Class this week focused on freedom in the side body. Familiar poses with an emphasis on opening, stretching and finding space in the side body. The muscles between the ribs are the intercostal muscles. When they are tight, its hard to take a deep, nourishing breath. And a deep, nourishing breath is life. Opening the side body helps everything :)
As we open the side seams of the body it naturally creates some opening in the front of the hips and possibly deeper into the psoas muscles. Opening laterally into the rib cage also can bring freedom to the quadratuslumborum, a muscle in the back below the lowest rib and above the hip. It is a tight spot for many of us on our backs. Students often find this work creates access to deeper twists, forward bends & backbends.
We opened with deep breathing. I guided students to put their palms on their ribs and feel the breath in the their hands and ribs. Then I had them put their right hand on their heart and their left hand on their right hand. I asked them to observe when they inhale how the belly lowers, the ribs expand laterally and the sternum lifts. This deep, abdominal breathing is very calming for the nervous system. When we are fearful or anxious, we tend to only breath into our chest.
Poses included cresent lunge with a side bend, lunge twist with arm over top ear, core work, tree with a side bend, strong leg work in the warrior poses, parsva konasana with the top hand flexed like it was pushing into an imaginary wall, handstand to stretch the side body & ribs to get longer, Goddess pose with arms overhead into side bends, and a partner upavista konasana again opening deeply into the muscles along the side waist.
Thank you for your feedback and for joining me for practice this week. Namaste, Lynn