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Settle Into Fall

September, 2014

As the season turns and the colors around us are changing, leaves begin to float off their branches.  Just as our environment is settling in, we too can ground our bodies, using gravity as our guide.  The ability to relax downwards is an essential part of feeling comfortable within your body.  Here are some ways you can fall into your natural posture:

 

Nesting the Pelvis

 

Help your pelvis navigate its way home. While standing, take a little zigzag squat. Imagine you are about to sit down on a chair located behind you (not just directly under you) and let the pelvis fall forward. Feel your pelvis dropping between the legs, as though it is “nesting.” As your stand up out of your squat, see if you can retain that relaxed sensation in the front of the pelvis. This is an excellent way to let gravity help you antevert, or “tip” your pelvis forward.

 

 

The problems associated with a tucked pelvis, explained in an excerpt from our DVD

 


Esther's son, Nathan White, showing a
relaxed pelvis, rib cage and shoulder
position in spite of a challenging reach.

 

Releasing the rib cage

 

Ideally, the front of the ribs want to be flush with the contour of your torso. However, the ribcage may feel “seized” by a tight set of low back muscles which pull your back into a swayed position. The low back muscles need to release so the ribcage can drop forward, which can be challenging for some. We often need a little help from our rib anchor muscles (the internal obliques) which harness the ribcage into place. As your rib anchor strengthens, your low back is given a reprieve. Try placing two fists at the base of your ribs, below your chest, and gently push in and down. As much as you can, consciously try and relax the low back. Then, as your remove your fists, see if you can maintain the settled ribcage position.

 


Young man from Burkina Faso
showing healthy, settled shoulder posture.
 

Settle the shoulders

 

Continue to roll your shoulders. Remember, a little forward, a little up, a lot back, and relax. When you create a homebound pathway for the shoulders, there is a nice little niche for them to settle down and back. So, don’t forget to relax after your roll-you might be surprised that your shoulders will often drop down even further.

 

 

 


Young girl in Otavalo,Ecuador,
showing relaxed, settled lower
jaw position.

Slacken the jaw

 

If you strain the neck, the lower jaw can become tense and tight. As the back of neck lengthens and the jawline angles down, gravity will coax the lower jaw forward relative to the upper jaw. This is helpful for those of us who have an "overjet" (sometimes erroneously called an overbite in colloquial English). Use your hands to adjust your head. To enhance this effect, grasp a clump of hair at the base of the neck, gently pull back and then upward, and allow the lower jaw to soften and slide slightly downward.

 

Wishing you the best in this season of change,

 

Esther

 

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