Do you struggle with Half Moon Sidebend? Are you deep, but not sure if you're doing it correctly? Or do you struggle to bend your spine sideways at all? We have a solution: do Side Plank. Here is why...
External Obliques & Side Plank
Side Plank is a posture that engages the sides of the abdomen. These muscles are named the external obliques.
If we are balancing on our left arm, the left external oblique will be engaged. On the right arm, it's the opposite.
The external obliques are muscles that connect from lower ribs on the sides of the body, to the top of the pelvis or iliac crest.
Essentially, this muscle pulls the ribs down toward the pelvis on the sides of the body. When it is engaged, our spine bends sideways. This is exactly the movement of Half Moon Sidebend.
You may notice that in Side Plank, the spine is "straight". But in the case of Side Plank, the external oblique are what prevent our ribs on the side of the body from moving away from our pelvis.
Without this engagement, our side body would "dip" or "hang" down toward the floor. And if we were to engage this muscle more in Side Plank, we would in fact start to bend to the side, essentially doing Half Moon while arm balancing.
Half Moon Sidebend
Many of us struggle to effectively engage this muscle in Half Moon Sidebend.
The reason is that we place too much focus on the arms, or rely on gravity to pull us over to the side. Neither of these approaches will help, and they will only draw us further from the engagement we want to bend the spine to the side.
Try practicing Side Plank before you do Half Moon Sidebend. See if you can focus on the side of your abdomen and gain awareness of this muscle.
Then stand up and do Half Moon Sidebend. Notice the strength and engagement required to functionally bend your spine to the side. It feels like pulling your right or left ribs down toward your pelvis while relaxing the opposite side of your abdomen.
Half Moon Sidebend is not a passive movement. Find the awareness in your abdomen and notice how both your strength and depth will improve.
Thanks to Prabha Khaitan Foundation, Glenburn Penthouse and My Kolkata for hosting the book launch of Strong Woman Reba Rakshit.
The full event was covered here: https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/people/reba-rakshit-was-a-star-yet-history-forgot-about-her-ida-jo-pajunen/cid/1997409
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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