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Arm Stretches

Warm-up postures useful for relaxing your arms, hands and upper body.
 

Arm Stretches are an excellent way to warm up your arms in preparation for a yoga session. You can perform these exercises to improve the circulation in your upper body, particularly your arms, hands, fingers and the area around your heart. These exercises can also relieve tension from your shoulders and neck and even release tension from your mind.
 
The steps below illustrate two Arm Stretches exercises. As you perform the first exercise, your entire body should feel balanced. You should also focus on how your breathing works in connection with the arm movements to warm up your body and focus your mind.
 
As you perform these Arm Stretches, you should feel the lift coming from your waist as you raise your arms. At the same time, you should feel your chest lifting and expanding. Expanding your chest can increase your capacity for deep breathing in this exercise.
 
Make sure you use caution performing these Arm Stretches if you have shoulder or arm problems.
 
Variation 1
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Position your hands in Prayer Pose.
Inhale as you circle your arms out to each side and then bring your palms together overhead.
(Your fingertips should be touching, with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling.)
(Make sure your shoulders are relaxed down away from your ears.)
(Your arms should be straight but your elbows should not be locked.)
Turn your palms to face out to the sides.
Exhale as you circle your arms out and down to each side and then bring your hands back together in Prayer Pose in front of your chest.
Repeat steps 3 to 5 three to five times.
 
Variation 2
Steps:
Begin in Easy Pose.
Rest the back of your hands on the floor at your sides.
Inhale as you raise your arms over your head, bringing your palms together.
Exhale and then lower your arms, bringing your hands back to the floor.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 three to five times.
 
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