2) Increasing Awareness: Upper Back General Approach

  • Learning postural awareness for incorporation in daily life
  • Increasing awareness of breath, tension and movement patterns
  • Moving patiently and with inner awareness
  • Ensuring proper shoulder and neck alignment
  • Modifying practices to avoid pain or aggravation
  • Originating movement of the arm from the shoulder blade
  • If practicing weight-bearing poses and inversions, being cautious to align shoulder joint carefully

Originate Arm Movement from the Shoulder Blade

The first thing to remember is that the arm does not function in isolation… When the shoulder blade doesn’t move much, it is not supporting the shoulder joint. So whatever arm movement you do, try to pay attention to what your shoulder blade is doing and emphasize that movement. This is where we want the arm movement to ORIGINATE FROM, with the arm just following the movement of the shoulder blade. Whenever I work with a student with shoulder issues, the first thing I check is how much awareness/mobility she has in her shoulder blades. – Olga Kabel