4 Replies to “Rolling to Sit, Part 2”

  1. One of my favourite ATM’s. I first learned a variation of this on The Open ATM Project run by Sharon Moyano.

    For me one of the key features of this ATM is the awareness of the connection between the ability to straighten the leg/s and engaging the muscles of the back and abdomen.

    I studied yoga for many years from a variety of books and not once did it ever occur to me to do anything other than try to straighten the legs as isolated limbs – whether lying on my back or sitting or standing.

    It was a great day when I discovered through this ATM that engaging the muscles of the back and abdomen would allow me to straighten the legs with hardly any effort at all. In fact it was – for me – so simple that I thought I must be doing something wrong or ‘cheating’.

    I know many people, young and old, who suffer from lower back pain. In my own case it started happening a couple of years ago. I noticed that after I had been walking for an hour or so, I began to suffer from a dull throbbing in my lower back. But after a week of doing this ATM every day, I noticed that the back pains had gone.

    Now I don’t know why, but I can guess it had something to do with an unconscious tightness in the leg muscles – thighs – hamstrings – calves and even ankles – and it’s clear that this tightness affects the natural ‘sit’ of the pelvis as well as the muscles of the back.

    Also the back pain seemed to be worse when I was anxious about something in life and without realising it I had begun to tighten my legs as if to protect myself – to stop myself from falling. Yet another example of the psycho-physical at work – the Fear Response.

    I find rolling up to sitting without using a lot of pendulum motion with one or both legs quite difficult. But doing the lesson today I realised that the reason for this is I have a tendency to let the head hang back and not to engage the breastbone. But when I listen to what the body needs to do, then lifting the head using the larger muscles of the back, tucking the chin into the chest and at the same time allowing the breastbone to sink down, allows me to come up to sitting with very little effort.
    Best wishes
    Laurance Rudic

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