The shoulder Shredder

Hello dear yogi friends, Today as I was doing my usual perusing of the internet for my continuing educational yoga research, I came across this article by  and I just had to share it! Preventing yoga injuries and building a safe practice for my students is so very important to me as I teacher, and I know from experience, yoga, if done incorrectly and without patience and compassion, can cause a lot of grief and do exactly the opposite of what we expect from it. In my beginners course, we spend an entire class discussing, bringing awareness to and practising exactly what this article covers so I thought it would be helpful to have it here in print for reference. In yoga, we follow the path of ahimsa - no harm. No harm to others and especially no harm to thyself. Love, happiness and practice my friends :) Namaste, Amy

Did you know Chaturanga is Sanskrit for 'shoulder shredder?'

Okay, we all know it means four [limbed] staff pose, but given it’s propensity to contribute to the shredding of shoulder tendons, it has more than earned its nickname.  I personally know several practitioners who have undergone surgery to repair their tendons from too many Chaturangas done improperly. Often, it can be attributed to a lack of activation from a particular shoulder stabilizer.

In the photo above, you can clearly see the head of her humerus (top of the shoulder) pointing down.  This is the classic mis-alignment that can lead to injury.  First, she needs to keep her shoulder at elbow level and not go below as pictured.  If she were to integrate a little bit of Cat pose here, pushing into the ground as she lowered, it would help pull her shoulder blades apart in PROTRACTION allowing the arm bone to maintain a more neutral and healthy position. Like in the photo below: