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Jan 2011

So, it's now just over a year since I opened a massage practice at Centered In Motion. What have I learned for my teaching and own practice of yoga?

A better appreciation for yoga twists comes to mind. Of course, I have always had them somewhere in the lexicon of poses; and dutifully passed on the information that they refresh and massage not only the spine but the internal organs. But working with one of the most common postural challenges facing many clients, the upper back being rounded forward, with resulting impingement of shoulder joints, has deepened my respect for twists. Upper back twists. Not so much torquing the body around in the already-stressed lumbar curve of the lower back, but a more subtle spiraling open of the chest and rib-cage area. And subtle is the word - a quarter of an inch can be enough for a huge opening into which the breath can move more freely. 

Working with clients on the massage table, I have found that this lateral movement can be the key to unlocking that stuck forward posture of the upper back. Instead of trying to directly force a back bend - which so often simply transfers the movement like a see-saw to that over worked lumbar again - sneaking in from the side with a twist seems to act like unscrewing a stubborn jar of peanut butter. We get to the yummy stuff with much less effort!