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Archive for April, 2012

Roundabouts, swings and general dizziness…

As a child I enjoyed going on a swing for hours but as an adult the swing has been a rather sicky, dizzying experience. I have been going to playgrounds with my children (11, 7 and 4) for quite a few years now and each time I have tried the swing but no go – the forward arc is when my stomach feels like it has been left behind. I put it down to age and thought it would always be this way…

Today my middle child, Esmée, wanted me to go on the swing next to her and I thought I’d see if anything could make a difference to my stomach, so…I tried to look behind me while swinging to start with and that helped and then I tried looking at my hand as I swung and that definitely helped as well. I consciously relaxed and looked forward and to my surprise the lurching, dizzy feeling had gone! I then swung on for another 5 minutes or so and was still fine! I thought maybe this was a temporary reprieve due to the looking behind me, etc. – but after 30 minutes I had another go and still felt good.

Be interesting to see what happens the next time…

A little science as to why most adults don’t enjoy roundabouts, swings and general dizziness… Structures called otoliths in the vestibular labyrinth  in the inner ear eventually degrade a bit as we get older. Otoliths help us know which direction is up and also to have a sense of acceleration. We can start to feel sick when they’re not working very well. Generally children can take a lot more dizziness because their otoliths work better.

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pose of the week – sphinx

sphinx

pose of the week… locust – salabhasana

locust - salabhasana

BENEFITS: Can tone the legs and abdominals. Strengthens the back muscles. May be beneficial for sciatica. Some people with slipped discs can also find this posture helpful (but do check with a yoga teacher or GP before trying)

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Obviously pregnancy puts some restraints on practicing this posture! Most mother’s to be will find up until 12 weeks comfortable to do – but listen to your body – as we are all unique and different. Only practice if it feels comfortable and good to do…

PRACTICE: Lie prone with your arms resting at the sides of your body – palms facing up, eyes looking towards the ground. (You can shut them if you want to…)

If it feels uncomfortable on your nose, roll up the front of your mat and place it underneath your forehead.

When you lie on your front, the back of the neck often lengthens quite quickly. If this is happens to you, lift the forehead, and place it a little further away from yourself.

Relax completely and breathe…

Take a journey around your body and see if there is anything still holding. If there is then imagine you are breathing into it. Visualise the area softening and releasing.

Breathe freely and easily…

Notice your spine moving as you breathe…

When you are ready, engage the thigh muscles the next time you breathe out. Allow the legs to become heavier and lengthen the tailbone away.

As the tailbone lengthens away, you may feel a gentle ripple travel up your spine…An undulation, which when reaching the upper vertebrae brings some lightness there. The shoulders and head may come off the ground…

But just a little bit – be aware of keeping space at the back of the neck – so that your gaze is still towards the mat.

As you breathe in, relax and give into the ground again.

Keep playing with going up on the exhalation and resting and preparing on the inhalation.

Rest when you have had enough and enjoy giving into the ground once again for a few moments.

Child’s pose is a good counter pose to do after locust…

* I have shown the upper body raise for now as I feel it is easier to obtain a feeling of relaxation and spine lengthening than when you also raise the legs…