The gravity-defying arm balances of an advanced yogi are truly magical )and the envy of many less experienced yogi’s). There is no getting around the fact that the flexibility and strength needed to perform pincha mayurāsana (feathered peacock) or tittibhāsana (firefly) are way beyond most of us. But that does not mean that arm balances are off the yoga menu. There is a wonderful selection of accessible arm balances that strengthen the arms and shoulders and are truly perfect as stepping stones on any yogi’s arm balance journey. Here are a few of my absolute favourites. (more…)
Vrksasāsana, or tree pose, is truly one of the most recognisable and iconic of yoga poses. It is a wonderful hip and core strengthener; develops balance and teaches focus. Done well it is incredibly grounding and fits equally well in a class or as a stand-alone pose to calm and soothe. Want to know how to grow your tree? Here’s how… (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…)
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…)
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…)