12 Jul Shoulder Poses: the arms of Garudasana
Garudasana is a fantastic pose to stretch the rhomboids and mid and lower traps while at the same time strengthening serratus anterior. And… it’s an easy pose to bust out at one’s desk at 2:30 on a Friday.
How to get into the pose:
1. Start by hugging yourself with your right arm on top. Align your elbow to sit in the same plane as your shoulders, if accessible. Inch your fingertips towards the inner (medial) edge of your shoulder blades. With your inhalation, breathe into the space between your shoulder blades. On an exhalation, spread the shoulder blades as if they are wrapping around the front of the body.
2. Lift your right forearm up, with your palm facing left, and align your thumb with the center of your forehead.
3. Lift your left forearm up, palm facing right, and then bring your left forearm and palm further to the left so the left and right palm press into each other.
4. Once again, on the inhalation, breathe into the space between the shoulder blades. On the exhalation, activate serratus anterior to move the shoulder blades apart as if to wrap them around to the front body. Hold for at least three breaths, then change sides.
Just doing step one is a perfectly acceptable modification for yogis with tight rhomboids and traps. Start somewhere. Start now. You’re probably at your computer right now… Perfect time to practice Garudasana!