Last week I described Arch & Flatten and the Back Lift. These are the exercises needed to help release the "Go" pattern in your body. This is the pattern that looks like military posture: chest out, knees locked, a little bent at the hips and leaning forward, ready to go, go, go!
This week we learned the antidote to the "Stop" posture: chest slumped, chin jutting, tail tucked, slumping into our desks, slumping into defeat. To combat this slumping posture, we learned how to contract and release our front body muscles with Arch & Curl and Diagonal Arch & Curl.
We began with the basic movement, Arch & Curl. This is done
by laying on your back, knees bent. On the inhale the belly rises, the lumbar arches, and the sacrum presses into the floor. On the exhale pull your belly toward your spine, releasing the back muscles and engaging your belly muscles. Draw your lower ribs down and in toward your hip bones, your lumbar flattens to the floor and your tail curls up a little. Relax back to neutral. Repeat 5-10 times.
You can add load by placing the hands behind the head and supporting the head as you take your curl, letting the muscles of the belly lift the head if they are able. Try Arch & Curl without co-contracting. Use only the front body muscles or only the back body muscles.
Next we practiced Diagonal Arch & Curl. Same set-up: lay on your back, knees bent. Hold your L knee in your L hand, R hand behind the head. Exhale and push the belly toward the floor, letting the muscular contraction lift your R shoulder and L hip toward each other. The hand supports the head but does not really lift it. The head will lift when the muscles in the belly are able to engaged in the right way. On the inhale relax the R shoulder and L hip back to the floor and even press the R shoulder and L hip into the floor creating a small diagonal arch. Relax to neutral in between each round. Do this about 3-5 times and then repeat on the 2nd side.
What I've noticed this week is that my sleeping pattern has changed. I don't want as much of a pillow, if any, and I keep waking up on my back with both arms over my head. Usually I am supporting my "stop" pattern by elevating my head (on a pillow) and keeping my arms by my body. Maybe something is changing?
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