I recently learned this term scaption from a fellow SMARTCore teacher. The term refers to a move that combines abduction(out to the side) and flexion (in front and then up) of the shoulder. Scaption occurs when you abduct the arm in a plane of about 30 degrees of flexion. It's looks kinda like hugging a really big tree.
Here's why it’s important: Scaption is the place where the muscles in shoulder best line up for abduction and there is less chance of shoulder impingement. Often times I have had the adjustment or cue to bring the shoulder in line with the other arm (warrior 2) or in line with the ear (side angle).
I’m no longer in the camp that this is a safe or effective alignment for many people.
Many yogis have shoulder problems or impingements (hello chatarunga) and this alignment can make it worse.
Here’s how I teach it: Stand with feet far enough apart for warrior 2 face forward. Take your arms out to side but a little forward. (like hugging a big tree) Then turn one foot forward and you’re in warrior 2. I bet your back arm is a little forward from what you’re used to. Allow your arms to stay where they are but maybe turn hands down if your traps freak out than turn hands up. Now reach from spine and into fingers like you have one long arm. You will feel the shoulder blades glide and both arms lengthen at same time.
For side angle I usually have people swing the top arm down and forward and then cue serrutus anterior (super hero muscles) to pull the shoulder blade around the ribcage a bit. Its like you’re reaching for something. Notice if you get more movement in shoulder blade with this alignment.
Straight lines are cool too, just not for everyone all the time, especially if you have a shoulder injury.