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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!