Notes from Jodie’s Core and Back Strength workshop April 2012

Postures Covered:
Pranayama, Half Moon, Backward Bend, Awkward 1, 2, & 3, Eagle, Standing Head to Knee, Standing Bow, Balancing Stick, and Triangle.

Practise Philosophies:
• Best results practise minimum 3 times per week
• Remember it takes 21 days to break a habit
• Work hard and try best to do postures 100% right way
• No shortcuts or path of least resistance
• Right way is the hard way
• Create discomfort test edge but no red light pain
• Don’t give up have faith and trust the process

Every Posture:
• Stretch up/lengthen/elongate Spine
• Suck stomach in and hold it in
• As we get older, it’s so important to stretch our spine to minimise the compression in our discs

Pranayama Breathing
• Lift spine up towards the ceiling
• Stretch elbows up to ears
• Stretching spine allows chest to expand and expose ribcage
• Your hips stick out because you are weak in the stomach, so it’s important to keep hips forward
• Weight must be back in heels, it’s hard to lock the knees when the weight is forward

Half MoonHalf Moon
• Stretch spine up separating every vertebrae, joint and cartilage warming up the spine
• Continually stretching up also keeps the spine straight
• Suck stomach in helps align hips in
• Hands palms squeezed together allows opposite hip opening
• Lock knees
• Weight in the heels enables continual lifting up of the spine

Backward Bend
• Best posture to gain and maintain spine health – this will fix your spine
• Give the backbends 100%
• Take a deep breath to Lift spine, preventing crunching into lower spin
• Lift whole body out of hips lengthen spine
• Lift up to minimise curve in spine
• Weight in heels improves spine lift and chest expansion
• 80/20 breathing oxygenates and opens the spine
• Relax head back and arms go back with ears
• Hips forward

Awkward 1
Jodie notes this is a weak posture at Brookvale
• Sit down more and stick your bum out towards the back wall
• Lift chest up more
• Suck stomach in more to work core strength
• Lock arms and elbows
• Weight more back in heels
• For beginners, hips down is more important than chest up.
• For non-beginners, lift your chest up continuously – “You will work your back so much you’ll forget about your weak legs.”

Awkward 2
• Higher toes
• Spine always long
• Continually stretching up
• Curve in spine is OK as long as shoulders and hips are touching the wall
• The speed you come down at – should be such that it means student keeps spine straight and stays higher on toes
• Use your stomach to straighten spine, if spine is forward, stomach is not sucked in enough
• Don’t lean back/forward stretch up for a straight spine

Awkward 3
• Most of the benefits in this posture are when you are coming in and going out
• Up a little on toes OFF heels to prevent painful rotation of hip (input from physio Laura McNair)
• Remember to continually stretch up more
• Core strength to straighten spine
• Squeeze knees strong quads helps keep spine straight

Eagle
• Same principle as Awkward 1
• Sit down lower in chair
• Lift spine up more feel it in the whole spine
• Chest up but don’t compromise hips down
• Keep hips down there whilst lifting leg to aid compression and open hips freeing lower spine
• Use hands to pull foot around, if necessary
• Remember the right way is the hard way
• With heat, practice and perseverance it will come

Standing Head to Knee
• Strong posture
• Remember to suck stomach in at all times
• Protect lower spine whilst kicking out by sucking in stomach
• When you hold in your stomach, your back stretches, most of us don’t hold our stomach in so we’re not getting the stretch in our back
• Best posture for sciatica and back problems
• Locking knee a given
• Spine straight when kicked out before bending forward to touch forward on knee

Standing Bow
• Touch shoulder to chin
• Standing in front of the mirror exercise showed everyone could do it
• Keep shoulder touching chin the entire posture to give a spine twist
• Kick up and back
• Body down more to receive natural irrigation of blood from one side of the body to other

Balancing Stick
• Must continually stretch spine apart in opposite directions forward and back like a human rope in a tug of war
• You must FEEL the stretch
• Belly sucked in to keep spine straight
• Rotate kicking hip down towards the floor to keep hips, pelvis & spine aligned
• Chin forward looking at the floor 4 feet in front adjusts and aligns spine

Triangle
• Bikram says when practising with an injured or healing spine no matter what you must not miss out Triangle posture.
• Most important adjustment students are missing is to push hips forward and down more – no sticking out butts.
• Get the bent knee back more
• Spine straight in the centre will stop crunching down into the hip (hard to open the hip joint when crunching it)
• Stomach in whole time building core stability and strengthening spine
• Upper body up more to stretch spine
• Stretching up and down to create spine traction

In every posture, Jodie often reminded students that “the hard way is the right way”.0