On day 3 of YTU Level 1 yoga teacher training, Jill took us through a shoulder sequence which culminated in Downward Facing Dog. It took 2 hours. I ran the following emotional gamut: mild amusement, boredom, impatience, seriously? don’t we get to down dog pretty early in “normal” yoga classes? frustration, I paid for this? what ring of hell is this, exactly? who does this chick think she is and what does she know anyway?
And finally Jill called out “Downward Facing Dog.”
Thank GOD. Hey…wait a minute…my shoulders don’t hurt. Ok, maybe she does know something after all.
And thus began my conversion to the long, slow warm-up—especially for shoulders.
Historically speaking, my quads have owned my body strength. An old (non-yoga-related) rotator cuff injury furthered compromised what I felt was an already weak upper body. But through the course of YTU Upper Body Ball sequences (especially rotator cuff) and extensive YTU shoulder, spine and core warm ups, one day I found myself floating (floating!) right into Crow. And loving it.
What I found was the ball sequence didn’t just feel good, it healed my injury by increasing circulation in the area and enlivening my poor overused rotator cuff and overlooked serratus muscles. The warm ups didn’t just prepare my body for this particular arm balance, they strengthened my shoulders and upper back so my muscles could do the work and I didn’t dump all of my body weight into my shoulder joints. I gained confidence about my pose and lost my fear of re-injuring my rotator cuff because I learned to identify and strengthen all the surrounding muscles. Knoweldge. Is. Power.
Another of my favorite YTU Shoulder poses is Raise the Chalice – here it is, and for a full Tune Up you can get it on the 5 Minute Quick Fix for Shoulders video!
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Watch our Free 5-Minute Quickfix: Shoulders Video