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…)
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…)
As a novice yogi, I clearly remember the frustration of poor upper body strength. My shoulders were so weak that chaturaṅga daṇḍāsana resembled a breakdancing caterpillar and iconic poses like bakāsana (crow) and handstands were an impossible dream. But I was not alone. Many people lack strength in their shoulders when they first come to yoga. Modern lifestyle no longer routinely includes the heavy lifting and hard labour that kept our ancestors naturally strong in the arm.
This does not mean that we can’t all aspire to super strong shoulders. Muscles have the capacity to become stronger throughout life. Even in older age, muscles will build with increased loading. So, how can we do this safely and effectively? (more…)
Spring is here with it’s promise of glorious summer days. Soon legs will be tempted out from hibernation. Freedom from tights. No more trousers. Bring out the shorts and skirts I say!
This is a truly time of joy for most. And dread for many as the reality of what nature has bestowed on us in the leg department falls short of the media ideal. Very few of us have supermodel length legs that are sculpted to perfection. But fear not – yoga and our anatomy is all we need for super strong, summer legs. So, roll out your mat and set your intention. Lovely legs here we come! (more…)
Our wrists are truly amazing pieces of bioengineering. Yet we rarely pay them much attention – that is until they hurt. Then we worry that we will have to stop doing those delicious hand weight-bearing poses that love. But with a little care and attention our wrists can be content in cobra (bhujangasana): thoroughly dependable in down dog (adho muka svanasana) and wholly happy in handstands (adho mukha vrksasana). Here’s how: (more…)