Reverse the Workday
This gentle flow is meant to work out some of the tension in the shoulders that accumulates after a long day of sitting or working on the computer.
Hand Under Foot Pose (Padahastasana)
We’ll start by creating some space in the wrist joints. Fold forward and take a slight bend in the knees so the chest drapes over the thighs. Walk the hands under the feet, palms facing upwards. Now, pour weight down onto the hands as you gently lengthen the legs until you feel a gentle pull on the wrists.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
From Padahastana, return to standing then step back into a lunge with the back foot parallel to the back of the mat. Turn the chest to face sideways as you reach the arms in both directions. Align the chest directly over the hips and sink deeper towards 90-degrees in the front knee. Pull the navel in towards the spine to take the arch out of the lower back. Ensure the front knee is in line with the thigh and the front foot.
From Warrior II, place the back of your front hand on your lower back. Then lean the upper body forward towards Extended Side Angle, and bring the elbow of the front arm onto the inside of the thigh. This will provide a fairly intense internal rotation of the shoulder. If you like, feel free to reach the opposite arm overhead into a modified Extended Side Angle position.
Extended Side Angle Variation (Utthita Parsvakonasana Variation)
Twisting Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
Release the rotated arm and turn the chest to face forward. Come onto the ball of the back foot and frame the front foot with the hands so that you are in a Low Lunge. Then, plant the back hand by the inside of the front foot and lift the opposite arm straight up towards the ceiling. Pull the navel in as you rotate from the mid-body.
Cat/Cow with Hands Facing Inwards
Untwist and plant both hands on the ground. Step the front leg back into a Tabletop position. Now, turn both hands so that they face inwards towards your knees. Take a moment to settle into the position by shifting your weight on then off of your arms several times. Then, on an inhale, drop the belly and lift the gaze. On the exhale, arch through the upper back and press down through the palms so the shoulder blades wrap around the side body.
Puppy on Fingertips (Uttana Shishosana Variation)
Return to a regular Tabletop position. From here, begin to walk the arms forward as far as possible while keeping the thighs perpendicular to the floor. This will look similar to Child’s Pose (Balasana), however with the hips up in the air. From here, come up onto the fingertips of each hand so the palms lift off the mat. Then, begin to sink the chin and chest (rather than the forehead) towards the ground.
Stop in the Name of Love
Walk the hands back, out of Puppy Pose, and sit back on the heels (find whatever seat is most comfortable for you). Reach one arm straight out to the side with the fingertips pointing upwards. Turn the head in the opposite direction. Then, actively reach the nose and lifted arm away from one another to create space in the shoulder.
Overhead Tricep Stretch
Reach the lifted arm overhead and bend it so that the hand walks down the upper back. Grab onto the lifted tricep with the opposite hand. Externally rotate the arm being stretched, so that the tricep faces directly forward. Gently press into the arms with the back of the head as you guide the elbow down and back.
Reverse Table Top (Ardha Purvottanasana)
Come down onto your seat with the legs bent in front of you. Pull the shoulder blades together on the back and plant both hands behind you. Fingertips can face forward (a bit more intense in the shoulders and biceps) or backward. Slowly, lift the hips so that the chest, torso, and thighs are all on one plane, with the knees bent at 90 degrees.
Prone Chest Opening
Lower the hips, cross the legs, and roll over the shins. Come down onto your stomach and reach the right arm out to the side (and slightly upwards). Slowly, roll the body onto the right side until you feel an opening in the right side of the chest. Make adjustments as necessary until you find a comfortably uncomfortable position. You can play around with different positions for the legs. You can also try bending the arm at 90-degrees instead of reaching it straight out. Once you find a comfortable position, try to avoid moving as you sink into the stretch.