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Lying on the back

Lying flat on the floor engages the mind with the body, so it can discern the asymmetries and lower the tension of contracted muscles. Once you have discovered where these are, the next step is to find the proper support for the best alignment for the reclining postures.

Lie down and observe your contact with the floor.

What to observe:

  • Extension of the legs: Which leg extends faster? Which seems to be longer? How do the backs of the legs touch the floor?

  • Position of the feet: Do they tend to supinate (roll out) or pronate (roll in)?

  • The space behind the knees: Does one knee tend to bend (flex) more than the other?

  • Position of the thighs: Which thigh touches the floor and which comes away? Which one rolls to the side?

  • Pelvis: Does one side of the hip bone (ilium) lift away from the floor and rotate toward the front of the body? Or does one side elevate toward the ribs? Is the pubic bone centered in relation to the navel , sternum, and nose? The pubic bone will reflect the asymmetry of the pelvis (lumbar curve)

  • Back ribs: Which side collapses back and feels heavier? Which side lifts away from the floor and feels lighter?

  • Front ribs: Which side of the upper thoracic ribs caves in and closes the chest? Which side of the chest puffs up? Which side of the lower ventral ribs protudes out and rotates and which side pulls down?

  • Chest: Which side of the chest feels open or closed? Note the position of the chest bone in relation to the navel and nose. How does each shoulder blade touch the floor?

  • Shoulders: On which side does the scapula ( shoulder bone) move in and the back of the upper arm touch the floor? On which side does the scapula move out and the back upper arm lift away? Which shoulder moves toward the ear, and which one moves away from the ear?

  • Arms: Which arm is closer to the body? Which arm is farther?

  • Position of the hands? How do both hands establish contact with the floor?

  • Neck: How much space is there between the back of the neck and the floor? Are both sides of the neck even? Which side feels longer?

  • Head: How does the back of the head touch the floor? Does it tend to roll toward one side?

  • Spine: How does the spine touch the floor? How do you feel your backbone? Which areas are heavy and which feel suspended and light? How much space is there between the tailbone and the head? How much weight does each side of the body bear on the floor? Notice the spaces between the body and the floor. Which side feels longer? Which side feels compressed?

  • Breath: How does the breath move through both sides?

  • Notice the gaze. Are the eyes looking at the ceiling? Is one eye more active than the other?

                                                                                                               [from the book Yoga and Scoliosis of Marcia Monroe]​

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