The Spine by Brita Forsstrom

Did you know that the cartilage discs between the vertebrae in your spine are largely made of water, especially the inner nucleus?

During waking hours, which we spend mostly in an upright position, standing walking or sitting (and admit it, often slumped), these discs become compressed and lose moisture. Normally it is only during the night when we lie down in bed that the pressure is sufficiently reduced so the discs can again soak up lost moisture. This is one reason why we are a little taller when we wake up in the morning and gradually become shorter as the day goes on.

Alexander Technique teaches you the perfect remedy for this. Taking 15-20 minutes lying down in semi-supine the Alexander way once or twice during the day, allows this re-plumping up of the discs and may help prevent unnecessary wear and tear.

Your Alexander teacher will show you the best way to do this.

Find a quiet space, ideally on a slightly cushioned hard surface, e.g. a mat on the floor. Put a few paperback books or a yoga block under your head to support it (not under the neck). You want to have enough support under the head so that your chin isn’t tipped up but not so much so that it is tucked down on your throat. Have your knees bent with the feet flat on the mat, about shoulder width apart. Allow your arms to release away from the shoulders, allow the upper arms to rest on the floor and fold the forearm so that the palms of your hands rest gently on the front of your body. Gravity will do the work to help you let go of excessive tension in the body, gradually allowing your spine to lengthen and your whole body to expand. Let your eyes stay open if the light isn’t too much.

If you haven’t got 15 or 20 minutes do it for 5 or 10, but don’t put it off. This is a great way to unwind and to observe your body with your mindful eye.

copyright: Brita Forsstrom

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