Hey yo , welcome to my channel .
My name is Cassandra and today we're doing a quick practice , which is mainly going to target your shoulders as well as your neck .
However , rest assured that the poses are not exclusively from this region .
And for the upper body , we're still going to integrate a few hip openers just because I love some good hip openers and there are some really fun things we can do in a few hip openers that actually help us target um the neck , the shoulders , upper back and a little bit into the arms as well .
So we won't need any props for this practice and you can begin just sitting up cross legged in any way that is comfortable to you .
So dragging the shoulders down and away from your ears and lengthening your spine , you can close your eyes here , we're just gonna do a few neck rolls .
So if you let your head drop down to one ear , really slowly staying with your breath , just find the full range of motion as you dip the head , the chin to the chest and lean over towards the other ear .
And I don't particularly like to go back .
So I do little half moon circles and keep breathing as you go the other way .
Just so you can notice where exactly you tend to hold tension in this area .
It's super important that you also relax your jaw here .
Just take one or two more like this .
Now , bringing the head all the way back down to center will take one final little neck stretch here so you can drop your right ear towards your right shoulder crawl , the left fingertips out to the side .
So you should feel this a lot more into the top of the arm and shoulder .
And you can use your right hand to lightly pull the ear further away from that shoulder .
So it's not a downwards pressure movement .
It's more about lengthening and you can play a little with the angle .
Some people like to lean their head back , others will tuck the chin to the chest , just whatever feels the best for the left side of your neck , cradle your head in your right hand , lift all the way up and we'll switch sides .
So drop your left ear to your left shoulder , reach the right fingertips out to the side and maybe use your left hand to intensify the sensation here trying to mimic a similar shape you did on the first side .
Although you might notice that one side is a lot tighter than the other .
I find that my , the side of my dominant hand is usually a lot stiffer and lifting the head all the way back up .
Let's make our way onto hands and knees tabletop post .
So we'll take a variation of cat and cow that doesn't really engage the low back .
It's more about the shoulders and upper back .
So palms under your shoulders , knees underneath your hips , as you inhale , drop your belly towards the floor .
But more than anything think of squeezing your shoulder blades behind you as if you were hugging a little pencil there .
And then on the exhale , broaden the shoulder blades further away from each other round and contract and really drop your head and take a few more here going at your own pace , just feeling out where the kinks are in your upper back and your neck and your shoulders and sending and infusing your breath to those areas with mindful movement .
Take one more coming back to neutral .
Let's take thread , the needle , reach your right arm up to the sky and then exhale , reach your right arm through , lower your right shoulder and right ear to the floor .
And I like to reach the left arm up overhead and just push into the arms and push into the left fingertips .
You'll probably feel this more in your mid and upper back , slide your left hand back , push into the floor , come back to your table top posts .
Let's go to the other side .
Left arm rises , exhale , twisted under left shoulder and left ear , come down , right arm can extend up overhead .
Try to keep your hips stacked over your knees , slide your right hand back , come back into your table top holds and let's find our downward facing dog .
So for this down dog especially make sure that you're not tensing up your neck and you might need to paddle the feet away the hips a few times .
Coming into your rag doll fold , walk your feet to the top of the mat , bend your knees generously and you can hold on to the elbows here .
Just let yourself dangle .
So decompressing in the spine , decompressing in the neck .
It's like your head is a bowling ball and you're just letting it dingle fingertips come down to the floor , bend your knees even more and push into the heels to roll all the way up coming to stand .
And before we start to flow a little more , we'll take one last forward fold .
So from here you can interlace them and clasp your hands behind you with the elbows bent .
So your thumbs are on your tailbone and squeeze your shoulder blades behind you .
Just like in that cat and cow bend your knees generously Hinch forward from the hips and see if you can start to lift the knuckles off of the tail bone just maintaining that squeeze .
And I like to actually keep my elbows bent for this one .
I find it really hard not to hyperextend with straight elbows and fingertips come down to the mat .
Step your left foot to the back of the mat .
Left knee comes down for your low lunch .
As you inhale , reach your arms up and then cactus shape into the arm .
So bend the elbows , squeeze your shoulder blades behind you lift up through the chest and exhale .
Release , curl the back toes under , lift the back knee off the mat .
Keep your left hand as it is to reach your right arm up .
So this is your easy twist , we're going to do it a little bit differently .
So for this easy twist , bring your right hand to your low back and just let your head hang heavy .
So you should feel a nice stretch here through the right side of your neck and maybe even into the top of that shoulder and right hand comes back down , downward facing dog , soften your neck from this down dog .
Step your left foot forward between your palms back knee comes down to the floor .
Low lunch on the other side , reach your arms up and cactus shape with the arms release easy twist .
So plant the right hand down , curl the back toes under , start by extending your left arm up just so you're aligning one shoulder over the other , but then bring your left hand to your low back and let your head drop here .
Left hand comes back to the mat .
Let's take a little VSA flow plank lower to your belly .
Inhale cora , exhale downward facing dog again , relax your neck and down dog .
So I'm gonna do the left side first for this next flow .
It'll just be easier for you guys to see what I'm doing .
So let's reach our left leg up to the sky and then step your left foot forward in between your palms , spin the back foot parallel to the shorter edge of your mat and lift up for your Warrior two .
So normally Warrior two , we keep our arms out to the sides .
But since we're working on shoulder , upper back and neck , we're going to bend your elbows in front of you .
Eagle arms , wrap your right arm under the left binding once or twice .
If none of those work , just hold on to the upper back or to the shoulder blades and then push the forms in together until you get a nice stretch through the upper back and see if you can tuck your chin to your chest and just let your forehead drop towards the biceps .
Hopefully , this should feel pretty good .
Inhale , release and open up the arms this time , turn your palms the face up towards the sky and you're gonna bend into the elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades behind you take a few deep breaths here and release last one .
You're gonna reach your right arm up to the sky , bend your right elbow and see if you can bring your left arm back behind you and interlace your fingers for your archer arms .
And you should feel this pretty intensely through your right arm .
Think of lifting up and expanding .
Stay with your archer arms simply straighten your front leg and carefully release the arms .
We're gonna make our way into our triangle pose .
Hips go back , reach your left hand down and very similar to what we did in the easy twist .
Instead of having the right arm up and looking up , which is intense for the neck , bring your right hand to your lower back , maybe even reaching for the front of that thigh and just drop your head down .
And I like to actually hold on to the shin here so I can kind of brace myself and have better balance .
This is one of my all time favorite variations of triangle pose , the more you're able to wiggle the right fingers to the front of your thigh , the deeper you're going to feel this one and carefully move that right hand out of the way .
Look down , bend into that front knee , find your downward facing dog , left foot steps back and let's go to the other side , reach your right leg up to the sky , step that right foot through , find warrior two back foot parallel to the shorter edge of your mat .
So instead of having your arms out , you're gonna bend your elbows out in front of you .
And this time your left arm binds underneath the right , either once or twice .
Remember , you can just hold onto the elbows once you have this , keep facing forward , push your forms together and just drop your chin to your chest .
Keep that right knee generously bent , inhale , release , open up the arms , turn your palms to face up to the sky , bend into your elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades behind you inhale to release archer arms , left arm extends up , bend the left elbow and see if you can reach the right fingertips back to clasp , sinking down , left elbow extends up and you can even look up a little bit .
Keep your archer arms , but just straighten your right leg , carefully , release the arms out to the sides , triangle , pose , hips go back , let your right hand support itself on your right shin .
And instead of keeping that left arm up and tensing up the neck , you're gonna bring your left hand behind you , maybe reaching for the front of that inner right thigh crease and drop your head fully soften your jaw .
Just stay strong in your legs and your foundation and looking down at the floor , bring your left hand back out , bend into that front knee option to take a or you can just go right into your down dog .
We are all meeting in our downward facing dog just for a breath and let's set our knees to the ground and come all the way forward onto your belly .
So we'll take a laying chest opener .
One of my favorite , favorite stretches , especially if you work at a desk and are hunched over quite a bit .
So from your belly , you can reach your right arm out to the side .
This is option one , keeping your hand , your elbow and your shoulder all in one long line as you roll onto the right side .
Personally , I don't feel much when I do this one .
So my favorite variation is to bend the elbow at a 90 degree in palm is flat to the floor and then rolling over your right shoulder .
And I find it a lot easier to bend my knees here .
And you can either bring your left hand to your low back or you can just use your left hand to push into the floor and help you twist and stretch a little bit more .
We really do try to relax your head and neck here .
Just breathe into those right pictorials into the right shoulder wherever you feel this the most and let's release , roll onto your belly , move to the other side .
So either left arm goes out straight or you can bend the elbow at a 90 degree angle .
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Super simple , flowing with your breath .
So winding down from our practice and whenever you're ready , we come to Shabana corpse pose , our final resting pose , palms can face up to the sky , drop your shoulders down and away from your ears .
Let yourself melt and soften here .
Notice how neck shoulders , arms and upper back feel .
Now , as opposed to when you first stepped on your mat , imagine you can breathe in all that new space you've created .
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Join the palms together at the front of your heart .
Take a moment to really thank yourself for making time to step on your mat to care for yourself in this way .
I know .
I certainly thank you deeply for practicing with me .
Let's close our practice with a chant of one time .
We inhale to chant , breath in bowling forward .
No , must stay .
Thank you so much , Yogi is for doing this flow practice , emphasizing neck and shoulder stretches .
I would love to know how this went for you .
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And , yeah , that's about as much as I'll say on that .
Thank you all so very much .
And I hope to practice again with you soon .