In recent months I have explored the wonders of the wrist and the secrets of strong shoulders. Each has a huge influence on the way we practice yoga poses and both, rightly, deserved the individual attention. But, what of the bits of the arm between? Just a couple of bones, a few muscles and a hinge in the middle – let’s take a look and discover the sophistication of this undervalued anatomical part. (more…)
It’s the nightmare scenario you hope you’ll never have to deal with – a student injury in one of your yoga classes. It does happen and it’s wise to think ahead as to how you would deal with that situation.
Yoga teachers are in the frontline of dealing with people who have pre-existing aches and pains. The idea is that we will help them to gradually get over injuries and improve their overall strength and flexibility. And while yoga is a pretty perfect form of all-around body conditioning, the people we teach (and we ourselves) aren’t perfect.
Sometimes injuries will occur in the class setting, and when that happens, it’s best to be prepared for how to act. (more…)
Our calf muscles are a great team. Two muscles, gastrocnemius, and soleus, both joined to the heel via the achilles tendon. Gastrocnemius is the powerhouse – propelling us forwards with every step we take. Soleus is a postural muscle – a less flashy chap that works a just a little but for a lot of the time. Soleus is what is working most when we stand still.
Strong calf muscles help us to stay upright and walk, but they also prevent the curse of ‘cankles’. When we are on our feet a lot, particularly in hot weather, our ankles can swell. That swelling is simply fluid called ‘lymph’ that has leaked from the blood vessels in our legs and flowed down to the lowest point. This leakage is a good thing and is supposed to happen. The lymph actually washes through the tissues before being reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. It only becomes a problem for us when it is slow to be reabsorbed and starts to build up. Strong calf muscles help to pump the lymph out of the tissues and back into the bloodstream – swollen ankles solved! (more…)
We learn about cheating at school. We know copying someone else’s homework right before the lesson is wrong, but sometimes you get away with having ‘done the work’. Then, by extension, we learn about plagiarism and copyright infringement; it’s wrong to take someone else’s work and pass it off as our own.
But what’s the stance on stealing sequence and yoga lesson ideas from other teachers? Is this as bad as plagiarism and cheating? There’s no doubt about it that yogic stealing happens. One of the founding principles of yoga is asteya – or non-stealing. The third of Patanjali’s yamas, asteya is also the urge to covet what another has. We might want the charisma of another teacher, the smooth teaching style, the easy grace. But that is not ours to take. What we can take are their ideas.
So how do we sort out the ethics of yogic stealing? (more…)
Ayurveda is like a secret doorway that has been in front of you the entire time. It’s been guiding you, expanding you, and restricting you without you necessarily being aware of it. It constantly shows you where you need more balance and if you are listening, it shows you how to receive it. Conscious awareness is just one of the ways Ayurveda can change your life.
To understand how Ayurveda impacts you on an individual basis, it’s helpful to get a sense of your Ayurvedic dosha. If you’re unfamiliar with your dosha, that’s okay, Ayurveda is already in your life! Here’s how… (more…)
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