Over the shoulder shoulder holder backpack

In my yoga classes at the end of June and beginning of July we prepped the bodies for modified supported handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana).

We also practiced what I was calling over the shoulder shoulder holder (pictured to the left). A student told me another teacher calls it a backpack. So I am now calling it over the shoulder shoulder holder backpack.

We practiced the pictured “pose” after we had prepped the body to moved into a modified and supported handstand and practiced the handstand (if the student chose to do so).
I decided to sport the over the shoulder shoulder holder backpack recently while sitting at my desk/laptop for several hours to see how I felt, if that was accessible for my body, if it helped with my posture, etc.

I was surprised to find it fairly comfortable (I’m not saying it felt like soft and billowy cotton candy or anything).

What I felt in my body when I set up this way (and I got similar feedback from my students as well) is my posture is much better, posture is easier to maintain (thought I can still fall into my bad posture habits), it felt good, my chest was more open, I felt taller (especially after I removed the strap), shoulder blades were down on the rib cage, shoulders were away from my ears.

Wanna know how to set yourself up in the over the shoulder shoulder holder backpack? I knew it! Read more below:

It is best to have at least an 8-foot but really a 10-foot yoga strap. I also tried this with the belt from my robe, but for most people it will likely be too short. (Click on the photos to increase their size.)

Step 1

Take the strap along your back and place at the lower tips of your shoulder blades.
Hold the strap forward of your chest.

The strap should appear to be “shooting” out of your arm pits.

Make sure the strap is in equal length on both sides.


Step 2

Take the left end of the strap and drape it over your left shoulder.

Take the right end of the strap and drape it over your right shoulder.

The strap will likely loosen behind the shoulder blades.

If that happens adjust across the back and over the shoulders.

It should fit snugly.

Steps 3 and 4

Take the strap and criss cross it over the back of your shoulders.

Again check if the strap loosened and adjust if you need.

Make sure strap is fairly snug.

Take the opposite ends of each strap and opposite hands and gently pull down.

Step 5 (optional)

If your strap is long enough and has a buckle you can fasten yourself in and the backpack is now hands free.

If you don’t have a strap with a buckle or it isn’t long enough just hold the strap in your hands while standing or seated.

Let me know if you try this out and what your experience is. Feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail to ann@gofitgirl.com.