Undoing the damage of sitting

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 🙂

 

Notes from class: Spinal Freedom

It is as easy to forget ourselves as it is easy to wake up.

Here are a progression of work to wake up our shoulders hips and spine and bring about greater freedom and health in movement and in thought.

Let your breath lead the movement in both tempo and depth.

  1. Start standing with your legs under your hips. Ease your knees and ankles and move one hip forward and one back and reverse it. Move one hip up and the other down and reverse it. Now combine the movements so the center of your hips where the spine rests, stays in place and your hips form following circles in place. Make sure you are moving your hips instead of pushing the ground with your feet.
  2. Stand and raise one shoulder up as you relax the other one down and reverse it. Move one shoulder forward and the other back and reverse it. Now combine the two into two circles moving one after the other and note the change in tension in the muscles that wrap the spine and in the neck.
  3. Have a partner press their hands or fists at the sides of your spine where your ribs meet. Release tension in your spinal muscles to move with the pressure and once arched, arch back and push the contact back with the rounding of your back. Repeat at various location on your spine and have fun with direction and location.
  4. Turn to face your partner and repeat the work with the fists on the bottom ribs center and then at free play.
  5. Walk freely and have your partner try to wrap their arms around your neck. Move from the shoulder, then hip, then spine to avoid being entangles but maintain the contact and return the favor. Make sure you see all around you instead of focusing outside of yourself.
  6. Stand a step away from each other and push each others legs with yours. Move to maintain contact but avoid increasing tension by relaxing the opposing hip to the contacted leg and ease the movement into a few steps to avoid getting stuck into a pinball state of mind.
  7. Walk with your partner behind you. Turn to them at will and have them push you continuously with all limbs while moving toward you and through where you are. Allow their every move by relaxing your frame as we have done so far but stay in contact and blend into their movement.

 

Hanging on

Here is a simple plan for your hand strength and overall shoulder and body health.

Find a pull up bar, a branch or a rope to hang from.

Maintain continuous breath and keep your shoulders in their sockets or release the hold.

1 Start with a daily hanging on for ten breaths.

Add one breath a day according to your feeling until you reach sixty.

2 Change the way you are hanging on (both hands in the same direction, both hands in the opposite direction, hands facing each other)

Add this hold to the daily work and grow until you can reach one hundred and twenty breaths combined.

3 Hang on one hand with the other hand lightly over the holding hand and stay for five breaths.

Slowly grow the number of breaths to sixty (thirty breaths for each hand) as you remove the same number of breaths from the two hand hold.

4 Hang on one hand with the other hand holding onto the wrist of the holding hand and stay for ten breaths.

Slowly grow the number of breaths to sixty in each hand.

5 Hang on the bar with one hand and switch hands with each second breath while using the legs for propoltion toward the bar.

Repeat ten times and grow to twenty times over time. Maintain the rest of the time (to complete to one hundred and twenty breaths) holding onto the bar with each hand

6 Hold onto the bar and switch hands as you also switch directions.

Repeat ten times and grow to twenty in time.

7 Hold onto the bar and use your legs to switch hands with a release of the bar in midair.

Repeat as you feel and complete the rest of the breath count with regular twist switches.

Smile.

Stand or sit on your knees under a door frame or post and place your hand one side of the door frame. Now turn as if you want to pass under the arm on the door and relax forward keeping your breath swift to exhale the tension that is brought up in this way and your feet relaxed on the ground. After you do this a few times it will relax and open your shoulders and it feels good after a long stay in one pose with the shoulders forward or with the neck looking up as you lie down. You can do this drill in many ways as long as you keep the goal or direction positive. Remember that a goal has an end and a direction has not. It can be both good and bad.