caution Do not take Shoulderstand if you're menstruating, or have a neck injury, glaucoma, or high blood pressure. You should come down and seek the advice of an experienced yoga teacher if at any point you feel strain anywhere.

together in front of you (adduction), and rotate them toward one another (internal rotation). If these muscles are tight, you won't be able to fully extend your arms behind you in Shoulderstand. Either your elbows will lift off the floor as your chest moves forward, or your chest will collapse as your elbows reach down to the floor. Meanwhile, the frontal adducting and internally rotating actions of the "pecs" will pull your elbows wide apart in back, moving the arms to a position where they can't support your trunk from behind.

The anterior part of your deltoid muscle connects your upper outer arm to the outer part of your clavicle, near where your clavicle connects to your upper shoulder blade. When the front ofyour deltoid contracts, it lifts your arm in front of you (shoulder flexion), so if it's tight, it limits your ability to reach your arm behind you (shoulder extension). In Shoulderstand, tight anterior deltoid muscles will prevent your elbows from reaching the floor, or, ifyou take your elbows all the way down to the floor, the tops ofyour shoulders will slump forward toward your chest.

The bottom line is that tight pecs and frontal deltoids will lift your elbows up

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