XPoses

Yoga Poses


Yoga Practice Cycles

A yoga teacher trainee whom I was working with asked a smart question: What should I practice when?
If you do the same sequence of poses every single day, as in Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, it’s not a problem. However, what do you do if your practices are more flexible?
Well, it depends on quite a lot of factors – season, age, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause (male or female), time of day, day of the week, etc.
To help my trainee, I sat down and worked out the attached scheme. […]

Befriending Backbends

Befriending Backbends

A number of years ago, I ran a series of workshops by the above title. So many people have a love-hate relationship with backbends that I thought it good to teach some anatomy, practice simple backbends first and then work up to more advanced back arches over several sessions.
Ironically, while developing the workshop and doing lots of backbends prior to it, I made my back sore. […]

The Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand

The Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand

Salamba Sarvangasana takes tenacity
The translated meaning of Salamba Sarvangasana is “whole body pose”. It is often prefaced by Salamba, meaning supported. Your hands support your spine. Your upper arms and shoulders form the bedrock of the pose.
For many years I couldn’t grasp how to get my whole body involved in shoulderstand. The ideal shape of the pose appeared like a shimmering but distant mirage to me. I would struggle to get upright. The effort exhausted me. My kidneys would start to ache. […]

Upside-Down Bow – Arcing the Spine in Urdhva Dhanurasana

Upside-Down Bow – Arcing the Spine in Urdhva Dhanurasana

Symmetry in action, Urdhva Dhanurasana is a challenging pose for most yogis. If we could only get the backbend arc to be even from the top of the spine to the tip, then the experience would be pleasurable and gratifying. Anything less, we feel heavy, pinched and sometimes defeated. Like many adults, by the time I came to do yoga, it had been many years since I’d done backbends. The first ones I attempted in a yoga class made me feel exhilarated. My teacher was a hard task master. We students did 25 Urdhva Dhanurasanas, followed by 10 “easies”. […]

Sequences for "Intensive" Week: Day 5

Sequences for "Intensive" Week: Day 5

I remember hearing a well-known yoga teacher say, “If you can do forward bends easily, you probably can’t do backbends; if you can do backbends easily, you probably can’t do forward bends; and, if you can do both easily, you probably will have difficulty with pranayama.”
Well, usually we do have our strong suit. Forward bends were never mine, but over the years I guess I’ve surrendered myself to them more. […]

Yoga Standing Poses are Unbeatable

Yoga Standing Poses are Unbeatable

The asanas can be grouped into families: standing poses, seated poses, abdominals, forward & backward bends, inversions, restorative poses. And, finer tuning might include: lateral forward bends, standing forward bends, passive backbends, prepatory poses, and so on. It’s certainly handy to have a coat hanger to help organise the huge miscellany of yoga postures. The style of yoga called Iyengar, is often taught in a monthly schedule where week one emphases standing poses, week two, forward bends, week three backbends, week four inversions/pranayama/restorative. Standing poses are a stand-out group among the clans of asanas because of their all-round utility. […]

User-friendly Yoga for Beginners

User-friendly Yoga for Beginners

A yoga teacher who is a reader of “Yoga Suits Her” asked a very good question regarding progressing beginner-ish student through their postures when they are challenged by injuries or other restrictions.
Say, for instance, the pose you ultimately wanted to teach to students or learn yourself is the backbend Urdhva Dhanurasana (pictured above), you would start by understanding what sort of flexibility or strength is required of you. […]

Side Wise

Source: etsy.com via Alison on Pinterest

 
This week I came up with a sequence I enjoy doing and teaching. The theme is all about stretching the sides of your body, particularly hips, waist, rib cage, shoulder blades and arms.
Somewhere along my yoga travels, I heard an expression that I like: ” the sides of our bodies are the lonely parts”. I get that. If you think of all the ways a body can move – bending forward, backward, rotating – then, sideways bends are most unfamiliar movements. […]

Families of Poses: The Thrill of Being Upended

Families of Poses: The Thrill of Being Upended

Upside down is such an interesting way of looking at the world. Beginners in yoga can get quite excited by turning upside down, and that can be good or bad. Too much excitement can take you out of your body; but just the right amount can make you feel elated. However, too much excitement might just give you the practice you need in calming yourself down.
Amazing things happen to your body’s systems and organs when you are inverted. It’s like the tide of a mighty river or ocean suddenly reversing. […]

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