August 20, 2014

#16 "Yoga Minute" Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms and Hands

This is a great pose to get strength, flexibility and circulation through the chest, shoulders, back, arms, hands and fingers. Start comfortably seated with shoulders over the hips arms straight out from the shoulders with the palms facing up and fingers spread.

Exhaling close the hands into fists rotating the arms with thumbs up, simultaneously pulling the arms back with the elbows leading. The arms are next to the torso going back as far as you can take them. Now as you're inhaling bring the arms forward leading with the fists. Arms are rotating while the fists are opening and fingers spreading finishing with the arms straight out in front of you palms facing up.

When the arms are going back your chest is opening with the shoulder blades coming together in the back. When the arms are coming forward the back is opening with the shoulder blades moving out toward the sides and the shoulders coming forward with minimal collapse in the chest.

The reason for exhaling when the arms are going back is most of the muscles are engaged in the hands, arms, shoulders and back, allowing you to give a little more in the exhalation with control. And when the arms are forward most all the parts involved are opening and receiving the inhalation.

Try 5 to 15 reps. Listen to your body, maybe less works best. Always listen to your body. Range of motion and repetitions are different for all of us.

Benefits: Great for the respiratory system. Stretches and strengthens the chest, shoulders, back and arms. Also works the forearms and hands. Spreading and making fists with the fingers helps with arthritis in the hands bringing in lubrication for the joints.

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

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