Yoga for a Shoulder Injury
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The Anthony Robbins of Yoga
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09:52:19 of on-demand video • Updated December 2017
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English [Auto] OK so we're going to be talking about the shoulder injuries and tight shoulders and specifically how to address as a yoga teacher or in your own practice. And specifically Lindsay here had a really bad accident. So you can see she broke her arm and that's why she has the open fracture. And then as a result of that it damages your shoulder right. So what would you say actually happened. It became weaker and became tighter. What was the deal of it became weaker and like it would sound like the ligaments it just wasn't. Enough. The doctor just kept saying keep an eye keep an eye on it. So yeah. Barbara I know you're looking at it every day. You must usually do in the process. This is just like it wouldn't support the weight of my arm. Yeah. So specifically with this one day I'll say as I broke my arm before I was like the same arm left arm. And when you break something you really really usually will have atrophy. So when she says it got weaker and it started sagging. The word is atrophy when we speak in technical terminology specifically for the anatomy. So the atrophy is out the muscular level so when something becomes weaker and starts sagging. Those are the layman's terms of saying the muscles really like disintegrated right. The cannibalise Urdan and also in the anatomy world cannibalisation is when the muscle actually eats itself and then that's why it gets weak and little and shrivels up. So that's what happens with people who are anorexic. That's also what happens is some people do it on purpose if you want to cannibalize muscle to get rid of a little bit of muscle. What you do is you eat less protein you do less exercise on that body part. And then it will start to shrink meat more protein and have more exercise your muscles will grow and be strong. So we want to look at it from many ways. First of all from her perspective she had the broken arm so there's already a lot of trauma in this area. She would want to get some massage healing as well. But what we're going to specifically focus on is a kind of yoga poses and stretches that we could do to try to help her to bring some balance into this into this area. Right. So let's just try we'll try just lifting the arm straight out like this. We'll talk about it as we go and see how that feels. First of all how does that feel. Feels good right. OK. Straight up how's I feel I can tell I like my range of motion is a lot less than what it was but it still feels good because good doesn't hurt right. OK. And then let's try bending the elbow behind your head. Reach up with your other hand around the back and then see if he can bind. So she still has pretty good range. She can bind her hands which most people can't do. So let's look at this. How does that feel. So so this part of the shoulder is actually pretty good. Right. Flexible. She can. She has what I would consider average to even good flexibility in the shoulder at this angle. So let's release and then let's try the other way. So we're going to bend the arm back and around the back side and she's going to reach up and around just like that. So same thing. Now let's talk about how does it feel this direction that we feel is a lot better the other way it felt like on the edge for sure. OK. So this flexibility here is actually pretty strong and seems like it wasn't affected by this injury. So they're going to release OK let's try it out to the side. So straight up out to the side like this. What about this range of motion in the front. If you're going to play the most uncomfortable most uncomfortable where do you feel it here. OK. So the front of the deltoid. Good. And then let's just try one more. So you're going to take the arms into Eagle arms and get try first. Just like that. So don't try to either way actually it will go the other way. How about that. What does this feel like. This is going to be the external the rear deltoid How does it feel kind of on the edge. It hurts like just doesn't really or it just is really uncomfortable. OK. So really good just like that. So what I would say is from from just this little test that we gave her we were able to deduce that she's actually doing pretty well. Now she's been here you know at the Bali training for almost two you know over two weeks. So that may have helped already but we'll talk about some ways that we can strengthen as well as build some additional flexibility but preventing the injury here which is really important. And any time that you've lost muscular definition or strength through atrophy then really what you need to do is like I was saying focus a little bit on building some muscle with some extra protein and some some strength building which we've been doing. So let's try that. We're going to come into play position. So she's in plank now she's gotten really strong when we first started playing I think was harder for you right. So she's been getting really strong over the last couple of weeks. We're just going to lower down halfway. Can you check the rung right here on your knees. See if you can keep the elbows right by the side. Well look at that. So she's able to do pretty good and then all the way down. So she doesn't hold that very long but at least at this point she's able to to actually come through that position without a lot of pain. Did you feel pain there. No just a lot of weakness. OK good. So I'll come up in a cobra. So we'll just test this one right. So this one's shoulders down and back we want to spread to the chest and press into the palms so to feel that right. So how does that feel. It feels strong feels pretty good. OK come back in a downward dog. So this is usually the test our dog. It actually requires some good flexibility and strength in the arm and the order will fold here. So she was really feeling weak or or tired. This would start to be very uncomfortable pretty quickly. How does it feel pretty comfortable. Yes. It's been a lot. It's gotten a lot better in the last two weeks. OK. So lower down onto your knees and come into on to us. So that is one of these extreme shoulder Openers right. So she's actually you know the comeback song don't have to go all the way down. Just kind of partially So like this. Now the fullest expression of this post is where she's actually like like like this. Is that OK. OK. So her chest is down and her arms are forward. She's made incredible gains already because in the last couple of weeks she wasn't able to do this to start. And so now already just after two weeks her arms are able to fully extend. She is not experiencing pain right. Yeah she's just maybe a little stretch here or whatever. But nothing too much she's gotten a lot stronger and she's able to hold this position. So this is really a healing because we've been doing this one a lot. And I think that it's been really helping. Would you say you're OK come back onto your hands and knees OK come into Kappos just to balance out one counter-protests round the spine. This is another one we can lengthen the shoulder here. We can open up the back of the body like that and then come all the way back down seated on your heels. So we just showed a couple of poses and the really cool thing that we learned. I feel like maybe you can elaborate on this is that you've actually come a long way from when we first got here until now. You know I don't think that it's nearly as weak as it was. Right. The doctor said I wouldn't be able to lift 20. They said you wouldn't be able to lift 20 pounds. And so now I mean you're doing like your body weight. So that's pretty amazing. What about the way that it feels just like sitting and stuff do you feel is sagging still you feel it. It's starting to get more it's getting better. Yeah I think it's definitely at least parallel to the other side. So you're feeling like a balance you're getting more balance and stronger for sure. Let's try another strength one. OK. Let's see if you can do the side play. We'll do it on the forearm on this. Yes. So do it face it that way. Ken Yeah just like the person of the pope. So look she's able to do side play on his arm. That's pretty incredible because I remember when you first started you were kind of like wonder if you were going to be able to do anything right now you're doing the side playing OK lower back down. Let's see if you can do it with the straight arm left arm straight. Good. Wow look at that. That's pretty incredible. I have to say you know like in two weeks we've already come this far. I can't wait to see what happens in the next two weeks. OK. So come back to the center. We're going to just kind of roll the shoulder out a little bit. Couple of circles. You guys will realize you know like when you're testing somebody to see where they're at. The key element I would say is like always coming back to seeing like how does it feel now because you can do something and when you're doing it can feel very comfortable and feel you feel strong. It's later when you're going to feel sore sometimes and later when maybe you tweak something. So always keep those things in mind. Now everything that we just did was safe and I was there and we were very you know in a controlled environment. But if you're in a class and are moving at a faster pace you got to keep that in mind that anything that you do could you know if you're not practicing complete awareness could actually cause further injury or something like that which you've been really good about your practice and not doing that. So awesome job. Yes. Yes. That. All right let's let's try Polly because Polly has a different situation there different version and common they're all interesting to me because it's common and what people want to see is like what are they going to what are they going to come up against right when something somebody is training to be a yoga teacher when you're trained to be a good teacher. You may come across someone like Polly. Now let me ask you Paul how many years have you been practicing yoga. Six six years. And you have a really strong practice seriously you know inspiring the group is all inspired by you. And so even with six years of practice though she has some little thing that she's working on and one of the things is a shoulder right. So tell me about the show that you feel like it's kind of tight. Yes. Between the shoulder blades and also relate to someone I is a lot better now. But normally when I go back and you look behind my shoulder blades and I think I can like can be quite tense. It's better now because I want to be normal then when I go forwards I can feel all the way down my upper back. That tends to stretch. Yes it's getting better. Yeah. So we've been working on a lot of practices with the pony show me over that balances and kind of stretches the neck the shoulders the upper back and the and especially this whole area. And I think part of the reason I developed is because I had neck injury too so I can totally relate to that kind of tension that kind of pain. And so I know how to break through it. And that's what we've been really focusing on not just for Polly but happens to be you know Paul is benefiting from that. So let's just talk about the shoulder specifically and also the tension between the shoulder blades which is very very common. OK. So we're going to put you into a couple of tests right. We're going to come into the arm and so this arm up the other arm around the back side. So her hands are able to bind. Now with this position how does it feel. You so quite tense sometimes like a burning sensation in the here. OK. So she has right under the shoulder blade and then around the shoulder blade specifically. So she would benefit from if I was going to give her like the total goodness treatment I would put her in this position and I would apply acupressure into these points and I would work with her to breathe through because some of it I think what she's got going on is just like some very tight knots back here in the muscles. And we can work through that with the yoga poses. But when combined with acupressure and some point I would just take my thumb and go right into that point right there and hold. And she's really good and strong so she can breathe through. I know that's pretty intense. I can feel it. But it's like a little night right here. So when we when we want to do a combination therapy we really want to combine the massage with the yoga. So while she's in this extension and the shoulder stretch we can go deeper into that place and access it. And then even with her own mind she can go into a montra where she's actually letting go specifically so in how light and exhale go could be a very easy simple powerful luncher technique. So then. Just release from moment and roll the shoulder back a little. So we do the time massage we really go into this one rolling the shoulder a lot. So let's try the other side so the other arm up and then we'll bring this one around the back bind here. And if you would have to turn that way so people can maybe see them. OK. So let's just look here. So she has you know you can see when she does those shoulder pops out which is really good in the sense it creates space between the shoulder blades. But we're looking at this side now let's look at this. How does it feel to be in a ok yeah. So she's feeling a lot of tension here and that's also if you push into it you can another another another really great knot in her back. So you'd be amazed like look at this little tiny beautiful fit Brazilian girl and she's got these little knots just nagging at her shoulder. When we talked about it earlier she was a little kid is 3 years old though and you know carrying the little kid in and all the different responsibilities of that can also you know contribute so I imagine that that is where the origin. Right. Like what is this happening to me for while. Where is this coming from. This is coming specifically I would say from Malaysia but not in a bad way or anything. You know it's just the truth and the truth will set you free. And so I would just go in and if I was going to work with her I would just use some acupressure. You see her just do them acupressure. Focus on the breath hold there and it's really really powerful. Even if we just did five minutes we could do a whole hour like this. She would really see some amazing breakthroughs right. I don't know if she could handle it. It would be intense. But I will find the places where she has the knots like she had the one up at the top but she also has in between. So this is another great thing because look at the shoulderblade pops out there so I can go right in there and I can just push in too. You know they say that if you really want to make rapid improvements you've got to go in deep. Right. You always just skim the surface and live. You don't make the breakthroughs. What I love about you Polly is you're willing to go the distance. Right. Breathe. So you can see it starts to get a little bit red. That's good. It means the blood is flowing to that area and we can help her to start to release that tension. Right. And once you let it go I mean it doesn't mean it never comes back. But if you maintain once you've kind of healed the area and gotten rid of the knots then they don't come back nearly as much. And especially if you maintain it and you get regular massages and you do your regular yoga practice you start to notice that over time it will just improve and improve and improve and you won't really ever be as tight as you are right now. So this is the tightest he'll probably ever be if you stay focused on alleviating all your attention. Good so I'll just release that I can roll the shoulder back. Let's try another one. I think you're going to like reverse Namah stay Yeah I like that so that when you're able to do pretty good how does it feel. Are you from. Yeah. So that's what you should feel the front of the deltoid now. But like as hard as I hear you feel anything does it feel good says OK feels comfortable. So this is just a shoulder stretch for the front of the deltoid now release out we're going to come into Eagle arms so bring your arms in the front. This is the one probably right. You like this one though don't you think. Because this one actually stretches out muscle that feels so tight for her the rhomboids and those where she has those not. So what I always suggest is when someone's in this position now I can go in and I can do some acupressure points here but also I would suggest she just breeze into the back of her ribs. So when you inhale expand the back of your ribs and let it go like that. So inhaling expand exhaling letting it go. And with this type of breast just consistently you'll be able to see some rapid improvement and you can see as she expands the back of her ribs the muscles start to pull away from the center of the spine. All these muscles stretching out and this arm position specifically really helps to see long gait from the back of the spine all the way to the front of the shoulder. So this is the perfect one for someone like her. And then we can do. I would have her say keep your arms like that sitting go cussedness to just crossed one leg and then fold forward. So this is a way that you can actually go in even deeper. So she folds forward and presses her palms down to the ground a bit. You feel a deeper So as she's in this position I will go in. If you could if she wanted to you could do a little bit of massage techniques right there on her back right in that same place around the shoulder. So if you could find that not like I just found it I think one of them that I found this one. So just breathe into it just like that whole there. And in the time massage we call it listening for the echo. So it's like are you hold there. How do you know when to let go. How do you know when to let go. It's really there's this communication nonverbal communication coming through from her to me and it's saying all right that's that's probably about enough. And then just a little circle little massage on the top would have her come all the way back up and release. So give yourself a big hug big hug when you give the big head pressed elbows forward chin down. So it's another way that you can really pull the muscles away from the spine. There you go. Then you can help open the arms wide and are really good. So have you turned back around because I can be simply good. So the other thing that we're going to talk about is her neck. So when she was talking about how originally now we're already in the end of the week so she was able to have a lot more range of motion in her neck. But when she started she was saying how the range of motion was very limited. Is that what you're saying is the range of motion on those OK. But every time it goes there would still thing going all the way down to a point. So she was getting a shooting pain from her neck to her shoulder. Right. So that's going to go with a common but it's something that a lot of people experience because there's usually if it's happening a pinch in the vertebra of one of the cervical spine over the nose right. So typically My experience is that it's occurring at the Atlas which is the top bone in your body they call it the mouth of God. So it's like this has a circle in it. And then that's where your brain stem goes through your brain to hear the brainstem goes through that hole and then that's how it connects to all the vertebrae of your spine and sends the messages out. So when it's pinched that's when you're going to feel a little pain like a shooting pain when you move your neck. So what now you're saying it's feeling a lot better. It is. But when you turn your head in and do it to the very most thing before it was over. So it's a lot better. But we can still talk about how to help things like this a can of soup. Yes. Good. So this is this is what we're going to do some next stretches. So just sitting there nice and comfortable like she is we'll just do a couple of stretches. This is what I would teach somebody if they were going to. If they're coming to me with neck pain. Right. So sitting up nice and straight drop your chin do your chest just interlace your fingers behind your head and start with that. So this is what I always tell people to start with because it's the first position where you're going to elongate from the from the Atlas all the way down to the sacrum here. But with just a gentle seated position and most people will be surprised to find out how tight this actually is. Right. And then come back up could not just lower the left or to the left shoulder and take the left hand to the top of your head. Yep just like that. Just like that. So there's a few options you could take this arm out to the side so you really get that link here. And if you want to help somebody right I take her arm and I pull her arm away from her ear Otherwise she can do it herself. Keep your head over there. You can take this hand to your shoulder you can kind of massage your shoulder or you could. That's what I like to do. I like to do my own neck with sides when I'm in this position and just kind of like going into it use a crab claw technique where you bend the thumb knuckle so use the knuckle of the thumb you can do it like that and find the positions that are really tight fit all the way up Grier's And so that way when you do your own self-massage you always give yourself what you need because you know where you need it. Now someone else it's intuitive. They can go and do it even better than you could. But typically when you do it yourself it can really alleviate the stress pretty quickly. Just like that and then see if you can roll your head a little forward more where you are saying you really felt it right. So when her chin is angled forward towards the left side of the chest you feel that right side really opening up here. Yeah just like that and then back to the center. So this is one of the ways that we like to do it and then we'll do the other side the right ear to the right shoulder. Same thing on this side right here. Right shoulder Phanatic the right hand of the top of the head and the left hand to the left shoulder just massage that side of your neck. So this is the type of thing that you can get even if you're on an airplane or you're in the car or you could be at your desk. This is the type of little practice that can. Five minutes can change your whole day. You know whatever kind of tension you're feeling in your neck and shoulders. These practices will really help. Just like that and chin down towards the front of the right side of the chest. They feel that that is where she really feels. And you can see it like I can see this. I call it a guitar string. It's like the neck muscle is so tight like we could suck it like a guitar string it. So that's the thing that we really need to loosen up a little bit. We're going to use my fingers I'm going to push into it and just hold it. Or you can do it kneading technique. I like to use the thumb knuckle right so you bend the thumb knuckle you push in and you just just go into it like that. So this is a way you can use this in your yoga. You can use this in your self-massage or you can use this in the time massage and really go into it breathing just like that. So this is the kind of thing she could literally do for five 10 minutes. But even if she just did it one to two minutes she's going to get a lot of benefits come back up to the center now turn and look over your right shoulder turn and look over your left shoulder because if feel you're filling in that feeling a little better. No. Do you have any of that shooting pain. We be on the left one on the right. OK. So you like it you can test somebody say OK. Are you still feeling it. I think the reason she's still feeling is because of that guitar string muscle. You can see here if you look at her. It's very very tense because when we come look it's like this is what you'll see and I see this all the time it's really interesting. So come look you can kind of get an idea of her her thing here like this so tight it's like it's like it a guitar string It's like a banjo but you know it's not funny necessarily but it's kind of funny so. But you see that that's going to take more than one day. Right. And typically I would focus on that every day and then that's how you're going to see the real improvement. So let's see we're going to see what it looks like at the end of the month. We're two weeks into it and we'll look at you again and the end of the month and see if your top string has diminished a little. But in the meantime keep working on that. And also I must say yay.