Yoga Tip: Sit-ups (the overlooked posture)

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Due to the blistering pace (do you like the pun?) of articulating the necessary instructions for 90-minute Bikram class, the details in some postures receive short shrift. One such posture is the sit-up. Often students view the sit-up as a transitional annoyance. What I have noticed as a teacher is that students frequently forget to do the following:
1. Take in a full inhaling breath as you lifting the arms overhead.
2. Employ forceful quick double exhalation from the lower abdomen (this technique will make sit-ups effortless! try it!) Tongue is near room of the mouth…hissing sound. 3. Use forceful exhalation to hurtle upper body forward…hands touching hands to feet & perhaps smacking forehead into shins. Knees my bend. Think HUMAN CATAPAULT!

Benefits of paying attention to vigorous sit-ups:
1. Another form of pranayama – keeps moving toxins out of the body & opens energy channels up for vitality & healing
2. Toning of lower abs and back…core strength.
3. Fun factor – try it!

Contra-indications Individuals with lower back pain are advised to exercise discernment with forward bends. This recommendation applies throughout the series. I am not saying to skip forward bends. Think of gliding (rather than forcing) into forward bends. However, when it comes to sit-ups, it may be prudent to simply roll to one side and press your hands into the carpet. After you heal up your lower back, then you can join everyone else in the fun of vigorous exhaling sit-ups. Let me know what differences you discover in your practice from spicing up your sit-ups.