Our bodies were not meant for the position they are in during many working and resting hours. We are built to walk, run, squat and lie down but sitting for prolonged periods harms the dynamic structure of tension and strength throughout.
Here are four static holds that require no gear to undo this damage and help us naturally align the body upright.
- The wall triangle – Stand a step or a bit more away from a wall and form a triangle with the ground and the wall. Keep your body straight with the contact points with the ground are your heels and the contact point with the wall are your hands on the back of the head.
- The parallel – Place your elbows on your rib cage and place your fists or hands on the ground. Keep the body parallel to the ground and look forward and a bit up.
- The hip opener – Stand on one leg and open both hips so the toes point away from each other on the same line or aiming toward that. Raise your knee and place your palm on the outside of it and as you inhale, press further out to open the hip and alignment further.
- The crucifix press – Lean lightly on the wall or between two tree/columns and place your legs together and your arms to the sides as the name suggests. Inhale as it is a contraction and press your arms straight back to rise from the parallel and create a healthy tension alignment in the back and shoulders
Do these daily and they will help relieve the causes of your back pain and remember to avoid moving vehicles 🙂
A strong back will help you through life but a balanced one will keep you healthy as well. There is a strong tendency to strengthen the contracting muscles and a neglect of the erecting ones.
Your work must reflect where you are instead of where you want to be.
- Lie on your stomach and inhale, as you inhale bring one leg from the hip upwards and relax on the exhale. Repeat for both legs several times.
- Lie on your stomach and inhale, as you inhale bring both legs together from the hips upwards and relax on the exhale. Repeat several times.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms in Superman position and inhale, as you inhale bring one arm upwards and relax on the exhale. Repeat for both arms several times.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms in Superman position and inhale, as you inhale bring both arms upwards and relax on the exhale. Repeat several times.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms in Superman position and inhale, as you inhale bring both arms and legs upwards and relax on the exhale. Repeat several times.
- Repeat the previous movement and hold for a growing number of breaths for each hold. It’s all right to time yourself by singing the national anthem or a blues song.
- Repeat the previous hold but use your breath and torso muscles to turn belly to back and forth with all limbs in the air.
- Stand on stable ground and a step away from the wall. Place your hands on your head and lean on the wall keeping your body straight. A mirror or a frank friend will help in this. Time yourself by breaths.
Three movements to release excess tension and build healthy movement in the lower back and corresponding areas.
We understand machines. There are defined lines of compression and depression, there are defined lines of movement and there is a defined intent to each and every part.
Let us consider a less obvious machine. Let us explore the key to that machine and breathe-move our way to endless intuition.
We begin on the ground as we begin our life as babies with not much to forget and lots to learn. Relax on your back and just breathe. That is the beginning. Paying attention to the breath.
Now extend from your inhale and feel the movement of inner compression transferred to the adjoining body parts. Exhale and feel the decompression move the arch of pressure back down.
Now wait for your body to tell you to breathe between both inhale and exhale. Feel the body moving in between these two arches of inner tension and feel your heart pulse and ebb and flow with this.
Now let the breath movement connect with your spinal movement and sway from side to side on your back. Reach up with the limbs of the raised side from the joint that connects them to the body (big moves small idea)
Now let the breath movement connect with your spinal movement and sway up and down on your back. Reach up with the limbs of the raised back area from the joint that connects them to the body (big moves small idea again)
The rest is just letting the mind wonder in your own direction. More video will come on the subject soon.
We break weather we overload our spine or if we completely avoid loading it. Being smart about it will keep us both able and mobile. Let’s start.
Make your breath the regulator of beginning and end. The tempo setter.
- Stand a step away from the wall and place the top of your head on it with your palms between your top and wall. Relax slightly and walk turning right and left letting your cervical spine release tension and build strength.
- Stand a step away from the wall and place both hands or fists on the wall overhead. Release one fist and opposing foot and rotate the body to one side and the other and then repeat with the other fist and foot. Allow the spine to lightly twist and unwind.
- Stand a step away from the wall and with your side to the wall. Raise your arm that is further from the wall overhead and arch your spine upwards and toward the wall. Once you touch the wall, press against it from your feet and return to the start. Repeat to each side.
- Place your back on the ground and your legs folded together with your ankles close to your behind. Raise your hips in a circle in one way and then the other. Make sure you allow your lower back to relax to the ground each time and initiate the movement from the breath and at the same time the back and the legs.
- Place yourself on one fist and both feet. Bend at the hips till you create a straight line with your upper body and arm and back down. Change arms and repeat. Focus on moving smoothly under control and balancing.
- Place yourself on your fists and toes facing downward. Bring your ground contact points to the sides of your body and slide from side to side parallel to the ground and close to it.
- Place yourself on your fists and toes facing upwards. Bring your contact points in alignment with your spine and slide forward and back side parallel to the ground and close to it.
- Place yourself on your fists and toes facing downward. Bring one arm and opposing leg in the air and arch them to meet over your back. Repeat for both sides. Allow the neck to move with the movement of the rest of the spine.
- Place yourself on your feet in a squat. Release one knee forward and opposing behind backwards and roll back into a shoulders stand without placing yourself on your spine. Rock back with your breath to your feet and repeat to the other side.
- Place yourself on your knees and shins. Rock forward and transfer your mass to your fists and advance yourself a step. Repeat and let the breath distribute the tension in your body evenly.
- Place yourself on your feet in a squat. Lean backwards and rest yourself smoothly on one fist and then both. Advance one step and repeat.
It is easier to help yourself and others when you are well.
It is evident that as we use our muscles and nervous system well, they get better and we move and work in better efficiency and effectiveness.
Let us use the same simple but not easy mechanism to improve our awareness to making choices (lead the chariot instead of being one of the horses) and making better choices.
We will use the methodology of constraint to improve our sight inward to the choices we make weather willingly or not and to improve our sight outwardly to understand that all choices are made up of several parameters and mini choices so we can adjust everything from the way we say Yes and No to our action under tension.
1. Stand with your back to your partner. Have them push you lightly from behind and breathe and move to avoid giving resistance to the contact. Cover the entire backside and then work with two contacts at once. This allows all involved to witness themselves going within to release excess tension and movement and opens the door to further understanding.
2. Lie down and have a partner push you with a foot. Repeat the contact five times and at each time, start to move along the contact from a different limb or neck movement. This opens the awareness to movement from the center and to awareness to more than the contact point.
3. Stand a step away from each other and send a limb to push or pull the other one at a time. Act to enfold the coming limb using each limb and head in turn and maintain that you always have choices.
4. Stand a step away from each other and facing away from each other. Reach out with a limb to repeat the previous game and maintain that you do not need sight to always have choices.
5. Stand side by side a step away from each other and repeat the previous game with now having the direction decided for you. Your partner gives you a direction of forward, backwards, left and right and as they move in, you must move in the prescribed direction as you maintain your freedom. This gives you directional compulsory directions in game and in life. Choices are always made. Make them yourself.
Enjoy the games 🙂
Take a sturdy stick and ten paces of clear ground.
Crawl back and forth using these variations to clear tension and build good movement all over.
- Keep breathing.
- Let the breath make the pace of movement
- Relax your eyes. Let yourself see what your body is showing you.
- Avoid making noise. Noise is garbage movement when not intended.
Variations of crawling:
- Lie on your back and hold the ends of the stick in both hands overhead. Raise your legs in the air and crawl back and forth.
- Lie on your back and hold the ends of the stick in both hands while placing your feet on the middle of the stick. Crawl back and forth.
- Lie on your back and hold the stick between your elbows and pressed against the back of your neck. Raise your feet in the air and crawl back and forth.
- Lie on your stomach and hold the ends of the stick in both hands in front of you. Keep the stick and arms in the air and crawl back and forth.
- Lie on your stomach and hold the stick between your elbows and pressed against your back. Crawl back and forth.
- Lie on your back with the stick held in the bend of your knees and sideways to the direction of movement. Roll face down and up back and forth.
Enjoy the work.
Many back pain issue are a result of harmful movement patterns. We can always move towards health and well being with a little bit of consistency and awareness.
Here are movements to do before you get out of bed and before you close your eyes. They will pay forward with greater health and mobility in little time.
- The twister – Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms to the sides. Inhale and slide one leg under the other toward the opposite side arm and the leg above in the opposite direction. Allow your spine to naturally twist and squeeze the tension out. Exhale and release the twist naturally. Repeat as you exchange leg direction twenty times to each direction.
- The switch – Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms to the sides. Inhale and lift one leg from the hip toward the opposite side hand and once you reach it or as much as you can, Exhale and let it drop back down on its own. Repeat twenty times to each direction and then repeat the movement laying on your stomach.
- The baby – Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms overhead. Inhale and bring both knees up. Turn your hips to the side and turn to rest on your knees and as you Exhale, release back to laying down on your back. Repeat ten times to each side.
Nothing fancy is needed to maintain good health and thrive.
We learn to release and to hold on in the same way. It is the same switch. Just learn to see it.