Piano stool (partner exercise)
Starting position as before. Partner 2 sits on the soles of the feet of Partner 1 that are directed towards the ceiling and allow themselves to be lifted up by the upward stretching legs of Partner 1 like on a music stool. They can thereby hold the sides of the feet of Partner 1. Then Partner 2 climbs down and Partner 1 allows the lower legs to sink down in a relaxed way before starting again.
You will find further exercises for stretching and extending in Balancing and relaxation gymnastics (9).
According to today’s medical knowledge in the area of breathing therapy the mechanical activation of the breathing is performed through a type of mechanical receptor (mechano receptors) located near to the joints, which pick up mechanical stimulations and conduct them to the central nervous system.
Yoga Poses For Breathing Photo Gallery
This understanding provides us with valuable insights for breathing training and breathing therapy, insofar as we can stimulate effective inputs for the breathing centre from the limbs.
This knowledge is not new; the Chinese have already been using it for centuries by strengthening their breathing force through pronounced right-angled bending of above all the hand and feet joints, e.g. with exercises like holding the sky with stretched out hands (see page 81), archer’s position (like as if one wanted to shoot an eagle) or embracing the tips of the toes with both hands (page 127, cf. page 15). According to Indian Ayur-Veda medicine, which is closely related to the Indian Yoga system, the so-called lung marma points, vital positions where the health status of the lungs and skin can be tested, are located like a band around all joints of the extremities.
With the intensive body positions of Hatha-Yoga these lung marma points are stimulated through strong skin distension in the area of the joints, e.g. with Patchimot asana, a seated position with stretched closed legs, whereby the heels are stretched out and the feet are grasped with the straight upper torso bent far forward. Also in the modern European movement culture, e.g. the organ gymnastics of the Medau gymnastics school, intensive joint movements and positions may be deliberately applied for the stimulation of the breathing and the whole of the individual. To sum up we can say that in many cultures intensive joint movements, especially of the arms and legs, served the purpose of influencing the breathing activity and the whole organism of the individual. Counted amongst these are all movements that are connected to the bending, stretching and turning of finger, hand, elbow and shoulder joints, of toe, foot, knee and hip joints, the vertebral joints, as well as other joints of the body.
Freeing joints – releasing of cramps and blocks.
With the help of sensitive movements a little at a time we are able to let go more and more. We let go of our arms and legs more and more and no longer hang on to them fearfully. We give them freedom of movement and space to play.
The joints should preferably feel somewhat loose than being too firm and rigid. Wanting to hold on costs a lot of energy, whilst yielding has a releasing effect and creates opportunities to make us permeable and more articulated. So you yield something and gain from it – whereas through holding on you can only lose – at least the freedom of movement!
The uninhibited optimum mobility of the joints is the requirement for the flow of the breathing up to the tips of the fingers and toes.