Spine-Lengthening Asana in Yoga Teacher Training

Singers may be instructed prior to beginning voice studies that having healthy posture is essential for balanced singing. Lister suggests that a body out of alignment might affect the lungs and overall physical freedom of the voice. Voice students and teachers can possibly benefit from practicing spine-lengthening asana in the voice studio. Voice teachers might find it helpful to infuse different teaching techniques that will benefit each student. Students differ emotionally and physically and it may take a series of spine-lengthening poses before one feels comfortable.

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In Example a pose the student and teacher could find productive is a resting posture called Balasana  or Child’s Pose. The beginning of the word, bala, relates to not being fully grown or developed. The pose represents a child on the word Bala refers to a child in Sanskrit. A posture that may help with relaxing the body and mind.

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the ground begging for a toy. Yogi Therapist Leslie Kaminoff (1958- ) explains that the difficult task is to position the ischial tuberosity101 to the heels and the forehead to the floor. Placing a blanket over the heels and under the sitting bones may help in keeping the back straight and avoid injury.

The student is instructed that when the sitting bones are on the heels, the shoulders should remain above the hips (step 1). The singer may find that gravity assists the beginning of this pose. The chest is placed softly on the thighs and the forehead rests on the floor or prop block. The body lengthens by extending the hips to the shoulders.102 Kirk suggests that the arms can be positioned back and at the side of the body. Another less strenuous position is to reposition the arms out beyond the head. A gentler approach that might benefit singers is to place a foam bolster under the belly. Also, the knees may widen. A yoga block can be placed under the head for support if the forehead cannot reach the floor

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Numerous muscles, including the spinal extensors, hamstrings and gluteus medius will elongate and work simultaneously. This action will allow the sitting bones and the head to safely reach the floor. Students are encouraged to widen the knees, which may allow for more expansion in the spine and make room for the belly. Kaminoff states that a student might feel tightness in the hip joints. Gravity might prove helpful in pulling the body down instead of the muscles.

Balasana is used as a resting pose so the participant can focus on breathing. Kaminoff suggests the pose might constrict breathing and cause a feeling of suffocation in a student who is new to the posture. He suggests more movement in the rib cage and at the back of the waist to allow for a deeper intake of breath

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Students may find the physical benefits of Balasana to include: reduction in head, neck and chest pain. The singing-yogi might also feel an expansion in the hips and lower back. It is possible that Balasana can also assist with expanding the shoulders, while calming the mind and reducing fatigue

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