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YogaWorks Teacher Training Tip of the Week | Yoga Shoulder Stretches (Video Inside!)

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We’re thrilled to partner with our friends at YogaWorks to bring you the YogaWorks Teacher Training Tip of the Week. Each week, our friends from YogaWorks TT will break down some of the most challenging poses, as well as shed light on the basics, for all of us to enjoy. Like what you see? Click here for more info on YogaWorks’ Teacher Training programs.

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in our bodies, capable of a huge range of motion.

Even so, tight or overdeveloped muscles may limit that range, causing us to shift stress into more vulnerable areas, setting the stage for potential injury.

Athletes who move their arms in relatively narrow ranges, such as runners, tennis players, or weightlifters, are especially prone to overdeveloping the big muscles that flex or internally rotate the arms (the anterior deltoids, for example). Over time, as the arm tries to move beyond its usual groove, the body must recruit less efficient muscles, which may compress the neck or torque the spine.

YogaWorks Teacher Trainings examine these tendencies up-close, pinpointing the compensation patterns that develop when strength morphs into limitation. We dive into the anatomy of specific joints, develop sequences that explore full range of movement at those joints, and even challenge our trainees to address the non-physical reasons that the body habitually carries tension.

After all, if we can create greater freedom in our bodies, can freedom of the spirit be far behind?

For more YogaWorks videos, please click here.

About David Kim

Yoga came to me only when I was ready to receive it. As a New York journalist fresh out of Brown University, I dabbled in a few yoga classes, and continued to do so after moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. But the yoga didn’t take hold right away. As time passed, the movie business slowly dimmed my creative spark, and daily gym workouts had forged a muscular armor, stunting my freedom to move and breathe. I felt stuck. Something needed to shift, and I approached an Ashtanga-based yoga class at my gym with new eagerness. It was a revelation! The deliberate breathing and foreign-sounding postures slowly pried open my body, releasing years of unconscious tension and stress. When tears welled up in my eyes during a seated hip opener, it dawned on me: yoga went far beyond the body—it connected to my emotions, my intellect, even a long-buried sense of Spirit. Focusing heavily on asana, I pushed my physical practice to its limit, tearing my knee cartilage, thanks to over-ambition and sloppy alignment. Good timing led me to the YogaWorks Teacher Training, taught by Lisa Walford and Annie Carpenter, my soon-to-be mentors. Their depth of knowledge and life experience redefined my practice, literally from the ground up. The philosophy and meditative practices spoke to my innate beliefs about a true Self—or universal Consciousness—that exists beyond our narrow ego identities. I began to view yoga as a lifetime practice, one that transcends fitness or postures. Visit my website here.

 

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For over 25 years, YogaWorks has been training students in the artful science of yoga. Our time tested teacher training curriculum has been the starting point for many renowned teachers. We offer serious students, aspiring teachers and current yoga teachers the opportunity to deepen their practice, unlock their potential and transform their understanding of yoga. Click here to learn more.

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