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Monthly archives: August 2016
- Spinal twists
- Posted 01 Aug 2016
- Twists are quite different from the flexion/extension movements involved in forward- and backbends, because twists create strong but evenly distributed compression of the intervertebral discs as a side-effect of the twisting action. This evenly distributed compression is why twists are so beneficial for long-term spinal health.
- Is there such a thing as perfect alignment, and if so, what is it?
- Posted 08 Aug 2016
- Because of my belief in the importance of alignment, this is a question I have actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about, and I feel like I am getting closer to an answer. And as always, the more I refine the answer, the more nuanced it gets. The main thrust of the answer is that asking the question of whether there is such a thing as a perfect version of an asana, that asking this question itself is taking you off the path, is derailing the deepening of your practice.
- Generating joy
- Posted 15 Aug 2016
- Research has shown that happy emotions contribute to long-term wellbeing, at least in part by increasing our resilience in times of stress. But none of us wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed everyday. So how do you generate joy when you don't already feel joyful? One answer of course is yoga. :)
- Beginner's Mind
- Posted 22 Aug 2016
- Do you ever feel like your practice has become routine? Are you convinced you have figured out exactly how you like to practice (fast/slow, alignment instructions/no instructions, music/no music)? Are you now taking poses for granted that you couldn't do a year or two ago? Do you keep obsessing over the same limitations, the same frustrations in your practice (tight hamstrings, poor balance, weak core, anyone)?
Do you ever ask yourself any of the above questions? Should you?
- Knee alignment
- Posted 28 Aug 2016
- Aligning the knees is an important step in bringing many yoga poses into balanced alignment. Moreover, proper placement of the knees is important to protect these rather delicate weight-bearing joints. Tightness in the hips limits the range of motion of the legs which makes many yoga poses challenging (think lotus pose). Since the hip joint is a stronger, better-protected joint than the knee, in poses where hip flexibility is insufficient, the knees will be compelled to provide the desired range of motion that the stronger hip joints are denying, causing the knee to move in ways in which it was not designed to move, and potentially damaging the knee.