Monday, December 3, 2012

Myth of Aging ~ Week 4

This week in Somatics we learned "The Washcloth." Think: ring yourself out. Yep, all about twisting. Previously we had learned to contract one area while simultaneously relaxing another area (like in Arch & Curl where you engage the belly and relax the back and then switch and engage the back and relax the belly - see week 1 & week 2).

The Washcloth got us moving in all directions at once it seemed. There's legs, arms, shoulders, head, belly, back & breath involved so I'll see if I can break it down.

Legs:
Start by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet a bit wider than shoulder distance apart. Let your knees rock slowly from side to side and notice what your hips are doing (one should be lifting while the other sinks more into the floor).

Arms & Shoulders:
Out like a T. One arm rotates up while the other rotates down. For example, R palm turns up, thumb pointing to the wall behind your head while the L palm turns down, thumb pointing to the wall beyond your feet.
Tip: Let your hands receive the twist. Begin each movement from the shoulder. So when you want your palm to turn down, make that happen by rolling your shoulder inward and down toward your belly. When you want your palm to turn up, press your shoulder blade into the ground and roll your shoulder open.

Head:
Just like in a regular twist the head will look in the opposite direction from the way the knees fall.

Belly, Back & Breath / Putting it all together:
While your knees are falling L and your L back of hip is pressing into the floor, your head is looking R, and your R shoulder blade is pressing into the floor, causing your R palm to turn up. The L shoulder is lifting slightly and drawing toward the R hip, causing your L palm to turn down. These movements are creating a slight diagonal arch from the back of the R shoulder to the back of the L hip and a slight diagonal curl from the front of the L shoulder to the front of the R hip.

Taking it to the other side, your knees are falling R and your R back of hip is pressing into the floor. Your head is looking L, and your L shoulder blade is pressing into the floor, causing your L palm to turn up. The R shoulder is lifting slightly and drawing toward the L hip, causing your R palm to turn down. These movements are creating a slight diagonal arch from the back of the L shoulder to the back of the R hip and a slight diagonal curl from the front of the R shoulder to the front of the L hip.

For me, it works best to exhale as I come into the twist and inhale as everything comes back to center. The slower you move and the more mindfully you practice the better the results (relieving pain, increasing range of motion). Sometimes this means that I have to take multiple breaths per side vs. flowing with the twist in a one breath per movement pattern.

Enjoy!

Read more:
Myth of Aging Week 1
Myth of Aging Week 2
Myth of Aging Week 3




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