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Level 2
45 min

Open & Soothe Tight Shoulders

Vinyasa Flow | By Stephanie Snyder on Apr 29 2012
This is a smooth and fluid sequence that focuses completely on opening the shoulders. You will move through standing poses with creative arm variations and end up well prepared when you go into dhanurasana (backbend) with special variations. This is a great practice to do over and over if you suffer from tight upper chest and shoulders!


This is a smooth and fluid sequence that focuses completely on opening the shoulders. You will move through standing poses with creative arm variations and end up well prepared when you go into dhanurasana (backbend) with special variations. This is a great practice to do over and over if you suffer from tight upper chest and shoulders!


  • Alissa Fleming     Aug 10th, 2014
    Oh my goodness my shoulders were as tight as they've ever been and this was EXACTLY the practice I needed. I'm now feeling more open and standing taller. Will be doing that diagonal pec stretch more often- the best. Thank you Stephanie - you're awesome!!
  • Seychelles Pitton     Aug 1st, 2014
    Wow, that diagonal pec stretch rocked my world! Thank you Stephanie!
  • Ruby Buchanan     Mar 30th, 2014
    Thank you so much for this! I almost didn't do it because I didn't think it would be challenging. I was so wrong! I am a massage therapist and I never seem to follow my own advice. My Pects and shoulders are so tight that when I sleep on my side, my fingers fall asleep. I think I am going to try this for a week and see if it makes a difference. I can't believe how good I feel.
    • stephanie snyder     Apr 5th, 2014
      Hey Ruby -
      Yes I see lots of massage therapists - Im glad you are taking care of your beautiful shoulders, Im sure you do a lot of good work with them!
  • Anna Brown     Mar 27th, 2014
    So good I couldn't believe how fast the time went by. Thank you!
    • stephanie snyder     Mar 27th, 2014
  • Kirby Baldwin     Jan 21st, 2014
    Thank you Stephanie! As a new mama who's carrying/nursing my baby all day and night, my shoulders really appreciated this! :)
    • stephanie snyder     Mar 27th, 2014
      Yes I totally get that one!
  • Abby Frank     Sep 19th, 2013
    My shoulders are chronically tight thanks to a habit of hunching them up while working on the computer :( This class really opened them up! Thanks :)
  • cecilia wootz     Aug 28th, 2013
    my right shoulder blade thanks you for some great soothing moves after five years of carrying boys on the right hip, getting all wonky
  • Courtney K     Jul 8th, 2013
    Great instruction, nice slow flow. My shoulders and chest thank you! Namaste.
  • Barb Eschels     Jul 3rd, 2013
    Thanks Stephanie!!!!!As a desk jockey by day, my shoulders and upper body spend hours a day hunched over a computer and/or paperwork which equals tight, tight, tight shoulders! ....thank you for getting into those "stuck" spots and helping them to open up even a little bit.
    • stephanie snyder     Jul 3rd, 2013
      Super happy to help!
  • Becka Jackoboice     Apr 10th, 2013
    Thank you Stephanie for such an in depth focus on shoulder opening (my personal brick wall). As a clinical massage therapist, I preach the importance of opening through the chest while finding myself, unavoidably, internally rotated all day. The one or two poses in my usual yoga classes that truly focus on externally rotating the shoulders and lengthening the chest muscles usually can't make up for a day at the office... I am looking forward to integrating this focused routine into my regular self care and yoga practice. Namaste.
    • stephanie snyder     Jul 3rd, 2013
      Yes, you do good work and its a shoulder and upper back challenge for you. Take care of those wrists too :)
  • Elizabeth McGowan Phillips     Feb 12th, 2013
    Two words...JOO-CEE!!! ;-) Feel so looser in my shoulders than I have in months. Thank You!
    • stephanie snyder     Jul 3rd, 2013
      Woohoo! Love it thanks.
  • Sky Nicholas     Jan 2nd, 2013
    Really clear focus on the shoulders. Got the stretch into some places I haven't been in a while! Nice! Thank you!
    • stephanie snyder     Jul 3rd, 2013
      Excellent :)
  • lilas rose     Dec 9th, 2012
    Terrific class - reached all those shoulder sore points.
    • stephanie snyder     Jul 3rd, 2013
      great lilas!
  • Lucy Leslie     Nov 10th, 2012
    Another mummy thanking you for reminding me where my heart is. x
    • stephanie snyder     Nov 12th, 2012
      Mummy's we are! My one year old is 25 lbs- heavy lifting, but worth every ounce and all the love. XO.
  • Tanya H     Oct 15th, 2012
    Thank you Stephanie! This practice was sooo good after carrying and holding my baby the whole day. I will definitely do this again.
    • stephanie snyder     Nov 12th, 2012
      O yes, I relate mama. Im all about the shoulder openers as a new mom myself!
  • Elizabeth Hein     Sep 18th, 2012
    great for losening shoulders
  • Jennifer Buley     Aug 23rd, 2012
    Thank you for this great class, Stephanie. It really felt therapeutic -- plus warm and challenging too. I'll be back!
  • Isabella Allard     Aug 20th, 2012
    Stephanie, Thank YOU SO MUCH for such a super, sublime shoulder opening practice* Loved exploring your creative postures :) WOW! What a beautiful release* And to top it off, I got the added bonus of a wonderfully delicious savasana ;) It's a definite new favorite of mine :) Many blessings to you! Thank YOU! XX
    • stephanie snyder     Nov 12th, 2012
      Isabella- thank you so much! It makes me so happy to know that you benefitted so much from this class.
  • Clare Polencheck     Aug 11th, 2012
    Wonderful. I'd been avoiding opening this area of my body for emotional reasons lately, fearing what would come up. I appreciate this opportunity to release my body in order to explore the deeper crap.
  • Charles Kim     Aug 7th, 2012
    Thank you! Feeling much better!
  • Kendra Staley     Jul 24th, 2012
    my shoulders and neck feel soooo much better! as a full time teacher, i spend a lot of time hunched over papers and computers. i also really enjoyed your prenatal yoga classes as they gave me useful sequencing for the prenatal classes i teach. thank you!
  • Jessica Aitoro     Jul 18th, 2012
    great class! my shoulders were hurting from weights, and they feel amazing after this practice. thank you!
    • stephanie snyder     Jul 18th, 2012
      glad to hear this sequence helped!
  • Erica Pedersen     May 22nd, 2012
    thank you
  • Lauren B     May 9th, 2012
    oh my! i am in love with this practice! thank you so much extremely tight shoulders (especially in the AM) are super happy right now! now i can go about my day with literally an open heart! :) thanks
  • I liana Tarka     May 8th, 2012
    amazing practice for the shoulders
    thank you!
  • Maria Maria     May 8th, 2012
    Ahh so good to wake up to! My shoulders feel so much better!
  • michelle reid     May 3rd, 2012
    thank you
  • Bryan Cummins     May 3rd, 2012
    Not two, three, four, but five self adjustments! Thanks for the grounds up instructions. They really helped lock in alignment and raise the energy up the spine to open the heart chakra and free the shoulders. Therapeutically this sequence is ideal for people with over curvature, or hyper kyphosis, of the thoracic spine. I guess I need to cancel my chiropractic appointment today! Can't wait to check out other sequences you teach!
  • Lynda Smith     May 3rd, 2012
    wow! what a great class was the perfect combination of poses...the flow was so shoulders feel great.....i am going to add this class to my favorites.....thanks for a lovely class!
  • Mandy Upuu     May 2nd, 2012
    This was exactly what my body needed today. Perfect! Thank you.
  • yogagal      May 1st, 2012
    2 big thumbs up!!
  • judy Siek     Apr 30th, 2012
    So glad you are back Stephanie. your classes are insightful and well thought out. Thank ou. Judy
  • allison hodge     Apr 30th, 2012
    Heart wide open now. Lovely class...just my speed these days. Thank you, Steph!
  • Erica Struble     Apr 29th, 2012
    Incredible! My shoulders and chest haven't ever felt this "free". It also helped release some tightness that I have in my neck. I've always had pretty tight shoulders (classic shoulders rolling forward) and have always had trouble opening up my shoulders, chest and upper back. Adding this to my repertoire to help open those areas up! Thank you, Stephanie! Om shanti.
  • Olivia Dale     Apr 29th, 2012
    The floor shoulder openers felt amazing. Thank you.
  • stephanie snyder     Apr 29th, 2012
    @Helene- Yes great for the gym crowd! Happy teaching...
  • stephanie snyder     Apr 29th, 2012
    Hi Mitali- If you practice this 3-4x a week that should be enough for you to feel a difference, And then of course as your shoulders and chest open, you wont need to focus as intensely. Be mindful as you move through this sequence on a regular basis not to push :)
  • Helene shafer     Apr 29th, 2012
    beautiful practice! Thank you! I teach in gyms and EVERYONE has tight shoulders. love these variations.
  • Mitali Thakor     Apr 29th, 2012
    This was amazing. How often can these sort of intense shoulder openers be done?
  • Melanie Faught     Apr 29th, 2012
    Thank you Stephanie- another great practice! I sit at a desk/computer all day, and have an old injury to my right shoulder that restricts me in certain poses, and this practice was really helpful. I now feel space in my shoulders and upper body :) Saving to my favorites....
  • Chloe Stull-Lane     Apr 29th, 2012
    thank you stephanie. a perfect practice for shoulders and heart.