How many of you constantly find your shoulders and neck to be tense and tight? This could be the outcome of a long list of reasons- sleeping in an awkward position, carrying heavy bags, long hours in front of a computer, phone or TV or even bad posture to name a few.
Try out these simple yet effective partner-assisted stretches to help relieve all that stress and tension!

How to:
STRETCH 1:
To begin, stand with your partner two arms distance apart, with your backs in the opposite direction. Now, extend your arm outwards towards each other, pressing your palms together. Once your elbows are straight and stretched out, slowly turn around so your backs are facing each other. Pressing your palms into each other, breathe a few deep breaths. Hold this second for at least 10 seconds. Finally, turn back to your starting position and drop your arms to your sides to release the posture. Repeat the same on the opposite side.

STRETCH 2:
Stand with your back facing your partner, and make a fist with your thumb inside your forefingers. Now, bring your fists to your back, pushing it up into your shoulder blades as much as you can. Now, breathe deeply. As you exhale, your partner hold on to your elbows and opens them towards the back, squeezing your shoulder blades into each other. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and continue breathing deeply and normally. Now, slowly bring your elbows back to the front. Keeping your hands as they are. You partner now moves to your front, pushing your elbows towards your chest, bringing your shoulders away from each other. Hold this position for a few seconds and release. Finally, release the posture and shake your wrists out if you need.

STRETCH 3:
In case you can’t bring your wrists towards the back, interlock your fingers and bring it behind your head. Now, repeat the same steps as in stretch 2.

STRETCH 4:
For the final posture, be seated in any comfortable posture with your partner standing behind you. Stretch your arms out on either side with your fingers spread wide. Your partner now pushed their knee gently into your spine, and as you inhale, helps your chest open up by pulling your arms back as much as your body allows. Hold this position for a few deep breaths. Now, release your arms gently and wrapping your arms around yourself, drop your chin into your chest. Finally, relax into your initial sitting position.

Why To:
1. It helps relieve stress and tension.
2. It relieves joint pains.
3. It relieves tight and tense shoulders.
4. It stretches and strengthens the shoulder blades.
5. Improves flexibility.

Avoided by:
It is best if patients with shoulder blade injuries avoid these stretches.

Best Time:
These stretches can be performed at any time, but it is advised to perform these in the early hours right after you wake up as your joints would be relieved and relaxed at that time.

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