Asana

What Are We Actually Doing in Asana?

Matthew Remski Books

I just completed the first week of interviewing for “What Are We Actually Doing in Asana?“ As I expected, and resonant with my own experience with asana, I heard stories of re-embodiment and renewed courage. Many experienced relief from chronic pain, both physical and emotional. Many felt that physical yoga practice was integral to the most significant period of personal change in their lives. Some people came to asana as though they were coming home.

0
Read More

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.

6
Read More

Ashtanga’s Dynamic Dimension

Patthabi Jois Guruji

Dynamic is a word that aptly describes the personality and teaching of my late teacher Sri K Pattabhi Jois (Guruji). And what I learned about the connection between vinyasa and dynamism from him has been a major source of my love for the Ashtanga yoga method. In 94′ when I began studying with Guruji at his old shala in Mysore, I used to stay after class just to watch him teach.

2
Read More

Summary notes on Pasasana (The Noose Posture)

Pasasana

There are the notes that accompanied the Asana Kitchen video on Pasasana.1)Establish a Grounded, Immoveable FoundationBalancing in a full squatting position is one of the most important and challenging aspects to this posture. The feet are your foundation, they are directly in contact with the earth. Organize your posture directly over this foundation noticing when/if you are either too far behind or in front of your foundation.

0
Read More

Ashtanga Yoga and the Secret of Mula Bandha

Backbend adjustment

Ashtanga Yoga (as in the 8 limbs) begins with Ahimsa, non-harming. Yama is the first limb of the eight limbs and ahimsa is the first Yama. Thus ahimsa can be considered the base, the very foundation and support of the 8 eight limbs. Consider the use of the word ahimsa, the main root himsa, means violence, harm, aggression. When you add the “A” in front of it it becomes ahimsa, the opposite of himsa

1
Read More

Your Shoulders in Upward Facing Dog

lower fibers of pectoralis major

This is a play off an article I wrote for the newsletter back in May. That one was titled Your Shoulders in Downward Facing Dog. There are perhaps as many variations in what we are told to do with our shoulders in Up Dog and it is sometimes just as confusing for students. As I often do, I look for the bigger pattern that underlies a potential what and why of a postures. In this case I question what we should be doing with our shoulders in Up Dog. Let’s ask the questions.

0
Read More

Your Shoulders in Downward Facing Dog

Position of palms in down dog

I think we can all agree about one thing with regard to the shoulders in downward facing dog. None of us like to have our own or see our students shoulders stuck up in our or their ears. How do we get our shoulders out of our ears? In addition what is the effect of this on our elbows, wrists, and hands? Or is it the other way around? Do our hands, wrists and elbows have an effect on our shoulders?

0
Read More

Flexed or Extended Foot in Lotus

pigeon flexed feet

I’ve been hearing for years that we should flex our foot in various poses where we have our knees bent at ninety degrees or more. More recently I’ve received two seperate emails regarding the application of this technique to lotus posture. Should the foot be flexed or extended in padmasana? It’s time I throw in my own two-cents on this topic. As many of you know, I’m for whatever works. If it helps when you flex your foot, then the answer is flex your foot. But why does this work?

0
Read More

Balancing Freedom and Restraint in Yoga

The work of legendary furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames has been described as a balance of freedom and restraint. Mr. Eames was once asked: “Have you ever been forced to accept compromises?” He responded: “I don’t remember ever being forced to accept compromises, but I have willingly accepted constraints.”1  Practicing yoga also involves working within constraints–those of the general form of the human body and also our personal limitations. Yoga balances freedom and restraint. Knowledge of the body shows…

0
Read More
Join our Newsletter: