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Category » Movement Wisdom « @ Gini Martinez

Movement Wisdom: Warm Sugar Shoulders

There isn’t a gorgeous photo accompanying this week’s Movement Wisdom, but we do have candy!

After seeing this video last Christmas of candy canes being made, it’s my go to imagery for visualizing muscles relaxing, especially those over achieving upper traps. I only wish I there was enough footage of this stage of candy making to make the GIF longer than 1 second, but you can fire up that imagination to visualize the warm sugar melting longer.

The_making_of_candy_canes_by_hand_at_Lofty_Pursuits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, now let’s add some movement.

Place your right hand on the meat of the muscle(s) of your left shoulder. (Hint: Place it closer to your neck than arm.)

Circle your shoulder around s-l-o-w-l-y.

Forward, up, back, and down.

As your shoulder lowers down, visualize the muscles on top of it as warm sugar softening and melting down, releasing any unwanted tension.

Circle forward, up, back, and down. (Feel free to make the movement small and easy.)

Warm sugar muscles softening and melting, allowing your neck to relax and lengthen.

Forward, up, back, and down.

Can you smell the peppermint? These are candy cane muscles, after all.

Forward, up, back, and down.

Can you feel the warm sugar muscles spreading out?

Forward, up, back, and down.

Can you feel your arm releasing down toward the floor?

 

Allow both arms to hang at your sides.

What (if anything) has changed about your posture?

Does your left arm feel longer than your right?

Does the left side of your neck feel longer? More relaxed?

Turn your head from side to side.

Do you feel more range of motion on one side than the other?

Does the left side of your chest feel more open? Relaxed?

 

Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!

 

Also, here’s some more footage of warm sugar being stretched (the pink candy in the background). I find it mesmerizing and oddly soothing. (If it isn’t playing on a loop, just give the GIF a click.)

The_making_of_candy_canes_by_hand_at_Lofty_Pursuits-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Does the warm sugar imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.
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Movement Wisdom: Gathering Sand, Molding Sand Arches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sit on a chair so your feet are resting comfortably on the floor.

Imagine you’re sitting at the beach, your feet resting on the warm dry (or cool wet) sand.

Keeping your toes relaxed and (relatively) straight, lift the center of your feet up toward the sky. Hold for a second and then gently release them down.

Lift your arches up, hold, and slowly release.

Lift. Hold. Release.

Imagine gathering sand, pulling it up toward your arch. The more you gather, it creates a sand support for your foot to rest upon as you release.

Imagine molding the sand into the shape of your arch and feeling the support under your feet.

Repeat several times.

What does the sand feel like?

Warm? Cool? Dry? Damp?

Does the support from your sand arches allow any muscles to relax, releasing excess tension?

What (if anything) is different about your sitting posture?

Stand up.

What (if anything) is different about your standing posture?

If you need to get rid of any excess sand, imagine sprinkling baby powder on your feet and the sand will brush right off. 😉

Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!

 

P.S. Does the gathering sand imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.

image credit

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Movement Wisdom: Drawing Scapulae Circles in the Sand

 

9 girls beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet about hip distance apart.

Notice your shoulder alignment, the way they contact the floor.

Notice if your right shoulder feels similar to or different from your left.

Raise your arms overhead, then circle them out to the side and back down toward your hips.

Continue circling your arms up, around and down several times.

Can you feel your scapulae (shoulder blades) moving against the floor beneath them?

Circle your arms up, around and down.

Feel your scapulae moving with your arms.

Circle up, around, and down.

Can you feel the direction in which your scapulae move?

Raise your arms up- Feel your scapulae slide down toward your waist.

Circle your arms out to the side- Feel your scapulae slide in toward your spine.

Lower your arms toward your hips- Feel your scapulae slide up toward your head.

Circle your arms.

Feel your scapulae slide down, in, up.

Circle your arms.

Feel your scapulae slide down, in, up.

Scapulae slide down. circle in, then up.

Down, in, up.

Down, in, up.

Imagine lying on the beach.

See your scapulae drawing half circles in the sand- Down, in, up.

Smooth half circle scapulae drawings in the sand.

Down, in, up.

Down, in, up.

Lower your arms to your sides.

What (if anything) is different about your posture?

Do your shoulders feel more relaxed?

Your chest more open?

Do your arms feel closer to the floor?

 

Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!

 

P.S. Does the scapulae sand drawing imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.
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Movement Wisdom: Embody A Dog Hammock and Realign Your Shoulders

dog hammock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get down on the floor on your elbows and knees. (Be mindful that your elbows aren’t forward from your shoulders or set wider apart than your shoulders as this reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.)

Allow your chest/ribcage to gently sag toward the floor.

Now, press your elbows into the floor to push your ribcage away from the floor, toward the ceiling.

Allow your whole ribcage to gently sag toward the floor again.

Push your ribcage away from the floor.

Gently lower your ribs, then push them up again.

Can you feel muscle(s) engaging under your armpits as you press your elbows into the floor?

Visualize the muscles gently stretching as you gradually lower your ribcage to the floor.

Feel the muscles shortening to lift your ribcage toward the ceiling.

Imagine your ribcage as the dog sitting in the hammock, his weight gently pulling on either end of the hammock as he sinks toward the ground.

Imagine the ends of the hammock contracting, the middle of the hammock becoming taught, to lift your ribcage dog up toward the sky.

Imagine the ends of your muscle hammock attaching to the undersides of your shoulder blades.

Image the body of your muscle hammock attaching to your ribs, just under and in front of your armpits.

As you lower your ribcage dog, your muscle hammock lengthens and your ribs descend away from your shoulder blades.

(Notice if your head sags toward the floor and bring it back up in alignment with the rest of your spine to lengthen and relax your neck. Notice if your pelvis tilts toward the floor – spilling out all your internal goodies – and gently release your tail between your legs to lift your lower abdominals and lengthen and relax your lower back.)

As you lift your ribcage dog, your muscle hammock shortens and your ribs ascend toward your shoulders blades, which gently hug the back and sides of your ribs stabilizing your shoulders and releasing any unwanted neck and shoulder tension.

Gently and smoothly, your ribs descend away from your shoulder blades and then return for a welcoming shoulder blade hug.

 

Sit or stand back up and relax your arms at your sides.

What (if anything) is different about your posture?

Do you feel taller?

Your chest more open?

The top of your shoulders relaxed?

 

Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!

 

Want to watch your hammock muscle (serratus anterior) in motion? Click HERE for a cool 3-D video.

 

P.S. Does the hammock imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.image
credit: RayMorris1
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