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Shoulder and Breath Exercise

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Almost everyone carries tension in their shoulders. While reading this, focus on your shoulders. Do they feel tense? Are they raised slightly, closer to your ears than they should be? 

Author:
Jodi Richard

Date:
February 27 2024

Almost everyone carries tension in their shoulders. While reading this, focus on your shoulders. Do they feel tense? Are they raised slightly, closer to your ears than they should be?

This exercise and meditation can grow with you as your shoulders strengthen and your breath work advances. Please follow the time and repetition suggestions not to overstress your shoulders. While doing this exercise, check in with your body to ensure you are relaxed. When you exhale, are your shoulders relaxed, or are they tense? Are you clenching your jaw? Are your hands clenched? Are your feet in a relaxed position? Are you clenching any muscles anywhere?

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down on your back.
  2. With your shoulders in a relaxed position:
    1. Roll your shoulders forward while inhaling through your nose.
    2. Beginners: roll your shoulders forward for 3 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders forward for 7 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
    3. Intermediate: roll your shoulders forward for 4 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 6 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
    4. Advanced: roll your shoulders forward for 5 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 5 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 6 times.
  3. With your shoulders in a relaxed position:
    1. Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears while inhaling through your nose.
    2. Beginners: shrug your shoulders up for 3 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 7 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
    3. Intermediate: shrug your shoulders up for 4 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 6 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
    4. Advanced: shrug your shoulders up for 5 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 5 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 6 times.
  4. With your shoulders in a relaxed position:
    1. Roll your shoulders back, trying to make your shoulder blades touch while inhaling through your nose.
    2. Beginners: roll your shoulders back for 3 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 7 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
    3. Intermediate: roll your shoulders back for 4 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 6 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
    4. Advanced: roll your shoulders back for 5 seconds while inhaling for 5 seconds. Relax your shoulders for 5 seconds while exhaling through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 6 times.

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