As people become fatigued they are more likely to slouch and slump into poor posture. This is a perfect time to incorporate a yoga break.

Tara, a yoga teacher based in Mount Maunganui NZ, instructs us on getting into her two favourite yoga poses for supporting optimal posture and stretching the shoulders.

Cow Face Arms

  • Bend your left elbow and nestle your forearm into the hollow of your lower back.
  • Tuck your left elbow against the side of your torso.
  • Slide your left forearm up your back until it rests against your spine as comfortably as possible, with the back of your hand between your shoulder blades.
  • If you can’t reach don’t force it, just do your best while relaxing.
  • Reach your right arm straight up to the ceiling and rotate it outwardly, so the palm looks behind you. Then bend your right elbow and reach your hand down to your upper shoulder.
  • Either rest your hands in this position, or if possible, hook your fingers together.
  • It’s common to want to push your front ribs forward. Instead drop your front ribs down and into your torso.
  • Breath here for a minute or so, then gently shake your arms out.
  • Repeat the stretch on your other side.

Eagle Arms

  • Bring your arms in front of you at a 90 degree angle, elbows even with your shoulders.
  • Drop your left elbow below your right and place your hands on your shoulders.
  • Stay here if this is enough, or twine your forearms bringing your palms together.
  • Press your palms together.
  • Lift your elbows up and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.
  • Breathe here for at least three deep breaths. Feel this stretch throughout your shoulders and shoulder blades.
  • Repeat on the opposite side