Yoga Anatomy: Keeping the Rotator Cuff Healthy in Yoga – EB


The rotator cuff is an important but often overlooked part of the shoulder joint. While it’s essential to the proper functioning of the shoulders, it’s also extremely vulnerable to injuries and even tears.

Unfortunately, because many yoga postures put great strain on the arms and shoulders, yoga practice can also cause or contribute to shoulder injuries. In many yoga students, the muscles of the rotator cuff are underworked, vulnerable and weak.  With the right approach, yoga can help strengthen the shoulders and prevent shoulder problems.

A torn rotator cuff is painful and slow to heal; in many cases surgery may even be required. In this online course, Iyengar yoga teacher and physical therapist Julie Gudmestad lays out the anatomy of the rotator cuff, and why this part of the body is particularly vulnerable to injury. She will also show sequences, with proper alignment, to strengthen the rotator cuff gradually, which is especially important when the rotator cuff muscles are weak and underworked.

What You Will Learn

  • Why the shoulders are one of the most unstable, vulnerable joints in the body and what that means for your yoga practice.
  • The keys to long-term shoulder health and the essential role the rotator cuff muscles play in shoulder stabilization
  • How weak rotator cuff muscles often lie at the root of shoulder problems like impingement syndrome, bursitis, or shoulder tendonitis
  • How to build and maintain the strength of the rotator cuff muscles to prevent problems.
  • Which yoga poses to avoid for people with weak rotator cuff muscles, and how to build up strength slowly in the rotator cuff to adequately prepare the body for more weight-bearing yoga poses.
  • Which yoga poses engage which parts of the rotator cuff muscles, and the actions to perform in common yoga poses to maximize their strengthening benefits
  • How to build a balanced sequence for gradual shoulder strengthening, and common alignment mistakes to watch out for

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Video: Enjoy a yoga practice video created for this course.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions (both MP3 and MP4), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

The course qualifies for 2.5 non-contact hour CEs with Yoga Alliance.


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Julie has devoted her professional life to integrating the healing benefits of yoga with her medical training as a physical therapist. She has integrated decades of patient care experience with 40 years of yoga teaching.

$127/ Lifetime Access

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