Category: Articles

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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...

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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...

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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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The Evolution of Ashtanga Yoga

By Matthew Sweeney Ashtanga Yoga is a wonderful practice for the body and mind. It is an evolving practice that is changing and growing to suit people of all ages and abilities. At least that is its potential. The tradition and its changing nature can be a difficult thing to reconcile. This problem exists for all traditions, so understanding some...

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Exercising the Joints

By Paul Grilley Exercise is now common place in our culture. So common in fact that it might shock people to remember that people who ran marathons in the first part of the 20th Century were considered of questionable sanity. In the 1950s and 1960s it was common for athletes to be cautioned against lifting weights as such practice would...

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Taoist Analysis: Getting familiar with Yin and Yang

By Paul Grilley When analyzing the human body there are many things we could discuss. The Thirtieth Edition of Gray’s Anatomy runs to nearly 1700 pages. And that is just a description of body parts. Textbooks on physiology easily go into the thousands of pages. But what is most immediately relevant to Hatha Yoga practitioners is “How does my body...

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Lengthening the Torso in Forward Bends

By Ray Long In “Preventative Strategies for Lower Back Strains Part I,” we discussed femoral-pelvic and lumbar-pelvic rhythm, muscles that influence these rhythms, and the effects of these muscles on the lumbar spine. Here, our discussion progresses as we cover the trunk, the thoraco-lumbar fascia (TLF), Uddiyana Bandha and how accurate knowledge of this can be used to enhance the...

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Exercise and Sacrifice

By Paul Grilley In our last article we elaborated why we should make a distinction between Yin and Yang tissues. Yang tissues should be exercised in a Yang way and Yin tissues should be exercised in a Yin way. Muscles are Yang, bones and connective tissue are Yin. Yang muscles should be exercised with rhythm and repetition. Connective tissue or...

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Degenerative Disc Disease, The Sushumna Nadi and Yoga

By Ray Long “A sword by itself rules nothing. It only comes alive in skilled hands.” Sir Te to Governor Yu in the martial arts classic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. With this in mind, let’s look at a condition that affects the spinal column and, thus, has the potential to affect the Sushumna Nadi. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a...

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