Straight Down the Middle
Center Your Asanas
Working diligently to rebuild my back from repeated stressors that resulted in injury, I have been very focused on the midline of my poses. Reestablishing what is necessary to strengthen and activate the small muscles groups that stabilize the core has been the challenge at hand. I thought I would have had this down after forty-five years, but the beauty of yoga is the ability to start over, and over again, with beginners mind.
I will share this common road to recovery which may help others who thought they had it down too. Here's a call to find your own beginners mind. Once again, it's the simple things in life.
I'm sticking to the midline and taking my time, keeping it straight down the middle.
Simple Back Basics
Gently engage your midline by energetically "wrapping" the front of the spine.
Let the number of repetitions and the number of breaths in each round depend on the current health of your back. Start slowly.
- baby cobra: (hands under shoulders)
- sphinx: (regular cobra with forearms on the ground, elbows under shoulders)
- table top: with opposite arm and leg extended
- wide leg child's pose: with arms outstretched
- bridge: (with arms extended in the air at shoulder height)
Band resistance work
- side lying knee lifts: lay on one side with your head supported with your arm and your knees bent below hip level. If you can, rest the opposite forearm on the floor in front of you. Lift the top knee against band resistance. Do not move your pelvis. Keep your heels together.
- bridge with band: arms outstretched on the floor at hip level with palms up. Start with your knees together. Lift your hips as you take your knees apart to hip width against band resistance. Hold for a few breaths, then release keeping your knees hip width.
- piriformis stretch: lying on your back. cross your right ankle over the top of your bent left knee. Clasp both hands around your shin--one arm reaching through the inside of your thigh and the other reaching your shin from the outside of your thigh. Repeat on opposite side.
- knees to chest: with wide knees