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Self-Care Tips For The Busty Crowd

in YogaDork Ed

reclined-cobblers-ytu

by Tiffany Holmes

Like many women who are “blessed” with a very large bustline, I developed early, which is exactly when my bad posture habits began. When you’re still a kid, you’re not all about drawing attention to your body. So I covered up with large clothes, slouched to hide myself as best I could, and avoided activities that involved jumping around. I really avoided physical activities in general until I was in my 20s.

When I began practicing yoga in a studio in my mid 20s, I wasn’t surprised to see a whole bunch of bodies that looked nothing like me. When I started CrossFit at age 30, I wasn’t surprised that there were certain activities I wasn’t fond of due to what my coach would simply refer to as my “anatomy.”

What I was surprised about were these weird movement and pain patterns I started to discover in myself. My overhead shoulder position is poor, and I started to notice anterior shoulder pain when I worked on overhead lifts. I sought out resources. I learned about mobility and started to figure out what was going on in my upper body.

When I found Yoga Tune Up, everything got real nerdy. The upper edge of my trapezius and my neck extensors are what hurt all the time. My thoracic spinal rotation is limited. My humeri sit well in front of where they should. Pretty soon, my therapy Balls became my favorite tools for self-care.

I’ve developed a bit of a protocol for working on the posture and pain issues wearing these heavy appendages on the front of my chest have caused. It looks a little something like this:

Restorative back bend (sort of): First up, my busty legion, a bit of restorative yoga (yay!). Let the weight of your arms un-do some of what the weight of your chest does to your posture all day! Set one yoga block at the tallest height, and one at the second/medium height. Post up a bolster on the little set of steps you’ve just created. Your move is easy: scoot right up to the base of the bolster, and lie back. Do whatever you want with your legs. This easy restorative move rests the scapulae against the bolster, allowing the pectorals and musculature of the anterior shoulder to be affected by the weight of the arms. The humeri settle into the back of the joint, and the head and shoulders passively assume the opposite position they generally take as you fight with what’s pulling on the front of your torso all day.

Pranic Bath. You know that phrase “the weight of the world is on my shoulders?” Sometimes my own globes make me feel this in a very physical way. I’ve found that adding dynamic movements bring a renewed feeling of circulation into my shoulder girdle. This is truly one of my favorite movements to teach, and I always get a few looks at the gym when I use it.

Shoulder flossing. An active stretch of the anterior shoulder is achieved with shoulder flossing. This controlled range of motion uses a strap allows each arm to pull the other into external and internal rotation.

Trap dock. When your heavy bosoms are strapped to your chest in a bra all day, the weight of the straps on your trapezius. is a constant struggle. I am eternally turning my neck at some weird angle to stretch, adjust, or otherwise move the upper edge of my traps. Do yourself a favor with some yoga arts and crafts, and build yourself a trap dock! This could also be performed at the base of a weight lifting rig (at a gym), against the edge of a plyo (box jump) box, or at the corner of a doorway, provided there is a flat spot to place the ball.

Twisted Triangle Run Over by a Truck. This crazy little move is a Jill Miller classic. There are a few ways to enter the pose, but this is how I generally teach and practice it. Begin sitting with both legs swept to one side, knees bent, creating a kind of half pinwheel. Lower onto one hip, turn the chest to face the floor, coming to your forearms. Next, straighten both knees. Finally, thread one arm under the other, possibly coming onto the shoulder (or not, if you’re me). You may end up looking something like this:

Twisted Triangle Run Over By A Truck. This feels so good!

Twisted Triangle Run Over By A Truck. This feels so good!

Most of these movements focus around the shoulders, but the compensations for a heavy chest go far beyond the torso. My spine often feels stiff and compressed, and even my gait is affected, so twists and hip stretches are useful. This triangle variation covers all the bases. I often use this pose as a closer in my classes, as I find it takes me quite a bit of work to get ready for.

Take these moves for a spin, or share them with a busty pal! I hope you find them useful.

Tiffany Holmes is a technical writer by day, Yoga Tune Up teacher by night. She enjoys helping people learn how to move better and understand how they are put together. You can find her in the great state of Indiana, frightening her students at Studio Seva Yoga or CrossFit Fort Wayne. Midwest is best!

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8 comments… add one
  • Christa

    Great article, love the videos! Will definitely be bookmarking for reference. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Hi,
    I really Like all the videos and find it very useful. But Is it inappropriate to wear street clothes during yoga?
    I think its not inappropriate to wear street clothes during yoga or for gym workouts.

  • Lovely videos, very useful, really love it. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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