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Monthly archives: February 2016
- Keeping your back safe in forward bends
- Posted 08 Feb 2016
- Forward bends can be quite problematic for the lower back, because overly rounding (flexing) the back frequently causes lower back pain. While we often don’t know what actually gets injured when we hurt our lower back, one common injury is the bulging or rupture of an intervertebral disc towards the rear and slightly to one side when its front edge is compressed too strongly. Why is that an issue? While the spinal cord, which lies behind the discs, is protected from disc herniation by a long tough ligament, this ligament is by necessity narrow, which means that the nerves exiting from the spinal cord are not protected by it. When a disc bulges or ruptures to the rear and one side, it can create significant and even debilitating pain by compressing such a nerve root.
- Aligning with spanda
- Posted 15 Feb 2016
- In the yogic tradition everything in the universe is considered to be vibrating with spanda. Spanda is the subtle creative pulsation that manifests in all living and non-living entities. The ancient yogic assertion that everything pulsates is true in a very literal, scientific way: Scientific investigations have confirmed that everything vibrates, from the atoms that make up all matter, the cells in our bodies, and our bodies as a whole, which expand and contract with our breath, to the stars, and to the universe as a whole, which, according to Einstein's theory of relativity, must either be expanding or contracting.
- The true power of perfect intensity
- Posted 22 Feb 2016
- How do you know whether you are working too hard or not hard enough in yoga? How much should you push yourself when practicing yoga? What is the difference between intensity and pain? Most people who practice yoga have experienced creating too much intensity, or pushing past their edge, as many teachers call it. But how do you learn how far is just right, and why does it matter?
- Practicing the art of balancing
- Posted 29 Feb 2016
- When we talk about balancing, both physically as well as in terms of our life as a whole, we often use the words finding balance, as if balance were a magical state that we only need to discover, hiding somewhere under a giant lotus leaf. I don't want to read too much into the simple phrase "finding balance", but the words we use to describe phenomena do subtly influence how we think about them. Finding balance makes you search for an idealized unchanging state that you think exists somewhere. Thinking about practicing the art of balancing on the other hand focuses your awareness on the active and ongoing part you play in balancing. And when you internalize this perspective, practicing the art of balancing will become much easier, because balance is something dynamic and ever-changing, and requires — and thus teaches you — continuous full awareness.