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Monthly archives: February 2017
- Minimum and maximum edges
- Posted 06 Feb 2017
- You have probably heard a yoga teacher say something like "come to your edge, but don't overstep it". The place that is usually called "the edge" is the point along the stretch continuum beyond which you are in danger of injuring yourself, and beyond which your awareness deteriorates into an obsessive focus on whatever body part is experiencing the greatest intensity. Using yoga teacher Erich Schiffmann's terminology, I want to refine this concept by calling this place your maximum edge, and talk about another place along the stretch continuum, your minimum edge, which is the place where you first feel a stretch. Becoming aware of your minimum edge will help you come into poses more mindfully and more deeply, and reduce your chance of injury at the same time.
- It's the journey, not the destination
- Posted 13 Feb 2017
- Yoga for most of us is a journey towards increased awareness and acceptance of the way things are. But letting go of our future-focused, goal-oriented mindset is a long journey, where we frequently find ourselves, like a mountaineer on a slope of loose rocks, taking two steps forward only to slide back one. Finding a place of stillness and full awareness at least in some yoga poses some of the time is a big step in the right direction.
- Do less, feel more
- Posted 20 Feb 2017
- To make up for last week’s rather lengthy theme, I’ll keep it short this time. There really isn’t much more to say than the title: Do less, feel more. It’s not about the difficulty or impressiveness of the poses you do, nor about how long you can hold them without hating them or collapsing into a heap of muscle spasms. It’s about how deeply you can get your whole being involved in each moment that you spend in each pose that you do.
- Spinal twists for spinal health
- Posted 27 Feb 2017
- 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, whereas forward and backbends strongly compress either the front or back edge of the disc, but not the opposite edge. The evenly distributed compression is why twists are so beneficial for long-term spinal health.