In my bodywork and yoga sessions I see TONS of clients that experience super tight upper back, shoulder and neck pain from breastfeeding. Here are a few simple and easy poses I do with them to soften, open and help find relief.
I asked my adorable client/ friend Chelsea if I could snap a few pics of her during our yoga session we did. I worked with Chelsea throughout her entire pregnancy and was her doula when her gorgeous sweet little man Ryder was born . Thanks Chels for letting me shoot part of your session !!!! You’re the BEST and I LOVE you girl!!! xoxo
1.Doorway stretch – This one is total heaven and a must do right after you nurse. Standing in a doorway place your elbows , forearms and palms flat on wall on each side of the doorway . Step your right foot forward and press your chest thru. Breathe deeply into your chest and lungs, exhale allowing your chest and shoulders to relax and soften.
2.Towel stretch – forward, up and back Standing up, feet about hips distance apart, hold a towel a little further than shoulder distance apart (this will depend on how tight your shoulders are) inhale your arms above you exhale arms down in front of you, inhale arms up above your head, exhale your arms behind you, inhale up exhale down in front, keep repeating for 10 rounds. Think about inhaling thru your nose the intention of relaxation as you exhale out any tension or stress out thru your mouth.
3.Towel stretch #2 – Standing up and still holding onto the towel ,place your right hand over your head and bend your elbow behind. Take your left arm behind you lower back and grab onto the other end of the towel.. Slowly crawl your hands closer together. If your shoulders and chest are more open you can skip the towel and clasp your hands together. Take a deep breath into your chest and as you exhale fold your body forward. Hold and breathe for a few breaths then switch sides.
4. Clasp hands behind the back standing forward bend – standing up, keeping your arms straight interlace your hands behind and a few inches away from your lower back. Inhale deep into your chest and exhale as you fall forward bringing your hands towards the top of your head. Stay and breathe for a few rounds.
5. Clasping elbows behind the back standing forward bend – Standing bring your arms behind you and grab your elbows, inhale into the chest exhale fold forward. Hold and breathe into where you’re tight and exhale out thru your mouth any tension as you allow this part of your body to soften and relax.
6. Eagle arms – Standing, bring your arms out to the side with your palms facing up. Bring your right arm under the left and bend the elbows bringing the palms of your hands together. Lift your elbows up as you push your palms away from you. Take a deep breath right into your upper back as you exhale allow this whole part of your body to let go. Take a few breaths here then switch sides.
7. Shoulder shrugs – Come into a cross legged position, inhale bringing your shoulders up to your ears and hold, exhale out thru your mouth and let your shoulders drop down. You can breathe in peace and calm and exhale out thru your mouth any responsibility, burdens or stress you might be carrying. Repeat 3 times.
8. Shoulder rolls – Roll your shoulders backwards a few times and then roll them forwards.
9. Neck rolls – Roll your head slowly in a circle to the right a few times then switch directions.
10. Cat / dog – Get on all fours, hands are under shoulders on the floor and knees are hips distance apart. Inhale as you arch and look up then exhale as you look down slowly rounding your back and tucking your tailbone under. Repeat a few times.
11. Childs pose arm stretch – In Childs pose reach your arms way out in front of you, palms flat on the floor. Take a deep breath into your upper back and as you exhale relax your chest towards the ground. Walk both hands over to the right and breathe into your left ribcage, hold for a few breaths then switch sides.
12. Restorative chest stretch with towel – Roll up a towel placing it horizontal. Lay down placing it under your bra strap area. Bring your arms out to side bending your elbows place your palms up and breathe. Allowing your body melt deeper into the towel with each exhale.