When it comes to different postures which require an open chest and shoulder, I notice that I am limited in my ability. For examples, the Upward Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana). Because my shoulders and chest are not open (lots of working hours in a sitting position), I cannot go into the pose.
The infraspinatus and teres minor are the muscles on the backside of the shoulder blade. The origin attachment point of the teres minor is the posterior surface of inferior angle of scapula. The insertion attachment point is the lesser tubercle of anterior humerus. They work together and are responsible for external rotation. In Upward Bow Pose, rotate your arms out to support yourself and be steady.
Therefore, my yoga master trainers and my physiotherapist showed me different chest and shoulder opening yoga poses. Two of them are:
A combination of the Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) with the Cow Pose (Bitilasana). The cat pose helps to stretch the back torso and the cow pose stretches the front Torso:
Start in a tabletop position. Your hands are beneath your shoulders and the knees are below your hips. Roll your inner arms outward. Start in a neutral position, gazing at the floor. As you exhale, round your spine to the ceiling, push your arms into the mat and stretch your back. As you inhale, push your chest towards the ceiling, belly sinks towards the mat and your head looks forward. Repeat several times. As you exhale move to cat pose and as you inhale, move to cow pose.
Another pose to stretch the shoulders is the Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana). My physiotherapist calls this pose the “Lazy Cat”. It is a mix of the Child’s Pose and Downward Facing Dog.
Sabrina, 200Hr YTTC, September 2015