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Associating movements of the spine with the breath

Practicing movements of the arms and legs in the Dance of Shiva, the corresponding momentums of forces change the form of the spine. And there are two general approaches to take when performing these movements. The first and simplest one is to constantly strive to keep the spine fixed and straight. This demands sufficient control of the muscles manipulating the position of the spine to achieve this fixed state. The second approach demands knowledge of various movements of the spine, which naturally occur when moving the arms and the legs. Having such knowledge, movements of arms and legs are consciously accompanied with relevant special movements of the spine. These movements facilitate a more natural motion of the arms and legs. They also substantially increase the psychic-energy effect of such exercises, since as spinal formation has a powerful impact on the vegetative nervous system. In this case the impact will be roughly the same as when performing basic Vinyasas with or without spinal manipulation. Symmetrically horizontal or vertical movements with both arms result in the deepest amplitude of spinal motions. In this case, whip-like movements of the spine are conveyed throughout the whole body to the neck and head, from coccyx to the crown of head. Such motions are the best assistance for expanding and compressing the chest. Additionally, they are accompanied by powerful and complete breath. All inhalations are done through the nose, and all exhalations, like in cleansing breath, are done through the mouth. Moreover such movements of the arms and the spine are accompanied by rhythmic squats on broadly-position feet. In this case, simultaneously with intensive exhalation, the head is bent forward, the ribcage stooped and compressed, the arms move down and making a slight squat on two legs. And during the next deep inhalation the head is tipped back, the ribcage is opened by a not deep back bend, the arms move up and the legs are completely straightened (Photo 155 159 and 160 164). In essence, the breath, as practiced in such exercises, is a synthesis of the complete yogi breath, cleansing Ha-breath, and Kapalabhati Pranayama, each of which possess a number of powerful and useful effects.

What concerns spinal motion during the practice of asymmetric horizontal, vertical or horizontal-vertical movements of arms with shifts are that they usually lack harmony. And they are not so deep in amplitude as sine-curve movements. Repeating such first and second level movements for many times results in an asymmetric formation of the chest. This causes different volumes of air in the left and right lungs. Each of these movements sets a special rhythm of oscillatory effects on the spine. By remembering this rhythm as a melody, it can be oriented by the vibration of the spine and maintain this melody, paying almost no attention to the mutual placement of the arms. In this case the correlation of quarters will be preserved automatically.

Each of the asymmetric motions with shifted quarters has its own spinal rhythm and vibration melody. These are hard to describe, but easy to feel in the process of practice.

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