Yes, I’m really quoting The Time Warp, from Rocky Horror. Terrible movie, awful song, but it gets to the point, the pelvic tilt (or pelvic thrust if you’re a slut like Janet).
Recent Yoga for Posture posts included Mountain Pose and a sitting modification for Mountain Pose. These two exercises are among the most powerful methods I have found for improving your posture especially when you add a little visualization to the mix.
But, like I said last week, you can add a little more.
This weekend, I warned you never to forget the basics, and to put in regular, consistent practice. I neglected my own advice, and I payed for it with three days of lower back pain.
Fortunately for me, the one of the many benefits of doing something hard, for a long period of time, is that, in doing so, you create long lasting change. When I set out to fix my back and correct my posture, I attacked the challenge with vigour.
I worked hard, regularly and consistently for years and one of the benefits of that is that the changes have stuck. If I had taken a summer off back maintenance four or five years ago, the price I would have had to pay for this weekend’s work would have been much greater. Because I put in the hard reps, for a long time, it wasn’t so bad.
Time was, that butcher’s bill would have been a pinched nerve and days of bedrest, pain killers and muscle relaxants. This week, the bill was a couple of Aleves before bed, and a little soreness through the day, located in the muscles just above my coccyx, on the left hand side.
Which brings me to today’s exercise. I’ve been taking brisk walks, a couple of times a day, to help ease the tension in the muscles and connective tissues of my lumbar region. One of the things I have noticed is that motion=good, and standing still=bad.
The problem is, my little guy loves to go to the park after dinner, to play tag with his friends.
- Taking kid to park=sitting on a park bench.
- Sitting on park bench=lumbar flexion.
- Lumbar flexion=lumbar pain.
- I’m already suffering lumbar pain.
So, what to do, stand? Well, doing Mountain Pose for a minute or two is great for your back and posture. Standing around the park for ½ and hour while Little Mr. M. runs around with his buds is…not great for my back and posture. So, while I was standing with the other parents, I did some
- Stand straight, with neutral spine
- Feel the position of your lumbar spine
- Lean back slightly to turn off your low back muscles
- Gently tilt your pelvis forward, moving and stretching the lumbar muscles and spine
- Gently tilt your pelvis backward, moving and compressing the lumbar muscles and spine
Only go until you feel a mild discomfort. The idea is not to stretch out your lumbar spine (that’s generally a terrible idea), nor is it to compress your lumbar spine (also generally a terrible idea). The idea is to work the muscles and joints a bit to let them relax.
Interestingly, it also has the salutary effect of helping you learn your neutral lumbar spine position.
A few reps of this and my lumbar immediately feels better.