Table of contents:
- Why is the exercise "birch" useful?
- Who shouldn't do the birch exercise
- How to prepare your body for the birch exercise
- How to warm up before doing "birch"
- What versions of "birch" should you start with
- How to do the birch exercise correctly
- How much and how often can you make a "birch"
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
We will tell you how to gradually master the exercise and not harm your health.
Why is the exercise "birch" useful?
"Birch" or "candle" is familiar to everyone from school physical education lessons. In yoga, this pose is called sarvangasana, or shoulderstand. When done correctly, exercise can save you some health problems.
This is what the "birch" is useful for the body.
Improves blood and lymph circulation
The main advantage of sarvangasana is a change in blood circulation, acceleration and renewal of venous blood and lymph.
The pressure in the veins is much lower than in the arteries, and for blood to return to the heart and lungs from the lower extremities, it requires muscle contractions.
If you do not exercise much, blood rises slowly through the veins, stretching the vessels and valves, which can cause chronic venous insufficiency, heaviness and pain in the legs, and edema.
Inverted Exercise Improves Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life venous blood flow from the legs and pelvis back to the heart, where it passes through the lungs and is oxygenated.
Constant work at the computer, driving a car and other activities in which the arms and shoulders are in front of the body, spoil the posture. The muscles of the chest and front of the shoulders are in constant tension and as a result, they shorten Why good posture matters and maintain this position.
When doing birch, the pectoral muscles and shoulders are stretched, which relieves constant tension and can correct posture in the future.
Helps Relieve Back Pain
When properly and safely adjusted, the posture extends the spine from the head to the pelvis. And this makes it possible to level the compression of the spinal roots and nerves mainly in the thoracic and lumbar regions.
In addition, the birch exercise tones the gluteal muscles, the weakness of which is negative. The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients affects the biomechanics of movements and can cause back pain.
Who shouldn't do the birch exercise
When performed ideally, the birch tree does not exert excessive pressure on the neck, as the body weight rests on the shoulders. However, improper technique - due to lack of skill or lack of mobility in the shoulder joints - can compress the cervical spine and exacerbate problems.
The pose should be performed with extreme caution in case of complications in the cervical spine (osteochondrosis, displacement of the vertebrae), as well as with increased arterial, intracranial and ocular pressure.
Also, the "birch" should not be performed with Shoulderstand Pose Contraindications:
- with spinal injuries;
- with spondylitis;
- with diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- with problems with the spleen, kidneys and liver, an enlarged thyroid gland;
- with glaucoma;
- in the first three days of menstruation;
- during the entire period of menstruation with endometriosis;
- with complications during pregnancy;
- with ear or throat infections;
- at high temperatures and during any acute illness.
If your health allows you to do this exercise, you should still not rush off the bat. It is best to get used to the "birch" gradually, performing preparatory movements.
How to prepare your body for the birch exercise
In order to perform the exercise correctly and not harm yourself, first of all, you need to develop flexibility in the shoulders and back, as well as learn how to feel your body well and control its position.
Do these exercises every day for 1-2 weeks before you start mastering the "birch".
Maria Akhatova believes that the pose of the mountain is extremely important for beginners.
Beginners learn to control the body through tadasana - standing mountain pose. It is she who safely teaches all the intricacies of joint position and traction. If you turn a person over in tadasan, he will just be in the "birch".
Stand up straight, put your feet together, distribute your body weight evenly over your feet, straighten your toes. Pull in your knees, tighten your abs, straighten and lower your shoulders, and straighten your neck. Lower your arms freely at your sides and turn your palms forward.
Spend 30-60 seconds in the pose. Breathe calmly and evenly, stretch your spine up, as if you are being held by the top of your head.
Get on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. With an inhalation, arch your back in an arc, press your chin to your chest, push your tailbone forward. As you exhale, bend as much as possible in your back.
Perform smoothly, linger a little in extreme positions. Do it 6-8 times.
Downward Dog Pose
Place your hands on the floor, bring your pelvis up and stretch your body in one line from your pelvis to your fingers. In this position, it is important to straighten your spine and stretch your shoulders.
If the tight muscles on the back of your thigh make you slouch your back, lift your heels and bend your knees slightly.
Spend 30 seconds in the pose, then rest and repeat two more times.
Inverted Plank Pose
Sit on the floor, place your hands behind you at a distance of 30 cm from the pelvis, turn them with your fingers towards you. Bend your elbows slightly to protect your wrists.
Lift your pelvis off the floor and stretch your body in one line from your shoulders to your toes, looking up at the ceiling. Spend 30 seconds in the pose, then rest and repeat two more times.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Place your hands along your body.
Lift your butt off the floor and fully straighten at the hip joint so that the body is in one line from knees to shoulders. Put your straight arms together and interlace your fingers into the lock.
Spend 30 seconds in this position, rest and repeat two more times.
How to warm up before doing "birch"
When you have already stretched your shoulders enough and learned how to track the position of your body, you can start mastering the "birch". But before that you need to warm up well.
Preparation for the pose begins with warming up the arms, since they are innervated by the cervical nerves of the third to fifth vertebrae and indirectly affect the neck, which will bend in the "birch". You also need to stretch your neck through turns, bends, flexion and extension, circular movements. Followed by wave movements of the spine, as well as flexion and extension of the trunk to enable and strengthen the muscular corset.
Try our little workout. It will take no more than 5 minutes and will help warm up the body.
- Tilts and turns of the head - 8-10 times.
- Rotation in the shoulders, elbows and wrists - 8-10 times.
- Slopes - 8-10 times.
- Rotation of the hips, knees and feet - 8-10 times.
- Bend with squatting and turning the body - 4 times.
- The transition from a dog's pose to a deep lunge - 4-6 times.
- Reversals in the lunge - 8-10 times.
You can also complement the warm-up with a cat-and-cow segment. Flex and unbend your back, vertebra by vertebra. Do it 4-6 times.
What versions of "birch" should you start with
Simplified variations of the "birch" will help you gradually get used to the inverted position and learn the correct technique.
Do them in turn, move on to the next one as soon as the previous one starts to work out well and feels comfortable.
With a chair and a rolled-up blanket
For this variation, you will need a low-backed chair and a stack of towels or a rolled blanket to place under your shoulders.
Place a blanket on the floor next to your legs and sit on a chair with your legs on the back. Then lower the body down. Your shoulders should be on the blanket and your head should be on the floor. At the same time, the neck is at the edge of the bedspread in a comfortable position.
Straighten your arms and grab the far legs of the chair, feel the stretch in the muscles of the shoulders and chest. Then straighten your legs and point your feet towards the ceiling. Spend 30 seconds in this position.
Half stand on the shoulders with feet on the wall
Lie on your back, move so that the butt is close to the wall. Bend your knees and walk up the surface, raising your pelvis to full extension.
Then place your palms on your lower back, bend your knees at right angles and leave your feet on the wall. Keep your body weight on your shoulders, not your neck.
Press your chin to your chest, breathe deeply and evenly, do not hold your breath. Spend 30 seconds in the pose.
Plow Pose with Chair Legs
In this case, you first perform the plow pose, which allows you to correctly position the body, but remove some of the load from the shoulders.
Place a rug under your shoulders and place a chair about 30 cm from your head. Raise your pelvis, put your straight legs behind your head and place your toes on a chair. The body should be vertical, the angle in the pelvis should be 90 degrees.
Bend your elbows and place your hands on your lower back so that your thumbs are wrapped around your sides, and the rest are on your lower back. You can use a belt or mini band to bring your elbows closer together.
When you feel comfortable in this position, try raising your legs one at a time.
How to do the birch exercise correctly
Lie on your back, place your feet on the floor close to your pelvis, and stretch your arms along your body. With an exhalation, lift the pelvis off the floor, lift it up and bring the body to an upright position with support on the shoulders.
Place your hands on your lower back with your thumbs on your sides. Try to keep your elbows closer together.
Straighten your knees, squeeze your buttocks. Extend your body in one straight line from your shoulder blades to your toes.
Press your chin to your chest, making sure that your body weight is fully resting on your shoulders, and not on your neck. Breathe calmly and evenly, stretch your body up.
Spend the right time in the pose, and then bend your knees and gently roll down to the floor, first your back, and then your pelvis.
How much and how often can you make a "birch"
Start with 10-15 seconds and work up to 5 minutes as you feel. Focus on the sensation in your head: if the temples pulsate, presses on the eyes, the nose swells a lot and you can't breathe, get out of the pose.
Perform "birch" no more than once a day. You can combine it with other stretching movements. For example, do after simplified versions of the exercise, as well as other useful yoga poses.
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