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Sacroiliac Stabilizing Exercise

Mukunda2010-07-05 06:21:43 +0000 #1
Dear Friends in Yoga -

The sacroiliac is the key joint to the lower body. There have been so many queries on problems related to this that i wanted to share with you an exercise i have devised that relieves a host of offshoot problems - knees, lower back, sciatica, even menstral irregularities. While these conditions are not necessarily caused by S/I dysfunction, they accompany it. I find that by creating natural motion in the S/I it begins to help vata/pranic energy find its way to balanace.

The sacroiliac joint has a small amount of motion #8211; adduction, abduction, flexion and extension. Without these motions or moving into extension (downward) during hip flexion (lifting your knees or sitting), your lower back and hips can be quite uncomfortable. The solution is to mobilize the sacroiliac properly.

The following exercise balances the joint so that as the hip goes into flexion, the psoas will contract with sufficient force to overcome its antagonist, the gluteus maximus, and the joint will flex (move upward). The movement needs to be done regularly for those who have frequent lower back discomfort until the correct pattern of motion is established. This should be done before any other exercises or asanas for those with reoccurring lower back, sacroiliac or hip strains.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet to the right side, so that the right foot points back beside the hip and left foot is adjacent to the right knee. If you are stiff and unable to sit comfortably erect, then place sufficient padding under your pelvis to make it comfortable to be erect and move. Avoid leaning so far to one side that your hand needs to support you on the floor.

The first movement is to pelvic tilt back and forth from the iliac crest (top of pelvis) exhaling as you contract your belly and round your lower back. Then arch your lower back accentuating your natural lumbar curve by contracting the psoas as you inhale. Repeat 12X, or until you feel the motion becoming smooth, whichever takes longer. You are looking for a feeling of release (Kriya) in the tissue, energy, or emotion that will react to the motions.

The second motion is to take the top of the right thigh (not pelvis) and move it into internal and then external hip rotation. During internal hip rotation your pelvis will lift from the floor, during external rotation your ischial tuberosity (sitz bone) will touch the floor. Inhale as you lift your hips moving into internal hip rotation. Exhale as you lower the hip coming into external hip rotation. Continue for 12X, then reverse your legs and repeat.

When finished stand up and walk in place for 6-10 steps which will assist in promoting stability.

Blessings. Mukunda


Mukunda2010-07-05 06:29:22 +0000 #2
just do this regularly and watch for improvement in all areas of the lower back and pelvis. mukunda
bodypray2010-07-05 06:28:16 +0000 #3
I'd like to clarify what you wrote about these exercises:

The first movement is to pelvic tilt back and forth from the iliac crest (top of pelvis) exhaling as you contract your belly and round your lower back. Then arch your lower back forward contracting the psoas as you exhale. Repeat 12X, or until you feel the motion becoming smooth, whichever takes longer. You are looking for a feeling of release (Kriya) in the tissue, energy, or emotion that will react to the motions.

This is the part that I am confused about:

Then arch your lower back forward contracting the psoas as you exhale.

You had said to exhale as you contract your belly and round the lower back, when does the inhale come in?

I'm not sure I get what you mean by "arch your lower back forward... Could you explain this? would that be like a forward fold? thanks, H
Mukunda2010-07-05 06:57:58 +0000 #4
OOps! sorry please note the correction has been made in the fifth paragraph of the original text to the following -- The first movement is to pelvic tilt back and forth from the iliac crest (top of pelvis) exhaling as you contract your belly and round your lower back. Then arch your lower back accentuating your natural lumbar curve by contracting the psoas as you inhale. That should correct the motion for you. namaste mukunda
Hunter2010-07-05 07:24:08 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mukunda

Dear Friends in Yoga -

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet to the right side, so that the right foot points back beside the hip and left foot is adjacent to the right knee.

Do you need to alternate to which side the feet are placed?

hunter
Mukunda2010-07-05 07:59:13 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hunter

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mukunda

Dear Friends in Yoga -

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet to the right side, so that the right foot points back beside the hip and left foot is adjacent to the right knee.

Do you need to alternate to which side the feet are placed?

hunter

Continue for 12X, then reverse your legs and repeat.

that is last sentence in 6th paragraph on sacroiliac exercise. no need to alternate which side is first. namaste mukunda
Paul in Revere2010-07-05 07:45:52 +0000 #7
I don't have a picture of this so I need more descriptive detail -- the more the better.

Is the starting position of the second motion where the first motion left off? - Mukunda's reply - Yes it is. Both motions begin in the same place.

What do you mean by internal hip rotation? Exactly what part of the leg moves where? - Internal hip rotation in a standing pose is where the toes turn inward, in this case the leg with the foot beside the outer hip is in internal hip rotation. The motions will all take place in the hip joint with the thigh turning inward. the surrounding joints including the lumbar spine will tend to go into a reaction causing them to limber up and loose their resistance to flexibility.

Mukunda

What do you mean by external hip rotation? Exactly what part of the leg moves where? - External hip rotation is the opposite motion. In standing the toes will turn out, as in a ballet plie position. The motion gives an external or lateral turn to the thigh while the pelvis is stationary. Mukunda
Chandra2010-07-05 07:23:41 +0000 #8
Dear Paul in Revere,

This is one of those times that showing is a much more effective communication tool than words. As Mukunda makes trips to the Boston area, perhaps you can check his web site for schedule and attend a class with him? To give you an understanding of the anatomical descriptions of internal and external rotation, you may want to check out his book "Structural Yoga Therapy". It is a great place to become familiar with his work and a framework for self discovery through Asana and Meditation.

Anyway, I will try to give you more words, and hope they clarify this movement (which is not included in the book by the way).

If you are sitting back on your heels (Classical Hero pose or Virasana), lift your hips and place the buttocks to the left of the feet on the floor. Now open your knees so you can slide your left foot and shin to the inside of the right leg to form a triangular shape between the left thigh, shin and right thigh. Tuck the right foot back toward the right buttock, but not underneath it. This is the starting position which Mukunda described as "Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet to the right side, so that the right foot points back beside the hip and left foot is adjacent to the right knee". -- NOTE - in this position your left hip is in external hip rotation and your right hip is in internal hip rotation. Mukunda

Both movements begin from this position. In the first movement, it is the pelvis which is moving, in the second, it is the upper leg or thigh which is initiating the movement. I assume you understand the pelvic movement of tilt and arch as you didn't ask about that. So, the internal hip rotation can be seen on pgs 139 and 140 of Structural Yoga Therapy. When you place your leg in a straight or extended position and turn the upper leg bone in the hip socket so that the knee and foot face outward rather than toward the ceiling, that is external hip rotation. Internal is when the knee cap is rotated to face toward the other leg, internal in reference to the body. If you play with this movement, you will feel the muscles which contract and be able to translate this to the same action while the legs are folded for this exercise. Because the legs are stabilized, the motion is translated to the pelvis, as Mukunda describes" During internal hip rotation your pelvis will lift from the floor, during external rotation your ischial tuberosity (sitz bone) will touch the floor". But, unlike the first movement which is initiated by the muscles of the belly and low back/buttocks, the hip external rotation is accomplished by Gluteus Maximus and underlying muscles, while hip internal rotation is Gluteus minimus and tensor fascia lata -

Main point is not to know the muscle names, but to play with the motions and feel the difference in your own body. These are the muscles which move the pelvis in various ways, and by using them in this exercise, you stretch, contract and release tension in them, thereby creating a more mobile and comfortable lower back.

Sorry if this is too wordy - I have a problem that way



Hope this helps you to visualize and use this exercise.

Namaste,

Chandra
Chandra2010-07-05 08:42:28 +0000 #9
Mukunda has provided some great photos and instructions. Please click on this file link. En Joy!

*
kwitten2010-07-05 08:09:40 +0000 #10
Namaste Mukunda,

What would one do if a client is unable to get into the starting position of the S/I Mobility exercise (mainly due, I believe, to extremely tight hips and weak abs)?

Thank you,

Kate Witten
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 07:46:35 +0000 #11
I believe the leg position Mukunda is referring to is that of Bharadvajasana: .

Obviously there is no twist or arm work liek the picture shows but it sounds like the lower limbs, or legs, are in this position. Please feel free, Mukunda, to correct me if this is not what you reference.

Chandra, your link does not work for me. It comes back with a Not found page.

Kate, you can prop the tighter student with foamy pads or folded blankets.

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