Yoga anatomy

Sun Salutations Part 2

Shoulder joint

It seems as though I have seen hundreds of variations on how students raise their arms over their head to begin a sun salutation. Although it’s a seemingly simple act, it’s not really. I don’t want to get really nerdy and say how amazing the coordination is at the neuromuscular level, but that is the case. We take for granted that if we are not consciously choosing to create the neuromuscular patterns, the body just does whatever it needs to, to reach the intended goal. As many of you who are teachers have seen, the body isn’t always so good at choosing the best neuromuscular pattern for the long-term.

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Sun Salutations Part 1

Suryatanjore

There is nothing that seems to cross all boundaries of yoga styles as clearly as sun salutations. Of course there are variations on the theme, but it seems that all styles do them. Sun Salutations put movement through all of the joints of the body and moves it in many directions. Perhaps we have a little difficulty in finding say, a twist, but many movements are represented.

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Backbends in Focus

Back Bend

Backbends require the front of the body to be in several key areas. In this video I show you the areas that students often experience restriction and provide some exercises to help facilitate a more comfortable and rewarding backbend journey.

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Tim Feldmann Interview

I really enjoyed doing this interview with Tim. He is easy to talk to and had lots to share. His experience and understanding of the body leads to some useful insights when discussing asana. We had time to talk about many topics including how his background in dance influences his teaching, as well as specific asanas.

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Yin Yoga for Back bending with Ease and Grace

Kapotasana

Back bending with ease and grace requires that the Hip flexors (front of the hips), shoulders, and the whole of the front of the body are flexible and strong. Yin yoga is a way of opening the body with passive stretches held for a prolonged period of time. If practiced correctly it is a very sure and safe way to work on increased flexibility.

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The Hips A-line-ment

If there’s a holy grail in the Ashtanga yoga practice, it must a long central axis (or spine, for reference) and rooted pelvis, for within the two lie the keys to heaven – or as we say, bandhas. And so it seems logical we do all we can to protect and keep these lines sacred. The primary series offers us the perfect place to practice this alignment with shapes that logically lead us towards that promised land.

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Resisting the Bend: Kapotasana

Backbend anatomy

This was my deal breaker. Everyone has one, and this was mine. I knew this one posture would demand from me more commitment, patience, tenacity and loving kindness than any other I’d ever encountered. It requires me to be fully present, super aware – and willing.

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Deep Relief for Low Back Pain

Asymetric extension

By applying these simple principles to your asana practice you can strengthen the hidden muscles that maintain the health of your back.While there are no quick fixes when it comes to low back pain, if you address the root of the problem, treatment can be surprisingly simple.

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