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Monthly archives: December 2016
- Hip alignment in backbends
- Posted 05 Dec 2016
- When you look at photos of people in super-deep backbends (basically any pose where the feet touch the back of the head), it often looks like they have a sharp 90 degree kink in their lower back. It looks that way because they do: they have a hyper-mobile lower back. That certainly is advantageous for deep backbends, but it is not something you want to emulate if your back doesn't do that naturally, because it is an almost guaranteed path to severe lower back pain for the average body.
Instead, in order for mere mortals like us to deepen our backbends, we need to focus on opening everything else, which includes the upper back and the shoulders (next week's theme), and the hips.
- Opening the upper back for safe, deep backbends
- Posted 12 Dec 2016
- The problem with backbends that probably most of us have experienced at one time or another is a sore lower back. Backbend-induced pain in the lumbar region is the result of the fact that when we backbend with insufficient awareness and alignment, we tend to concentrate the movement in the lumbar spine, following the path of least resistance.
- Spread your wings
- Posted 19 Dec 2016
- Last week we were working on opening the heart and getting the upper back involved in backbends. This is a very challenging idea for many, as our daily habits and the force of gravity continuously take us in the opposite direction. However, like any single directional alignment instruction, it IS possible to take even this crucial one too far, collapsing the back ribs in the process, and reducing spaciousness in the back body even as we create spaciousness in the front.
- The true power of perfect intensity
- Posted 26 Dec 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?