Saturday, 5 December 2015

How To Use Shoulders In Postures To Support Spinal Movement



In this post I just wanted to share a single point.  That is, it will help unsquash the spine in a variety of postures if you can push the shoulder blades apart and lift the front body.  

I show three different actions in each position.  

First, the action of squeezing shoulder blades together.  This act in itself has the effect of lifting the front chest but tends to create squashing in the back body.

Second, the action of pushing the shoulder blades apart.  This act in itself has the effect of tending to enhance a rounding of the upper back.

Third, the action of pushing the shoulder blades apart and then lifting the front body.  This has the effect of supporting length in both the front body and the back body.  

I use this third type of combined shoulder/shoulder blade/spine movement in a variety of postures.  It is very important if you are trying to keep the spine long in postures, such as the ones shown here.  

Watch the video below to see me show the three iterations within each posture.  


In Standing: View From The Back

squeeze shoulder blades together

push shoulder blades apart

push shoulder blades apart and lift the front body

In Standing: View From The Front

squeeze shoulder blades together

push shoulder blades apart



push shoulder blades apart and lift the front body

In Virabhadrasana II
squeeze shoulder blades together

push shoulder blades apart

push shoulder blades apart and lift front body

Drop backs
squeeze shoulder blades together

push shoulder blades apart (forward and up)

push shoulder blades apart (forward and up) and lift front body


Summary
Spreading the shoulder blades while trying to lengthen and lift the front body (and not squash the back body) can help you feel lifted and lengthened in a variety of postures.  

A sample of which postures you can apply this to if provided here.  In class I give details on other postures where you can use these actions to support length and lift in even more postures.

2 comments:

  1. I'm going to work on that!

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  2. Let me know how it goes. It can be tricky to get things from a video sometimes. Whatever you do, feel good and unsquashed. I love the feeling that you get from this where the length is distributed evenly through your spine for backbends when arms are overhead. I also feel better working this way in postures where the fingertips are moving away from one another--like trikonasana and visa II but I apply same principle in side bends as well.xo

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