Home Practice: Sequence for Spinal Release

This sequence is simple but effective at releasing spinal tensions. Add this to your daily home practice  after your Shavasana and Ujjayi Pranayama! I’ve listed the poses in order with a few brief alignments as a reminder of the poses we’ve practiced in class.

The sequence (and every sequence) begins with a pose that releases the muscles at the Tailbone…..

Alternate leg:

  • Bring both knees to your chest, holding them with your  hands with  your knees and big toes touching.  Let your legs soften in this angle. Support one leg with your hands and send the other leg over your stack in a straight line and let your heel rest on a block.  Use your hands to support your bent knee leg with your thigh parallel to your spine and your knee cap aligned with your earlobe.
  • Soften your bent knee leg and let your hip sink into the floor. Use your arms to keep your leg from wandering out to the side. Hold for a maximum of 90 seconds, allowing time for the changes reach through your hip into your spine.
  • Moving out – bend your straight leg and bring it back to your chest, holding both legs side by side. Notice the differences in your legs, hips and the two sides of your back. Repeat on the other side.

Alternate leg diagonal:

  • Returning to Alternate leg pose again….bring both knees towards your chest and hold with your hands, allowing legs to soften and the weight to lean back. Move both hands over to your right  knee and send your left leg back over the stack. Pause to soften. Use your  hands to move your knee away from your chest until your elbows are locked straight. Find the point of contact of your right hip on the floor and without letting your hip lift, slowly move your knee  over your midline, until it’s in line with your left ear, elbows still straight. Then inhale to  prepare, and as you exhale, bend your elbows and slowly bring your knee toward your left ribs.
  • Soften into this angle letting your arms support your legs and the changes reach into a different part of your spine than you got in the standard angle. Maximum time is 90 seconds.
  • Move out slowly by moving your knee across your midline until it’s back in line with your earlobe on the right side. Bring your leg over the stack back up to join this one. Notice the difference between the two sides. Then repeat on the other side.

Then follow  Alternate Leg and Alternate Leg diagonal  (tailbone and sacrum) with a Lunge and then JP/Rotated Stomach Pose….instructions in the Magic 4 posting.


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