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5 Delicious Hip Openers for the Less Flexible Yogi

5 Delicious Hip Openers for the Less Flexible Yogi

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…)

Sally Schofield

7 More Ways to Shake Up Surya Namaskar

7 More Ways to Shake Up Surya Namaskar

In every vinyasa flow yoga class, and many other styles, you’ll find a few sun salutations in there — but sometimes taking students through the basic surya namaskara As and surya namaskara Bs can be a little boring if it’s what’s they’re used to all the time.

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On Yoga Teaching: How to Cope with Student Injury

injury yoga wrist student coping

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…)

Poppy Pickles

5 Poses for Super Strong, Sexy Calves

strong sexy calves

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…)

Sally Schofield
Start with a CPD

What’s the Story with Kirtan?

kirtan music story sing

Yoga is a vast subject, and just when you think you know all about it, a whole new yogic practice hoves into view that you know nothing about – step forward, kirtan. So what’s the story of kirtan? Put simply, it is yogic chanting, meditation through song, or communal meditation. It is an ancient practice that is being brought bang up-to-date and steadily rising in popularity here in the UK. So here’s a handy guide to kirtan, from its ancient origins to its modern-day form. (more…)

Poppy Pickles