Exploring a new yoga pose

This week the theme in my yoga classes is the IT band (iliotibial band).

According to Prashamana Yoga, the IT band is a layer of connective tissue extending from the iliac crest to the knee and links the gluteus maximus to the tibia. (This is a good picture of the IT band, gluteus maximus and tensor fascia latae.)

We can reduce the pull on the IT band by opening our hips and stretching the quads and hamstrings.

There are many poses we can practice for the IT band, hips, quads and hamstrings.

One pose I discovered while doing research for this week’s sequence is Pigeon Wheel. I can’t find the picture or information on Pigeon Wheel from the other day. As I was scouring the Internets hoping to find what I found the other day I found that this pose can also be called The Z-Sit.

Since I can’t find the information from a few days ago I will refer to Deer Pose (a Yin Yoga pose), which is similar to the Pigeon Wheel I found, which I was able to find a photo portraying what I have been teaching.

Deer and Pigeon Wheel share benefits, … 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