Day 9 – Sphinx at the Wall
After all the cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping and card writing, your spine has probably spent quite a bit of time in flexion (that’s forward folding!) Rounding forwards to do all of the necessary jobs at this time of the year can leave our spine feeling overloaded and just a bit achey. This is where a backbend or spinal extension can help to reverse and restore balance within the body. A balanced body equals a balanced mind, and less achey back too.
When working with the spine, please always work slowly, mindfully and carefully. While this pose is suitable for some, it is not appropriate for all. I’ve offered a few alternatives below to suit different people, but all we’re aiming for here is a bit of a backbend.
Name – Wall sphinx
Benefits – restores balance in spine; strengthens spine; stretches across abdomen, chest and shoulders; may help to relieve stress
Contraindications – pregnancy; any spinal issues.
Duration – hold for between 5 slow, deep breaths and up to 2 minutes
How to – come into a regular sphinx pose on your mat with your feet touching the wall behind you. Now shuffle backwards so that the knees are touching the wall and the feet/shins are up the wall. Place forearms on the ground and come into your sphinx pose.
Alternatives – don’t lift the upper body into sphinx, place one forearm on top of the other to create a pillow for your head. Stand facing the wall about an arms distance from the surface, place forearms onto the wall and lean forwards into a standing wall sphinx.