Jacqui in prasaritta padotonasanaShoulders & Upper Back Workshop

With Jacqui

Sunday 15 February 2009 10am-1pm


Bodywise,119 Roman Road London E2 0QN

Please book: tel 020 8981 6938 info@bodywisehealth.org

In this workshop we will practice gentle and energizing Asana (postures) to help free any tensions that tend to hide deep in the shoulder, release the upper back and open Anaharta Chakra (the heart centre). The Asana will include shoulder opening in sitting poses, simple back bends, and breath awareness to encourage freedom of movement and Prana energy flow through our hands, shoulders, chest and neck.

Suitable for everybody with a little Yoga experience and a taste for relaxation fun and learning.

Workshop Notes

Shoulders and upper back

Shoulders represent our doing energy, which expresses how we feel about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and if we‘re doing what we really want to be doing or if we’re reluctant, or if we’re being treated how we want to be.

The shoulders represent the movement from conception down into matter and therefore action. Here we carry the weight of responsibility. Shoulders are where the emotional heart energy finds expression as it moves up and out through the expressive energy of the arms and hands. It’s here that our innermost desires to create, express and execute are developed.

The closer we keep feelings and conflicts to ourselves the tenser and rigid the shoulders will be. The muscles contort to accommodate these emotions. The muscles correspond to mental energy.

Contraction within the body moves from the outside inwards towards the centre while release moves from the centre outwards, therefore, relaxation and softening is the key to letting go of stiffness and tightness that creeps in and builds up in most of us at times.

The ulna wrist point is a powerful Chi centre and is extremely valuable in releasing energy through the shoulders, upper back, neck and arms and follows the heart meridian. By connecting to this point with our total attention, we are able to really feel, strengthen and release ‘stuff’ from deep within, both physical and emotional.

The shoulders have two opposing functions of equal value. They need to be very flexible to cover their wide range of movements and expression, and also to be strong in a fixed position to bare weight when lifting, pulling, pushing and holding etc. They need a lot of TLC and gentleness in keeping strong, relaxed and free of built up tensions from the effects of our busy lives.

The neck is held and to some degree controlled by the shoulders as is the upper back. In back bending, all three need to be happy and at ease with each other in allowing full freedom of movement throughout the entire spinal process. Jalhandara Bandha (throat energy control centre) comes into action to support this and prevents tension and restriction of energy flow through the area.

Finding our, and anothers’ ulna wrist point

A mind that is fast is sick
A mind that is slow is sound
A mind that is still is divine
-Meher Baba

Meditation on the Ulna, shoulder, heart, upper back, scull ridge, throat.

Sitting eye exercises

Heart and Throat Chakra root sounds


Slow gentle Kapalabhati connecting ulna with breath through the bandhas


Adhomukha Svanasana heels against wall partner with pole focus alignment and ulna opening shoulders and releasing neck

Chaturanga Dandasana

Sirsasana variation with height from rooting ulna shoulders and head light or lifting (partner and pole for alignment and moral support)

Purvottanasana focus on ulna and soft neck

Ustrasana feet to wall with block between feet (rooting and inner ankle Pada Bandha)

Setubandhasana in pairs feet against wall block between. Partner’s feet encouraging shoulders out and down


Sitting arm variations in depth in pairs

Naturajasana using theraband arms opening to side and up above head focus on height in upper back and shoulders

Supta twist with bolster using ulna

Viparita Karani


Love Jacqui x