This flow begins standing with your feet hip-width apart and grounded into your mat. Here, Ferguson and Alexandra give you a moment of stillness with your eyes closed to allow for inward reflection without any judgment from your to-do-list-focused brain. Setting an intention at the beginning of a yoga practice—especially one that focuses on relieving stress and finding release in your muscles—is essential, because that will be what guides you through the flow, allows you to check in with your body to really feel where the tightness is, and helps you find some emotional and mental release alongside a muscular release.
Following the reflection, Ferguson and Alexandra start out with a series of shoulder circles to help you find warmth and movement in your muscles, getting them ready to fully reap the benefits of the practice. Alexandra reminds us that throughout the flow, it's essential to focus on alignment from your head to your toes, making sure to stand tall and really press through your heels and engage your core. The whole practice moves slowly and uses basic poses, allowing you to focus on your form, control, and alignment the entire time.
Throughout the flow, both instructors provide variations and adjustments that you can use to deepen into each stretch, opener, and bind or to ease up the intensity so you can really feel the work that your shoulders and back are doing. Additionally, while the practice is mostly focused on your upper body, many of the positions also work to open your hips and lower back since everything is connected and works together.
Ready to get started? Click on the video above to follow along with a 20-minute yoga flow to help release tension in your shoulders, neck, and upper back.
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