In week 1 we learned to use and release our back body muscles. In week 2 we found our front body muscles and this week Jodi guided us in learning to use and release our side body muscles with the Somatic technique, Side Curl.
Why would you want to do this? Maybe you feel like one leg is shorter than the other, or maybe you slump more on one side, or maybe you feel weaker on one side. This practice will help release side body slumping, will strengthen the side bodies, and can lengthen the torso to relieve the experience of having one longer leg (one leg actually being longer is extremely rare - it is more likely that the torso muscles are contracted unequally).
Here's what we learned. I'll break it down:
1. To start, lay on your L side, head resting on your extended L arm, hips
and knees bent at 90 degrees (like you were siting in a straight-back
chair and you tipped over sideways).
2. Place your R hand on your R hip and try to use your side body muscles to "hike" your hip up into your hand. Repeat 3-5 times, resting completely after each hip hike.
3. Lay your R arm on top of/along your R side body. Practice pulling your R armpit down toward your R hip using your side body muscles. Repeat 3-5 times, resting completely after each engagement.
4. With R arm still resting on your R side body, draw your R armpit and your R hip toward each other and then slowly release them away from each other, even lengthening at the end of the release. Repeat 3-5 times, again stopping and resting between each rep.
5. Adding load: Bring the R arm up and over head, holding the top of the L ear. Draw your R armpit and your R hip toward each other while at the same time letting your head float up (R hand supports the head) and your R foot float up (knees remain glued together). This should really concentrate the effort into the R side torso muscles. When you release from the contraction, release very slowly and even lengthen the R arm and R leg away from each other, extending them straight away from the body. Rest in this lengthened position.
6. Repeat these steps on the other side.
I'm not noticing any different body habits or patterns changing this week but I feel like this exercise is really good at strengthening my side bodies.
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