Explaining Shoulders in Down Dog Yoga Pose

Dec 04, 2022

 This in-depth video explains correct shoulder alignment in the yoga pose, downward facing dog. This video also covers: shoulder anatomy and biomechanics, scapulohumeral rhythm, cues for yoga teachers to use in classes, trigger points as the true sources of most pain (not joint injury), yoga counter poses to downward facing dog, and how to apply post isometric relaxation (contract/relax stretching) for maximum effectiveness in the counter poses.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation in the world regarding yoga alignment principles and pain and movement dysfunction. In this video, I explain that most shoulder pain and limited strength and range of motion in downward facing dog is from trigger points in the scapular stabilizer muscles: rhomboids, low/mid trapezius, serratus anterior. I also explain how to reduce pain and trigger points by using post isometric relaxation in counter poses that specifically shorten and lengthen those scapular muscles; eagle pose (garudasana) and wide legged forward fold C (prasarita padottanasana C).

Trigger points in the scapular stabilizers are the most common sources of shoulder pain, although this is not well understood in the general society and medical society. Common differential diagnoses are: rotator cuff impingement, bicep tendinitis, rotator cuff tear, shoulder arthritis, shoulder bursitis, rotator cuff tendinitis.

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