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Hello! Welcome to Body Moments ~ Inverting Your Forward Bend!
November 23, 2011

In the Moment when you Invert Your Forward Bend on the Foam Roller!
Issue #013 - November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

My best regards to all those who know and honor the 24th of November, as a day to show gratitude for all that we have and all that we are! May you have the best turkey and dressing ever and may you experience the true meaning of the holiday.

May you also take a few moments for yourself during the rush of the season, and do my body moment below.

In the Moment when you Invert Your Forward Bend

My absolute favorite Yoga pose of all is the forward bend. I wrote about it in the September Issue of Body Moments. I like the standing forward bend, the seated forward bend, and now, I have created an inverted forward bend on the foam roller. My heart just migrates to these poses, and I hope yours does too.

The forward bend is about seeing life from two different vantage points, or "folds." While doing the standing forward bend, I feel strong and firmly planted on my feet, yet I surrender to the folding and bending from the core of my being. The limited vision that occurs as a result of the folding brings about a inner feeling of trust. I am willing to bend myself to God/the Universe and be open to what newness I might see. Yet I am still firmly planted with my feet on the ground. This is a very powerful pose.

When on the foam roller doing an inverted forward bend, I am now lovingly supported on my back, by the earth. I use this version of the pose when I feel I need the support! The inversion of the forward bend really turns the pose and the meaning of the pose upside down!

The folding movement is now initiated by the legs instead of the upper body. This brings an immediate feeling of releasing the powerful driving forward of the legs and most importantly, the hips. As I have discussed in foam roller exercises for the iliopsoas and foam roller exercises for the hamstrings muscles and quadriceps muscles, the legs and hips represent your ability to move forward in your life. (Or the inability to move forward). When I focus on my legs folding over, while being supported by the earth, I surrender to the Love and Support that is there for me. Releasing your own drive for awhile and enjoying being supported may be significant for you as well.

If it is your desire to shift toward wholeness and health by learning to surrender your everyday drives and to enjoy resting in a supported manner, please, join me in doing this inversion to shift you toward peace and healing.

Legs Inverted on Foam Roller

Step 1: Foam roller under hips, legs inverted straight up.

Here is how you do the body moment: Start by placing the foam roller under your hips at about your tailbone. (If you don't have a foam roller, you can substitute a rolled up blanket or cushion.) Raise your legs up as in the first picture. If keeping your legs straight creates pain or too strong a pull in the back of your legs, it is OK to bend at the knee. Just find a comfortable place. This pose is about bringing you support and peace, not discomfort!

You may wrap your hands around the foam roller for support if needed.

Take a moment to center yourself here, and turn your attention to your breath. Begin to breathe deeply, for several breaths. Then, when you are ready, very slowly lower your legs toward your head.

Legs moving toward head on foam roller.

Step 2: Legs being lowered slowly towards head.

Legs moving toward head, lower, on foam roller

Step 3: Legs straight, hands now on calves, moving lower.

Full inverted forward bend on foam roller

Full inverted forward bend on foam roller, with head tucked towards legs.

The slower you move your legs lower, the more you can focus on the release. As in yoga, inhale deeply, and with each exhale, try to lower your legs a bit farther. You may wish to move your hands from the foam roller to your calves as shown in the the 3rd picture. This will aid you in the movement, however do not pull. Just use your hands to gently guide your legs to your head.

Go only as far as it is comfortable, then rest, supported in this position. Continue to focus on your deep breathing. If you feel that you can go farther in your release do so. The longer you hold this pose, the deeper you may find you can go. Breathe. Release. Breathe.

You may wish to tuck your head up toward your calves, to deepen the release, as you do with the seated forward bend. See the final picture, below. Do this only if you feel drawn to this movement, as your body allows.

As you release, you may wish to affirm, "God/the Universe supports me." "I relax into the moment and do not have to move forward at all." "I see the world inverted and and open to new ideas." "I bend to the unfolding in my life." "I am supported as I am bending toward new ideas for my life."

When you are ready, slowly return to the simple legs straight up position as shown in the first picture. Relax here and re-energize your legs with energy from above! This simple leg inversion is very energizing to rejuvenate you. You may also wish to do a counter pose after this deep forward bend, by doing a simple back bend, such as the Fish Pose or the Bow Pose.

If your heart is drawn to this body moment, and you repeat this exercise as much as possible in the coming month you will ease into your new sense of being supported while bending toward new ideas. By practicing this body moment, it will become easier to see your life in new ways. With each body moment that you learn your new sensation of bending while feeling supported you will learn the skill for actual events in your life. If your life throws barbs at you when you are unprepared, you will be ready to see things from more than one perspective.

'May you always feel God's support as you release your desire to see things from one perspective, when you spend this moment with your body.'

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'Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.' ~ Native American Saying

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