With this simple movement of lifting the arms parallel to the floor and circling them works the arms and shoulders and also incorporates some of the back and chest muscles.
Start comfortably seated with shoulders over the hips and arms up and out to the sides, parallel to the floor, with the palms open fingers together and facing down. Begin by circling both arms from the fingertips to the shoulders in small circles whatever direction is comfortable for you. After 5 to 10circles, or less if this is not comfortable, reverse the direction for 5 to 10 circles unwinding the arms before dropping them to your lap or your sides and rest for a few breathes. If it feels comfortable, do another set in both directions.
This pose helps with stability in the shoulders by building strength in the arms and shoulders as well as circulation in the shoulders. You may switch the size of circles from small to large and back to small again. Be creative with the size avoiding any pain. Your breath should be smooth and never holding. If you feel you’re straining to breathe or you’re making faces to complete your rotations then do fewer reps until you find the right balance.
This pose works some of the secondary muscles involved in breathing these include the neck, shoulders and upper back. Combining “Arm Circles into the Shoulders” with a couple other “Yoga Minute” chest and shoulder poses at the same time one after the other builds strength, endurance and helps with the respiratory system.
These “Yoga Minute” videos are designed for inactive beginners, seniors and people with most any illness or injury. The majority of these poses are in a chair and most can be done from a wheelchair. I’ll also be posting these videos on my You Tube Channel “Yoga Chuck” and Facebook page “Real Yoga, LLC”. All poses should be a No Pain No Pain practice and avoid having discomfort.
How long to practice the pose: If pain is above a 5 on a scale of 0-10, then only practice the pose 10-15 seconds, you can repeat this multiple times. If your pain level is 5 or lower you can practice the pose 30 seconds to 1 minute. Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.
Happy & Healthy, Yoga Chuck