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Verbal Cuing - an example

In my previous post, I discussed the three conceptual ways I approach cuing verbally. I feel like a workshop would be a good idea for instructors to practice and generate feedback from one another, so if that is of interest to you, email me and I will get to work on that! But for today, I will give you an example of how I layer all three types of cuing into one exercise. Ill start with one of my favorites - Bridging.

So the set up and initial cuing is skeletal:

Teri- “Lying supine on the mat, find a neutral pelvic position by aligning the hip points and pubic bone parallel to each other. The tail and sit bones are heavily weighted into the mat. Heels in line with the sit bones. Arms reaching towards the heels to move the scapulae away from the ears. Cervical spine lengthened and palms down, but upper arms externally rotated. Bridge the pelvis up off the mat as a function of pressing the feet down into the floor, reaching the knees over the toes without distending the abdomen or front of the ribcage. At the top of the bridge, the knees are over the center of the ankles, tibias are perpendicular to the floor.”

Once that is established, I bring in energetic cuing.

Teri “ Inhale three dimensionally into the ribcage as you bridge the pelvis up in 2 counts. Exhale to articulate the spine back down onto the mat in 4-3-2-1. Feel each vertebrae articulate back onto the mat, lengthening longer with every repetition. “

I then revert back to skeletal - “Make sure both hip points lift parallel to each other and try to bring both sit bones back to the mat at the same time. “

Finally, muscular cuing is layered on in order to establish where I want this exercise to be felt. Most people tell me that they feel bridging in their back or neck. I observe them usually to find their feet way too far out in front of their sit bones as well as the initiation arises from the glutes or the lower back and there might be an overt action of cranking the hips up which puts a lot of load in the spine. After cueing them as written above, I ask them “Where do you feel this?” - and usually the answer is “The hamstrings” - which is what I want.

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