Intense contraction of the rhomboids is essential for strengthening and Long Head of the Triceps does just that. By bringing the shoulder blades into full retraction on the upper back (watch for this cue at 0.34 in the video clip below), the alignment of this exercise demands that the rhomboids overdo their job, therefore bringing strength to the weakened muscle while dramatically stretching the pectoral muscles and challenging the cervical spine to retain its arrangement over the pelvis in spite of the tendency to jut the chin forward. Finding an aware tadasana stance after the practice of this pose can illuminate the balance between strong rhomboids and open pectorals, as well as imprint proper posture. Practicing this YTU pose will inform the body of the strength and stretch available in these muscle pairs and, over time, will bring the upper back into balance, enabling the upper arms to reside alongside the body, the spine to roll its curves out naturally and the breath to reach down into an open and supple chest – lifting the physical and energetic body upward into correct and inspired posture.

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