That's so great to hear! Our lifestyle put pretty much all of us in need of this upperback work. Good for you for taking the time to give your body what it needs.
Thanks for practicing!

kobby34 6 years ago

I love this sequence and have started doing it a few times a week. As a law student, I am often carrying around heavy books and my shoulders and back frequently feel it. I end this sequence feeling like I just got a massage. Thank you!

Suzzann 7 years ago

This was my first video with a teacher other than David, and I have to say, I miss the music. But other than that I'd say it was great! I would recommend it to anyone who is at work and has some free time, but doesn't necessarily have enough room to do full on yoga. You wouldn't be able to do the last couple of stretches, but I wasn't able to either. You should probably use a real yoga block, not any substitutes for this video, because you need to put your back on it. Imagine trying to lay your back on a textbook or something? Ouch!

adina 7 years ago

This was excellent, I been suffering from shoulder and neck pain for 2 years. One of the stretches in here is usually done to me in physical therapy and I never knew how to do it myself -where you have your hands behind your head and stretch it down..except I keep my body straight like they did it in phys therapy. feels sooo good.
please do more of these, you are awesome Erica, thank you