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Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – Perspectives – REAL Health

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Rehab Your Asanas

By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT

When first practicing breathing, one should learn how to align the spine properly to maximize the free flow of energy and the proper muscle activation for breath control. Our spine has 3 natural curves: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. We lose these curves over time with prolonged standing, sitting, and poor sleeping postures. Your breathing patterns can also become disrupted. A lot of us tend to be chest-only breathers, which limits the ability to fill the lungs. When you address spinal alignment and base all of your physical movements on the correct posture, you place your body in the best position to strengthen the stabilizers, protect the spine, and to breathe correctly. The inability to properly control spinal movement and breath can contribute to injury, re-injury or delayed recovery. Our postural muscles, transverse abdominals, and respiratory muscles are slow twitch muscles that are used for endurance. In contrast, fast twitch muscles are used for short bursts of movement. Slow twitch muscles are typically closest to the spine, and are deep and internal. They form our architectural support structure and are controlled at an unconscious level. Typically postural muscles are only supposed to engage at approximately 15-30% effort. When they are fatigued from injury/pain/nerve damage, fast twitch muscles could take over causing spasms and compression.

Yoga is a great way to activate our slow twitch fibers when it’s performed correctly!

Kim Burns Yoga Rehab

Practicing pranayama helps to regulate and purify your vital life force energy. I like to teach a modified version of Dirga Pranayama that addresses our lymphatic system. Diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the lymphatic system and your internal organs through expansion and contraction of the diaphragm. The vagal nerve is also stimulated with a diaphragmatic breath and aides is calming our nervous system down through the heart, lungs, digestive tract and more!

Rejuvenating Pose
In this pose we are looking for focus, body awareness, and breath. Lie on the floor or on a firm surface. Bring your awareness to your spinal alignment and free the area from any tension.

Tilt the pelvic bone back (posterior movement) like you are squeezing the buttocks and draw the belly in. Feel how it slides the rest of your spine out of alignment. Now arch forward (anterior movement), by tilting the pelvic bone to point towards the feet. Whole spine movement again. Let it come to a rest in a neutral position while maintaining a slight low back curve. Next, place your hands on your thighs and gently walk your shoulders away towards the back of the mat. Inhale and roll the shoulders up, back and down, opening your chest slightly for proper scapula alignment. Press through your hairline to the ground with a chin tuck, using a gentle 15-30% tension. There should be 3 points of contact: the pelvic bone, the low ribs to the top of the scapula, and the center of the back of your head. If your chin is pointing up, use a small towel under the head. If your low back is flat on the floor, place a roll under your low back. Allow your body to feel a neutral alignment while performing a 3 part breath.

With your hands resting on your belly, inhale through the nose while expanding your belly. Gently resist an upwards movement. Pause for a moment without hand pressure and exhale with Ujjayi breathing through the nose like you are saying hmmm while gently tightening abdominals. Exert slight pressure on your belly during this exhale to assist in lymph flow. Continue to exhale in this manner. Next inhale through the belly and begin to expand the low ribs. Expanding the low ribs will open the large intestine and kidneys on the left and your liver on the right. Exhale using Ujjayi breathing. Finally inhale through the belly and low ribs while raising the clavicle area but without raising the shoulders. Continue to draw deep breaths attending to the 3 cues: belly, low ribs, and clavicle. Exhale with a gentle belly bracing, closing the low ribs, and lowering the clavicle. End practice by being still and noticing your breath as it naturally occurs. “The Spirit within me respects the Spirit in you”

Medical Disclaimer
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

Like what you read? I would love to hear from you! What are you interested in hearing more about?

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kim-burns-november-2016-210Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT, is an Occupational Therapist with over 14 years’ experience working with clients ranging from infants to the elderly. She has always had passion for wellness and what she could do at home for herself to manage pain and delay disease processes. Her recent certification in Lymphedema Therapy has provided her further incentive to focus her business around preventing disease and halting its progression. Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – (215) 499.0444 – Kim.Burns@SensoryIntuition.comwww.SensoryIntuition.com.

Copyright © 2016 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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