Trapezius & Yoga

Trapezius is named for its trapezoidal shape. It is a large, flat, superficial muscle that covers upper back and part of the neck and shoulder area. It has three functional parts:
1) Descending (superior)
2) Transverse (middle)
3) Ascending (inferior)
The trapezius has multiple origin and insertion points because of its size.

Descending (superior) part:
Origin: Occipital bone, nuchal ligament,
Insertion: Lateral third of the clavicle
Action: Lift the shoulder

Transverse (middle) part
Origin: Vertebrae T1-T4
Insertion: Acromion of scapula
Action: Retract the scapulae

Ascending (inferior) part
Origin: Vertebrae T5-T12
Insertion: Acromion of scapula
Action: Depressed/ medially rotate the scapulae

Myalgia generally described muscles aches and pain. Trapezius Myalgia is the stiffness and tightness of the upper trapezius muscle. It is neither a medical disorder nor disease, but a symptom of existing underlying condition and the pain can last for days or longer. Trapezius Myalgia can be source of pain for the neck, lateral head and front of the head. This can manifest as headaches or more severe migraines. Besides, weakened trapezius and rhomboid muscles will cause the shoulder blades to tilt forward, further contributing to hunched shoulders, forward head posture or nerd neck in short. This wrong posture can be easily picked up during the usage of mobile electronic gadgets, desk bounded jobs etc.

A well-balanced designed yoga sequence can get our bodies moving in all planes of movement, but we can also use specific poses to target the upper back specifically such as the following asanas:

1) Matsyasana (Fish pose)

A. Sit down on your mat with legs extended to the front.
B. Lift your torso and place the hands (palms down) underneath the small of your back.
C. Inhale, arch the back, lift chest towards the sky, and put the top of the head on the mat.
D. Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
E. Exhale, lower the back to the mat.

2) Salabasana (Locust)

A. Lie on stomach and let the arms lie next to the thighs with palms on the floor.
B. Inhale, lift the chest, arms, and legs as high as you can from the floor while keeping them straight.
C. Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
D. Exhale, lower the limbs and torso back to the mat.

3) Marjaryasana (Cat pose)

A. Begin Tabletop with hips directly over the knees. Hands should be shoulder-width apart and slightly ahead of your shoulders. Fingers pointing forward and press palm firmly on mat.
B. Exhale and round the spine toward the ceiling. Drop the crown of the head and tailbone. Draw lower belly in and up.
C. Push the floor away with the palm to broaden across your shoulder blades.
D. Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
E. Exhale, return to a neutral spine.

4) Garuda arms (Eagle arms)

A. Begin seated any way that is comfortable (you can do this on your desk chair if you like).
B. Wrap right arm under left arm, take forearms together, and press palms together, fingertips facing up.
C. Reach elbows up to shoulder height, fingertips facing away from you to deepen the shoulder opening.
D. Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Switch sides and repeat.

5) Viparita namaskarasana (Reverse prayer)

A. Sit comfortably. Float arms down to either side of body and bend elbows to reach arms behind back.
B. Press palms together in a prayer position on spine and reach hands as high up spine as feels good. Press elbows back so that forearms create one line.
C. Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
D. Exhale, release.