In Part 1 of this article, in addition to Megaplank and Raise the Chalice, I referred to Dolphin Supinate as being an excellent Yoga Tune Up® pose to activate and strengthen the serratus anterior muscle and stabilize the shoulder girdle. In the video below, Jill Miller discusses the necessity of external rotation of the shoulders in Downward Facing Dog and gives an excellent assessment tool to determine whether or not you should be doing that pose. As an alternative to Down Dog, she demonstrates Dolphin Supinate, which also happens to be a great pose to strengthen your serratus! Along with the importance of external rotation of the shoulders that she describes in the video, you can further support the shoulders by engaging serratus anterior. Just as in Megaplank, to contract the serratus in Dolphin Supinate, push the floor away with your forearms and then pull back with your forearms and hands to protract and depress the shoulder blades. Once you feel the action of serratus anterior working to nestle those shoulder blades into your upper back, be sure to find your Tadasana spine so that your upper back does not round. Remember that activating the serratus anterior is also a key element of shoulder stabilization in both Chatturanga and Downward Facing Dog.
Allison’s breath, alignment & anatomy based classes are a unique combination of introspection, self-enquiry and playfulness. She encourages her students to move into the nuances of each pose by focusing on breath and sensation, guiding students into an intuitive listening to their body’s story. Her popular Deep Flow classes are Yoga Tune Up® inspired and deconstruct the vinyasa into component parts so that students build strength and stability without risk of injury. Allison has completed teacher trainings with Max Strom, Erich Schiffmann, Jamie Elmer, Sherry Brourman and Jill Miller.