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March 1997

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Polarity Articles


by Morag Campbell


Polarity has an exercise regime that works as an adjunct to the bodywork and dietary changes that you may be working with. The exercises are stretching postures designed to open up the body and when combined with movement and sometimes sound, facilitate energy flow.


This exercise can be very demanding on the legs so if you experience fatigue or you are weak in the legs it can be performed whist sitting on a dining chair. If you favour this variation make sure that your legs are still spread to the sides to get a stretch in the inner thighs. This exercise is quite strenuous.

Begin by taking a wide stance and placing your hands on each thigh just above the knees. Sit down between your legs so that ideally your thighs are parallel with the floor. Straighten your arms and allow your shoulders to push up towards your ears. This characteristic shape made by the body gives the exercise its name. You should experience a release in the spine as it "hangs" supported by the frame of the arms and legs. Although this exercise is designed to release the shoulders and upper back it relies on the opening stretch of the legs to release the musculature of the pelvic girdle which in turn will effect release in the shoulder girdle.

An effective twist and release of the upper back can be achieved in this posture by dropping one shoulder forward and towards the middle of the body whilst looking at the foot on the same side.


This stretch can then be opposed by turning the head to look over the opposite shoulder. Repeat on the other side.


We can also work the scapular or shoulder blades quite dynamically in this posture. By allowing the upper body to bend forward ninety degrees and taking the stress off the legs and arms we can rotate the shoulder blades, squeezing them together and moving them part.

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