Eagle Pose (Upper Back & Shoulders)

09.05.2016 |

Episode #5 of the course Quick yoga poses at the desk by Elaine Oyang


You know that constant, chronic achiness between the shoulder blades and just underneath the shoulder blades? Most likely, we’ve all encountered that sensation at one point or another. The muscles between the shoulder blades, in particular the rhomboids, trapezius, and levator scapulae, all help support the positions of the neck and shoulders. When we get into the habit of rounding the shoulders forward, these muscles need to work particularly hard to support the weight of the neck and shoulders. This pose helps stretch these muscles to relieve tension.

5.1 Quick yoga poses at the desk

What you need:

– A comfortable sitting or standing position

What to do:

1) Sit or stand upright with arms and shoulders relaxed at your sides. Bring both arms up in front of you and cross your right arm over the left arm above the elbows.

2) Bend your elbows and cross your forearms. If possible, clasp the hands together; otherwise you can keep your hands where they can reach comfortably.

3) Relax the shoulders and gently press your elbows against one another.

4) Stay for at least 5 full breaths and try to send each breath to the space between the shoulder blades. Relax the arms by either side of you for a few breaths before switching sides.

Why this works:

When you bring the arms across the body, the shoulder blades draw away from one another and give space to the muscles between the shoulder blades. By sending each inhale into the back ribcage, we additionally use the breath to gently stretch those muscle groups.


Recommended book:

“Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika” by B. K. S. Iyengar


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