Asana

The Voice of a Yoga Teacher

Voice of Yoga teacher

Yoga teachers can use many different tools to lead their students through a class, such as visual demonstrations and hands-on adjustments. Arguably, most important tool is verbal cues. During more than two thirds of a yoga class, students listen to their teacher’s voice. Every voice is different and you cannot make everyone love your voice, but you can work with your voice effectively. You can avoid sounding like a jarring horror film actor, a sultry sex hotline employee or a…

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Beneath the surface

Core Muscles

Yes a toned core is great for the bikini season, but when you learn to access the deepest muscles, you will get benefits that are more than just skin deep. It’s almost summer- and chances are good that people all over America want to tone up their tummies, and they’re adding crunches to their routines to do it. But sit-ups alone won’t make a potbelly disappear. In fact, they just might have the reverse effect!

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Where should my shoulders be in chaturanga?

chaturanga dandasana

Chaturanga Dandansana or ‘Chatuari’ as we call it in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, is a difficult and somewhat disheartening posture. A quite high state of strength is required to support it and and even more pronounced strength to utilize it well. Chaturanga furthermore tends to mess around a bit with our minds as it is not a ‘real’ asana but a transitory movement which we often cease to recognize the importance of in stream of on-going other activities, dogmas and ‘must-dos’ in our practice.

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Achievement Unlocked

Ian grysak in handstand

Today Iain was given the last asana of the Ashtanga fourth series by his teacher, Rolf Naujokat. For all the non-yoga people out there, “finishing fourth” is an enormous achievement, beyond reach for 99.99% of humans and maybe 100% of Canadian ex-tree-planters/backcountry hikers/science nerds.

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How do I straighten my arms when lifting into upward bow?

Latissimus Dorsi

The question for this really is: ‘How do I accommodate my shoulders to move correctly when attempting Urdhva Dhanurasana’… Let’s take a look.

A tight shoulder girdle is common in the yoga room, especially amongst men as our arms and shoulders tends to be a bit more muscularly developed than women. When attempting this, you are looking for a relatively simple movement once it has taken root in your practice, once the shoulder girdle has found the necessary foundation of supported openness, yet accepting the importance and investing in the detailed movement mechanics often gets in our way.

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Better Backbends

USTRASANA Preparation

Do you tuck your tailbone in backbending poses?

It would be hard to imagine yoga without backbends-they’re invigorating, uplifting, and heart-opening. Backbends stimulate the proper functioning of the digestive system, help preserve the health of the vertebrae and spinal disks, and open the body to deep diaphragmatic breathing.

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Balance Part II – The Leg

foot top section

To get the full benefits out of the standing/balancing asanas, we must master balancing on one leg to a reasonable degree. Knowing a few technical things about the body and mind will help us balance well on one leg, besides clenching everything we’ve got and pray that we’ll make it through! This article aims at assisting you with your one legged balances/movement.

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Balance Part I – The Foot

foot mid section

The foot: a double dome like shape arching from back-to-front and from side-to-side. The foot: a triangle, wide at the front and narrow at the back. The leg: connecting down into the foot like a pillar through the ankle which intercepts at the peak of the two domes combined.

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Turning Your Feet Out When Doing a Yoga Drop-Back?

achilles onblocks

The inspiration for this month’s article comes from a question posed in an email. The question, from Catherine, asks specifically about keeping the feet straight in drop-backs. For those of you not sure what a drop-back is… it’s when you stand at the front of your mat and drop into a backbend. It’s mostly the Ashtangis who do this and when they do it’s very typical to find people turning their feet out as they go back and/or as they come back up from the backbend.

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Sitting for Meditation

Padmasana Lotus posture

The basic goal of all the asana practice is finding and maintaining a comfortable padmasana (lotus pose) for meditation. There are a few key anatomical components and principles to finding this comfort. The foundation of the pose is the crossing of the legs and “sit bones” comfortably on the floor. With a firm foundation we find an upward energy and lift in the spine, which eventually becomes effortless.

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