shoulder elevation

the biggest confusion about handstands in yoga

Shoulder Elevation

Definition: the upward movement of your shoulders.

Whenever you move your arms overhead, you also move your shoulders towards the ears. This is simply the way your body is designed to move. In a straight handstand, you want to reinforce shoulder elevation by pushing down through your arms and reaching up through your feet.

In yoga classes, you often hear teachers ask their students to move the shoulders away from the ears, slide the shoulder blades down the back, or soften the shoulders. This is totally fine for most yoga poses.

However, as soon as you want to support your weight on your hands in an overhead position, you have to elevate your shoulders. Elevation activates the shoulders’ pushing muscles and will therefore give you more strength and stability in a handstand.

Want to learn more? Then start by Googling Scapulohumeral Rhythm, which is the interaction between your upper arm and your shoulder blade when you move your arm up overhead.

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