Upper Back Love | Yoga For Back Pain | Yoga With Adriene


– What’s up everyone?
Welcome to Yoga With Adriene. I’m Adriene and this is Benji. And today we have
a lovely practice for the upper back body. So hop it is something comfy. Let’s get started. (bright music) Alright friends, let’s begin in
Extended Child’s Pose. Come on down to the ground. Get your knees as
wide as your mat and nice and slow today bring your fingertips to the
earth and you’re going to walk, walk, walk your
hands all the way out. Feeling that big stretch in the
inner hip, the groin. I’m reaching towards Benji.
Never let go. And eventually I’m gonna melt
the heart down to the earth. And I’m going to let you gauge
what it feels good based on what’s going on
in your body today. If this is too much, you can just kind of stack
the forearms here. Create a little pillow for
yourself or sometimes I like to say stacked the
fists like bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish. Half the people
will know what that is, half the people won’t. And basically are just bringing a lift so you can
rest your forehead. Now if you have a
traditional yoga block, you can use that as well. Alright, and we’ve begun. Extended Child’s Pose,
your version. If there are other variations or
modifications you need to start with let’s go ahead and start by
empowering ourselves to just go ahead and do that. And ultimately I’m wanting to deepen the breath here and allow a little bit of an
opening in the hips. Find some length
in the low back, the side body. And as the heart
begins to slowly drop down towards the earth, perhaps with, each exhale we invite a soft opening to the shoulders. This is your chance to
let go of the day thus far. And politely put whatever
you have to do next on hold. Any a To-Do list,
your ambitions, your goals, gently put them on
the shelf and let’s use this time here wisely to just tend to the body and nurture. I’m adding a gentle rock on my forehead. It’s a bit of an
allergy season here so this can feel nice for the nasal area. This is just a good little
reminder that even though we’re working on upper back
love today it’s all one. And both our asana and the rest of yogic philosophy
teaches us that. So that’s the
practice to remember. Press into your
toes down into the earth. So create a full
body experience even here as you slowly begin to rise up. Take a deep breath in. As you exhale walk your hands
back underneath your shoulders. Keep your knees wide. Then nice and easy you’re
going to drop the belly here, open the chest and you’re gonna
really work here to activate the upper back body by drawing
the shoulder blades together. And on an exhale, again,
keep the knees wide. You’re going to round through. Tuck the chin into the chest
and really feel this stretch. As you yield kind of find this pressing away of the
earth with your hands. Good, inhale drop the belly,
open the chest. Activate the upper back body by drawing the shoulder
blades actively together. I’m widening my
hands just a bit. And then exhale,
round it through, exaggerate this stretch. Really hollow through the chest. And one more time.
Here we go, inhale. And exhale, chin to chest. Awesome. Inhale come back to
a nice straight spine. You’re gonna widen
your hands now so that just your thumbs are on the mat. And then I’m gonna keep my right
hand pressing into the earth and I’m gonna slowly take my
left hand all the way up. First to the shoulders,
you’re just gonna find this opening here. Fingertips to the shoulder and
then if you want you can take it all the way up to the sky. Just depends on how you’re
feeling in your body today. So maybe you stay here or maybe
you reach it all the way up. Reach, reach, reach, reach,
reach, reach, reach. Breathing all the way. And then once you find your
kind of full extension here, see if you can
create equidistance between the ears
and the shoulders. So essentially you’re just
noticing if you’re collapsing in your neck and you’re
working hard to create length. This is hard work.
You’re doing great. Take a deep breath in. Good. Keep the
legs where they are. Keep the right hand where it is
and we’re gonna slowly dip the left fingertips down and then
they’re gonna go in and under the bridge of the right arm. Oh yeah, and then you
have this nice fulcrum here. You can use your right hand with
your right elbow up to really create a nice generous stretch. That’s option one. Option two is to take the
right fingertips (giggles) and actively reach them
all the way forward towards the top of your mat.
Super nice. And then, those are my two suggestions
for the upper back body but option three, still for
the upper body but just a little different, would be to bring the
right hand to the small of the back, to your sacrum. There is always
option for a bind here. So find a version here that feels
really good and then know that you can always mix and match. You’re not married to one thing. Then breathe deep. Use your breath
to find expansion, to create more space. And then use
your exhale to soften and create more connectivity. Sweet, then when you’re
ready we’ll slowly unravel. Do it slow so you can
really feel the sensations and just kind of take
advantage of the feeling of the work that you’re doing. Then we’re gonna
reset it with the thumbs so fingertips spill off,
thumb come on to the mat. And then establish this first so
press away from your yoga mat. So we’re not collapsing here,
and then from there, slowly begin to open the chest,
bring your right fingertips to your right shoulder. Breathe deep
here we’re opening up through the pecs, the chest. Often we feel upper back pain
when these get really tight. Want to try to even out both
front and the back body so that we can get you feeling good. Maybe we extend this with a
nice slow breath all the way up. Right fingertips to the sky. Spiraling the
heart all the way up. And then last but not least,
checking in with the neck. Breathe deep here.
Keep pressing into your toes. Awesome. And then here we go. Keep the left hand where it is,
right fingertips are gonna dip down and come in and underneath
the bridge of the left arm. And then we use the
left hand on the earth to really create
an awesome stretch. So you can bring
your left elbow up. We’ll find nice
full breath here. Another option is to send
the left fingertips forward. Really, really stretching. Or left hand on lower back. I’m loving this combo right now. I’m feeling such a generous stretch in my trap which is such a crazy muscle. Breathe deep. Breathe in all
four sides of the torso. Take one more full cycle
of breath in and out here. And then slowly unravel. Cool, so good.
Let’s walk the knees in. Let’s get you off those knees. We’re gonna come through. You’re gonna bring
the knees together. You’re gonna cross
your ankles behind you. We’re gonna come through all the
way to a nice comfortable seat. You’re going to drag
your hands behind you here when you get settled. Drag your hands behind you and
then with the fingertips lifted or palms on the earth so this is
just gonna depend on truly the anatomy of your arms and then
the tightness of your shoulders. So no worries either way. Fingertips lifted or grounded. You’re going to draw the
shoulder blades together. Get the legs really,
really, really heavy. Inhale in, slowly
begin to lift the chest. Exhale, send the
chin up and throat back. So, there’s integrity here. So we’ve gone and lifted
the hips in other sessions. There’s integrity here kind of keeping the
hips nice and steady. Drawing the
shoulder blades together. And then use your breath to feel
deeper stretch throughout the chest line and the neck. Chin up, throat back. Gorgeous. Then we’ll take one
more cycle of breath here. Let it be a nice big inhale. Nice big exhale. And then slowly peel up, stretch through the
hand while you’re at it. Come all the way up. You’re going to
send your fingertips out, Texas T, left to right. And then on an
exhale we’re gonna cross the right
arm over the left. Take your left
hand to your right arm. You’re just going gonna use it
to kind of gently massage it all the way over towards
left side of your mat. Fabulous, again, take
it to the right shoulder. And maybe one more time. So the catch here is sitting
up nice and tall and lifting through not just the front or
the back body and the side but all four sides evenly. You want to keep this kind of
column of your spine lifted. And then you can work
to actively drop your right shoulder down
here as you breathe. And if you’re noticing any
stress or tension in the neck, just anytime you
notice that, respond. Awesome, slowly bring it back. You can check it
out here if you need to. And then we’ll send the
fingertips left to right once again, Texas T. Alright, cross the
left arm this time over. Take your right hand
to your left arm just gently guide it over. Creating length in
the left upper back body. Couple times here. Let’s do three times. Navel is drawing
in and up just a bit. Spine’s nice and tall. Then you can just find a place
here that feels really good as you work to again make
sure you’re not creating extra tension in the
neck and shoulders, the jaw and then
work to actively bring this left shoulder down. So there’s a lot going on here. More than meets the eye. Okie doke, release that. Shake it off.
Shake it out. And we’re gonna come
through all fours now and to a Downward Facing Dog. Just like Benji but different. So take your time
getting there, oh, today, take a wider
stance in your hands for your Downward Dog. Really root down through
your index finger and thumb and really get towards the outer
edges of your mat versus kind of being narrow. Give yourself a nice
wide stance in the hands and then work from there. As always working
from the ground up. Upper arm bones rotate out and
when you’re ready we’ll send the hips up high and back. So definitely taking time to
bend the knees today so you can get your heart
melting towards the thighs. Creating that space that we
all agreed we wanted today. Peddle it out. Keep the hands rooted. Cool and then from
here Downward Dog. Find stillness. We’re gonna take a deep breath
in together here in stillness. Here we go, big inhale in. And on your exhale, go ahead and
breathe out through your mouth. Inhale, fill up. Exhale, bend your knees
breathe out through your mouth, melt your heart
towards your toes. One more just like that. Do it in your own time.
Listen to your breath. Excellent, from there nice and
steady you’re going to walk just to the center of your mat. Bend your knees, tuck your chin
and slowly roll up to standing. And as you find a nice engaged Mountain Pose here go ahead and reach behind, lift your heart
up and you’re going to interlace the fingertips behind your tail. So notice which thumb is on top
here and you’re going to slowly, slowly work to activate the
upper back body and drop the chin just a little bit to
lengthen through the neck. So this is the first option. If you have a couch or a chair
or a wall nearby you could also look around and get creative or
you can save this for later and you can also use the wall
here and we’ll do both sides. So if you’re if you don’t
have any piece of furniture, architecture to play
with go ahead and work here. In time working to
bring your palms together. If you do have
something you want to get creative with and play I’m going to walk
over to the wall here and start with my right side. Finding that same
active Mountain Pose. So I’m lifting up through the
chest the heart and grounding through the legs and
then I’m going to use, of course, the wall or my piece
of furniture to press into to drop my shoulder blade into
socket and down and then find, of course, this generous opening
in the chest and my right pec. Breathing deep. Awesome. And then if you are working on
the right side with architecture or furniture you can
go ahead and release that. And if you’re here, interlace, you can go ahead
and release that. Now if you’re working
sans architecture or prop you’re gonna interlace and just
bring the opposite thumb now in. And then I’m going to take my
left hand now to the wall and you can play as well. And then just
bring the yoga into it. Don’t forget your breath.
Don’t forget your Mountain Pose. Engage your feet. So nice and active. Right? And then when
you find a good spot, enjoy. Stay curious. Dropping the shoulder
blades down and in. Feeling the heart lift. Allowing the breath to
really motivate the work here. Whatever is going
on in your body today. Nice awareness of the neck,
maybe tucking the chin, whenever you need. Beautiful. And then wherever you are,
take a deep breath in. Use your exhale to
gently cue your release and then shake it
out if you need to. And we’re gonna come to a wide legged stance on your mat. Okay, toes are gonna
point in just slightly. We’re gonna find this
upward current of energy through the front body. Downward current of
energy through the back body. So this is our last
little ditty of the practice so really just drop in. Again, put your To-Do list on
hold and let’s make the most of this just kind of making sure
that we’re taking advantage of this awesome time that
you’ve set out for yourself. You’re going to take your left
arm underneath your right here, palms can come together or not. Maybe you just hook pinky to
thumb or maybe you keep it at a nice karate chop here. Inhale, lift your elbows up. This is important
you want to find the lift, lift, lift. Exhale, slight bend in the
elbows connection to your core as you round through this
spine and slowly take it down into a standing
Wide-Legged Forward Fold. Big move here. Ground through the feet. Soft bend in the knees. As you slowly come up, make sure
you’re not bringing any pressure in the low back. So gotta keep
that core turned on. Inhale to lift the elbows up. Exhale, hug the low ribs in. This time maybe
taking more of a flat back. Taking it all the way down. And then strong foundation
here, root to rise here, as you lift all the way up. Alright, now you’re going
to do one more on your own moving with your breath. Try to move nice and slow. Lots of love for
the upper back here. Strong legs ground
you as you rise up. Great, to release go ahead and send your
fingertips up left to right. You’re going to
create a big X. We call a Star Pose
with the kiddies. Inhale in and then exhale to
release and you’re gonna go right into the other side. So right arm comes
underneath the left this time. Find your bind or
your grip or no bind. No bind and then here we go. Inhale, long belly. You gotta get your energy
right so find that lift to the front, that grounding through
the back so you can have your support system as
you lift the elbows up. So legs are engaged.
Soft bend in the knees. Feet are firmly planted all four
corners as I take it down now. Breathing. Slow and steady. Excellent, and then root to
rise here feeling that opening. Woo. Inhale to lift the elbows up. Feel that stretch all around the
shoulder girdle and then exhale slow and with control so you
can really feel the sensation in your upper back body. Great, strong legs,
strong core lifts you up. One more time.
Take it away. Moving to the
sound of your own breath. Then next time don’t rush. I’m just getting
in case you’re there, the next time
your elbows are lifted, you’re going to release. Rebirth! Take the fingertips out,
Star Pose. If you’re feeling brave you can hop the feet
together here playfully or nice and slow
we’ll heel-toe, heel-toe. Fancy yoga term. Walk the feet
together all the way and zip up tight
through thy legs. Lift thine heart
up towards the sky and relax your shoulders down. Cool. Take a second here to
just notice how you feel. And as you sink back a
little into your heels, just kind of ground into a
moment of gratitude for you. Yes, you for taking this time
for yourself to listen to your body and tend
to that good space. Love you so much. Let us know how your
experience went in the comment section down below. Benji’d love to
hear from you as well. And if you know anyone who
might benefit from this video, please share it with them. Subscribe to the Yoga
With Adriene YouTube channel if you haven’t already. It’s the best way
to support free yoga and our beautiful community. Okay, take good care.
I’ll see you next time. Namaste. (bright music)

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