For strong pack-carrying shoulders, try the dolphin pose – which also provides an excellent stretch
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Bring your elbows to the floor under your shoulders.
- Clasp your hands together. Point both pinky fingers straight ahead.
- Don’t move your arms, but try squeezing your elbows towards each other as if you’re giving someone a hug with just your elbows. Keep the muscle action of squeezing. This protects and strengthens your shoulders.
- If it feels ok for your shoulders, try lifting your knees off the ground and lifting your hips up.
- Relax your neck and head. Just let your hand hang.
- Stay here for a few breaths. Then bring your knees down, release your hands and take a few breaths before sitting up.
- To counter this pose, try clasping your hands behind your back, or even just grabbing your wrists, or elbows behind your back.
- Repeat this pose a few times to build strength. Over time, aim to increase the length of time you can comfortably hold the pose.