Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Here I try to show how you can come into bakasana in two different ways that look the same but feel completely different.
The second way I show the postural cues that can create postural firmness that will give you an energetic lightness.
The first way can leave you just feeling weak, although your ego might be buoyed because you are balancing.
I will be demonstrating and helping us understand these differences in my workshop this weekend, Saturday 30 August, 9-11am beside the Library at Lake Burley Griffin, $25. You are welcome to come along and explore!
Sunday, 24 August 2014
Eek. I had to jump on and quickly write briefly about this today after I heard students tell me they thought it was normal for their back to be tense or hurt when doing backbends.
No. Never. Please.
The students were new to my class so probably have not had the benefit of hearing me say a million times that your spine should feel free in a backbend. Not tense and stressed.
They will not have heard me say a million times that if your back hurts after coming out of a backbend then you were not in the pose correctly. That it is a sign of improper technique or pushing too far.
When practiced correctly you should be able to get up straight after a backbend as if nothing happened. There should be no need for counterposes.
Don't mistake me, I am not saying counterposes don't have a place. But there should be no desperate need to do them in the way they are often used, to counter the effects of a poorly executed posture.
I am not sure where it might have slipped into people's minds that it is ok for their back to feel tense in a backbend. And that this is ok and all they need to do is hug their knees to their chest or do a forward bend after to make things better.
I suspect it comes from the way people often move into poses like urdhva dhanurasana, which is to thrust their hips up as high as they can and then put their arms in place and push like crazy.
To demonstrate this concept in class today I had students place their hands on my lower back as I came up into urdhva dhanurasana. Soft. Soft. Soft. And my spine felt free and easy. My tummy muscles were firm but my spine was long and free.
I contrasted this by doing what a lot of students do, which is push their pelvis up as high as possible and asked them to feel the difference in my lower back. Hard. Tense. It felt scrunched and uncomfortable in my lower back.
Please watch the video by my first and great teacher, Paddy McGrath, who taught me (I am still learning) about the importance of spinal freedom. I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful person in my life. She saved my spine from years of scrunching and crunching.
Friday, 22 August 2014
|Photo from a website on self massage. A good yoga practice can be your own form of self massage! [http://www.faqs.org/oc/Overcoming-Stress/Comforting-massages.html]|
I learned some of these things by carefully choosing the best teachers to study under. These include Simon Borg Olivier, Bianca Machliss, and Paddy McGrath. I really recommend you seek out the best possible teachers as it makes a world of difference.
Saturday, 16 August 2014
|Head and neck (from wikipaedia)|
I will start this by saying that if you feel any discomfort or pain during or after a yoga class, please discuss it with your teacher. In general, if you move slowly and tense less and stretch less, I hope that you never feel discomfort.
- · Is the problem holding the pose itself too long or is it the position of the head and neck in that particular pose?
- · What are the arms and armpits doing in the poses and could the position of the arm/shoulder joint complex be contributing to tension in the neck?
- · What is she doing with her tongue and jaw?
- · How are the mats aligned in the room in the class?
- · Head down, neck back (chin to the middle of the throat) when taking the head down as though to look downwards or if looking forwards or standing steady. This creates length at the back of the neck without squashing the front;
- · Throat forward, head up when taking the head up as though to look upwards. This creates length at the front of the neck without squashing the back;
- · Chin to the middle of the throat, right ear lifting when turning head to right (or left ear lifted when turning head to the left). This creates length at the side of the neck when turning.
|Bianca with throat forward and chin up when looking up so as not to squash the back of the neck.|
|Simon showing looking to navel in downward dog, which helped the student relieve tension in her neck in that pose.|