Yoga for building Shoulder stability
All that we do like writing, eating, playing an instrument, etc. are
not the work of our hands alone. Without the
shoulder, the mobility of our
would be limited, the
arms would just fall limply on our sides. Even the
simple motion of reaching your hand to your mouth would be quite impossible.
This is why we need to maintain the condition of this body parts through
exercise, particularly yoga.
The shoulders, are somewhat vulnerable & unstable joints. Like the pelvis, the
shoulder is a joint composed of a ball and socket. But unlike the
the socket on the
shoulder is relatively not as deep. The reason for this is for
mobility, allowing your arm freedom of movement. With it you can reach your arm
in any direction 360 degrees. These kind of movements are impossible to make
with your legs.
This innate unstableness makes the shoulder dependent on connective tissues to
keep the link together. These soft tissues are composed of tendons, which
connect bones to muscles; ligaments, which attach bones to other bones; and
muscles, which keep the
bones stable and produce movement. There are four
muscles that keep the shoulder together and this group is referred to as the
rotator cuff. They are wrapped around the joint producing movement every which
The rotator cuff is made up of the Supraspinatus, the Subscapularis, the
Infraspinatus, and the Teres Minor. Aside from keeping the ball of the humerus
within the socket of the scapula, each of the muscles are in charge of a
particular arm movement. The shoulder is also braced by the clavicle. The
Supraspinatus muscle keeps the head (ball) of the humerus from sliding off
partially out of the socket. This painful condition is referred to as
subluxation which happens when the supraspinatus is under paralysis due to a
The Tadasana or Mountain Pose, which is standing with the arms to the sides then
lifting the arms parallel to the ground, Virabhadrasana II or Warrior Pose II,
strengthens the Supraspinatus. If you stand in the Tasadana position, then with
palms toward your body turn the creases of your elbow forward, this rotates your
shoulder outwardly strengthening the Infraspinatus & the Teres Minor.
Tadasana or Mountain Pose
your bare feet on a smooth and even surface. Keep your feet together, with
your heels touching the wall. Beginners may find it easier to keep their feet
5 cm (2in) apart.
arms along your sides, with the palms facing your thighs, and your fingers
pointing to the floor. Stretch your neck upward, keeping the muscles soft and
your weight evenly on the inner and outer edges of your feet, and on your toes
and heels. Tighten your kneecaps and open the back of each knee. Turn in the
front of your thighs. Tighten your
buttocks. Pull in your lower
lift your chest.
head erect and look straight ahead. Breathe evenly and with awareness.
Experience your body and mind as an integrated whole and feel the surge of
energy. Stay in the pose for 30 - 60 seconds.
Virabhadra (Warrior Pose)
This challenging pose strengthens the entire body while improving mental
capacity and self control.
mountain pose continuing with your smooth flowing
Jump your feet sides ways and sweep your arms out to the
side so your ankles are below your wrists. Establish your foundation, by
pulling your knees and thighs up, tucking your tailbone under, pushing your
feet firmly into the floor. Visualize an imaginary line running vertically
down the centre of your body, dropping your shoulders. Squeeze your arms and
legs away from the centerline. Keep an awareness of this line as you turn your
right foot out to 90 degrees and turn your left foot in to 70 degrees. Ensure
the heel of your front foot aligns with arch of your back foot, hips facing
If your body wants to turn off centre, counter-act it by
pushing simultaneously in opposite directions from the centre line.
Inhale, an as you exhale bend your right leg, pulling up
with the outside and inside of the thigh to form a right angle at the
knee. Only go as low as you can with out turning your hips off centre. Ideally
you want your knee directly above your ankle with you leg coming vertically
out of the floor like pillar. Keep the power flowing through the back leg into
the floor. Inhale, lift the spine; exhale turn your head to look over your
right arm. Take a few deep breaths through the nose.
Hold the pose and breathe smooth.
Reverse the procedure back to mountain pose and repeat back
to the other side.
Chaturanga is like a
push-up, and as such is a great arm strengthener.
It is part of the
Sun Salutation vinyasa sequence of poses.
From Plank position, bend the arms straight back, keeping the upper arms
hugging into your sides.
Lower down toward the floor, stopping when your forearms and upper arms are
at a right angle.
Keep the whole body very level.
Push back into the heels.
Roll over the toes coming into Upward Facing Dog.
Dandayamana-Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pulling Pose)
Tadasana, Mountain Pose
Inhale the right arm up keeping it rooted in the shoulder socket but
extending through the finger tips.
Bend the left arm so the elbow is close in to the body and the finger tips
are away from the body, palm faces the sky.
Engage the muscles of your right leg as you bend the left leg behind you
and catch the inside of your foot with your left hand.
Draw both knees together while keeping the tailbone tucked.
Exhale, press your left foot into your hand extending from the left top
thigh. As the leg raises begin to hinge at your hips bringing your upper body
parallel to the ground.
Allow the heart to melt as the left hip bone and shoulder softens and
Reach through the ball mounds of your left foot as your upper body reaches
Find the arch in the spine to be equal through out by extending though the
heart and rooting the tailbone down, away from the body.
To release: Exhale, come back through standing and repeat on the other
Avoid shoulder exercises if you are recovering from or have a shoulder injury
or suffer from
back problems. Check with your doctor before performing any of the following
exercises, especially if you have a health problem or are nursing or