EASY ANATOMICAL EXCERCISES BASED ON THE SYSTEM OF MENSENDIECK
This program is divided in five parts
- Part One: Introduction
- Part Two: Sitting on a chair: neck, shoulder blades, shoulders, arms, lumbar
- Part Three: Standing (tadasana) : neck, shoulder blades, shoulders, arms, lumbar
- Part four: Standing (tadasana) : lumbar, pelvis, legs
- Part five: Lying on the floor: lumbar, abdominals, legs
It is advisable to practice the sequences six days a week, keeping one rest day. Each sequence lasts half an hour.
According to the need you can repeat one of these sequences two times a week, or you can combine two or three sequences.
With some exercises you can use a theraband to increase the resistance of the antagonistic muscles.
After releasing the muscle or the muscles you need to remain 10 seconds in the phase of rest, so that the muscle or muscles can come back to normal.
The correct way of standing (tadasana):
The word Tadasana is a Sanskrit word and means the Position of the Mountain
- Stand with the feet at hip width. It is advisable to be bare foot.
- Considering that the metatarsals are wider than the heels the second toes should be parallel to each other, not the inner arches
- Activate the three arches: the inner arch, the outer arch and the transverse arch
- The barycentre of the body ( hara) should be directly above the transverse arch (the talo-calcaneo-navicular joint) in a way that you can catch the rebounding force of gravity. So the body is slightly leaning forward at an angle of 80° instead of 90° and the weight is divided between the metatarsal and the heels
- Activate the transverse arch (the talo-calcaneo-navicular joint) by pulling the metatarsals towards the heels without lifting the toes up. Thus rooting the feet the rebounding force of gravity goes directly into the hara.
- The hara is in the middle of the pelvis and is the centre of gravity. According to many traditions it is also the center of strength, of life . It is situated in the middle between the two iliac crests, and halfway between the pubic bone and the navel, iIn front of the third sacral vertebra
- It is also in the middle of the core. When the rebounding force of gravity is captured by the core, which is thus ‘activated’, it pushes the body upwards along the spinal column, thus becoming light and stable.
The correct way of sitting on the chair
- Sit with the feet and knees at hip width
- Let the arms hang relaxed
- Keep the body slightly inclined forward at 80° in the groins
- Sit on the points of the sitting bones
Activate the core:
- Contract strongly the glutei towards the sacrum
- Tighten the adductors of the thighs and the tensor fascia lata
- Root the sitting bones on the chair in such a way that the lumbar spine grows upward with the rebounding push of gravity
- Push the sacrum slightly vertically forward
- Rotate the pelvis slightly backwards in a retro-version.
- Pull/flatten the abdominal muscles inside, starting from the pubic bone and pelvic diaphragm, up till the sternum (xyphoid process)
The importance of standing and sitting straight:
How does the way we sit and stand impact our health?
To be healthy the body has to be at ease. When there is no ease inside, there will be bodily stress.
There are things called muscular comfort, and skeletal comfort, and organ comfort. Muscular and skeletal comfort is largely just comfort, but your organs should be comfortable too.
If you sit or stand in a slouching way, all these vital organs in your body are not in their proper position. They are kind of ‘bunched’ together, squeezed one on top of the other, so they will not function well.
Only when you sit or stand with your spine erect are your organs at the maximum comfort and can function properly.
It is also important to remember that a body, that is divided in two sides by a spinal column, a left side and a right side, (like the human body and the bodies of all ‘vertebrates’) never has the two sides equal because of unilateral habits (carrying the bag on one shoulder, brushing the teeth always with the same hand, etc.) we have many habits like that.
Therefore, when you do an exercise, you have to not only keep the core organs free, but also see and remember which side is ‘easier’. For various reasons this side should always be done second, with the more difficult side first .
When you work with the thera band, always start with the easiest one, and then, as the muscles get stronger, you can start working with the stronger thera bands. Even though it does not look like it, but working with the thera band is very strong on the muscles.
With the help of these simple exercises one gets a better idea of how to practice the more complex asanas.