Excerpt – Yoga and the Alexander Technique Principles of Good Body Use (Posture)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on April 11, 2012

This ebook, Yoga and the Alexander Technique Principles of Good Body Use, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to do the asanas with great poise, posture, ease, and release.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Start with feet together, standing fully upright with arms at your sides. Place your awareness on your breathing. Observe your breathing for a few minutes until the body is breathing itself. Direct and do a full body inventory of release through orders of release sent throughout the whole body, so that the body can be fully upright. (This is described in the section Posture.)

Direct and then begin to roll the head downwards from the top vertebra, letting the head roll down one vertebra at a time, and ordering the musculature to release at the back of the neck. Continue to lower the head one vertebra at a time, so that only the upper torso is curling downwards one vertebra at a time. Inhibit any holding in the arms, so that as you roll down the arms are completely released.

At the point that the torso has curled as far as it can, begin to lower the torso with the hamstrings. As the torso lowers, inhibit any holding at all in the neck, arms, shoulders and torso. This is truly lowering your upper body without holding any part of it away from the legs. Think orders of release to the hamstrings to lengthen, as they lower you. (Ex: “My hamstrings are releasing and lengthening to lower me, as my torso rolls forwards and downwards with a free neck, arms, and shoulders.”) The hamstrings are lengthening to lower you.

This means you want to experience your hamstrings as lengthening rather than being stretched, and you will if you order them to release as you descend.

There is a point at the end of you controlling your descent where you have lowered yourself as far as you can. It is at that point that you keep ordering your hamstrings to keep releasing and trust them to release, and you will move closer and closer to your legs with the aid of the weight of your upper body. If you are patient with this process, you’ll release the hamstrings completely and be against the front of your legs and can place the hands palm down on the floor without having to “stretch” the hamstrings.

As you’re in this asana, watch yourself breathe and continue to send orders of release throughout your body. Order the sit bone to release to the ceiling, moving away from your heels. This is an order that creates opposition in your legs. Be aware of the opposition of your hands to your sit bones. Be aware of your head directing downwards in opposition to your sit bones.

When it is time to return to standing, reverse the process that took into the posture. Let the hamstrings bring you back up, starting with the lower back as you roll back upwards one vertebra at a time. Remember to breathe. In this whole process of doing this asana, continue to roam your body and ask it to do less and less, so that you create an asana that releases more and more holding, fear, and habit out of your body.

Once you’ve returned to full upright, let yourself see how this is the directed free organization you want in your body all of the time, so that you move like a fearless child once again.

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