For someone who just started practicing yoga, opening up the shoulder is part of the yoga journey. A flexible shoulder is fundamental for an asana practice. It also helps to release shoulder stiffness.
In order to improve flexibility of the shoulder (open up your shoulders), then we can understand the structure of our shoulders.
Our shoulder consists of scapula, clavicle and humerus. The upper limb is connected with the glenoid (shoulder socket), which is the most flexible joint of the body.
In fact, shoulder joint is not just one joint, it includes Sternoclavicular joint，acromioclavicular joint , sternoclavicular joint, glenohumeral joint. Muscles that surround these joints are subscapularis muscle,Supraspinatus muscle,infraspinatus muscle, The teres minor, deltoid muscles, bicep muscles etc
Here are the 7 poses:
This pose helps to relax most of the body parts especially the shoulder
Sit on your heel and stretch your hand out.
Relax your shoulder and stay in the position for 1-2 minutes.
Make sure your ears are away from the shoulders.
2. Child pose variation
Place a yoga brick or pillow in front of you; rest your elbow on it while you put your palms together facing up towards the sky.
Rest your head down between the shoulders. You will feel a gentle stretch on your shoulder.
3. Hare pose
Place your knees on the floor, hip width apart. Crown of your head on the mat
Reach your hand to the back and grab on your heel.
Stretch your legs slightly backwards and squeeze the shoulder blade forward to open the shoulder
4. Threading the needle pose
Stand on your knee with hip width apart. Place your head on the mat
Stretch your right hand up then turn your torso towards the left side, place your right hand behind the left hand.
Now the right side of your face and shoulder rest on the mat, hips remain high.
Place left lower arm on the mat; spread your fingers and palms facing down.
5. Eagle arm
Eagle pose either standing or sitting
Raise your right hand up, left hand move under the right hand to meet with the right palm.
Make sure shoulder is away from the ear. Slightly lift the hands up to deepened the stretch of your shoulder.
6. Cow face pose
Sit in easy pose or cow face pose with the knee stags on top of each other
Reach your right hand to the back, in between the shoulder blades
Lift your left hand up over your head and try to catch your right hand at the back.
If you’re unable to catch your hand, use a yoga strap.
7. Wide leg forward bend
Widen your leg about 3-4 feet apart or stand with both feet together.
Interlace your hand at the back, Lift your hands over your head and bend forward.
Hands away from the body.