Our perception of the body is primarily oriented with a forward direction.
Forward is the most common movement pattern.
However, a lot happens beyond the forward direction… because the body is not one dimensional.
For example, a forward fold is not isolated to the forward direction. A forward fold causes a stretching effect on the back body, as the front body compresses. These two directions are within the realm known as the sagittal dimension. So, that is two directions but still only one dimension of movement — sagittal.
There are three dimensions!
Three Dimensions of movement
The great benefits in yoga come from developing all three dimensions of movement, and six directions. They all enhance each other.
All three dimensions of movement work together to strengthen, support, and stabilize the body.
Today we are going to focus on the transverse dimension of movement — the realm of rotation.
The Realm of Rotation
Two kinds of rotation in yoga:
Hip rotations —
Spine rotations —
- Parivrtta Trikonasana
- Ardha Matsyendrasana
- …and what’s in this video!!!
This video demonstrates three ways to practice gentle rotations for your spine.
How rotation effects the nervous system?
First of all, it’s important to understand that the sympathetic nervous system’s cells begin in the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord, T1 to L2 – the thoracolumbar division.
Fyi, the thoracolumbar division is also known as the sympathetic division.
Rotations in the spine, as demonstrated in the yoga poses, provides a massage along the length of the thoracolumbar division of the spine — aka the sympathetic division. As the rotation creates a massage effect, the massage causes a release of endorphins through the muscles which helps to release tension and calm irritated nerve receptors in the muscles.
Another yoga pose to practice
If you are interested in another way to enter the transverse dimension of movement and explore rotations… one of the easiest ways is with a simple reclined twist.
- Comfortably lie on your back
- Bend one knee to your chest
- Draw knee across body
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