Author: Paul Grilley


Assessing Range of Motion in Downward Dog

By Paul Grilley Students who struggle with Downward Dog may have limited range of motion (ROM) in one or more of four important joints. Learn how to assess your students’ ROM and help them modify their poses. Long Dogs and Short Dogs. There are many subtle variations of Downward Dog but they can be approximately divided into two standard variations:...


Assessing Range of Motion in Squatting Poses

By Paul Grilley Students who struggle with squatting poses may have limited range of motion (ROM) in one or more of three important joints. Learn how to assess your students’ ROM and help them modify their poses. There are three major joints to consider when teaching a Squat: the hip, the knee, and the ankle. If any one of these...


Cracking and Popping Joints

By Paul Grilley There are many myths and rumors about joint cracking. The two most common being our knuckles will get bigger if we crack them or we will get arthritis. Neither of these is likely but there is some truth to the idea that some forms of cracking are undesirable. Two types of cracking. There are two reasons why...


Stretching Ligaments: A Yogi’s Apology

By Paul Grilley A stretch by any other name… Sometimes health professionals gnash their teeth when they hear a yogi say they are “stretching” their ligaments. They scream loudly that ligaments don’t stretch. We could quibble and say all biological tissues stretch but that would be avoiding their legitimate concern. Compared to muscles ligaments don’t stretch. But to keep ligaments...



By Paul Grilley Help your students get the most out of Shoulderstand—even if that means achieving a pose that’s not textbook-perfect. Shoulderstand, or Sarvangasana, is a wonderful pose that stretches and strengthens different sections of the spine. But many people struggle with this pose—either to get vertical or to clasp their hands behind their back. Some simple tests can determine...


Let the Lumbar Curve Be

 By Paul Grilley Some yoga instructors insist that students avoid curvature of the spine  by insisting on tucking the pelvis. But any healthy movement can be  overdone. Rather than insist on always having the pelvis tucked  encourage your students to utilize the full range of pelvic motion in  their practice. Bad News Ballet? The idea that a “tucked pelvis” is...


Stretching the Spine

By Paul Grilley When working a joint the first thing a yogi or yogini must decide is whether she intends to work muscle or bone. She must decide if she wishes to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the joint or stretch the ligaments to increase range of motion. In this article we explore the second option: stretching the joints of...


The Hand

by Paul  Grilley The purpose of some Yoga postures is to stress the joints in a beneficial manner. This article explores the different forms of stress that can be placed on a joint so that a Yogi can make the appropriate choices when practicing. Some yoga postures are designed to beneficially stress the joints of the body to stimulate their...


Taoist Analysis: The Three Tissues of the Body

By Paul Grilley The first article in this series asked the question “How does my body move?” Before we could examine this question in any depth we took the time to review the Taoist ideas of Yin and Yang. We are now going to return to the original question or rather the question most relevant to Hatha Yoga practitioners: “Why...

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