Reading posture...

Check this forum for suggestions on Yin Yoga flows, sequences and postures, as well as HOW to practice Yin Yoga.
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Shikibu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:37 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Reading posture...

Post by Shikibu »

My husband and I read a great deal, usually semi-reclined. This curves the spine in a direction that is probably not good for extended periods. Could you suggest postures that would be good while reading?

How about seal pose on a soft surface such as a mattress? Instead of reading on my back in bed & tiring my arms & neck, I could do the seal pose, provided the mattress provides enough support.

Any suggestions or contraindications?
Who are you without you?
-Martin Buber
Bernie
Posts: 1226
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Live on the floor

Post by Bernie »

Any position that gets you on the floor is great. Read on the floor, eat dinner at your coffee table, talk on the phone while on the floor, watch TV while on the floor ... there are many positions you can use: Seal pose or Sphinx for TV watching or reading, Straddle, Cross-legged sitting, Caterpillar, make up your own pose. I addressed this concept here:

http://www.yinyoga.com/ys1_2.2.7.2.5_spinal_curves.php

Here is an excerpt:
One remedy - stop sitting in chairs! If you love your back, if you want to strengthen your spine and open your hips (another problem area for most Westerners), start sitting on the floor every chance you get. Give your chairs away. Live as close to the ground as you can get. Eat at your coffee table, read with books on the floor. Watch television while lying on the floor in seal pose.


One caution: move. It is okay to hold any one pose for 5 minutes or so, but switch around every once in a while. Don't stay in any one pose more than 5 ~ 10 minutes. And, naturally, if you experience any pain, don't do that pose. You may need to work up to living on the floor for long periods of time. Be gentle, but persistent.

Enjoy your floor.
Bernie
Shikibu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:37 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Post by Shikibu »

Hi!
I tried reading in seal pose on our mattress and I found it more tiring than on the floor. Especially in the arms and shoulders. This is probably because of sinking into the mattress... there's no support to rebound upwards, so the arms and shoulders have to work extra hard. So the floor it will be... I have actually started sitting on the floor as of about 1 week ago and I have noticed that I need to move quite a bit. About 10 minutes on the floor in a single posture is certainly enough for me. Sometimes it's the tendons and ligaments in the hips that tell me to move, other times (like now) it's a circulation issue in the legs. Clearly, we can sit on the floor to read, do computer stuff, do paintings, play certain instruments... but it is something we need to work toward gradually, and we probably need to experiment a bit to avoid cutting off the circulation... this never happens during seated yoga asanas, but perhaps that's because we're moving a lot. As of tomorrow I'm back in my ergonomic office chair, although the rest of the day will be spent on the floor. These past two weeks of no work and lots of yoga have been marvellous. Thanks for being so attentive!
Who are you without you?
-Martin Buber
Lorien
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:06 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by Lorien »

My favorite reading postures:

1. Dragonfly with reading material elevated; note: I used to fall asleep in this position as a child, so I may be unusual in loving this one!
2) Sphinx with support (pillows, bolster) under hips
3) Sleeping/reading swan pose; one of my students uses this pose to do work at home using her laptop if her back goes out... she's been trying to find a way to be in the pose more in her actual office!

Hope that helps.
Shikibu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:37 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Post by Shikibu »

Lorien, thanks for those tips on reading posture. Do you happen to know if those postures are in Yinsights? I have the book and will look! I am not sure how to do postures 1 and 3 in your response. Since I work in my home office I'm certainly interested in any postures that can be done using a laptop!
Who are you without you?
-Martin Buber
Lorien
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:06 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by Lorien »

Here is Dragonfly: http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_dragonfly.php
Instead of dropping all the way down, put your reading material up on a short stool or tall cushion and rest your chin in your hands.

Here is Sleeping Swan: http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_swan_sleeping.php
Again, don't come all the way down, and rest your chin on something.
@marzipanj
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Bridgewater, Maine

Post by @marzipanj »

Thanks so much for this advice. I've been looking for a way to yogify my evening routine of watching far too much television, but doing it in a way that's compassionate to myself and accepting of yin principles. Found your forum and love it. So far I've been juxtaposing an easy seat, cross-legged pose, and half-lotus with straddle variations, on a double-stacked pillow with the bottom half of my couch.

Did some pigeon asana today in my daily practice (sleeping swan in yin, I think) and feel like my hips are already more open. Here's to the floor!

Namaste,
Melissa
Roberta
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:54 am
Location: UK

Post by Roberta »

Hi all!

I like reading on the floor with my legs in saddle pose (sitting up, without lying back). Nice stretch to the knees!

Roberta.
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