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…)
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…)
What are the important relationships in our lives? Our other halves, our parents, our children, our besties – but what about the student-teacher relationship? How important is that? According to ancient Indian culture, the relationship between a Guru and a shishya (disciple) is a very special one, even transcending the bond between parent and child, or husband and wife. While that may be a bit extreme for our Western sensibilities, it’s undeniable that finding the right teacher is a crucial part of our yoga journey.
Yoga is a lifelong journey and the teacher that guides you on that journey is a key part of it. They will ask you to do things with your body that it’s never done before and you need to have absolute faith in them that they will teach you safely while challenging you to move beyond your comfort zone at the same time. Here is our take on how to find the right teacher for YOU. (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…)
We humans tend to be creatures of habit. We stick to our routines like clockwork come rain or shine because there’s a comfort to familiarity. However, sometimes it’s worth shifting gear with the seasons, to take advantage of the natural vibrancy of Spring.
The days are getting longer and the nights are shortening. There is more light, more warmth (sporadically – this is the UK after all), the Easter holidays have come and gone and it’s time to get back to business. So here are our TOP TEN tips for how to infuse your yoga practice with the energy of Spring. (more…)