The primary purpose of this pose is a pec stretch – that is, stretching the Pectoralis Major. BUT, depending on your situation, you can get soooo much more. You still want to follow the angle of the pec when setting up the stretch but know that your partner may first feel opening across the inside of the elbow and even into the fingertips; sometimes, it would seem you can even feel the nerves stretching! Great release for folks that use their hands all day like jewelers, carpenters, etc.
How to do the Pec Stretch:
- Position your partner on comfortably on their side.
- Stand on your knees behind your partner’s upper back with your belly button pointing in the same direction as the top of their head.
- Use your outer thigh closest to their body to support their shoulder blades and keep their shoulders stacked.
- Hold the wrist of your partner’s top arm and, keeping their arm straight at the elbow, draw their arm across your body.
- Maintain a 45-degree angle between your body and their arm, focusing the stretch into their pectoralis major.
- Release the arm gently. Don’t forget to stretch the other side 🙂
- **Note that your thigh controls where your partner’s torso goes, while your hand controls where their arm goes. Be sure to press your thigh into their back to keep their shoulders stacked.
Benefits: Opens the shoulder joint, stretches pectoralis major, can be helpful for alleviating Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Cautions: In cases of shoulder instability or injury, proceed very carefully here with verbal communication with your partner.
The “Wall Clock” is analogous to this Thai
Yoga Massage Pose: Stand near a wall and place your palm on the wall at shoulder height. Your fingers should point behind you. Turn your body away from your hand to find the pec stretch. The closer you are to the wall, the more intense it will be. Experiment with moving your hand higher or lower on the wall and notice that the muscles targeted in the stretch will also change. This will give you clues as to what your partner feels and how to adjust the angle of the arm til it’s “just right.”
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