Yoga Pose of the Week – Focus on the Chest and Traps

This week’s featured yoga pose is a stretch for your chest and trap muscles. It is great for improving posture, since a lot of us slouch when we are seated or in our everyday lives. This is the complete opposite of slouching! It can be done seated or standing.



  • First, start either seated or standing
  • Reach your hands behind you and clasp your hands behind your back
  • If you aren’t able to, use a band or towel to hold on to. This will help give you more space to reach back and grab on to.
  • Next, try to extend your arms fully. This might be enough of a stretch for you.
  • If you’d like to go further, try to lift your hands away from your back.
  • You can add on to this stretch by leaning your head gently side to side to feel a stretch down the sides of your neck.
  • Breathe deeply and hold for 1-2 minutes.
  • Come out the same way you got in


  • Try to keep your shoulders down. If you cannot reach back and clasp your hands without raising them, simply use a towel or band to help give you additional space so that you can complete the movement properly.
  • To get more of a full body stretch, you can keep this clasp and add in a forward fold. Start standing and widen your legs, keep your clasp as you fold your chest forwards towards your legs. Bend your knees as much as you need here.
  • As always, if this stretch makes you feel extreme discomfort, do not continue. You want to find stretches that feel like you can maintain a steady breath in, not ones that constrict your ability to breathe or relax.
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Vanessa Kiriakou