JUST LIKE THE MUSCLES OF YOUR HAND CANNOT MOVE YOUR FEET, ONLY THE MUSCLES MOST PROXIMAL TO EACH SPINAL VERTEBRA CAN STRENGTHEN, MOVE AND ALIGN YOUR SPINE! YOU FIRST NEED TO CONSCIOUSLY CONNECT TO YOUR VERTEBRAE IN THE SAME WAY YOU HAVE ALREADY CONSCIOUSLY CONNECTED TO THE FINGERS OF YOUR HAND.
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Don’t sit at the bottom of your plie.
REDIRECTING WITH SPINAL CONSCIOUSNESS — Begin with a question: What does my spine need to do so I am not sitting at the bottom of my plie? Your spine needs to work instead of relying on anything else within the body to lift and support it. Your spine itself needs to work. Your spinal vertebrae need to undulate and move apart. The same way your hand works by your fingers separately moving. You appear as if sitting at the bottom of your plie because your spine is weak and therefore your legs have most all your body’s weight. No matter how much you try to pull your belly in your spinal vertebrae will remain collapsed and weak.
Find your sacrum and lumbar vertebrae and let your spine begin to take the weight of your body. While in your plie relax your legs and feet. Don’t actively push them into the floor and do not think of squeezing muscles to lift or support your pelvis. Focus solely on consciously finding your sacrum and lumbar vertebrae. Visualize your sacrum forming a shelf and lumbar vertebrae moving up and away from each other and the deep vertebral muscles will begin to engage.
Now visualize and “find” your thoracic and cervical vertebrae. Visualize each vertebra lifting up and away from the one below, while maintaining natural spinal alignment. Remember if you feel tension or tightness you are not deep enough in your vertebral finding. Tension or tightness means you are using your superficial muscles to try to move the spine instead of the muscles most proximal to the spinal vertebrae. Keep focusing on your spine and soon your spinal vertebrae will begin to move apart and support themselves. Let your spine lift your torso, align your ribs over your hips, and free your legs to rotate. Your toes will splay taking weight and you will begin to feel lighter throughout your entire body. You will now be using the force of gravity to strengthen your spine.
REDIRECTING COMMON YOGA CORRECTIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR SPINE!
COMMON CORRECTION: Lift your sits bones upward and bend at the hips. Draw your torso out of your hips, gently round your spine and reach the crown of your head towards the floor.
REDIRECTING WITH SPINAL CONSCIOUSNESS — Begin with a question. “What part of my spine should I move to help draw my torso out of my hips (pelvis)?” All vertebrae need to be active, making space and moving towards flexion (rounding) during this pose. This movement can begin anywhere in the spine but we will start by solely focusing on the sacrum and lumbar vertebrae.
While in your Forward Fold, consciously locate your sacrum and all five lumbar vertebrae. Take your time. With your skeletal vision, locate your sacrum and visualize it rounding and widening within your pelvis, upward towards the ceiling. Simultaneously, visualize all five lumbar vertebrae making space evenly and rounding up and away from each other towards the ceiling. Try to find an entire vertebra and see each one becoming higher than another, bringing your spine into flexion. Reach up and gently place one finger on the spinal process of the vertebrae you are trying to consciously connect to.