Photo: Joeri Romer
A BASIC SOMATIC SEQUENCE
Here’s a basic somatic sequence you can try. It's called the Arch and Flatten. It can help relieve lower back and neck pain. Remember to work with your muscles in a gentle, slow-motion, and mindful way as described below.
STEP BY STEP
Arch And Flatten With Rolling Head
Lay on your back on a firm, padded surface. Bring knees up so that feet are planted on the floor, hip-width apart, and an easy distance from the pelvis. Place hands on lower belly.
Inhale and send the breath into your hands, expanding low belly gently, and allow pelvis to roll a little towards tail bone, arching the low back slightly. On the exhale, let the waist sink down towards the floor, rolling the pelvis towards the head.
Gradually increase the rolling pelvis to your full range of motion but within your comfort zone. Keep it slow, smooth, and your effort gentle, never pushing into discomfort or stretch. You may notice the head responding with a parallel motion. Gradually increase the rolling motion of the head so that when you inhale/arch the lower back, the chin is gently tucked in towards the chest (head remains on floor). When you exhale and flatten the waist down, rock the chin upwards, rocking head towards the wall over your head, so the back of neck muscles are engaged. Explore this movement for five-ten minutes, parallel rolling of pelvis and head.
Lengthen the legs out on the floor again, and notice how the low back and neck feels.
VIDEO: Arch And Flatten With Rolling Head
“MIND YOUR BODY”
— LAURA M GATES