Anatomy

You Don’t Get to Keep It All: Reality Check

You Don’t Get to Keep It All: Reality Check

This is the arc of life, with a peak somewhere in there, but for the most part, we miss it.

When you look in the mirror today, you might say to yourself, ‘Gawd, you are looking beautiful today.’ You might as well admire this presentation because next week you will look slightly altered. As I did yesterday when I noticed my hair had ‘suddenly’ become much greyer than I remembered. If you can, avoid the expression ‘for my age’. That negates the little bit of self-love you created upon complimenting yourself.

Yoga Workshops: Upside-down But Not Inside-out

Yoga Workshops: Upside-down But Not Inside-out

I’d like to invite you to two workshops with me on Sunday March 22nd from 10am to 3:30pm.
There are several places left in this full day devoted to a close look at what is needed to do inverted yoga poses with ease.
The first one is suitable for beginners, but yoga teachers might want to attend to learn a few new tricks. […]

Yoga and Sciatica: Lessons Learned

Yoga and Sciatica: Lessons Learned

 
The other night at the cinema, riveted by a documentary called “Once My Mother”, I felt a sudden stab of pain in the back of my left leg. I felt like jumping up and running out of the theatre, the pain was so acute. I thought, oh no, sciatica!
My innate good manners had me sit relatively still, all the while praying that the agonising discomfort would go away as suddenly as it had arrived. I tried to do a surreptitious yoga stretch, the one called ‘through-the-hole pose’. […]

A Little Yoga Hammock

A Little Yoga Hammock

 

 
The head is proportionately a heavy part of your body. The average weight is 6.6 to 8 pounds. So your neck may end up feeling compressed, especially from long hours at your desk or from doing detailed work.
Here’s a way to lengthen the back of your neck. Use a wide strap with a looped to make a sling from which to suspend the back neck. The strap goes over a chair and then round the occiput (base of your skull). […]

Yoga: Head to Toes Embodiment

Yoga: Head to Toes Embodiment

The miracle that our human body is goes unnoticed most of the time. A yoga teacher has the privilege of bringing people home to their bodies in the way she conducts classes – and hopefully to a sense of wonder and appreciation about our embodiment. Over the years I’ve done several studied of anatomy and physiology. One of the reasons I love those sciences is that they present a map for one way of understanding our bodies. […]

Is Your Spine Articulate?

Is Your Spine Articulate?

Do you love words? If you’ve followed these posts for some time, you must know that I love words.
A favourite word of mine is articulate. It relates to two things that are important in my life and particularly in yoga teaching: language and anatomy.
In relation to speaking, being able to articulate well means I can speak precisely to be understood. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Seated Poses

Families of Yoga Poses: Seated Poses

 

The laughing yogini pictured above (me, c. 1989) is demonstrating the seated pose called Samakonasana. Most people would be crying rather than feeling light-hearted in this position, as they struggled with the combination of external hip rotation and hamstring stretch. The technique that B.K.S. Iyengar describes in Light On Yoga for getting into this pose doesn’t make the pose one bit more user-friendly. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Forward Bends

Families of Yoga Poses: Forward Bends

In terms of our anatomy, the spinal column is an engineering work of art. Getting up on two legs – evolving from bipeds to quadrupeds – allowed us humans to see further and freed up our hands to carry tools and perform other tasks. It also conserved energy. Comparisons have shown that humans walking on two legs consume only a quarter of the energy that chimpanzees use while knuckle-walking on all fours.
The changes in the spine’s relationship to gravity did, however, come at a cost. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Side Bending

Families of Yoga Poses: Side Bending

evolve wellness via pinterest

Stretching the sides of your body, particularly hips, waist, rib cage, shoulder blades and arms, has benefits for your inner and outer body. In almost any yoga workout, you’ll find simple poses like triangle pose (trikonasana) or side flank stretch (parsvakonasana) enjoyable just because they open up the sides of your body so well.
I’ve heard the notion that the sides of our bodies are lonely parts. I get that. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Abdominals (part two)

Families of Yoga Poses: Abdominals (part two)

If yoga abdominal exercises are done properly, they are of tremendous benefit in toning digestive organs and creating postural support in the lower torso.
What does ‘properly’ mean? It means we build up strength in this region slowly over time and we do the exercises regularly.
Abdominal exercises are the poses that fall into the category of poses we love to hate. […]

Yoga: When the Phone is Ringing, It Helps You Connect

Yoga: When the Phone is Ringing, It Helps You Connect

Judy is in a rehabilitation centre at the moment ‘finding her legs’, as she is 15 days out from double hip replacement surgery. She is a veteran yogi and also trained as a yoga teacher, and probably has about 35 years of Iyengar yoga under her belt.
Judy’s doing another kind of training now with the physiotherapists at Hunters Hill Private Hospital. […]

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. […]

Hips Are All the Rage

Hips Are All the Rage

Is there an epidemic of hip replacements going on? I know of three yoginis who will have the surgery done within a month time frame – mid-March to mid-April. To be fair, I also know women who haven’t done yoga who, for various reasons, had to have replacements.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know my story of bi-lateral surgery, performed more than 3 years ago. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-31 – Bridge to Serenity

A Sutra a Day: III-31 – Bridge to Serenity

Source: katsaksyoga.com via Eve on Pinterest

 
In the backbend ‘family of poses’, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)  has been dubbed ‘a boon to mankind’ by the yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. Apart from its capacity to wake up the senses, Setu Bandha strengthens the legs and hips, massages the spine, and opens the heart.
Holding this pose offers an opportunity to explore the body and its movements with attention and care. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-47 – Relaxed Effort

A Sutra a Day: II-47 – Relaxed Effort

Source: docevidafitness.hubpages.com via Ramón Ángel on Pinterest

 
I’ve always been intrigued by the human body and wanted to learn about it. Recently, I’ve been enjoying studying an anatomy and physiology course again. This is the 3rd one I’ve done over the years, but the first time on-line.
We’re so fortunate these days to be able to study with video lectures, monographs, articles, textbooks, and so on – no farther away than a click of a mouse. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-23 – Teacher Training, It Never Ends

Source: byronyoga.com via Heather on Pinterest

 
I had breakfast with one of the delightful yoga students whom I’ve met since relocating to the country.
I was afraid that when I left my yoga teaching business of 30 years in Sydney that I wouldn’t develop inspiring relationships in my new locale. By inspiring, I mean that students inspire me as much as the reverse.
This particular lass has been in love with yoga for a long time and is now considering doing teacher training. […]

These Old Bones

Last night I slept on a thin futon on our friend’s floor. Their apartment is small; Daniel got the couch.
During the night, I started to experience my first hip pain since having the replacement more than two years ago. Not arthritic pain, just bony bits meeting too firm a surface. Ouch.
The ache in the hip went on for most of this morning till I could finally adopt a few yoga moves. […]

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