Yoga Moves

60 Seconds in This Yoga Pose Will Unwind Rounded-Shoulder Tightness

Rachel Lapidos

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Photo: Getty Images/Flamingo_Photography

Shoulder tightness is one of the most annoying woes that seems to be exacerbated when working from home. Whether you’re slouched on a couch or over a computer screen, there’s a really high chance that your shoulders round over the course of the day, which leads to uncomfortable tension and pain. One of the best remedies for that? Spending one minute in a yoga pose that specifically targets shoulder tension.

Yes, such a pose exists, and the good news is that it involves lying down on your mat. “There isn’t an official name for it, but we describe it as reclined reverse palm interlace,” says Chloe Kernaghan, yoga pro and co-founder of Sky Ting in New York City. It involves placing your palms together in a prayer position, but behind your back, up between your shoulder blades. From there, you simply lie down onto your hands—it’s like savasana, but with a tension-busting tweak.

“This pose relieves shoulder tension and really helps to undo shoulder-hunching posture,” says Kernaghan. “It also supports your breath by opening into the top of the lungs.” That’s because the position of your hands behind your back expands your chest and your collarbones, which stretches the upper part of your body out so that oxygen and blood can flow more freely. If you can’t quite reach up to the shoulder blade area, Kernaghan recommends still “trying for the interlaced palms, but bring them a little lower on the backline,” instead, aiming for the base of your ribs or kidney band.

It doesn’t take long to reap that rounded shoulder-banishing relief, either. Kernaghan recommends staying in this position for 10 to 20 breaths. “Let gravity do the work to release the shoulder blades heavy to the floor, and to widen the collarbones at the top of the chest,” she says. Try it and thank us later.

This is the hand position below—try this, then lie down on top of your prayer hands. 

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