Yoga Pose: Cactus Clap & Dirty T-Shirt


  • Range of motion in shoulders and arms
  • Chest and upper back stretch/strengthening
  • Lymphatic drainage in arms

Cactus Clap:

  • Seated in a comfortable position on the ground with bolsters, blocks or blankets.  Or in a chair.
  • Sit upright with palms on your thighs.
  • INHALE: Lift your arms to shoulder height, bending your elbows to make a cactus shape, with palms facing forward.
  • EXHALE: Bring your palms and forearms together in front of your face.
  • INHALE: Reopen your arms to cactus.
  • Repeat the last two steps three times. Move slowly, following your breath. Then lower your arms and rest your palms on your thighs.

Modifications: Forearms and palms may not come all the way together. Bring them as close as is comfortable.

CactusClap Illustration

Dirty T-Shirt

  • INHALE: Lift arms to cactus.
  • EXHALE: Fold left arm over right, giving yourself a hug.
  • INHALE: Begin to lift your elbows higher. As if taking off a T-shirt, slide your fingers up your arms as you reach your arms toward the ceiling. Expand your chest.
  • EXHALE: Lower palms to thighs.
  • Repeat sequence, this time folding right arm over left to give yourself a hug. Then repeat the entire sequence six times, alternating which arm is on top.

Modifications: The action of removing the imaginary T-shirt may be difficult if you are recovering from surgery. Modify by skipping this movement and returning to cactus arms instead.

Excerpt from Yoga for Cancer: A Guide to Managing Side Effects, Boosting Immunity, and Improving Recovery for Cancer Survivors’.  Purchase today.

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