XToolKit

A Yoga Toolkit


Yoga Helps with Knee Strain and Pain

Yoga Helps with Knee Strain and Pain

The reasons that knee problems develop are varied. There are three main knee bugbears that have to do with body imbalances. One is hyper-flexibility which leads to overextending the knee. Another is related to the feet, where one’s arches are overly high or collapsed. Either of these create problems that run from the ground up to the knees and can create uneven wear and tear. For instance, the arch imbalance causes the cartilage on one side of the kneecap to wear out, leading to osteoarthritis. Tight or weak muscles will also create knee pain or injury.

Feeling Down? Adopt a Generosity Practice

Feeling Down? Adopt a Generosity Practice

My housemate and friend, Michael Hollingworth, has a tried-and-true way to help when you’re feeing down. The practices described here are so valuable that I’ve asked Michael to share them with you. I recommend ‘gifting’ as a beautiful generosity practice that you might want to store in your meditation ‘tool box’ to bring out as needed.

Don’t Wrestle with Stress, Do Restful Yoga

Don’t Wrestle with Stress, Do Restful Yoga

On questionnaires that ask for me for my occupation, I write in ‘semi-retired’. That’s shorthand to describe that I work sometimes. At other times, I participate in various kinds of recreation, such as singing or tennis. I study a bit, and I also volunteer in the community in Palliative Care.

Though semi-retired, I haven’t cut back on my yoga practice. That’s just as well as I’m busier than I ever was when I worked full-time. This seems to be a common feature of those who profess to being semi-retired.

From time to time, I wear myself out completely.

Recover from Gardening Labours with Yoga

Recover from Gardening Labours with Yoga

Like many of you, I do gardening. Which means I know firsthand how hard gardening is on the body. When my yoga students arrive at class with achy backs or sore shoulders or gardeners’ knees, I know it’s time to break out the poses that target these complaints.
Maintaining the yoga practice presented here will help us all sail through this Spring gardening season. 

Hot Weather Yoga: Do Flop-asanas!

Hot Weather Yoga: Do Flop-asanas!

In the U.S., the stifling stickiness of the hot weather season is undeniably upon us so we yoga practitioners need to adapt to this climate. It’s not as humid here in Tucson as in the buildup to The Wet of Australia’s tropical north, but this weather can still be mind-numbing and body-immobilising.

Showers and More Showers: Rainy Day Yoga

Showers and More Showers: Rainy Day Yoga

To help deal with the current wet weather pattern, I’ve decided to re-purpose an earlier post called’Rainy Day Practice’. Do poses from this sequence to help alleviate that pesky condition called S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The program below is designed to generate heat and dry out internals organs–and put a smile on your face.

Insomnia Busters for Any Age or Stage

Insomnia Busters for Any Age or Stage

 
Insomnia: The Night Prowler
There was a time when I slept the sleep of the innocent. That was in the dim distant past.
Menopause first threw a spanner in the machine, with its 3-4am wake-ups. Once I was wide awake, too bad, that was it for the night.
Man-o-pause sleep, I’ve heard, isn’t any better. No matter what our gender, eventually we all succumb. What is it? The influence of waning hormones?
Recently, my husband went to The Sleep Clinic to investigate the cause of his brand of insomnia. Its likely cause is sleep apnoea. […]

Extreme Weather: Can We Do Yoga?

Extreme Weather: Can We Do Yoga?

Days of extreme weather might be the way of the future. Who knows? Most scientists say this is the way we are heading.
If so, we need to include reflective practices as part of our yoga routine. We need the tools that create mental and emotional space to deal with difficult situations. It’s not enough to keep up with a strong physical practice. Meditation, savasana, yoga nidra, and pranayama are necessary to weather all conditions. Not only extreme climactic fluctuations.

Five Minute Poses: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Five Minute Poses: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Low Back First Aid
I find Setu Bandha Sarvangasana an invaluable pose for the way it helps counteract low back compression. In my world, lower back ache is a result of gardening, long drives or sitting at my computer.
Part of why the pose is so good for my lower back and sacrum is because it stretches the abdomen, a part of my body that tenses when my back is tight. […]

Five Minute Poses: Supta Baddha Konasana

Five Minute Poses: Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana: An All-Rounder
Years ago I did a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. The only yoga pose I did during the course was Supta Baddha Konasana. It helped balance many hours spent in sitting and walking meditation. When my meditation energy was flagging, Supta Baddha Konasana served to make me feel cradled and deeply nourished.
How to Do It
Props you will need: a bolster and a 3-fold blanket. The reason for using props is that you can let them do the work. […]

Five Minute Poses: Supported Child's Pose

Five Minute Poses: Supported Child's Pose

For years, I wondered why this posture is called Child’s Pose. Sometimes babies and young children will end up in this posture and even sleep in it. But more to the point, children appear to be at their sweetest and quietest when they’re asleep. And, perhaps never more so than in Child’s Pose.