Work from the inside - out! Please join me in welcoming my friend and coach, Sumair Bhasin as se explore the concept of CONNECTION vs Position. In this video we jump right in and apply cues for connection to the transition from down dog - to up dog!
People pay the big bucks for Sumair’s work, y’all. I am so grateful to welcome him to our FWFG platform to thoughtfully share how we can apply these concepts to home practice and learn what cues to listen to as we feel our way through practice each day. This man is smart and gracious and I am so excited to share this video with you. (Benji helps.)
In movement training, we are often cued to get into a position. An example of this would be "push your hands into the ground, and stay long through your spine, as you drop into the down dog". We do the best we can, but are still not entirely sure what we are supposed to feel, what we need to actively engage, and how we can stay kinesthetically aware of where we are in space. This leads to fatigue, tweaks, and in-efficiency in your practice. In the video above, we guide you through a process by which you can understand how to control your body from the center of your body to the limbs.
Start with your spine first- Bracing: Draw your pubic/rectum area up toward your ribs. And follow that tension out toward your side body. You should feel tension wrapping around your obliques. Now take this to the under side of your shoulder blades and all the way up to the back of your skull. Notice what your spine, arms, and legs are doing. What are they naturally wanting to do. Let go of the tension, and re-tension again to feel the contrast.
Breathing: When you breathe, focus on breathing toward the lateral part of your ribcage (your sides first). Worry about the rest later. Breathing in to your sides will naturally give you more core connection and length through your spine. On your exhale reinforce with the tension laid out above. Practice this just by itself in a seated, laying down, and standing position.
Down Dog to up Dog Transition: As we begin the pattern, start in your plank position first. Immediately go to your spinal tensioning. Pubic area -> to your side body -> through your shoulder blades -> all the way through your head. Now layer in the breathing through your sides. On the exhale reinforce the tension. Even if you only achieve the lift from your pubic area up, that is okay. Honor where you are at, and then progress to more connection and internal awareness through each practice.
Connect to your Limbs- As you are in your plank, what do your spine, arms, legs, hands, and feet want to do? Notice this first just in the plank. Take 5-6 breaths and feel this out.
Hands and Shoulder blades- You will begin to feel like you want to push your hands into the floor. So follow that, and reinforce the above breathing and bracing. Push from your shoulder blades. Think of dropping them down to your hips, and wrapping them forward towards the ground. You will feel even more connection to your breathing and bracing. Follow this as you hollow your midline, and lift your hips up and back to your down dog.
Feet and glutes- As you are dropping into the down dog, actively flex your toes to your shins and rotate the floor outward, to squeeze your glutes a little. This will help you get your heels to the ground with control.
You don't have to get all cues at once. If all you work on is the breathing and bracing for the first week of practice, you are doing great! Then layer on the next cue. Look for connections. It's not about reps, sets, asanas, or Vinyasas. Just take it one breath, one posture, and one transition at a time.
Thank you for having me!
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