Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘icky pose’


Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2021

I give my students homework. Ugh, right? I mean no one likes homework and here I am not even an academic teacher and I assign homework! It is not something my students have to turn in, but I know whether they have done it or not. You may have read my last post about Sitting Uncomfortably, well, that is the homework assignment. I encourage all of my students to sit like that during the week.

It really is an easy assignment. You don’t even have to set aside specific time to do it, it is one of those things that you can do while you are going about your day. If you have a pet and you get down to say hello, do it in a toe squat. If you have a grandchild that you lower down to say hello to, do it in a toe squat. If you have to look for something or get something on a low shelf, do it in a toe squat. If you watch commercial TV and you are suffering through the commercials anyway, why don’t you do it in a toe squat? If you do any type of social media surfing on a phone or tablet . . . . do it in a toe squat. Of course you need to make sure you are safe in any of these instances, but these are easy ways you can work a toe squat into your day — you don’t even have to plan it specifically.

When this pose is included in a class I can tell by the faces who has been doing it and who has not. It gets easier the more you do it, so pained expressions give people away.

I also encourage my students to balance on one leg . . . again, in a safe manner. But there are so many times when we are standing that we could easily do it on one leg. I am not talking about having to lift one foot up entirely off the ground. You can just casually put one foot on the other or put your heel up on the opposite ankle. You can be in line at the grocery store, bank, post office, wherever and practice your balance. You can be doing dishes. You can be talking to a neighbor. Again, this is something that does not need a specific time.

I want to add core engagement. In our Core & Light Weights class we have been talking about core engagement and I would like to have people think about that all the time. A million years ago the phrase used to be “suck it in”, well, I guess many people took that literally and sucked in their belly and that is not really what is supposed to be happening. The sensation you are after is one that you have when you brace yourself – engage the core. Imagine someone is going to punch you in the abdomen or you’re bracing yourself for a pet or child to jump on you . . . that is what the engaged core feels like. You are not only engaging the abdominal muscles, but you are engaging the stabilizing muscles in the back and the sides. You are ready to hold yourself steady. I don’t even have to tell you how easy it would be to do this all the time because I am sure you know. Sometimes it is just a matter of being reminded.

So, if I were to check with you on this type of homework assignment how would you do?

Posted in Core Muscles, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sitting Uncomfortably

Posted by terrepruitt on September 20, 2021

I have my students do a pose/stretch that I used to call the “icky pose”. Yeah not quite a technical name but a very apt one. I did not recall actually learning it anywhere or having anyone have named it and it was very icky so I called it that. Eventually, through my study of Yin Yoga, I learned the name. And, then one day when I was teaching Yin Yoga a student asked for the actual name. It actually is considered a Yin Yoga pose it was called the toe squat. It took me a bit to actually adjust to calling it that. One thing that helped me transition to its proper name is that it stopped being icky.

Like many stretches, poses, and exercises it became less icky the more I did it. It is one pose/stretch that I consider vital for one’s health, yet when we first try to do it, it is so uncomfortable many people stop.

I instruct my students to curl their toes – being mindful of the pinky because sometimes it does not bend the proper way – but to not sit on their heels at first. One can work into sitting on their heels. It could be that they have to practice just curling their toes. One gets to control the actual pressure they put on the toes. It could be they are able to sit on them but only for a second or two, then the more they practice the longer they can tolerate it.






Basically you are kneeling with your toes curled and you sit back on your heels.

There are ways to modify it to make it more tolerable and to ease into it. I just recommend remaining tall kneeling and not even put an additional pressure on the toes.  Or doing one foot at a time may be more tolerable.  This IS an icky pose while your feet are getting used to doing it.  But it can give you immediate benefit.  And if you do it often, it will get easier.

As with any stretch, pose, or exercise you should get clearance from a medical professional.  Make certain your body is able to do said stretch, pose, or exercise.

Again . . . this is really one of those poses/stretches that most of us have to work into and it could take a long time. Just like any stretch, pose, or exercise, the more you will benefit from it.

Do you sit on your heels with your toes curled (doing a toe squat)?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »