09 January 2007

Real good advice

Last night one of my favorite yoga teachers read my blog. Here are the comments of Jeff Martens:

The good news, if it can be called that, about not having a pirifomis is that you probably won't ever get sciatica on that side as many times this results from a pinching of the nerve around that muscle. The pirifomis is one of the major players in outer spiral of that leg. You still have your glutes and tensor fascia lata (don't order this at starbucks).

When standing, or if the femur is in a fixed position, flattening out your lower back on that side will be more of a challenge now as might pelvic medial rotation - swinging that side of the pelvis (and raised flexed leg) outward. (yep --Francine) That old exercise of laying on non-surgery side and raising other leg upward very gently and consciously could start to build supportive synergistic muscles. You are also going to want to find ways to keep groins and adductors on inner thigh flexible as that side adductor muscle complex is losing a good antagonist and could just atrophy a little or shrink without that constant antagonist action helping to keep groins toned and stretched. (Already happening --Francine)

You might also want to explore your sartorius muscle which flexes and rotates knee and hip in relation to psoas. The sartorius is very sensitive to trauma in the form of adrenal exhaustion.

Here are some unsolicited pointers for the poses you do:
1)child's pose: isometrically press knees together and then isomentrically feel like you are moving them apart every once in a while without moving knees to gently activat enervous system and retrain to move w/o piriformis.
2)cat/cow -- really work pelvis and sacrum gently through full range of motion.
3)downward facing dog -- work tailbone up without collapsing kidneys
4)warrior II -- use glutes to draw front kneestraight over foot instead of collapsing inward. Do this dynamically, bending and straightening knee, but very small motions and knee not bent much at deepest for now.
5)triangle -- use arm of chair to support and activate quadricep strongly. Then work on "wagging" tailbone from side to side gently in the pose, as if there were a broom attached to tailbone. This will keep fine abductors and adductors toned and balanced.
6)half moon (a standing pose in which you link your hands over your head, lean left, lean right. -- This version of ardha chandrasana is good. Draw tops of your femurs in and fire legs deep into ground. This will also be good for sartorius and IT band.
7)any good backbend. I do Camel. -- It would be good to do a backbend where the femurs are fixed by standing or keeling and another where the sacrum and legs are free, as in locust (lift back legs one at a time while on stomach, then both) "airplane" and cobra.
Along with Supported bridge pose, this will keep sacrum freer yet seated "into" body (perifomus inserted on inner sacrum). you can alter knees in and straight for couple minutes each in supported bridge and breathe healing into area.

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