Sundays are rest and research days. Lately, I have been venturing to Vancouver, B.C. to try some Yoga Studios. I try to make it to a new studio every week. Last week I tried out Yoga on 7th. I took Eve Johnson’s class, Ivengar with Ropes for spine care.
There are always a lot of props used in spine care classes. Pillowing up to create a decompressed supported spinal column takes time. Once in the pose it is relaxing, rejuvenating and worth the time.
This class was amazing, and as it turned out my spine needed some care.
I have always loved the use of Iyengar ropes. So simple on the eye, utilitarian and ageless. The place from which TRX suspension training was inspired? Holding on to ropes, hanging in poses with rope support – improves hand strength and grip. This is an important thing to be aware of as we age. Iyevengar is a nice place to start if you are working on improving grip strength and shoulder girdle integration with the core.
My favorite pose from this class was a simple hang from the ropes in a chair pose. Facing the wall, one rope in each hand, sitting back with the nutral spine, and allowing the upper thoracic rib cage to extend through the sternum while keeping the bottom of the rib cage connected, engaging the obliques.
I modified the pose for more support at my studio. From the Trapeze table, grabbing on to the cotton foot loops and sitting back lightly on the box. Trying to extend though the upper rib cage while keeping the lower rib cage stable and blended with the oblique support. Nice stretch through the shoulder girdle, good traction on the spine from a semi hanging position, good for grip strength building, good for creating extension and mobility throughout the upper thoracic spine. The spinous process, the bony landmarks of the back of the spine, start to layer over each other like shingles at the rib cage. Sometimes we get into the habit of moving the rib cage as one unified piece and burden the vertbre that are easiest to bend with all of the flexion and extension action. It’s fabulous to give the client the opportunity to feel the articulation of the upper thoracic vertebrae. It helps with Pilates exercises such as roll down with the bar – and it helps with Yoga poses such as chair and twist. Use this pose to create awareness of the thoracic spine.
This photo is of a different pose, however still with the grip to shoulder girdle benefit. I love the use of the Pilates Spine Corrector. Perfect seated support and also can be recreated on the Trapeze table with much ease.
A correlating pose in Thai Yoga, Pulling Arms. Even here in Thai Yoga, the client can be reminded to counter point the bottom ribs with the opening of the chest.