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Yoga for Photographers: Part 2

Lesson 9 of 10

Upper Back Relief

Vanessa Joy

Yoga for Photographers: Part 2

Vanessa Joy

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Lesson Info

9. Upper Back Relief
Release the muscles that hold your photography gear.

Lesson Info

Upper Back Relief

go ahead and start in a comfortable seated position. You can just sit down like this, or if you want to go cross like it, that's fine, too. I'm going to stick to on my knees. We're going to start with a variation of eagle pose, but seated with just our arms. So you're going to put your rights, hand underneath your left and try to twist around. If you can't quite get your palms to touch, that's OK. You can just go to here. However that works. You can even kind of like hook your fingers. If that's easier, all right. First thing you're going to dio is inhale. Raise your elbows as much as possible and exhale lower and round. Okay, Inhale, raise your arms. Make sure your shoulder this thing down. Exhale lower and round homer time. Inhale up and exhale down through small movement but very powerful for stretching out the shoulder blades. Go ahead and back to center. You're going to twist to the left and slowly straighten your arm a little bit good than inhale to the center. Twist to the right...

and straighten your arm a little bit. One more time in health of the center. Twist and straighten. Inhale to the center the twist and strain. Good. Shake that out for a minute. We're going to come back to that to do the other side, but I want to do nice little counter twist. In the meantime, you want thio grasp either your elbows behind or if you can get into reverse prayer. That would be great to alright wherever you are. Really. Either push your fingers into your spine to cause a bit of an arch. Or, if you have your hands here, pressing your forearms into your back to cause it to arch a little bit. So ahead. Deep inhale. Look up and exhale. Just stay here for a few breaths. Really thinking that's squeezing your shoulder blades together and opening up your chest. Keeping your shoulders down and back home or deep breath and exhale. Good. Go ahead and shake that out. Come back, Thio arguable. We'll do the other side. So this time left arm is going under right. Go ahead, inhale arms up. Exhale down and round. Inhale arms up. Exhale down one more time. Inhale up and exhale down. Come back to the center. We'll do her little twist twisting over the left ST arm ever so slightly Come back to the center, Twist to the opposite side Very small movements, but very, very effective Stretch back to the center and straighten a little and back to the center and give it a little shake out for this next one. Go ahead and put your arms behind your back This time don't go into reverse prayer. Just want you to grasp your forearms back here. You're gonna get your shoulder is nice and straight chest out a little bit. We're just going to turn our head a little bit. You're going to turn to the right first and then look down. Give yourself a little stretch here. Good. Go ahead up to the center on the other sides, twist the left and then look down. Come back up into the center this time. Lean to the right and then look down and back up and back to center. You guys were probably like stretching parts of me that never knew I had lead to the other side. Then look down and back up and back to center in this little twist, Look down and then back up. And if any of these you really are feeling it, feel free to stay in that one position for a little bit longer and up. Then this time you tilt and look down. The upper back is all about little small movements. They make a really big difference and stretching guilt and look down back to the middle and up. Alright had released that going to come into a variation of child's pose, But first we need to loosen kind of our whole back to do it. So we're just gonna do a couple cat cows. Let's go ahead, inhale looking up and exhale round, Inhale up and exhale round. When you around really pushed down on the floor, separate your shoulder blades back to neutral spine. Now for this, we're going to stretch your hands as much as possible. This might be assed faras ugo, but if you can with straight arms, you're going to try and get your elbows to the ground. Keep looking up. You're not gonna look down here just looking up and forward. This really gets your upper back as well as your lower deep breath in and help deep breath in and out and just one more here. Deep breath in and as you exhale, bring yourself back two rabbits surrounding your head down, really grabbing on to your heels so you can pull them and separate your shoulder blades and put your shoulders down. Yeah, go ahead and inhale back toe all forests. We're going to thread the needle, so inhale. Let's do the side first, inhale your left arm up and exhale it through underneath your right arm. As you stretch as much as possible, you want to get your ear down to the floor. Now you can stay here or what will really enhance. This is wherever your shoulder is. Think about separating it from your head. So for me that requires a little bit of lean forward. So I was here and I'm just leaning forward a little bit. You're going to feel it so much more in your neck. Another option would be to come straighten your leg and grab your big toe, and even more than here you can wrap your arm back. These air just kind of like the fun extras, but even if you don't do any of this, you're going to feel this in your left side of your neck and shoulder blade. Go ahead and bring yourself back up and left arm comes all the way up to counter it, and then down we'll do the other side deep. Inhale lifting your right arm up. Exhale. Thread it through, getting your ear to the floor and again, you might want to stay here. This is great for just the shoulder. But if you want to incorporate your neck, just stretch your shoulder away from your ear like that. I feel so good. And if you want Thio, go ahead straight in your foot. Grab your big toe if you'd like and come around. This is just option, although deep breath in hand out. One more deep breath in and get yourself back to the center, lifting the right arm up inhaling and exhale down. Go ahead, Come back to seated position. Yeah, and we will end here by doing a couple of deep breaths up. You're just gonna twist and then back to center twist and back to center and exhale. You know what? I think we have time for just one more kind of bonus move. Let's go ahead and lie on our backs. And normally, when you do a spinal twist here, you've straighten the left leg and just bend the right one and come over. But instead of doing that, where we want to get to the upper back, we're going to lift our hips. So straightening the left leg, lift our hips and move our hips all the way to the right and then twist over. And by doing this, you're really getting into, ah, higher part of your back with the twist, and then go ahead and gaze over to your right. This engages the upper part of the back more than just a regular regular twist here, deep breath in hand. Out. Go ahead, inhale the center, lift your hips back to the center and switch legs, so straighten the right one. Bend the left, lift your hips and move them to the left. Then give yourself the twist. Left arm comes out and move your head to gaze over towards it. Breath in and out and deep breath in and out. Go ahead, inhale back to center. Move your hips back to center and let's from here. You're gonna put your fingers underneath your tush lift up onto your elbows were gonna come into fish. So fish don't just throw your head back. Actually hurt your neck. What you want to do is squeeze your shoulder blades together, really pushing your chest forward and then come back. You breath in and out deep breath in and out, deep breath in and exhale yourself down to the floor and we're just gonna come into a bent, bent leg plow. So just Benjani's up. Tell yourself over. You can support your hips this way and try to scooch your shoulders down So you really separating your shoulders from your head and you can stay here or you can straighten your legs. But what's really fun to do here that gets your upper back is to twist ever so slightly to one side very small twists. And if you're off balance in any way, this is not for you to stay in the center on twist the other way, remembering to breathe, and then you can mess with kind of going forward and back, sort of massaging that upper spine deep breath in and then go ahead and round yourself down all way up. And now, now my upper back feels good. All right, deep breath in and exhale to the center. No mistake

Class Description


  • Know what to do before and after shoots to minimize pain and maximize concentration and creativity.
  • Add longevity to your photography career.
  • Get targeted relief to the areas that hurt photographers most.
  • Have a boost of energy levels for both work and home.


Yoga for Photographers: Part 2 is a set of easy-to-follow movements that'll bring relief to your photographer pain points.

In addition to four, full yoga classes, you'll get 6 Quick Fix Videos that'll address only the target problem areas you want, without the extra fluff and time that full workouts take.

Start feeling better and giving your clients 110%. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your pain will be alleviated.

Yoga for Photographers: Part 2 is about:
  • Quality of Life
  • Longevity of your Career
  • Brand Image
  • Mental Health
  • Focus
  • Creativity

You might also like Yoga for Photographers: Part 1 with Vanessa Joy


  • Photographers who don't think they could do yoga because they’re not flexible (I promise you can do this!).
  • People who want yoga routines that are effective and don’t take an hour to do.
  • All of those that are tired of feeling like they have a monster hangover after a photoshoot.
  • Photographers look to reverse the damage that lugging and shooting with heavy gear has done.


I’m Vanessa Joy, a wedding and portrait photographer in the Austin and NYC area.

I love photography, but MAN That gear is heavy! Even knowing the best ways to hold a camera, I wound up visiting a chiropractor three times a week, going to physical therapy, trying acupuncture, massage, and even steroid injections.

I’d had enough. Enough of being sore after a wedding or shoot day. Enough feeling my nerves pinch and muscles tense every time I picked up my camera. Not anymore.

The way I beat the pain, found loads of energy, reached my physical goals, and gained confidence was easier than I thought. And it was way less expensive than the thousands I was spending on doctors and therapy.

After speaking to photographers all around the world at places like FStoppers, CreativeLive, WPPI, Photo Plus Expo, ShutterFest, Imaging USA, and many, many more, I know I'm not alone! I’m committed to helping photographers eliminate typical photographer aliments and feel great about themselves and their careers.

Discover EXACTLY what I’ve been doing to extend the longevity of my photography career and be able to spend the day after long wedding weekends playing with my son and daughter, completely pain-free.

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