The not so perfect yoga pose

Every week on social media I post a picture of me in a yoga pose and let my friends and followers know what my yoga theme is for the week.

Every week I have a theme in my classes. The theme is a focus of the class. It’s a full well-rounded practice with a point.

Sometimes I teach a type of pose (standing poses, twists, etc.) or a part of the body (neck, feet, hips, etc.) or it could be something I have noticed in my students’ bodies (recently I noticed a lot of hyperextension in elbows during Adho Mukha Svanasana [Downward Facing Dog]) or something in my own body (tight side body muscles) or what’s going on in the outside world: time change, changing of seasons, super moon, etc.

I teach the same sequence for a week. It’s also the sequence I practice at home on my own mat.

A recent theme was the neck, which was brought back by popular demand and will be coming back again soon.

The pictured yoga pose I used was Garudasana (Eagle Pose), one of my least favorite balance poses.

A friend on Facebook said he was liking the picture “’cause … Continue reading

The whole body benefits from Downward Facing Dog

At some point in my yoga practice I assumed I had mastered Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog).

The great thing about yoga is that we keep practicing and learning and deepening.

When my teacher Richard starting working with me on my Downward Facing Dog in December 2013 he helped me to stop pushing too deep into the pose in an unhealthy way in my upper body. He also helped me to feel more length in my spine.

Richard took the middle photo of me after some adjustments were made in class one evening. The pose started to feel differently in my body.

The bottom photo shows me pushing too far in my arms, pressing my chest toward the floor and my head is hanging. My back is rounded and not as long as it could be.

The top photo I have a long spine, length and space in my back.

I’ve been teaching yoga a little more than a year now. I tell my students that I want them to have a nice long Dog.

It is not necessary to get your heels to the mat, especially if it means you shorten your Dog to get your heels on the mat.

In … Continue reading

Doin’ yoga in the closet

Normally my daily yoga home practice happens in my yoga room, which also happens to be the spare room and the guest bedroom when guests are staying over.

Last week my dad and Hilda were visiting.

While they were visiting my home practice moved to my closet.

Yes, I’m bragging a little that I have a big enough closet to comfortably fit my yoga mat.

But really this post is about how you only need enough space for a yoga mat and you have enough space to practice yoga.

I have been in packed yoga classes where each student’s mat is just an inch or two away from each other. It’s not ideal, but it’s doable.

And at home you really only need the space of a mat and you’re good to go.

In my yoga teacher training we discussed how important a home practice is and how much of a struggle it can be at times.

There was a story we were told of a now teacher who would practice at home with his mat right next to his twin bed where he pretty much only had enough space for a mat in his tiny apartment.

I know creating a … Continue reading

Learning over the weekend

Over this past weekend I attended two 5-hour yoga workshops.

There were supposed to be three, but unfortunately the Friday Fibromyalgia yoga workshop was canceled.

I attended the two workshops at Piedmont Yoga Studio.

Piedmont explains a little about the workshops: Adaptive yoga is the tailoring of the practice to people who are not “sick” but have physical limitations. This 2-day workshop explains the benefits of yoga in helping with issues such as pain, mobility and emotional states.

Saturday was on yoga and Parkinson’s with one of my favorite yoga teachers and people, Vickie.

Vickie has been teaching people with Parkinson’s for many years and has learned so much along that journey.

During my yoga teacher training we were required to observe and assist 25 hours of classes with any of the teachers who were part of the program.

I observed some of Vickie’s Parkinson’s classes. It was fascinating and I always felt happy while there. And I learned so much. There are so many ways to do Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations).

And the best thing I learned was that yoga is accessible to everyone, no matter your limitations.

Something I really like that Vickie says is to teach to the … Continue reading