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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...


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...


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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