You may think that after 20+ years of practicing yoga, I can do the poses effortlessly. Not so! I still struggle with various poses, even simple ones like the hamstring stretch, Supta Padangusthasana. Now that I am learning more about how everything is connected through a network of fascia, aka connective tissue, it all makes sense.
One of my favorite tools that MELT has added to my practice, is a technique called the Rest Assess. It is essentially like the resting pose, Shavasana that you do at the end of yoga class, but with certain key things that you are guided to notice in your body. Through this I have gained greater awareness in how my asana practice and really anything I do during my day, is effecting my body. Recently I realized that a favorite neck release was actually just transferring the tension to another part of my body--my low back. Yikes!
For those of you yogis also MELTing out there, or for MELTers with a yoga practice, I am going to share the sequences I use in my practices and the effect it has on my body. I hope it inspires and informs your own practices. I would also love to hear your own stories as you play around with the two,
Freeing the neck in Bridge Pose
Start with the MELT Rest assess so you notice and can better integrate the changes you experience in your body
Gentle warm-up--I did the Morning Series, a sequence of lying down poses that I learned in my yoga training
Lower Body Lengthening Sequence from MELT
Active Yoga flow sequence--I did 2 rounds of Sun Salutes and 2 standing poses.
Shoulder openers for Bridge pose
MELT hand treatment with the large soft ball
Bridge pose and bow pose (aka Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Rest Reassess and any additional releases for the neck or low back
My experience of the practice: As a teacher trainer I am always instructing my teachers about the importance of the proper shoulder roll for bridge pose, aka Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. When I did the hand treatment before the pose it freed me up for an effortless and deep roll of the shoulders. The earlier Lower body lengthening sequence meant that I could lift my hips higher in the pose without compromising or building tension in my neck. The cherry on top? After the last backbend, I could feel a fresh flow of circulation in my throat and neck that continued well after the practice ended.
Take it to your mat tip : Feel how the practice you are doing is effecting your body. Craft the sequence so that it promotes balance and freedom of movement along the way, not just hoping you will find it in the end.
If you would like to experience how MELT can enhance your yoga practice or any other physical activity you do, join me for my Introduction to MELT series or book a private session with me. New to both? I can help you with that too. Email me for the best way for you to get started enjoying the benefits of a practice tailored to you and your goals.