Keep Your Shoulders Safe When Binding Arms in Yoga Postures

Practicing playfully or with curiosity can lead us to try new movements and postures. One group of interesting posture variations are bound postures.

Many bound poses are twisted poses. Depending on your mobility, practicing these can put strain on on your lower back or parts of your shoulder joint.

When done well, binding the arms in some yoga postures can add stability and depth.
Prerequisite steps need to be in place for arm-binding to have a positive impact on yoga practice development, and ultimately the health of your joints, especially the shoulder.

 Keep the following steps in mind when you practice any bound postures next.

1 Set a foundation

In standing poses the engagement of the feet and legs creates the stability to keep balance. Additionally, force transmissions from the engaged feet and legs have a stabilizing influence on the hip joints, lower back and sacro-iliac joints.

2 Rotate the spine - twist the torso

Support the spine in trikonasana  (triangle pose) or parsva konasana (side angle pose) both front and back leg are important to preserve intergity of the sacro-iliac joints and anchor the lower back for smooth spinal and torso rotation.

3 Stabilize the shoulders

Torso rotation relative to the leg is essential for shoulder happiness! When trying to bind the arms and you notice the front of your shoulder dropping forward, this is a sign for potentially harmful positioning that can lead to irritation and / or injury. Set and support your shoulder blades before binding.  Much of the success of safe arm binding stems from the torso rotation. Or in other words, the shoulder position before you bind.

One cue to keep your shoulders in a good place is to keep the front of the chest broad. Caving the chest in, or noticing the shoulders coming forward would be an encouragement to return to previous practice steps, or to use a strap or belt as a prop until rotation of the torso and shoulder stability have improved.

Learn about the three levels of shoulder support with the AnatomyShow 'Shoulder Anatomy for Movement course'.

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