by Belinda Macri, based on the principles of Dr. Randolph Stone
Dr. Randolph Stone created these yoga postures after traveling and studying many cultures and witnessing the affects of their movements on their health. He notes that when a person felt tired, restless or could not relax, then the energy currents of the body were not operating properly. Doing the postures for a few moments starts to open the currents of flow in the body.
Polarity Yoga postures are simple yet effective, relieving certain imbalances in our system. Whether it be a headache, stomach ache, sleeplessness, stress, anxiety and/or a desire for calmness, peace, rejuvenation; these postures bring harmony to the body. These postures can easily and effectively be done any time throughout the day. The emphasis is on quality rather than quantity.
It is best to wear loose fitting clothing, of mainly natural fibers to allow the energies and the body to move easily. Warm up the muscles with a little stretching prior to doing the postures is recommended. For some of the postures you may want a stool or chair for support depending upon your level of health.
The use of BREATH and SOUND are very important to the effectiveness of these postures. As research has proven, sound holds a vibration. This vibration which is created by the HA sound or high pitched humming used in some of these postures clears blocks in our system. These blocks in our energetic system is what causes the headache, stomach ache, etc……….
The majority of these postures are based upon the use of the SQUAT, both narrow and wide. Dr. Stone discovered the many benefits that came from squatting.
Here are some of the many benefits:
* Increase gas release, especially good for constipation and digestive issues
* Increases oxygen in the body creating vitality
* Released mental and emotional tension
* Enhances energy flow, energizes the body
* Opens and lengthens the pelvis and spine
* Preventative for back problems
* Tones leg muscles and buttocks
* Relaxation as it promotes inner calm and a sense of well-being
The contraindications for any squat posture are bad knees or varicose veins. In these cases, use a stool/chair for proper support.
The yoga wear in these pictures was donated by Dominator Clothing Co.; a company that encourages an active, healthy lifestyle through innovative fabrications, styles, is fashionable and uses high quality standards. dominatorclothing.com
References: These postures are also found in detail in the following books:
* Health Building by Dr. Stone
* Polarity Therapy, Vol. 1&2
* Energy Exercises by John Chitty
* Polarity Self-Help Exercise by John Francis
* Polarity Yoga booklet – Spa Tech Institute, Ipswich MA
In laying out the yoga postures, I have categorized them based upon an imbalance you may experience, allowing this to be a quick reference for the correct posture to use for fast relief. In using these exercises you will discover the power of our body’s ability to heal itself. Enjoy and may these yoga exercises guide you to a balanced, healthy body.
To do the wide squat, position feet 12-24″ a part. Place elbows on inside of knees. Place hands in a prayer position. Allow head to drop forward. Inhale and press elbows into knees stretching the inner thighs and buttocks. Exhale and release arm and thigh tension. Rock side to side, forward and back to release various muscle groups and stagnant energy.
For – Headache
Using a wide squat or sitting comfortably, perform the following:
* Interlocking fingers together, place heels of hands over the sides of the head(doing one side at a time), and pressing down onto your scalp – you’ll feel a sensitive spot. When located, hold it, close your mouth and make a high pitched sound. You will feel a vibration with doing the high pitched sound. This is clearing the block allowing for energy to flow freely, relieving the headache.
Using a wide squat or sitting comfortably, perform the following:
* Canal – Open and shut lower jaw while your pinky finger is in the ear canal lifting and opening canal. Open and close jaw while humming to assist in releasing tension in joints.
* Ear Lobe – Place thumb in ear canal. Grasp earlobe with air finger and gently pull, stretch and rotate earlobe. Use humming to create a greater release.
For – Stomach Ache, Digestive Trouble
To do the wide squat, position feet 12-24″ apart. Place elbows on inside of knees. Place hands in a prayer position. Allow head to drop forward. Inhale and press elbows into knees stretching the inner thighs and buttocks. Exhale and release arm and thigh tension. Rock side to side, forward and back to release various muscle groups and stagnant energy. Very effective for Constipation.
In addition to helping with digestion (stomach ache), the Woodchopper is effective in releasing body tension, anger, frustration, hips and pelvis tension. This is a favorite among children of all ages, while having fun doing the move, they receive the benefits naturally.
Posture: Stand shoulders width apart and knees soft. Clasp hands together above your head imagine you have an ax in your hands getting ready to chop wood. On exhale, bring hands down between legs, dropping head, as if chopping wood while making a loud “Ha” sound to release tension. Inhale and come up slowly to repeat. The movement is flowing.
Sound: Using a loud “Ha” sound, creating a vibration, is important to receive the benefits from the Woodchopper.
Additional benefits along with aiding digestion is: good for respiration, releases brachial plexus, shoulders, diaphragm, release and tone lower back, sacrum, lumbar vertebrae, spine stretch.
Posture: Wide stance with toes pointing outward, knees bent, hands on thighs above knees with fingers on the outside of thighs, thumbs on inside of thighs. Bend at knees so buttock is low, arms straight and shoulders up by ears.
* Inhale deeply, twist to side and express a loud “Ha” sound on exhale while bending over knee as far as possible. Pelvis remains still and head drops forward.
* Inhale and back to center and then exhale with “Ha” to other side.
Sound: A “Ha” breathe from lower abdominal when exhaling at side.
Benefits: Release gas under sternum, Release and tone diaphragm, back and abdomen, Free heart to act without fear or apprehension.
Posture: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly. Place fingers under ribs. Inhale. Slowly exhale making a long “ha” sound while bending over from waist and press fingers up under ribs. You can also do this posture from a kneeling position allowing fingers to go deeper under ribs.
For – Stress, Anger, Frustration
When we have these unpleasant feelings the following postures can be effective at providing fast, balancing relief within moments. Discover how you can turn a situation or feeling into a more supportive, calming and healing environment with these postures!
Additional benefits: Release shoulder and neck tension, digestion, increases circulation, vitality and power, relieves nervousness, relieve digestive challenges, constipation and gas. Tone and strengthen lower back and thighs.
DO NOT DO WITH BAD KNEES OR VARICOSE VEINS.
Posture: Stand with shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward. Place hands on knees and gently lower into a squat dropping head forward. Inhale deeply and push upward with arms. Keep head down. Exhale with a “Ha” breathe and drop down into a squat letting arms and legs release. This posture is effective slow or fast, go at your own pace.
Posture: Using the wide squat with hands in prayer position. Inhale fully into the abdomen and then exhale with a loud roar, sticking tongue out and bugging eyes out.
Sound: loud roar from belly
In addition to helping with digestion (stomach ache), the Woodchopper is effective in releasing body tension, anger, frustration, hips and pelvis tension. This is a favorite among adults and children of all ages, have fun and enjoy the benefits!
Posture: Stand shoulders width apart and knees soft. Clasp hands together above your head, imagine you have an ax in your hands getting ready to chop wood. On exhale, bring hands down between legs, dropping head, as if chopping wood while making a loud “Ha” sound to release tension. Inhale and come up slowly to repeat. The movement is flowing.
Sound: Using a loud “Ha” sound, creating a vibration, is important to receive the benefits from the Wood chopper.
For – Sinus and Head Colds
Lie face down with face in hands, bend legs with knees slightly apart. Keeping knees bent, drop feet toward floor. Then bring them upward, criss-cross feet at ankles and then drop feet toward the floor again.
Do this quickly for stimulation to relieve sinus and head colds. Do slowly for relaxation.
For – Neck, Shoulder and Back Tension
Benefits: Release neck tension, cervical vertebrae, brachial plexus and respiratory muscles. Tone Psoas and iliacus muscles. Strengthening after heart conditions.
Posture: From a sitting position, roll to your side and lay on your back. Cross ankles and bring feet to buttocks. Grasp inner thigh, pull knees up, tuck your chin on chest and rock back onto shoulder blades and back up. Continue this, causing a calming, gentle rocking motion with your body. The hand positioning on your thighs is important as they reflex to the neck and shoulders depending upon where your hands are. Place hands:
* Inner thigh – Reflex to front and side shoulders, Reflex to throat and neck
* Outer thigh – Reflex high on neck
* Near knees – Reflexes high on neck
* Near body – Reflexes low on neck
* Under Knee – Reflex to occipital bone and cervical vertebra
Posture: In a wide squat position or sitting comfortably, place hands over the occipital bone (notch in back of head at base of skull) with your elbows between your legs and gently stretch your head forward.
* Inhale and breathe into any resistance stretching the spine
* Exhale expressing a “ha” or groan.
Posture: In a wide squat position or sitting comfortably, place your right hand on left occipital area (notch in center of back of head at base of skull). Inhale and gently stretch head toward right. Exhale and release a “ha” breath or groan to release tension. Repeat on other side. Gently rock to aid release.
Especially good after being confined to a small area, like an airplane or long car ride!
Benefits: Free spine due to gravity compression. Lengthening of spine.
Posture: Stand with feet on ground, raise arms over head and imagine you are handing from a tree. Allow your head to drop forward. Feel a freedom and a sense of space along your spine. Take nice deep breaths, feel the stress and strain melt.
Benefits: Releases neck, shoulders, brachial plexus, chest, lungs, spine, increase ability to breathe easily, release gas, stimulate digestion.
Posture: Warm up shoulders and arms first. Stand tall with buttocks and lower back against sturdy table/counter or stool. Place palms on surface behind you and then step forward so that both feet are about 12″ away from stool.
* Inhale and straighten arms so that your back is arched, legs straight.
* Exhale – let legs relax so that the arms hold all your body weight.
Slowly lower body with use of arms, neck relaxed so that head tilts forward. When you’ve gone down as far as possible, inhale and by the use of your arms push body up. Repeat
For – Peace, Calming, Centering
Benefits: Peace with self, Prepares self for creativity and action, Mild stretch which relaxes the spinal muscles.
Posture: Sit comfortably on the floor with your feet flat on the floor, knees raised and bent. Gently drop head forward clasping hands behind head. Elbows are between knees. Breathe deeply, close eyes and relax.
Benefits: Ease anxiety and tension in a calming, gentle way. Connect with inner core and space.
Posture: Sit in a cross-legged position. Cross wrists and gently place right hand on left ankle, and left hand on right ankle. Follow breath inward, eyes closed and relax.
Benefits: Provides mental and physical rest. Connects with inner core and space.
Posture: Sit with legs bend and soles of feet placed together. Rest elbows on legs with wrists holding ankles lightly. Follow breath inward, eyes closed and relax.
Benefits: Closes all the body’s senses allowing energies to go inward, balance and harmonizing. Eases anxiety and emotional tension.
Posture: Wide squat or sitting comfortably. Place thumbs in ear canal, 1st fingers over eyes gently, 2nd fingers over bridge of nose, 3rd fingers over mouth and pinkies over chin. Allow awareness to more inward.
Benefits: Centering. Connecting with arch allows connection with life potential.
Posture: Narrow squat with hands under arches of feet, drop head, relax shoulders. Make a “ha” or groan sound.
For – Sleep
All of the below calming postures are wonderful before bed, to relax and bring peace to the mind and body.
Benefits: Calms the nervous system, soothing and relaxing the body, bringing harmony, allowing for a peaceful night sleep. Also great to try when you wake in the middle of the night.
Posture: Lie on your left side with knees bent. Place left hand on occipital area (notch in center of back of head at base of skull) and right hand on sacrum. This connects both the top and bottom of spinal cord. Close eyes and gently rock.
Pyramid Yoga Posture
* Creates a stable foundation and focus
* Releases pelvis, upper back, shoulders, scapula area
* Strengthen and tone leg muscles
* Ease knee joints
* Gas release
* Stimulates the Cerebral Spinal Fluid, calming central nervous system
* Good for pregnancy to open pelvic floor
* Release fatigue
Posture: Place feet wide apart. Rest hands on legs above knees with fingers outward, arms straight and shoulders up around ears. Bend knees and drop buttocks with thighs almost horizontal to floor.
* Bouncing gently using thigh muscles
* Rock from side to side using leg muscles
* Twisting to the Front – bring left shoulder forward and turn head looking over right shoulder to the rear. Arms remain straight with lower half of body stationary. Repeat with right side.
Belinda Macri is the owner of “Wellness as a Way of Life” in South Hamilton, MA, where she practices Polarity Therapy, incorporating Ayurvedic nutrition counseling, polarity yoga and positive awareness. She shares, “My passion for this work is from personal experience, from overcoming a serious illness and a diagnosed mental disorder to chemical drugs to my transformation to optimal health both spiritually and physically.“