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Headstand Safety

Uncategorized Jul 10, 2020

 

What makes Yoga so alluring to most of us isn't just its promised peace of mind and tranquility, but the mechanical intelligence we develop along the way. As we learn how to execute postures with precision and subtlety, we become more enthused about performing feats previously thought unachievable. Our flexibility, strength, and dexterity improve, and further reinforce our motivation to practice.

Yet the distinction between ability and sensitivity isn't always obvious when a new posture/technique is being implemented. When an individual executes any movement, most of their attention is consumed by the commands that the mind issues to the muscles, especially if the movement has not yet been hardwired into the subconscious mind, as is the case with something like walking. When the mind is so acutely and rigorously engaged, it is difficult to be sensitive to deeper and more subtle aspects of one's body. These deep and subtle sensations offer insight into the mechanical...

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Yoga Therapy for Neck Tension

Uncategorized Jul 08, 2020

This YouTube tutorial briefly explains the etiology of the most common presentation of neck tension.

In a world addled by technology and the prevalence of sedentary habits, many individuals' postures have devolved to a dysfunctional state that places an inordinate amount of pressure on the neck. It is because the anatomy of the neck is continuous with the anatomy of breathing, the neck's tension is magnified when the body attempts to breath deeper. 

Reversing the adverse effects that sedentary behaviors place on the body, is the ideal and most functional way to deal with the pain and discomfort associated with them.


Please watch the Full tutorial below and let me know how it goes for you

 

 

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The Simple Science of Nutrition (The Power Smoothie)

The imperative to eat healthier in this day and age has received a lot of attention, yet consensus on exactly what that means is far less forthcoming. Everything between the whole food plant-based, and the carnivore diets, seem to have an expert proclaiming its own utility, to the exclusion of all else. The purported degree of differences between one individual's nutrition requirements and another's have been overstated. Although there are some physiological differences between people, these differences need not be played out in the landscape of meal construction. 

Fortunately, despite anyone's food preferences there are some reliable universals that have the advocacy of nearly every nutrition expert, despite what side of the fence they sit on. By using the Venn diagram approach to what different nutritionists and dieticians extol, we can be encouraged to invest our resources in those measures that almost every authority seems to converge on.

The primary characteristic of a...

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Bulletproof Your Lower Back

This video tutorial will explain the functional/muscular factors behind common Lower Back Pain, as well as provide you a technique to manage, relieve, and even alleviate it.

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Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulderstand pose)

Uncategorized Jul 01, 2020

In parts of the modern Yoga culture, props have been seen as crutches that should eventually be removed. The misunderstanding that once enough dues have been paid, and a daily committed practice has born the aptitude to perform postures without any outside assistance, props will naturally become obsolete. Unfortunately this has created an environment where students interpret the use of props as a demerit to their level of skill. The problem with this interpretation arises out of the Spiritual/metaphysical foundation of Yoga. Unlike learning to play a piano, the inability of an individual to execute a posture, can be interpreted as a spiritual deficiency. 

 

Although there is a correlation, which is to say a relationship, between the health and state of one’s body, and their psychological wellbeing, it is important to be nuanced in this understanding enough to see that this does not imply a causation. This is afterall one of the main maxims of the scientific method,...

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Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)-part 2

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2020

I want to return to last weeks breakdown of Virabhadrasana 2 (warrior 2) to outline the relationship between the ankle/foot and the hip. 

 The reason that it is imperative to understand how one part of the body influences another, comes down to the definition of “functional movement”. In another post (4/19) on kinetic chains, I attempted to describe how the musculoskeletal system is organized to produce almost any single movement with the participation of the entire body.

 When the body is seen from this standpoint, it becomes fairly obvious as to how critical the foundation of any action is. The foundation can simply be understood as where the body is directly interacting with the external environment. It is the external environment that we stand on, push off of, or embrace, to accomplish everything from our yoga practice, to virtually everything else in our lives. In a very primary way, the objective of learning how to move better is essentially to...

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Variety is the Spice of Life

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2020

Both biologically and preferentially, human beings gravitate towards the often repeated “variety is the spice of life” pledge/axiom/precept. Even though everyone has their idiosyncratic perspectives on just exactly where they will allow variety to actually infiltrate their own life, it is still apparent that no one wants to eat the exact same thing, nor live out the exact same life, everyday. There is a reason why the dystopian structure of the “Groundhog day” life is invoked as a frightful lesson on how to live better. In fact, the common complaint of many modern people, is the monotony and predictability of their lives. To see absence of variety in our lives, is to witness the absence of novelty in our experience. This absence not only produces feelings of anxiety and/or depression, but has consequences for which we should be better armed. 

It should first be noted that obviously not all novelty is good, and should be strived for. If you have never...

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Chair Sirsasana (Headstand)

Uncategorized Jun 23, 2020

As almost an entirely separate class of poses, Inversions offer yet another critical perspective on the topic of wellbeing. In one of the most thorough and indulging technical manuals of the practice of yoga “Anatomy of Hatha Yoga”, David Coulter, Ph.D. explains that inversions provide a salutary effect to the nervous system, not easily accessed in any other posture. 

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) present only within the Central Nervous system (brain & spine), functions as a cushion to prevent traumatic contact with the structures of the cranium and vertebral column during movement, but also as a transport vehicle for the import nutrients, and export of waste products. Dr. Coulter explains that this fluid can become stagnant and suffer a reduction of the necessary role it provides, which inversions stimulate and help restore to better function.

 

In the era of Yoga’s mainstream popularity, illustrations of difficult, and to most people unattainable...

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Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)-part 1

Uncategorized Jun 19, 2020

There is a reason and deep wisdom as to why most methods of Yoga asana practice have standing poses as one of the cornerstones of their sequencing. More often than not, they are placed toward the beginning of a practice. The administration of focus and strength required to cycle through the various standing poses competently, confers musculoskeletal skill that pervades into the rest of ones life. This is important not to lose sight of, as it is exactly the time that is off of the mat, that constitutes the majority of life. 

Among them are the class of lunges that are collectively referred to as Warrior poses. As with any other posture, the techniques implicit within them are all different from one another, to varying degrees. 

 

The prevalence of Warrior 2’s (Virabhadrasana 2) in many popular practices earns it the respect of anatomical analysis that will safeguard us against unnecessary, and sometimes even irrevocable damage. 

I wanted to address one...

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Right View

Uncategorized Jun 19, 2020

The first step of the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism begins with “Right View/Understanding” (Samma ditthi). It is only when an individual understands how things really are, that evolution and growth can commence.

 

Upon looking at the methods and techniques presented in the great repository of the Yoga Dharma, the inescapable message that is being conveyed points to our one and only valuable resource, our beliefs. A thorough reflection on the movements and behaviors that are expelled by us into the world, would reveal that they do not just emerge out of some nebulous cloud of random mental contents, but are actually reified by the underlying beliefs to which we are anchored. What we believe is what we value, and what we value reinforces our beliefs. We put on our seatbelts in the car because their efficacy in preventing injury has been instrumental in the belief that using them is important. We undertake the practice of Yoga because of the belief that physical...

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