Posted by: LBergstrome | January 11, 2011

New Choices – New Life

Posture and an Open Heart – Guru Rattana

New choices, new priorities and a new life can be supported by open-hearted posture. Our posture is a good indicator of the relationship between our inner and outer realities. A fear-based, apprehensive inner reality protects itself by closing our heart. The more confident we are and the more we courageously embrace life, the easier it is to reflect this inner reality with upright, self-assured posture.

Poor posture is also a bad habit. We slouch over our computer as we bring our head out in front of our body to read the screen. We think too much and feel too little.

I am choosing to make good posture and an open heart one of my primary goals of 2011. How about joining me?

Poor posture exaggerates the ‘S’ curve in our spine, creating a hump in our upper back and either a collapsed lower spine or an over extended lower back.

We can work on our posture during our Kundalini yoga practice, while walking, cooking, driving, standing, doing any household task and while we are on the computer.

Here are some guidelines –

[1] Lengthen Your Spine

A healthy spine requires lubricating the discs between the vertebrae. When we sit slouched and bent over, our discs are compressed. The discs are lubricated with blood as we stretch.

* Feel a string at the top of your head pulling your spine up toward the ceiling.

[2] Position Your Head on Top of Your Spine

When we are preoccupied with thinking, instead of feeling in our body, our energy consolidates in our head. We actually lead with our head when we walk, talk and move. When our head is in front of our body, our spine and shoulders have to strain to support our head. This causes stress and pain in the muscles underneath our shoulder blades.

* From the back of your neck, pull your head back over your spine until you can feel your shoulders relax and the shoulder blades fall down.

Notice what happens to your chest. It rises and your heart opens.

[3] Lift up from Your Diaphragm

Our posture collapses when it is not supported by the muscles in our diaphragm and the front of our body. Notice how your solar plexus caves in. This happens as we attempt to feel safe and to protect ourselves.

* Lift up your diaphragm from the solar plexus. Follow the upward movement of the diaphragm by using the muscles in your chest to raise your chest toward your chin. The little used muscles in the front of our body are used to being lazy. They must be strengthened to support a straight spine. These muscles must be developed. Pulling up from the back of the neck develops the back muscles. Lifting the chest develops our front muscles. We can alternate between the two to develop the different muscle groups.

[4] Do All Kundalini Yoga Exercises with an Open Heart

It is critical to monitor your posture during KY practice. Always apply the above guidelines while doing the asanas. Do not compromise an open heart by bending over to lengthen your stretch or to touch your head to your knee in leg stretches. A good stretch is possible at any degree of flexibility.

[5] Monitor How You Use Your Neck

Our neck is very mobile. Our upper back is usually tight. As a consequence, we use our neck when it is not appropriate. Notice if you engage and tense your neck when you do navel exercises like stretch pose and leg lifts. The neck should be relaxed. Oops! We are using our neck muscles to compensate for weak abdominal muscles. Monitor your neck and do only what you can do with a relaxed neck. Work on strengthening lower body muscles, especially the small core abdominal muscles. (Not just the large psoas muscles.)

[6] Check Your Posture During Meditation and while on the Computer

Constantly monitor your posture during sitting in meditation and while on the computer. We are so used so slumping.

* Pull your navel in and up toward your spine, adjusting the spine so you are sitting on your sit bones.

* Feel connected to the Earth from your sit bones and the base of your spine

* Pull your spine up from the back of your neck to lengthen spine. Then relax, but do not slump.

* Pull up on your diaphragm and lift up on your chest muscles to open your heart.

* Remember to breathe long and deep up and down your spine.

* Work on your posture while you breathe – expanding, opening and elongating.

[7] A Smile Is Your Indicator Light

When your spine is correctly positioned and your heart is open, you might notice a smile on your face and joy in your heart.

Capricorn and Cancer Classes – Guru Rattana Online

Check out the Guru Rattana On-line Capricorn class on ‘Who Am I in the World?” in the Body/Earth Element Section and the Cancer class ‘From Fear to Love’ which you can find in the Emotions/Water Element Section. Check out the section entitled ‘Meeting Life Challenges.’ One of these titles is going to knock at your heart and give you the inspiration and experience you need to move forward in your life.

If you haven’t already subscribed, you will need to do so to watch these classes. For a ridiculously low monthly rate ($7.95, save 25% on a yearly subscription) you can watch as many classes as many times as you wish. www.yogatech.com/grol.html

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