Shoulder Opening Yoga Class with Jovan


In the realm of yoga, where fluidity and flexibility reign supreme, the shoulders play a pivotal role. Their mobility not only defines the elegance of various poses but also safeguards practitioners against injuries. Understanding the significance of shoulder opening stretches can significantly amplify your yoga journey. Let’s delve into the profound benefits they offer and how they elevate your practice.

Scroll down for a class from Vikasa teacher JOVAN TEVIN and be guided through beginner and advanced options of Eka Bhuja Swastiyasana A & B or 1 & 2 (our favorite way to open your shoulders at Vikasa!)

Want to train with us here in person at Vikasa? Check the bottom of this post to find out how to win a Vikasa Yoga Teacher Training. 

The importance of shoulder opening stretches

Shoulder opening stretches are more than just a means to achieve graceful asanas; they are fundamental to maintaining optimal shoulder health and functionality. Here’s why they are indispensable:

  1. Injury Prevention: By enhancing shoulder flexibility, these stretches mitigate the risk of strains and tears during yoga practice, especially in poses that involve overhead movements or arm balances.

  2. Posture Alignment: Opening the shoulders fosters proper alignment, which is essential for preventing undue stress on the neck, spine, and lower back. It encourages a balanced distribution of weight throughout the body, promoting stability and poise.

  3. Improved Range of Motion: Regular shoulder opening stretches expand your range of motion, enabling you to explore deeper expressions of poses with ease and grace. This newfound flexibility empowers you to progress steadily in your yoga journey.

The nexus of strength and flexibility

In the pursuit of mastering advanced yoga postures, the synergy between strength and flexibility is paramount. Strong shoulders not only support your body weight but also facilitate smoother transitions into challenging poses. Here are some yoga asanas that necessitate open shoulders:

  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)
  • Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
  • Crow Pose (Bakasana)
  • Camel Pose (Ustrasana)


Tips for improving shoulder mobility

To unlock the full potential of your shoulders and elevate your yoga practice, incorporate these tips into your routine:

  1. Consistent Stretching: Dedicate regular sessions to shoulder opening stretches, focusing on both static and dynamic movements to target different muscle groups comprehensively.

  2. Props Utilization: Incorporate yoga props like blocks, straps, or even a bolster to deepen your stretches and safely explore your limits without compromising alignment.

  3. Mindful Breathing: Consciously synchronize your breath with each stretch, inhaling deeply to expand the chest and exhaling slowly to release tension, fostering a deeper mind-body connection.

  4. Gradual Progression: Approach shoulder opening stretches with patience and mindfulness, gradually increasing intensity and duration over time to prevent overexertion or strain.

Incorporating shoulder opening stretches into your yoga practice is not merely a choice but a necessity for holistic well-being and progression. By nurturing flexibility, strength, and mindfulness in your shoulders, you pave the way for a more fulfilling and sustainable yoga journey. Embrace these stretches as allies on your path to self-discovery and mastery, and watch as they unveil new dimensions of grace and vitality in your practice.

Let’s Practice!

Eka Bhuja Swastiyasana A & B offers a multitude of physical and mental benefits. Whether you are a beginner seeking stability or an advanced practitioner craving a challenge, the variations and modifications of this pose ensure accessibility to practitioners of all levels. 

Every month at Vikasa we offer a ‘Pose of the Month’ challenge to help inspire and educate our global Vikasa community on new poses that you can try yourself and work on mastering at home. 


WIN a YTT with us!

Share a post of you doing your version of the pose of the month and go into the running to WIN:

  • Our full Online 200hr Foundation Yoga Teacher Training (valued at $1,000) 
  • OR $1,000 off one of our in-person Yoga Teacher Training Programs at Vikasa here in Koh Samui, Thailand. 

Both training options enable you to become a certified yoga teacher and teach anywhere around the world. 

All you need to do to enter is:

  1. Share a post in your IG feed of you doing the pose of the month
  2. Tag us IN the post
  3. Share it to your stories and tag us 

We hope you enjoy learning and advancing each month with us and we’re excited to gift one lucky winner a month with the chance to become a Vikasa yoga teacher too. 

Enjoy your FREE CLASS with Jovan below to learn this month’s pose of the month- Eka Bhuja Swastiyasana A & B