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Bowen Technique and Yoga Therapy

About Whole Therapies by Lucy

In this space we hope to share the wealth of Yoga. Not only physical practice but also the mental part of yoga and general knowledge.

Anatomy and trivia existing together in one space.

Besides this you can find regular updates on Bowen Technique news and interesting matters related to this.

Releasing the Sartorius

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Sun, September 02, 2018 11:15:06

How to release Sartorius related aches

A simple way of finding first release in the Sartorius muscle is to start with sitting in Hero (Vajrasana) to gradually move into reclined hero.

(pic and video)

Or you could work on practicing extended hand to toe pose (utthita hasta padangusthasana)

(pic + Video)



Releasing the Psoas

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Wed, May 30, 2018 21:11:29

As we spend most of our life seated the psoas muscle is almost all the time in a contracted state and rarely ever gets a chance to fully release. This unfortunately often results in lower back ache, hip pain as well as emotional difficulties. When we work at finding release for our mental and physical tensions the muscles we most need to work on are the hip flexors and of those mostly the Psoas.

Today we will give you a series of poses designed to release that big muscle which connects our lower body to the upper and is the one that stores so much tension.

We will start with trying to get you to actually feel and recognise the Psoas muscle through a high Trikonasana (triangle pose)

Take a short (narrow) warrior two stance with the right foot forward

Try to drag the feet together to the centre of gravity which straightens the right leg to anactive(almost) straight leg with a soft knee

Reach the right arm up into the sky to create as much space on the right side as you can. Feel the stretch along the whole right side, from the tips of your fingers reaching up to the right groin area.

Then start reaching forward over your right active leg and place your hand halfway the right thigh. To give yourself a measure of distance. Make sure NOT to press down into the leg but to keep the length in the right side of your body. Then start to increase the distance between hand and armpit, working in the upwards direction with the upper body while the hand keeps the chain closed.

Repeat with the left leg forward

You might not feel, or recognise the muscle to begin with but do this exercise regularly and you will eventually recognise the “tingly” feeling in the lower body from inside the upper thigh to the lower back. To begin with you might feel it as a stretch in the groin mostly.

Moving into the stretches there are a few you will no doubt recognise and already practice regularly.

Anjaneyasana

From kneeling bring the left foot forward to bring the knee above the ankle.

Reach the both arms up

Try to direct the right knee into the earth while the upper body from just above the pelvis reaches up. Almost as if there is a physical division between upper body and lower body at pelvis level.

Press the right hip forward keeping the right knee above the ankle

Reach the upper body, from the waist, over to the left. Hold the hands apart as if holding on to a big beach ball.

repeat with the right foot forward

Bridge

Take the feet a little apart. Knees as wide as your feet and ground the whole feet from tip of the toes to heel

Try to already create length in the spine by feeling an imaginary pull from the top of your head that brings the chin into the throat, lengthening the back of the neck and a pull on the pelvis towards the footed of the mat

Press the feet through the floor and feel the pelvis tilting slightly back but hold on to the natural arch in your lower back. Pulling navel into the belly

Bring the arms alongside the body and scoop the shoulder blades underneath you. Bracing the head of your shoulders to the floor

Press the pelvis up to the sky by clenching the buttocks, pressing the feet down and press the pelvis

Locus

Lie prone with the legs spread and the feet pointing straight back.

The arms in a V-shape alongside the body with the palms ‘glued’ to the floor. Making sure there is a little bit of a bend in the elbows.

Press the hips into the ground by clenching the buttocks.

Try to drag yourself backwards off your mat, engaging the arms, shoulders and front of the body. This will start lifting the upper body but make sure you feel the arch in the thoracic spine!

Roll the shoulders back and draw them away from the ears!

Lift the legs.

These are a few poses you can use to open the front of your body and relax the Psoas muscle from its constant state of contraction.

Practice these and let us know how you feel after and if you’d like to see more poses to release the poses and rid yourself of lower back ache let us know by leaving a comment below.



Bunion Therapy, Part 6

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Tue, April 24, 2018 08:27:06

The past weeks we have been showing you exercises to help you prevent or halt the development of bunions. This week we end the series of simple exercises with a combination of a few of the previous ones rolled into one. You will need your rubber band and a few minutes of your time each day to practice in order for the results to show.

The first thing you need to do is give your feet and toes space by loosening them up through the fingers between the toes handshake exercise. If you can’t remember this exercise jump to the video in the previous blogpost here.

Wiggle the toes a bit to create the feel for your toes and become aware of them as well as stimulate blood flow to the feet and toes.

Then place your rubber band around the both big toes placing the feet parallel on the floor. Keep an equal pressure on the ball mount of the big toes, the one under the little toes as well as the inside and outside of the heels. The feet should both be fully grounded without the slightest hint of inversion.

If you have forgotten where all the different parts of the foot named in this post are jump back the the anatomy section to read up on it again.

Begin with lifting and extending the big toes several times. You might feel the muscle that runs from the inner heel through the inner arch starting to tire. (The abductor hallucis)

To further the strengthening of the whole feet as well as building and stabilising healthy arches and strengthening the outer ankles and shins to help the knees especially if you have fallen arches we will give you this final set of toe exercises.

With the feet parallel and all toes still grounded rats only the little toes and extend them out and down to the floor as if pushing a button infant of the little toes.

And to finalise the exercise keep your middle toes lifted with the toes spread and extend the big and little toes forward and down towards the floor.

This will help you build the arch at the front of your foot, the transverse arch and will strongly work on both the inner and outer edges of the feet. This in effect will energise and balance the inner and outer arches of your feet.

Think of this last exercise as the realignment of the foundation of your body. The feet can be seen as your foundation to build a healthy aligned body on. Aligning the corners of that foundation, big toe mound, little toe mound, inner heel and outer heel, will assist in improving the functions of the feet. Forward walking, standing poses, balancing and giving you a healthier hip and knee alignment.

Incorporate these toe exercises, without the rubber band, into many of your yoga poses to increase both the health of your arches and the strength of your foundation, with added benefits to your knees and hips.

The best thing is that all of this will help slow or even halt the progress of bunions.

In the case of advanced bunions however these exercises might not overcome the diversion of the big toes. If when you lift the big toes in these exercises and they pull further sideways rather than draw more parallel surgery might be necessary. Consult your doctor if the exercises have this effect.

Hopefully you will rediscover your foundation and learn to lift your arches and strengthen your feet.

Have you found this series helpful in any way? Did you discover an effect not described? Leave your comment or questions below and we will address those in future articles.



Bunion Therapy, Part 5

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Tue, March 20, 2018 15:10:22

Bunion Relief
Exercise 2

To help prevent bunions to develop or worsen on of the things you need to do is keep the medial arch of your foot healthy and active.
In order to do that there are a few exercises that you can easily do at home while watching TV! Or even at work! Slip your shoes off and none will realise that you are exercising and in doing so helping yourself getting rid of that flat foot and reducing or even preventing those hereditary bunions to develop or worsen.

The exercise itself isn’t rocket science and only requires you to keep the ball mount of your big toe and little toe on the floor as well as the inside and outside of the heel. Make sure that you do not inver the foot.
What you do next is trying to push a button with the tip of your big toe by lifting and extending the big toe. If you feel that the muscle under the arch of the foot running from the inside of the heel to the big toe starts to feel tired you know you’ve used the right target muscle. (abductor hallucis)
Try this and the previous ones for yourself and let me know how you get on with these exercises.
Do you see or feel any benefit yet?

There is one more foot exercise to come before we move on to the standing postures.



Bunion Therapy,part 4

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Sun, March 04, 2018 21:11:34

The following video gives you the first of a series of exercises to help alleviate bunion pain or help slow down or stop bunions from forming.


Have you tried the previous preparation work explained in parts 1-3?



Bunion Therapy, part 3

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Tue, February 27, 2018 15:00:02

As you’ve seen in the previous article creating space is important and we can do that by using aids (our fingers or a rubber band).

A bunion forms when the big toe turns inward. If you have flat feet, tight calves or lax ligaments you will be more prone to this condition. However, this is not to say you can’t do anything to prevent a bunion from forming or developing into a worse form than you already have. In some cases the condition can be completely reversed but sometimes surgery is inevitable. Always consult your doctor when in doubt or pain that doesn’t subside after holistic treatment.

The following exercise shows us how to give the big toes a stretch without having to take our feet in hand.

We need to stretch the foot muscles that are part of the problem that make a bunion form.
A simple way to stretch the intrinsic foot muscles is to place a rubber band around the big toes and turn the feet outward. Hold for 1 minute and release for 1 minute. Repeat five times.

The video below shows this in action.


Are you suffering from a bunion? Have you tried these exercises and have they helped you? Leave a comment if you have discovered something that worked for you and want to share it with us.



Bunion Therapy, part 2

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Sun, February 25, 2018 10:16:56

Preparing the foot
Your toes need space to lessen the advance of bunions. The practice shown in the following video might feel strange to begin with but we need to loosen up the foot the same as we need to warmup any other part of the body before we exercise the foot.

As the way you walk makes a big difference in whether a bunion develops or aggravates it is important to start with simple adjustments. Does the foot roll inward? Do you put more pressure on the joint of the big toe through consistently wearing high heeled shoes or the way you place the feet in your gait? Are you giving your feet enough space in the shoes you wear?
What kind of shoes you wear can’t cause bunions but it can make the difference between aggravating or alleviating symptoms.
Space is the most important thing to create for the foot. So do this simple thing to help yourself.
Come back next week for the first of the foot exercises to help you with your bunions.
If you have any questions or remarks leave a comment below.



Bunion Therapy

Physical Yoga Therapy Posted on Tue, February 20, 2018 17:20:53

Bunion or Hallux Valgus
(Hallux meaning big toe, Valgus meaning that the big toe points towards the other toes rather than forward)


Why do we get a bunion?
Bunions often run in families but can also be the result of how we walk or what shoes we wear. Women are more prone to develop a bunion than men, especially when getting older.
People with flexible joints seem to tolerate their bunions easier than those with stiff joints or arthritis.

What can you do?
There is a lot we can do to help ourselves when it comes to bunions. Avoiding excessive pressure on the big toe joint is a good thing to start, because even though it is not necessarily the cause of your bunion wearing high heels, or tight fitting shoes, will not help them.

Giving our feet a foot massage is one of the things you can do to help yourself. In this video you will learn how to give your feet that first treatment.

For a more profound effect you could consider a Bowen Technique treatment to alleviate your bunions and the discomfort, or even pain, they can cause.
Have you discovered something that helped you with your bunion?

Visit the website for more information about Bowen Technique
www.lucyalvesyoga.co.uk
If you have questions please leave a comment below.