Elbow Wing Stretch for Energizing


  • Stretches the upper body,, ribs, lungs, shoulders and arms
  • Lengthens spine and brings fresh blood flow to upper extremities of the body
  • Allows for increased expansion of the lungs when inhaling arms open (back) which refreshes the oxygen in the lower lobes of the lungs
  • Energizes body and helps to centre mind
  • Stimulates lymph flow in the underarm area
  • Releases tension in the back. Breathing into the back stimulates relaxation and gives the upper and lower back a bit of a massage by the expansion and contraction of the ribs with the full breath
  • Lengthens spine and brings fresh blood flow to upper extremities of the body
  • Stimulates nervous system


  • Avoid if suffering from neck pain or injury
  • Always be careful when raising arms higher than heart if you suffer from blood pressure problems. Consult a health care provider if you have blood pressure issues or if you experience any dizziness.
  • Not recommended if there is abdominal or lower back injury
  • Not advised to do after just eating or on a full stomach

Key Points

  • Soften down and lengthen up from the waist
  • Soften gaze
  • Breathe slowly and deeply through nose
  • Sit comfortably on front or centre of chair allowing room for movement
  • Keep back of head and lower back lined up and stacked – Imagine you are lengthening up and over along a wall – keep body along that imaginary wall.
  • Inhale to lengthen up and exhale to extend over
  • Sitting bones are rooted softly in seat – if standing then keep lower pelvis neutral on left and right side
  • Inhale when opening elbows wide – draw shoulder blades towards each other and down into the back. Press the head back into the hands, create resistance but be sure to keep chin parallel to floor (draw chin back like making a double chin as opposed to drawing it up to point at ceiling)Exhale when releasing elbows towards each other. Release draw of shoulder blades and keep chin parallel to floor again
  • Start in neutral standing position
  • Bring awareness to nostril breathing
  • Allow your body to lengthen from the waist up, on the inhale. You should feel this expansion happening on all inhales. This is subtle but present
  • Gaze is softened
  • Clasp hands behind the head and bring elbows straight out away fromthe centre line of the body and at the height of the ears (approximately)
  • As you begin your inhale, create a resistance with your head in your hands and draw elbows open away from centre line of body – keep chin parallel to floor (not lifting to point at ceiling)
  • Draw the shoulders towards each other and down the back while you inhale. If you can, hold the breath for a count of 2 after the inhale
  • On the exhale draw the elbows toward each other and feel the deep opening in the upper back
  • Begin resistance again on the next inhale. Try to lengthen the inhale and the exhale as much as possible and hold the breath for a count of 2 after the inhale and after the exhale.
  • Once you are good at this, extend the holding up to a count of 3 or 4 to energize.
  • With each exhale, allow yourself to soften into your roots of your sitting or standing position, letting go of any tension you may be holding in your bottom area
  • Repeat as 3-6 times or more if time permits. Shake out arms after completion, take a moment and connect with the improved circulation in arms and upper body. Enjoy the stimulation of energy.
Consider This
  • Movement of any kind stimulates improved circulation and also helps stimulate synovial fluid which is a ‘lubricant’ needed between joints to keep them from becoming stiff.
  • Oxygen is critical to clear thinking. By opening the elbows up by the ears and taking a deep breath, you are increasing the oxygen intake during those breaths. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly get a bright idea or a brainstorm!
  • Massages and stimulates internal organs providing improved blood flow and fresh oxygen


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