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Standing Forward Bend

Whenever I'm feeling stressed or tense between my shoulder blades, Standing Forward Bend is the first shape I take. To offer the biggest release to your upper back, grab opposite elbows once you take the full expression of the pose. You will feel a huge opening across your back that might feel a little overwhelming at first, but as long as you're feeling comfortable (and safe), simply stick with it, and breathe into the space.

  • Begin in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Inhale, and reach your arms straight above you.
  • As you exhale, engage your abs, and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, straightening your legs as much as possible.
  • Place your hands on the ground, fingertips lining up with the toes, or grab opposite elbows and gently swing from right to left.
  • Hold here for 10 breaths.
Source: Laughing River Yoga Studio