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Stretch Experiment: Sleeping in a Stretch

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I've just completed 2 attempts at sleeping in a stretch. Last night and the night previous.

Pose: Butterfly/tailor but laying on back...feet together in groin. Weight on knees in the form of a blanket.

Night 1: tied feet together...didn't manage to fall asleep...feet went pins and needles...but had a deep relaxed meditative stretch.

Night 2: used a stretch strap/yoga mat carry sling, around ankles and laid on it to keep feet close to groin. Put a yoga block between feet to get hip angle closer to 90degrees.

This was very comfortable...did fall asleep...woke up a couple hours later and aborted to find a new sleep position.

However in the process of falling asleep there was massive relaxation and movements...I could feel the adductors letting off and knees sinking. By the time I woke up...I was very close to flat.

Will keep trying and report back.

Thinking of other positions I could try...especially one that targeted quads...key is comfort and a degree of safety. Otherwise you can't fall asleep and I'm still not sure it is safe so want to make sure final position is just past current range and not too much tension.

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Hey hey! You did the experiment! Interesting..! I am still not going to attempt this, but have other experiments I will conduct.

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Yes...actually, I think it worked rather well.

Couple points...

1) I think 90%+ of the movement happened while I was still awake and aware...but in a different state of relaxation then normal...do to proximity of sleep. However, it might be prudent to expect you will. I imagine someone with better skills in meditation could reach this state without tipping over the edge into sleep.

2) The movement that does occur during sleep...I'm unsure if this will stick/be available as range when I'm awake.

3) I picked this particular stretch as for the side splits I need stretch the pubic ligament...something I think is best done with very low intensity long duration.

However I'm going to try more. I'll keep at this one for 7 days...then I'm going to lay on my stomach with my heels pulled up to my butt and a riser under the knees..,hopefully this will gently pull at the HF. either that or sleep in Thomas test position ;)

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I'd strongly advise against this. A coach in the Montreal Circus school nearly lost her leg over sleeping in a stretch due to restricted blood flow. YMMV

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Good tip Emmet.

I'll re-evaluate.

@Kit : happy for you to delete this thread if you feel appropriate...don't want to plant bad seeds...just because I was randomly exploring.

Also, I recognize that this exploration is counter to the ST, which is primarily about building more awareness.

I do feel comfortable that at least the pose I started with...the identified risk wouldn't be an issue for me (in this instance)...but may easily be for someone else.

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My view - we need to be in conscious control of a stretch at all times. (1) ST stretches are safe because they use alignments that are known to be safe. In sleep, we may move out of alignment and this safety factor may be lost. (2) Long slow stretches probably target connective tissue. With VERY long slow stretches and lack of conscious control, there may be a danger that joints you dont expect to shift (e.g. the sacroiliac joint) may be destabilised. (3) Having said that, there may be some stretches that can be organised so as to be safe without conscious control, and your inverted frog may be one such. Myself, having destabilised a sacroiliac joint in the past, I am not going to put the other one at risk.

I did read years ago about a performance (dance-type) skater who used to sleep in the splits, with one foot under the pillow. However, I can see how that could be destabilising for even a very flexible person. One contortionist I knew said she had woken up that morning in a straddle split (she didnt try to go to sleep in it) with her hip joint "dislocated" (I presume she meant subluxed). Didnt sound a good idea.

I have wondered about this type of approach, but have decided against, for reasons above.

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