Use Pressure to Open

My work this week included decompressing the spine at all the points along the way where collapse is likely: between the lumbar and the sacrum, between the low floating rib line and the lumbar spine, between C7 and the ribs, between the skull and the neck.

I have also been working with opposites. Putting pressure in one place can create some space in another. I hope that the warm up (at 6. below) gives that feeling in preparation for Parivrtta Janu Sirsasna.

1. Sukhasana with Right Shin forward
Lift arms from sides up overhead shoulder width apart.

2. Side Bend
Release right hand down to floor, left arm over towards right.

3. Sit Upright, lower arms

4. Loose Janu Sirsasana
Leaving the left leg in place, extend right leg out so that the inner right thigh snuggles up to the sole of the left foot. Twist both sides of torso towards the right leg and bow towards right leg.

5. Small Arch
Still twisting towards right leg, bend right knee. Place right foot flat on floor.

6. Twist
Right hand onto left knee, keeping both sit bones grounded.

7. Create Pressure
Place right hand, palm up on the floor inside of the right leg. Close left hand onto right hand, palm down. Create pressure between right upper arm and right upper leg. From that still point, circle the left arm up and open.

8. Come Down
Lower left arm, and release right arm to outside of right leg. Lower right knee down towards left knee to sit side saddle.

9. Small Boat
Bring both feet forward, shins up parallel to floor for a small boat pose. Keeping shins in air cross left shin on top of right shin.

10. Sukhasana with left shin forward to begin 2nd side.