Inner Workings Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 3

Gentle Shoulders

15 min - Practice


Emma offers a gentle and deep breath-focused investigation of the shoulders to find a sense of lightness and relief.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Aug 24, 2017
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Hi, thanks for being here. Lie down on your back. Feet flat on the floor, knees point towards the ceiling, and relax with your hands by your sides. Find your breath. Take both arms up, reach them straight towards the ceiling, and relax your shoulder blades down into the floor.

Move with the breath, and reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, as high as it can go, and exhale back down. Left arm up, inhale, exhale down. Right side again, then left. Two more on either side. Relax for a cycle of breath, and both arms up together, inhale, exhale, in, and exhale.

Three more. Keep your arms raised towards the ceiling. Stay with your breath. As you inhale, draw your right shoulder blade towards your right hip, and exhale to the neutral position again. Inhale your left shoulder blade towards your left hip, and exhale to neutral.

Right side again, inhale, exhale, inhale, and exhale. One more round, inhale, and exhale, and left shoulder blade, inhale, and exhale. And rest. Soften your arms as if you're holding a ball. Take a cycle of breath.

As you inhale, take your left hand above your head, and your right hand down towards your hip. Pause at the top of your inhale, and exhale, bring both hands to point towards the ceiling again. Soft elbows, relax fingertips, and inhale, right hand up overhead, left hand down by the hip. Pause at the top of your breath. Follow the exhale back to both arms reaching up.

Inhale again, right hand down, left hand up. And exhale, both hands to the ceiling. Other side, inhale, and exhale, both hands up. One more either side, inhale, left arm up, right hand down. Pause at the top of your breath, and exhale, both hands towards the ceiling.

Last one, inhale, right arm, overhead, left arm down, and exhale. Both arms again to this neutral position, both hands towards the ceiling, soft elbows, soft wrists. Exhales wide on an inhale, elbows, wrists, and fingertips down to the floor. And exhale, curl your fingertips towards each other, raise your arms so they come back to this elevated position. Exhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, and exhale.

And bend your elbows, take your hands on the floor, full arms on the floor, open wide. Take a breath in, exhale completely. Draw both shoulder blades down your back as you inhale, and exhale, release. Not a huge movement, little draw down your back, inhale, and exhale. And again, inhale, and exhale.

Take your hands to the side of your body again, curl your fingertips in, and thumbs up as if you are thumbing a lift. Follow the movement of the breath, as you inhale, tip your thumbs back to touch the floor. Pause at the top of your breath, and exhale, turn the thumbs the other way, top the floor. Pause and inhale again, and exhale. Feel the rhythm of your own breath.

Do more rounds. And bring your hands back to neutral, and relax. Bring your hands down so they are closer to your hips, about 6 inches away from your hips. Follow your breath with the movement of taking your arms overhead, palms face up. When the hands are at the ceiling, turn your palms, continue the inhale so they come over your head to the floor.

Pause and exhale. When the hands are towards the ceiling, turn your palms to the back of your hand, comes to the floor at the bottom of your exhale, and inhale. Last one, inhale, arms up, turn the palms when they are vertical, all the way behind your head. And exhale, come to rest again at the side of your hips. Take your arms wide again, take a full breath in, full exhale.

And find a spot for you between arms wide or a little closer to your hips, where you feel you can completely rest. Stay here for at least 10 full cycles of breath. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, eight, nine, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten. Take breath in again. As you exhale, curl your fingers, wrist, elbow, and shoulder across, slide your right hand down towards your left, and roll.

Start your inhale and move all the way back out. And exhale, curl up the left hand. Come across your body and roll, inhale wide again, exhale, right hand across the left. Allow your right hip to lift up, inhale, open wide, exhale. Next time lie right over on your right side, and rest.

Keep your hands on the floor, and use the strength of your arms to push yourself up to sitting with a soft neck. Slowly come up straight. Push your hands by your sides, and inhale, arms up. Exhale down. So the breath moves first.

Nobody follows. Rest on the midline as you exhale. Thank you for joining me in the practice, namaste.


Megan J
2 people like this.
A practice I have longed for! I am soon off to teach my weekly gentle flow (heart of yoga inspired) and i certainly feel enlightened, affirmed and loved right now! thank you Emma for doing this and being you. So much love xxx
Emma Warmington
You are so welcome, Megan! Go and share the goodness with your community. You are a great teacher and they are fortunate to have you. Big LOVE! xo
Oceanna M
1 person likes this.
I honestly had a hard time staying with this one. It has a much slower pace than what I am used to. But I am looking forward to more of your videos. I can tell you harbor a connection to the breath and body that I am not yet aware of.
Emma Warmington
Hi Oceanna Thank you for your comment. I expect many people will find the same initially when they are not used to it. Because I practice like this all the time, my breath generally moves quite slowly, but please don't be put off - adapt the sequence to suit you - ie move a little faster and take maybe 3 or 4 breaths when I take 2. See if you can get used to the inhale, pause, exhale, pause even without moving your body, so you can tune into your own natural rhythm.

In some of the upcoming practices I definitely move a little faster. I love to allow my breath to move at whatever speed it's at on any given day, and let that be the guide to how my body moves.

Emma Warmington
Rather than start with trying to line up with my breath, can you have another go and try that? Let Your breath show you what speed to move - how fast or slow that happens is not important, and it will vary day by day - it only matters that you wait for your breath to move first, and then follow it. I know it can feel a little weird at first but it's such a magical treat. It literally changed everything for me and I just can't do without the yumminess.

As you get used to adding that little quality, over time your breath will very likely change and deepen.

Check back in with me after another few gos. I'd love to hear how things shift as you get used to it.

Thank you for practicing with me!
Simon ?
1 person likes this.
Love this gentle peace. Reminds me how these subtle movements have power in the depths. Blessings Emma Warmington.
Emma Warmington
Thank you, Simon A gentle pace for gentle peace :) And I totally agree, practice that is completely surrendered to breath is for me where the real power lies. Are we breathing or are we being breathed?
Much love
Angel B
1 person likes this.
Love this gentle tuning of the heart through shoulders. Completely appreciate allowing Breath to inspire movement (She is a tender guide). Thank you for this beautiful practice, Emma. Xoxo
Emma Warmington
Ah you are so welcome, Angel - thank you for commenting. I'm so happy you are loving it. The breath is the only guru worth listening to :) xo
Nicole M
1 person likes this.
mmmmm, what a yummy practice! More please!
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