Body Awareness

There are a few things you can do to maintain great health and they all have to do with your body awareness.  So whether you are standing in line at the grocery store or moving your house, here are three things you can remember to protect your posture:

1)  When picking up boxes or babies, bend your knees and keep your spine long as you pick up anything that requires even the littlest bit of strength.  While making your bed, kneel down on the floor and tuck the sheets under.  These adjustments will place the load on your largest muscles in the legs and not the low back.

2)  While standing in line at the grocery store – or anywhere else – notice your posture. If you lift your shoulders up a little (lengthening the side body) and then slide the shoulder blades down the back, you will have elongated your spine, creating better back health.

3)  Notice if you stand with a sway back.  So many of us do.  Gently move your thighs back and apart and then soften the tailbone towards the floor.  Now your low back is long and you can take some of the pressure off those disks.

Remind yourself to notice these common misalignments and then make those subtle shifts for a healthier body.

Compliments of yoga instructor, Lisa Kneller

Quick Stress Reducer

Downward Facing Dog

Release stress and tension with this super simple yoga pose!

Here’s a 10 minute exercise you can do to reduce stress and rejuvenate your spirit.
Start on your hands and knees with hands shoulder width apart and knees hips width apart.
Spread your fingers wide. With arms remaining strong, tuck your toes and lift your knees off the ground, hips in the air. Straighten the legs and lower your heels toward the floor. Hold for three to five breaths; lower back to knees and repeat pose three to five times.

Modification

If you have super tight hamstrings, bend your knees, keep your hips lifted high and move your chest toward the thighs.

Early Morning Stretch

 

There’s nothing like an early morning stretch to get your blood moving and awaken your bones! Here are three stretches you can do in your jammies:

1)  Side/Backside Stretch – Standing with feet hips width apart and parallel, lift both arms toward the ceiling, interlace the fingers and push your palms up.  Rooting down with your feet, press up tall with your hands and feel the stretch.  Then begin to round your back slightly to one side and push through the backside.  Lift back to straight and then round your back slightly to the other side, pushing through that backside as well.

2) Shoulder Stretch/Forward Bend – Standing with your feet greater than hips width apart, interlace your fingers behind your back. Roll the shoulders up and back and begin to take a forward bend while lifting the arms up and back behind you.  As you are in the forward bend, allow your torso to lift with an inhale and then on the exhale, squeeze the shoulder blades together and try to stretch your arms over head a little further.  Repeat that a couple of times and on your last inhale, press down through your feet and rise back up to standing.

3)  Forward Bend With Twist – Standing with feet hips width apart, bend forward and place your left hand on the floor directly under your nose.  Bend your left knee (keeping the right leg straight) and lift your right arm towards the sky.  Take a few breaths there and on your last exhale, lower the right arm back down.  Switch sides.

Compliments of Lisa Kneller, HealthwiseHolyYoga.

Low Back Relief

There are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy back and prevent low back pain:

1)  While standing, start by taking your thighs back a little, then gently tuck your tailbone towards the floor.  Don’t overtuck, but with a little adjustment, you should have a natural curve and some length in your lumbar spine.

2)  While standing, bend over and bend the knees a lot.  Place your hands on the outside of your shins/calves (side of the leg) and press firmly in with your hands while you press the inner thighs out. This is called “Shins In, Thighs Out”.  Try this a few times a day to create space in the low back.

3)  Partner stretch or counter stretch.  Stand face to face with a friend or spouse.  Grab each others’ wrists and back up with your feet keeping them hips width apart.  Begin to bend your knees and take your hips back.  As you pull gently on your buddy’s wrists, you’ll get a nice side and back stretch.  Keep the low belly drawing inward while doing this partner pose.  If you don’t have a partner, use a solid surface like a counter or wall to hold onto while you step back, widen the knees, bend the knees and pull the hips backward.  Again, keep the core drawing in.

Instruction by Lisa Kneller, yoga instructor.

Website:  http://www.healthwiseholyyoga.com