Saturday, October 19, 2013
Your What Hurts? Part 2
As indicated in part 1 of this series, extended use of our arms and head forward is not only over-done, it is epidemic. This happens at the computer, when driving and any other common activity that we keep our arms held out in front for any period of time. Our necks, shoulders and all the corresponding muscles, joints and fascia suffer repeatedly. Adding to this positional abuse we use in our modern day world is the act of sitting. Over time, this further curves our spines away from the way it was designed to be used by our paleolithic ancestors. Connected to the notorious position of prolonged sitting is an unnatural twisting of our SI joints and femurs in their sockets to balance what is going on up top.
"Yeah, Stace! But we can't very well just quit our jobs!" you may say. This is true, especially in our current economy. There are, however, restorative measures that can help unwind, relax and heal our poor over-worked backs, necks and shoulders. Two of these measures that help TREMENDOUSLY are the yogic positions of "Reclined Tailor" and "Mountain Brook". They can be done in just a few minutes to relieve stress in the offended areas and bring extraordinary relief. Part 2 of this series focuses on the "Reclined Tailor".
(a.k.a., the reclining. bound, angle pose, or Supta Baddha Konasana)
The object of this position is to extend the flexed Ilio-psoas muscles, open the hips and re-establish the proper alignment of the head, neck and shoulders. You will need a rolled towel or pillow for under the neck and another flat-rolled blanket or pillow for under the upper back. Additional bolsters for a comfortable reclined position are more than welcome, too. If knee-troubles are present, a pillow on the lateral side of each knee will help alleviate distress to the joints. A tension strap is optional, but not necessary. Set up your props ahead of time so they can readily be adjusted for comfort.
Start in an upright position with the bottoms of the feet touching each other, knees out. Lengthen the spine, neck and head up toward the sky as if being pulled up from the center of the crown by a string. Recline back into your waiting props. Adjust the props so the neck, back and knees are comfy. Now close your eyes, and breathe. Allow your heart center to open as your body relaxes into the pose.
(Image by http://www.findhomeremedy.com)
If discomfort is felt at any point, do not do the pose. It is meant to be restorative and relaxing. This pose should also be avoided by women who have just given birth until given clearance by the doctor. (The pelvic muscles, in this case, need time to restore to normal working length and strength. Never fear, dear yoginis! The doctor will most likely give clearance in about 6 to 8 weeks.)
To come out of this pose, bring the knees together. Take out any props to the side, and gently roll to the right and pause before pushing back up to a seated position. Breathe. Pay attention to how your body feels after this gentle restoration. Allow the sensations to circulate through your cells before continuing to meditation, other poses, or the rest of your day. :)
Bright Blessings! More to come!