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If you want to improve your posture, get rid of shoulder, neck and upper back pain, one of the simplest stretches to turn to is the Overhead Letter Y Stretch.

I include this stretch as part of a posture routine that I teach that also includes the Overhead Lat Stretch, which you can read about at this link.

Directions:

  1. Stand with your feet directly underneath your hip bones. Make sure your feet are pointed straight ahead.
  2. Bring a yoga strap overhead and make the letter Y.
  3. Wrap your hands around the yoga strap.
  4. Keep your wrists straight. Pull horizontally to the left and right as if you were pulling the strap apart.
  5. Breathe!
  6. Hold 1 minute.

Benefits:

  1. Brings your spine into alignment.
  2. Stretches your latissimus dorsi muscles, the largest muscles in your back as well as your shoulders.
  3. Increases oxygen flow to your lungs.

Caution:

  1. Make sure you don’t flex your wrists.
  2. Make sure your feet are pointed straight ahead.
  3. Keep your arms as straight as possible.
  4. If you can’t bring your arms fully over your head, do your best but don’t arch your back.
  5. Be sure to breathe deeply and relax!

Now that you’ve learned how to do the Overhead Letter Y stretch, here’s a simple variation that I teach for a natural healing remedy for the muscles around the shoulder joint.

Variation:

  1. Perform the Overhead Letter Y stretch as described above.
  2. Slowly bring the yoga strap forward in front of your body maintaining tension on the strap.
  3. Slowly bring the yoga strap behind you maintaining tension throughout the range of motion.
  4. Slow down whenever you feel tight stuck spots in your shoulder joint.
  5. Breathe deeply and relax.
  6. The tighter your shoulders, the wider you can make your letter Y.
  7. Keep moving forward and backward at a comfortable place until your shoulders feel more relaxed.
  8. Keep your wrists straight and your elbows relaxed.

I include the Overhead Letter Y stretch in my posture training routine. You can download the directions for FREE at this link.

Want to learn more about how you can eliminate chest, shoulder, upper back and neck pain naturally? Call 678-612-8816 or email me at catherine@unlimitedenergynow.com to make an appointment. I’ll analyze your posture and explain what’s going on in your body and what you can do to feel better today.

To join Catherine’s ongoing yoga classes, follow the directions at this link. We meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday mornings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Private lessons meet by appointment Monday through Friday.

Photo of overhead lat stretch courtesy of Diane Fulmer of Savannah, Georgia.