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Stretch Your Upper Back with Yoga Blocks

If you practice yoga, you are probably aware that yoga blocks are a great tool to help you safely modify difficult poses. However, you may not have been aware that you can stretch your upper back with yoga blocks. By resting against these blocks, you can let gravity help you stretch your upper back and open your heart center. This is particularly beneficial for anyone who has a tight spine, rounded posture, or a desk job that might involve rounding forward or looking at a computer screen.

How to Set Up Your Blocks

You can set up your blocks in quite a few ways. Here are just a few ways that you can arrange your blocks. The first image is where I recommend beginners start. As you get comfortable in your position, you can move on to the next set up. Do not practice all of these setups in one yoga practice.

"T" with Your Shoulder Blades Off the Block

The first way that you should try stretching your upper back is by placing your blocks in a "T" with your shoulder blades draping off the sides of the block.

  1. When you lean back, you want the bottom edge of your block to be just below the bra strap line on your back. (For fellas, get the bottom edge of the block just below where you think the middle of your back is.)
  2. Once you believe you are in the correct place, rotate your palms to the ceiling. Let your chest open as you breathe.
  3. If you feel really comfortable, you can slide your legs out toward the corners of your mat.
  4. Refer to the images below to increase your stretch.
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks

"T" with Your Shoulder Blades on the Block

Now, turn your blocks so that you make a "T" the other way.

  1. This time, the block will run straight across your middle back right at the bottom of your shoulder blades.
  2. Once you believe you are in the correct place, rotate your palms to the ceiling. Let your chest open as you breathe.
  3. If you feel really comfortable, you can slide your legs out toward the corners of your mat.
  4. Refer to the images below to increase your stretch.
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks
stretch your upper back with yoga blocks

The Most Advanced Options

If you check on Pinterest, you'll find that there is also the option to set the block that stretches your back on the highest level. Then, you would put your head-supporting block at whatever level is appropriate for you. Only raise your back-stretching block when you can easily complete all of the other stretches.

Stretch Your Upper Back with Yoga Blocks Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What do you think of this way of stretching your upper back? Is there another way that you can place your blocks to stretch your upper back? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.

2 Comments

  1. Paola Swallow the World on October 9, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I love yoga, but I’ve never used blocks as I didn’t know they could be so beneficial. Thanks for the videos and explanations 🙂



    • Sarah Stockett on October 9, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Thanks, Paola! You are certainly welcome!



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