Friday, September 6, 2013

Sacrum Focused Practice with UPA's

I have been teaching tons on lower body alignment. I feel like I keep saying the same thing over and over again, just in different words. I feel like students most be catching on and getting bored of it. However I have been getting lots of compliments, requests for more, and great questions to deepen the refinement.
Open to grace: turn the inner body so that the sacrum is facing straight ahead
Muscular Energy: hug to the Madeline, so that the sacro-iliac joints stabilize
Inner Spiral: the top of the sacrum draws in and up; more on the back-leg side
Pelvic Loop: the bottom of the sacrum draws down and in low belly tones in and up; more on the front-leg side
Organic Energy (when the pelvis is the Focal point): the pelvic bones and tailbone move down, while the whole sacrum lifts up and out of the pelvis

Practice the sequence bellow using the 5 principles above. When your in a symmetrical pose and don't have a back leg perform balanced action on both sides. Inner spiraling both thighs will create the whole top of the sacrum to evenly tip in and up and pelvis loop will draw the pelvis under on both side while the belly lifts up. In all of the asymmetrical standing poses, cultivate more inner spiral on the back leg side (until the top of the sacrum tips into the body) and more pelvic loop on the front leg side (until you feel the tone and lift in your lower belly).


Table: Push into knees and draw them together to tone inner thigh muscles. Feel sacrum tip in and up. Then work pelvic loop to tip pelvis under belly lifts. This isn't cat/cow this is cow/natural lumbar curve and supported back. Then add organic energy stretch chest forward. Remember this is a symmetrical pose.
Table shalabasana legs: This is asymmetrical so more inner spiral on back leg to get sacrum going in and up. Watch for dumping in opposite side of low back so work pelvic loop and press knee into floor as belly lifts up.
Surya namaskar's: in cobra create in and up sacrum with inner spiral. Pelvic loop to tone belly and then use arms to draw side bodies long and extend sacrum through head forward as pelvis roots down through feet
 Tadasana: Line up the lower body with get a [partner] (or your own hands) hold on to your pelvis and root organically down into the earth as you stretch your arms overhead and lift your sacrum and low belly up to sky

Lunge: with one arm (the same side as the back leg) lifting to the sky, while the other hand anchors your pelvis downward.
Parsvottanasana- ardha hanumanasana
Pigeon pose/thigh stretch
Trikonasana- ardha chandrasana
Ardha chandra chapasana-standing splits-twisted ardha Chandra chapasana
Handstand PLAY
Ustrasana: as a symmetrical pose, this is a really great way to realign the sacrum/pelvis. Square of your pelvis and inner body. When you do Inner Spiral, emphasize this action on the side that you tend to rotate towards. When you do Pelvic Loop, emphasize this action on the side that you tend to rotate away from. And as you go back into the pose, keep all of that while anchoring the pelvis down and lifting the sacrum up.
 Upavista konasana: for all forward bends, the top of the sacrum must draw in and up before moving past 90 degrees in the pelvis. This is a crucial alignment for the health of the lower back.
 Janu sirsasana: it’s an asymmetrical pose the sacrum will need to tip in and up faster on the back leg side, while it will need to go down and in faster on the front leg side.

I was talking to a student the other day who has been frustrated she cant hold "L" handstand at wall. She was getting up a few weeks ago but her mind has been playing tricks on her and she has been "falling out" of the pose bending her elbows and collapsing to the floor. I know she is strong enough and knows the basic alignment that she should be able to hold the pose like she was beofre. However she says when her butt gets over hear head she gets scared and "falls down". After she falls down she will often make a comment like "Im not strong enough". We talked about how amazing the mind is and how our thoughts can create our reality. This is the perfect example. Her thoughts of "I cant do handstand", "I'm not strong enough" is creating the reality of her not being able to do a handstand. How often do we sabotage our self like this in our life? I know one way my mind will sabotage me is by telling myself I wont enjoy something. For example going to a dinner party. If I am telling myself I am not going to enjoy it. Chances are I am not going to enjoy it. Where instead if I was to tell myself I am going to love it, that belief will much more likely lead me to having a good time.
Another place we can see our thinking influencing our reality is in relationship to our bodies. So many people live in discomfort due to poor posture. I cant tell you how many times I hear "my back just always hurts...Ive tried X, Y, Z.... and it just always hurts". In order to create a change in the body we have to make space for change in our minds. However that needs to be followed by action. One thing I love about Anusara Yoga is we get to participate in the health of our body, mind and spirit. This sequence will help create space and strength to stabilize the low back and sacrum. Doing these simple alignment techniques can create huge shifts in the way we think and feel.

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My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...