Maybe you have a sharp pain between the shoulder blades or a chronic feeling of tightness in your upper back. In either case, poor posture, endless hours in front of a computer, and a lot of lounging on a too-soft sofa—read: those 30 Rock marathons—contribute to these aches and pains, as does a condition known as kyphosis, characterized by a rounded upper back and shoulders. Too much overhead work at the gym, such as lat pull-downs, can lead to this as well. Here's how to counteract with yoga.
Stand on your knees with your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
On your exhale slowly bend forward, bringing your buttocks to your heels in thunderbolt pose (vajrasana) and then lower your forehead to the floor, resting in child's pose. Stretch your arms in front of you and press your palms to the floor. On your inhale expand your chest, lifting up and coming back to the starting position. Repeat six times.
Step your right foot forward 3 to 4 feet, with you feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. (Note: This front-facing foot position is much easier for beginners and anyone with tight hips than traditional warrior I, in which you turn one foot out, with the other at a 45-degree angle.)
On the inhale bend your right knee and interlock your fingers then bring your arms forward and raise them overhead, palms facing out. Arch the upper back gently. On the exhale return to the starting position using the strength of your bent leg to raise yourself back up. Repeat six times, then do the pose with your left foot forward.
Sit on your right heel with your left leg extended behind you, your left thigh hovering over the floor. Keep your torso upright. Bring your hands to the floor on each side of your right knee. On an inhale lift your rib cage forward and up, and push your chest forward while you pull down and back with your hands; your torso should be perpendicular to the floor.
On an exhale bend your elbows and lower your chest onto your thighs. Repeat six times, then switch sides, sitting on your left heel with your right leg extended behind you.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your arms toward the ceiling and interlock your fingers, keeping your palms facing down.
On the inhale press down on your feet and raise your pelvis 6 inches off the floor as you gently lower your chin until the back of your neck is flat on the floor. On your exhale return to the starting position, pulling your shoulder blades down your back. Repeat six times