come as you are
start small: simple body movements, ideas and ways to help you feel better on the regular
Simple Self-CareTechniques to Help Alleviate Upper Back Pain And Open Up the Chest
Desk sitting, driving & phone use often rounds the shoulders forward. This can cause pain in the upper back. When this happens, we often think we need to stretch between the shoulder blades. In actuality, those upper back muscles are OVER stretched and our chest muscles (the pecs) are crunched and shortened.
Below is a simple body position I do 1-2 times a day to help open up the chest, and alleviate some discomfort in the upper back, shoulders and in between the shoulder blades. Not only do I start most of my yoga classes in this position, but I also often do this myself in the morning and at the end of the day when I feel all crunched and caved inward. I like to think of this pose as one of my favorite casual hangs where I can relax into it, close my eyes and breath for 1-10 minutes.
The first three pictures are all pretty much the same move but with variations and different props - depending on what you have available. Go for the bodywork position that is most comfortable and pain-free. In the first three positions listed below stay for 1-7 minutes. Take slow deep breaths in & out through your nose. For the last doorway pec stretch, stay for at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes. You can also get wild, and go for this version of supported fish pose if those below don't suit you.
This is the same position as the one above, except my
cousin Joy is using a foam roller. With this version:
Joy is modeling the same supportive fish pose using cork yoga blocks. The main point here is her arm placement which can be used in any of the above. Try this method: