Friday, February 5, 2010

Yoga Journal Conference: Day 3, Session 3: Unwinding the Low Back with Tias Little

Unwinding the Low Back Tias Little -  
Course ID: M6LITTTherapeutic, Mixed Levels
Sunday, January 31 — 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Main Conference - Session 6
Eighty-five percent of our society suffers from low-back pain at some point in their lives. Typically this pain is caused by asymmetrical strain patterns, such as excess tightness on one side of the body. We'll release constriction in the lumbar and sacral areas through gliding, rocking, and stretching movements to unglue the tightness in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Practice and discussion.

Tias started by talking about the Sacrum.  
"Support for the entire torso"

"It is a lifelong practice to be balanced in the sacrum"

"To balance the cranium, we need to have balance in the sacrum."

He seemed to want to start with a slide show but the projector was misbehaving, so we practiced first.

Unwinding Practice

1. Slip and Slide
Lying supine, with knees bent.
Slide one knee forward and then the other knee forward, feeling the lateral movement in the sacrum.  Continue for about 2 minutes.

2. External Rotation
Again, lying with knees bent.
Allow one knee to drop open on exhale and bring back on the inhale.  Repeat other side and continue for about 2 minutes.

3. Internal Rotation
Again, lying with knees bent.
Allow one knee to drop in on Inhale and exhale to bring back to center.  Repeat other side and continue for about 2 minutes.

4. Rotation of Arms
Lying supine with knees bent and arms out to the side from shoulders.
Internally and externally rotation the arms with breath.  About 1 minute.

5. Simple Twist
Start Supine with Knees Bent.
In exhale, allow knees to drop to one side.  Return them to center in Inhale and bring to opposite Side on Exhale.  Continue, about 1 minute.

6. Simple Twist with Arm Rotation with Head Turn.
Combine 5 and 6 and eventually add a head turn.  Moving with breath and for an extended period of time.

7. Eagle Twist with Arm Rotation and Head Turn
- Still Supine
- Wrap Legs in Garundasana, allow arms to be open to sides.
- With Breath, allow legs to drop to one side on Exhale and come back to center on Inhale.
- Continue to the Same Side.
- Eventually ad the rotation of the arms
- Eventually ad the rotation of the head
- Rest and Repeat Other Side, building slowly in stages.

8. Hamstring Psoas Sequence
Stage 1
- Lie on Right Side, with right arm under head for support, knees bent at 90 degree angle.  Left arm extended across body on floor on right.
- Inhale left arm up to sky and exhale allow it to open back to left.  Inhale up to sky and exhale, allow it to rejoin right arm.  Continue this 3 x or so to establish rhythm.

Stage 2
Still on right side, extend bottom right leg straight.  
Extend top left leg towards left hand on the right side.
With breath move left leg from left hand to back of body into a bent knee hamstring flexion shape and back again to the left hand.  Continue.

9. Abdominal Curls
Start supine on back with knees bent.  With hands wrapped behind head,  on the exhale, as the tailbone curls under, enhance the action with an abdominal curling up and elbows wrapping.  On the Inhale, enhance the action with opening of elbows, tailbone arch and and neck arch.  Repeat 10+ times.

10. Extended Slip and Slide
Lying supine in extended fashion.  Extended and stretch one side and then the other, feeling the lateral movements of the sacrum.

Slide SHOW and Talking points

Tias showed slides to draw our attention the sacrum and the sciatic nerve.
"Stretching the  hamstrings, stretches the nerve tissue."

"Nerves can get longer and less compressed"
"Piriformis syndrome is the nerve entrapment of the sciatic"

"Tailbone not meant to be sat on."
Avoid "shlumpasana"
"When learn how to position low back in the body, its effective for reducing strain."

"Sacrum is tied in with strong, fibrous ligament webbing"

"most people not balanced"
"most of us are pulled to one side"
"Sacrum navigates forces horizontally and vertically"

"Like a Keystone"
Tias is fascinated with the diagonal lines.  
"Pay attention to the diagonal forces in walking"

"Common that one side of pelvis is tighter than other"
"psoas is crucial to lower back."

"health of colon is crucial"
Apana is the downward flowing vayu
and "it is common for colon to be stagnant because of sitting, history of trauma, nutrition or spastic nerves and stagnation like in I.B.S."

"Sacrum and Colon are linked.  Mobility of sacrum and mobility of colon are linked because they share the same facial sleeve."

"Your bowel movements determine your health"
"Also the prostrate gland, uterus, bladder."

Notice that when your back cracks or pops, it is usually the same way.  This demonstrates the imbalance.

Net of endo-pelvic fascia

"So when on hip is tighter than the other, it pulls the whole inside off"

"Usually uterus not balanced in center either."

"If you have tipping, effects everything including mensuration, menopause, fertility."

"The fertility industry is bigger than the yoga industry"

"Importance of aligning the organ bodies for health

The homework;: Do you have gluing in the internal organs?

Some Asana tips:
- backbends are helpful for hamstring pulls because the heal shorten the muscle fibers and heal the over stretch
- balancing hips and sacrum for external rotation of hip for post natal sciatica

- We focused a great deal on find a downward facing dog that allowed the top of the sacrum to draw in without dropping the ribs.
- Demo of Dog Pose
- Dog Pose Several Times with knees bent 
- 2 Cobras
- 1/2 Virasana
- Sit or Savasana

You can connect more with Tias at:

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