My feel-good hack using yoga, spine aligner, breathing, TRE, and more yoga

I’m sharing a little feel-good hack I discovered today.

I used to hang upside down by my knees daily to lengthen my back and let gravity work the other direction. It’s a great way to put space between the vertebrae, lengthen the back muscles, and give the spinal nerves more space.

Well, I don’t have a way to hang in my trailer (until I get a yoga swing and hang it outside from a tree, maybe in the spring).

I’ve been experiencing some little kinks in my back, the kind of thing a chiropractor could easily adjust, but I don’t see mine until tomorrow.

Here’s what I did to release the kinks and energize myself for the day:

  1. To wake up and limber up, I did one very deep, very slow, very mindful round of surya namaskar/sun salutation, dropping deep into lunge and integrating a heart-opening variation of utthita parsvakonasana/extended side angle pose, vir 1/warrior 1, and later adho mukha svanasana/downdog with variations into the sequence. This is my true yoga love, sun salutation with infinite variations, my own custom every-day-is-different vinyasa tailored for my needs.
  2. I laid down on my yoga mat, picked up the spine aligner/ma roller (photo below), and placed the two middle knobs between two vertebrae between my shoulder blades, mid-way up. I breathed 10 breaths, then rolled it down one vertebrae. Repeated this all the way down to L5/sacrum. (If you are new to using this tool, start using it on a bed; otherwise, the discomfort will stop you.) It 
  3. Removed the spine aligner, placed my soles on the floor, and let my legs shake shake shake until all the tension was released, like in the Trauma Releasing Exercises. I hadn’t planned to do that. It just came up that I needed to release.
  4. I returned to yoga and did a reclining spinal twist with knees together that I learned from Eleanor Harris, my long-time yoga teacher. Sorry, not sure of the Sanskrit.

My back feels much better, and my energy is flowing well. This relaxation business is seriously fun and creative!

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