It has been said by folks far wiser than me that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ But what does that actually mean? Well, it could mean that the effects on the cardiovascular systems from sitting could increase the risk of illness (or even death?!). Or that sitting too long (indoors) has adverse effects on our mental health. But for me as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, it means that sitting takes us into a posture is mechanically inefficient and likely to cause pain and suffering. At first, this is only a problem while we are actually sitting, BUT, as the days and months roll into years of too much sitting the body can get stuck in a sitting posture. We end up producing a habitual slouch: the lower back curves backward instead of forwards, the upper back curves further back than “normal” and the chin pokes forward. Sound familiar? (more…)
Looking for a 5 min sequence when time is short or something to add some fun to your classes – look no further, the warrior mini-sequence will be perfect! I love the strength I find through the first 2 poses than the fun of the last one as I let my imagination run wild! I give you the Warrior 1-2 3… (more…)
As a physiotherapist, I see a lot of people who have had some form of medical imaging – X-ray, MRI or Ultrasound. These images can be REALLY useful to help diagnose some conditions and plan whether something like surgery is needed. But did you know that 96% of people with no pain or problem with their shoulder showed an ‘abnormality’ on an MRI scan? Or that 37% of 20-year-olds with no back pain show degeneration of their spinal discs? So what does your scan result REALLY mean? And should you still do yoga? Read on for a few simple guidelines on whether to welcome or worry about your scan results. (more…)
Wanting to start a home practice but not sure where to start? Or maybe looking for a yummy little sequence to start the day… Read on!
This short flow is perfect to kick off a hip opening session or as a stand-alone short practice when time is precious. Done fast, it can also work beautifully as a cardiovascular workout, or to warm up before deeper stretches. And it is delicious when done slooooowly…mindfully noting and reacting to every tiny sensation from start to finish. (more…)
Many people come to yoga as a way to increase their flexibility. I certainly did and I remember SO clearly how impossible some yoga poses seemed to be. How could I even dream of doing an utthita pādāngusthāsana balance (standing big toe hold) when I couldn’t actually reach my big toe? My adho mukha śvānāsana (downward-facing dog) looked more like a plank than a pyramid. And the floor was WAY TOO FAR away to touch in my attempts at standing forward folds.
But was I down heartened? Well, actually I was… I thought maybe I was ‘too tight’ for yoga. Too stiff to get anywhere. But I was wrong and my yoga teachers knew that lack of flexibility is no barrier to a budding yogi. They knew that with care and perseverance, yoga was JUST what I needed. They taught me versions of poses that I could manage. Versions that did increase my flexibility and modifications that worked for my beginner’s body. Amongst other things, they showed me poses that were perfect for my tight hips and short hamstrings. And now as a yoga teacher, I absolutely LOVE showing beginner yogis these poses. So, if you are a wobbly warrior with the flexibility of an ironing board – read on! These beginner hip opening poses are perfect for you. (more…)