Chair Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Energized Arms and Shoulders

15 min - Practice


Karen guides us in an energetic chair practice designed to increase circulation and mobility in the arms and shoulders.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair


Read Full Transcript

Hi everybody, welcome back. We are going to do a little bit of exercise for the shoulders and arms. This piece will have a little more energy than the last few, so regulate your breathing and just enjoy the practice, enjoy the movement. We will certainly try to synchronize the breath with the movement and the movement with the breath. So let's find ourselves sitting nice and upright on our sit bones. Just move around a little bit to feel fully grounded through the buttocks, through the feet and find that inhale bringing us up and erect and just receive the breath as you ground and lengthen and just feel the breath all the way from the buttocks, the coccyx, all the way up and out through the crown of the head and just feel nice and steady. Head is nice and even between the shoulders and when you're ready we're just going to allow the palms of the hands to face the chair and just drip down towards the floor. We're going to fully extend through the hands, fully extend through the fingers, fully extend through the arms. So we're releasing the shoulders and we're engaging the abdominals a little bit and we're going to inhale and raise up the arms and I'd like you to envision or visualize holding a cinder block so you have this little bit of tension between the hands and as you exhale you're going to lead the arms down. Nice and then inhale bring it all the way up leading with the thumb and exhale lead with the little pinky. Beautiful let's get going here inhale rise stretch back through the armpits exhale release and come all the way down. Let's do that again all the way up with the inhale and exhale release. Beautiful let's turn the palms behind us and we're going to raise the arms leading with the backs of the palms. Pretend you have something heavy on the backs of the palms right and then as you exhale allow for the fingers the hands to be fully extended and allow for the arms to descend as if moving through swamp. Inhale rise bring it all the way up. Beautiful and exhale bring it on down. Couple more just like that and just allow for all the muscles to be working these muscles are like moisturizer for our bones. Remember lotion motion is lotion. So one more time up leading with the hands and exhale leading with the palms. Beautiful this time rotate the palms so that they're looking forward and we're going to come raise the arms as if bringing them up almost into a Y. So inhale leading with the palms all the way up different rotation to the shoulder exhale bring it on down. Beautiful inverted V and inhale bring it on up and bring it on down with the exhale a couple more just like that all the way up. Beautiful nice and down and one more inhale all the way up and exhale release the arms. Beautiful just turn the palms inwards and take a moment shake out the fingers shake out the hands just wobble a little bit in your seat. Very nice when you're ready we're going to start doing some circles with the hands circle with the arms circle with the shoulders. So we'll start with the right hand first we're just going to swing it in front of us and swing it back and we're moving a little bit here on the chair and the buttocks and up in front and behind. Nice steady motion beautiful and allow for the breath to follow the hand. A couple more and you're moving into the feet wobbling a little bit on the chair and now we're going to take the hand up and over and come into a full side and back and behind up and front and behind a couple more just like this and the eyes can follow the arm if you'd like. This can help with balance or confuse your balance. One or two more in front up and behind in front up and behind and then just allow it to dangle and then take it behind you up and in front behind up and front. So you want this tummy to be engaged you want this side movement to be happening stretching up back forward feels very very nice it's a full body movement and then when you're ready release that and we'll move directly into the other side just swinging the left arm forward and back swinging a forward and back finding our inhale as we come forward exhale as we come back beautiful so it's just a nice steady motion warming it all up and when you're ready bring it all the way up and behind up and behind so there's this little movement on the chair there's an upward moment and a side twist again the eyes can follow the hand if you'd like you decide what works for you and when you're ready release the arm and we're gonna come back so all the way up and back and forward handful of these breathing inhaling and exhaling finding it to be steady and when you're ready release take a moment here exhale just notice so the the energy has come up a little bit the heart is beating a little more that's all good and let's just feel the feet and steady here all right and from here we're just gonna take a couple shoulder rolls we'll take the shoulders to the back so just allowing for the shoulders to come forward and backwards this can be a full body movement so you can arch and curve the spine as you take the shoulders back squeezing the blades a little bit at the back inhaling bringing them up exhaling squeezing at the back beautiful and now we're gonna come forward bringing the shoulders forward filling up the back a couple more like that mmm-hmm and when you're ready release the hands and then just take the ear the shoulders to the ears and shrug and just let it drop inhale bring them up and release two more up and release feel your feet inhale up and release beautiful when you're ready inhale the arms directly out from the shoulders so the palms are looking down and then I want you to turn the palms upwards beautiful and when you're ready inhale bring them on up to the ceiling and then let the backs of the palms come together and exhale fingers are open arms are fully extended breathing slowly bringing the arms down energy coming down rotate the palms outward bring the palms up all the way up and turn the backs of the palms to each other using breath as you exhale and descend through the arms beautiful rotating inhale bring it up just two more like that feel the nice stretch through the side body front body back body and raising one more time and when you're ready release the arms beautiful take another breath here shrug the shoulders and release shrug the shoulders and release two more shrug the shoulders and again nice so from here we're going to bring up the arms into cactus arms so the elbows are extended from the shoulders palms are facing forward and we're going to inhale nice and tall through the spine and as we exhale we're going to squeeze the elbows towards each other and the hands and just squeezing here through the pec area and then inhale we're going to open it up steady with breath squeezing a little bit in the back exhale come on forward inhale open gentle squeeze of the blades to the spine exhale here and as you exhale and bring the arms forward feel the feet and feel the buttocks and as you inhale and open allow for height to happen through the spine here we go two more inhale open exhale squeeze inhale open and exhale squeeze beautiful and just release the arms very nice okay and from here we're going to widen the legs a little bit and we're going to drop the hands in front and interlace the fingers and as you do that just reshaping yourself there onto the chair inhaling nice and tall exhaling just releasing the hands down in front of you and when you're ready inhale interlaced hands bring them all the way up towards the ceiling when you get here to your first point of contact with the shoulders just take a moment bring the shoulders to the ears on the inhale and as you exhale release the shoulders just a little bit and just find a little space there in the armpit nice beautiful pressing through the feet we're going to invert the hands push up a little bit more and as you exhale we're going to bring the arms down nice and steady using the triceps and the biceps and when you get to about halfway down so that the wrists are in front of the shoulders I'd like you to stop there and inhale send the hands into the center of the room oh my goodness nice big stretch in the blades at the back and then exhale come all the way down beautiful we're going to do that again so regularly interlace the hands inhale bring it all the way up stay here for a minute bring the shoulders up to the ears release the shoulders and then invert the hands stretch up as you exhale and come halfway down so the abdominals are helping you and here you're going to inhale and send the inverted fingers into the center of the room as you feel the shoulder blades broaden at the back very nice and then exhale release all the way down nice let's do two more like that inhale bring the arms up stretch up bring the shoulders to the ears and release the shoulders for a moment nice opening there in the armpit invert the hands inhale rise and exhale bring the arms halfway down really in the arms here inhale send the inverted fingers to the center of the room broaden through the back blades feels very nice and spacious exhale release nice and last one all the way up stretch invert exhale come on halfway down inhale into the center of the room and exhale release beautiful release the hands shake them out bring the feet back in front underneath the knees and when you're ready allow the palms to face each other inhale we're going to bring the arms all the way up and this time we're going to take hold of the right wrist we're going to get a little bit of a side bend here we're going to inhale and press down through the right foot press down through the right foot as you inhale out through the right fingers and exhale tip on over inhale come on up let's go to the other side find the left wrist inhale down through the left hand or sorry the left foot and out through the left fingers and tip over to the right nice inhale up let's do that again crossing over into the right wrist inhale out through the fingers so there's this double action happening down through the feet out through the fingers and tip over and be careful not to roll forward we want this to be a side action here the head can look down at the floor of the armpit or right in front whatever feels good for you inhale lift up and let's go to the other side pressing down and up and out left side exhale tip over to the right inhale come on up release and just turn the palms downwards and very slowly with a full extension a tall spine engaged abdominals supporting you and helping you as the arms release beautiful and let's do some shoulder rolls one last time bend through the elbows just let the shoulders enjoy the lubrication and bring them to the front yeah nice and release the arms just take a breath here nice inhale nice and tall up and out through the crown exhale just feel the breath and the energy drip down the back of the skull between the shoulder blades down the back of the spine around the coccyx down the heels of the feet inhale exhale nice let's bring the hands together with the heart and let's bring the thumbs to the heart the heartbeat is beating a little bit right now I want you to close your eyes and enjoy the heartbeat maybe bring the sternum bring the heart towards the fingers getting a little more height maybe a little bit of a backbend there and just hold your internal eye towards the heart the physical heart beating and perhaps in your mind's eye you feel the emotional heart the energetic heart just that region whatever that heart is for you take two deep breaths here inhaling and exhaling evening out the breath thank you for your practice today namaste namashanti namashanti namashanti


Angela D
1 person likes this.
Wonderful warm-up practice for my daily piano practice!  Thank you, Karen Kelly, for creating this chair series.
Patricia B
2 people like this.
I struggle with tendonitis and bursitis in both shoulders so this was a little difficult for me but I know it is very helpful for strengthening these areas. Thank you

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