ASK THE INSTRUCTOR! 20 Feb 2012
Hi Lauren, I hear different cues from different instructors during our butt work sequence. I'm confused! Some say to drop the rib-cage to the mat and others say to rest your weight between your shoulder-blades. What is correct? Thanks, SF
Both! This is a two part answer. You want to use your abs to drop the chest away from your chin and your thoracic/mid-back (where your bra strap or sports bra runs across the back of your rib cage) so that the ribs are grounded to the floor during our glute-work series. We all have different postures and body types so this will look slightly different on everyone. Watch that you don't overdo it though: You don't have to ground the entire rib-cage to the floor since this will cause the spine to flex and your sternum to dig into your core. We want to avoid being hunched at all times (lift from the heart and pull your shoulders back and down to bring the upper body out of the tuck).
Check your form: You want to be in one long line from your shoulders to your knees. What we mean by resting your weight between your shoulder-blades is to just relax and center your weight (be heavy) there rather than resting your weight on the base of the neck and shoulders like in a Yoga bridge (See Kim demonstrating incorrectly above).
Remember that Yoga is all about opening up and with Lithe, we want to close and knit everything up. You can see Kim above demonstrating a high Yoga bridge (what we don't want to do at Lithe). You can see how her back is arched, her ribs are slightly popped, her weight is resting on the Cervical Spine/neck and her chest is way up near her chin. This also causes some strain the low back during our sequences. I hope this helps!
Image of Lithe Instructor, Kim Sauer demonstrating correct/incorrect rib cage placement during Lithe's glute work sequence via Lauren.