Posts Tagged ‘yoga for beginners’
NBC on Yoga and Injuries
I wrote last week here about another recent New York Times piece on yoga and injuries, and Keith Russell at NBC4 wanted to talk more about it. We were a little short on time for this segment but RYT trainee Jennie Kim and I managed to show the top ways that things go wrong in two yoga poses.
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.
Where to start if you’re a beginner
We all know that this is the time of year when New Year’s Resolutions start percolating. Kim and star Yoga 1 teacher Ashley Waddell visited NBC4 for Boundless’s weekly visit to discuss what you do if you’re a total beginner to yoga.
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.
nirvana – it’s no big deal.
Are you curious about what Kim Weeks shared on Friday night? Of course.
Ever wonder why you experience what you experience in life? Ever question how to create (or recreate) moments when you feel zero conflict with where you are and what you are doing?
Are you interested in your own transformation? Comment here or contact us for details.
Transformation starts with the body
Transformation that happens anywhere starts first in your body. While there are many ways to observe and assess the universal principles of organization and chaos, I will address the topic of human bodily transformation that in turn takes root in society. I want to teach you how you can learn to observe your experience in the world, which then then necessitates positive change everywhere — foremost in your life.
I am specifically teaching you about your own dharma or destiny. I hope you can make it!
for weak and/or injured backs (for angela)
A bright new student of Boundless recently asked me what to do about her back problems. A few years ago, she injured her back and has “babied it,” which has led her to become weak in her the core and tight at the site of the injury and around it.
Angela is not that different from more than 90% of Americans. With a tight back and weak core, her problem is exacerbated every time she sits down in any chair or seat — as long as she sits without thinking about what she’s learning in yoga class.
I told her I’d post a few stick-figure shapes to help guide a 10-15 minute practice at home a few times a week. This work, coupled with regular yoga class attendance (twice or three times a week ideal), is the best investment anyone can make in the healthy longevity of their spine.
Here they are:
i’ve been telling students in class for the past week that if you are feeling tired, lethargic, and/or mildly (or more) morose, it’s totally normal. it’s time for the Winter Solstice.
in our hemisphere, we are on the cusp of the shortest night and longest day of the year. there is a lot of information here to describe the metaphysical, scientific, and ritual aspects of this moment.
for the body, which is comparatively depleted of energy from the sun, layers of darkness enter. this is the time when mentally we can reflect (or meditate) on the things we want to shed–just as the earth here is allowing most of its plants to die.
no matter what your asana practice is right now, be aware of your overall energy levels and practice around that. this is an important time of year to let go–no matter how you define the verb.
i started this post several weeks ago when i noticed that the amount i was being thanked for adjusting students in class went up.
i didn’t know what to say about it at first, but i’ve decided now that it’s surprising. i want all yoga students to expect to be adjusted, or at least be guided, with as much precision as possible through the poses they do in my class. when i adjust someone’s pose verbally or physically, i consider that part of my job, part of what i’m paid to do.
so, you’re welcome, but sheesh! it’s what you deserve!
give in, push back
yogis invented poses to keep the mind occupied on its way to establishing a “seat,” or the seated poses of meditation. many practitioners find that once they’ve been doing yoga a while, certain poses begin to look and feel like each other, to have a similar resonance (in the breath, emotions, or mind). this is the harmony found in a regular yoga practice.
what we also find when starting yoga asana is the there is just as much need to give in as there is to push back. when, for example, you are straining in a seated forward fold, it’s probably a good idea to give in to your resistance to the fact that you are where you are. when, on the other hand, you are feeing fatigued in a standing pose and just want to give up, in most cases it’s a good idea to push right back at the desire to stop.
this, the practice of hatha yoga: it is to define something and immediately consider the role of its opposite in your mind. this consideration can only be manifested through the bodily experience (not least because you are in a pose at that time!). as it is, we find that we are always on the razor’s edge of experience, standing gracefully and steadily on the line of our own consciousness.
when a tree falls in a classroom
i was teaching a client this pose on friday, and he was doing a great job: balanced, focused, and only slightly wobbly.
right at the moment i uttered a few words like “nice job!” he fell out of the pose. like many students doing this pose, he laughed as he fell out. then he said, “you know, at that moment i felt balanced and unbalanced at the same time, kind of like zero-gravity.”
two things i took from this:
1) i love how students laugh when they are falling out of this pose. different from so many other poses, it’s pretty obvious that you are simulating something you’re not, and you’re “pretending” to be still like a tree when you feel anything but.
2) the moment just before falling out of tree is the moment we’re all practicing for. it’s that sensation of having harnessed gravity only to feel light.
like all animals, humans conform to the environments they live in. specifically, we conform to this shape
more than any other in our lives. it’s very likely that you are in this shape more hours than you walk or sleep combined.
that’s where yoga postures come in. the iyengar method of yoga practice pays a lot of attention to detail, and the more advanced you get, the more it suggests you drop into this pose
from a standing position. since we know that for every action there is an equal and opposite one, we could say that wheel pose, or urdhva dhanurasana, creates a shape opposite to hold ourselves most of the time outside of yoga class.
and since yoga and other mind-stilling practice are rooted in the concept of the middle path of balance, this pose looks like a nice, yogic way to reach mind/body balance.
there are a lot of other poses to create openness in the chest and abdomen like wheel pose does. ask your yoga teacher this week about these poses.