My Triangle continues to transform

Over the past three years I have been observing Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) in my body.

To the left you can see the variations and changes over the past three years.

When I applied for Piedmont’s Yoga Teacher Training in May/June 2013 an optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Triangle Pose.

Once in the teacher training our long-term anatomy project was to pick three yoga

poses that we were able to do but found challenging.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The top middle photo is the first photo I submitted for my long-term anatomy project.

We took the first set of photos of our three poses and did a write-up on the poses.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

There is a vast improvement between the first and second pose. I learned to eliminate hyperextension in the front leg without losing strength in the pose. I found a better spot for my head and neck. And I found more extension in my side body.

(If you want to … Continue reading

Continuing the triangle transformation

When I applied for Piedmont’s Yoga Teacher Training in May/June 2013 an optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), which is the picture in the top left photo, taken May/June 2013.

Once in the teacher training our long-term anatomy project was to pick three yoga poses that we were able to do but found challenging.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The middle left photo is the first photo I submitted for my long-term anatomy project.

We took the first set of photos of our three poses and did a write-up on the poses.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

There is a vast improvement between the first and second pose. I learned to eliminate hyperextension in the front leg without losing strength in the pose. I found a better spot for my head and neck. And I found more extension in my side body.

(If you want to learn more about eliminating hyperextension in the knees in poses liked Extended Triangle, read a … Continue reading

Using props in yoga practice

Most weeks I teach yoga I have a theme. It could be feet, twists, low back, balancing poses, groins, etc.

Whatever sequence I teach my classes for the week I am also practicing at home.

Many of the places I teach currently don’t have props. Which has been a good challenge for me as a teacher.

Last week I taught what I called props vs. no props.

I travel with a few blocks and straps and remind my students that they are welcome to use the blocks or straps during class. A couple of students have said to me over time that they don’t know how to use the props.

Huh, OK, that hadn’t occurred to me. This prompted a sequence for me to show my students how props can be used in various poses.

I don’t have enough props for everyone nor can I travel with 30 blocks and straps to every class I teach (sometimes I have more than 30 students and I have 22 blocks and 23 straps). But for last week I made it a priority to carry around 22 blocks and 23 straps, which aren’t heavy, just bulky. (I asked my students to bring any blocks … Continue reading

Triangle transformation follow-up

 

Recently I wrote about my Triangle transformation.

Over a year I watched as my Utthita Trikonasana dramatically changed and became healthier for my body.

I talked about how I hyperextend in my knees and I have learned how to stop that in this pose.

Knee hyperextension, which means too much opening at the back of the knee, creates misalignment and bad movement habits that can pave the way for arthritis and more serious knee injuries, according to Yoga Journal

Also according to Yoga Journal, a joint with such laxity is said to be hypermobile, and the knee is particularly vulnerable to this problem.

Being super flexible isn’t always a good thing for the body. When we are overly flexible in our bodies we need to recognize that and work to not go too deep into a pose and hurt ourselves.

I hyperextend in both my knees and elbows. I am also super flexible in my lower back, which means I have to be extra careful with my backbends and make sure they are coming out of my upper thoracic spine and not my lumbar.

When I wrote the post about my Triangle transformation, one of … Continue reading

My Triangle transformation

A little more than a year ago I applied to the Piedmont Yoga teacher training program, which I graduated from at the end of June.

An optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), which is the picture in the top left corner, taken last May/June.

The bottom left photo is from an anatomy long-term homework assignment where we were instructed to pick three poses we could do but found challenging and do a write-up.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The bottom left photo was taken in mid-December 2013.

We took our first set of photos and did a write-up and turned in.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

The photo on the right is also from the anatomy long-term homework assignment. That photo was taken in early May 2014.

Over this past year I have learned how to work with my hyperextension in my front leg and eliminate it. (I can clearly see hyperextension in the first photo, … Continue reading

Be flexible with your inflexibility

Over my winter break from work I was able to “teach” yoga to three friends to work on my teaching skills and give them a “free” class.

Every practice was different and in different locations (gym, my house and a hotel room). Thanks again to my friends for giving me the opportunity to work on my teaching skills. Hope the “class” was beneficial for all of you as well.

When I worked with my three friends the main thing I heard was, I am not flexible.

I told my dear friends that your body is your body and it does what it can. I also told them that flexibility is not always a good thing. Being flexible or overly flexible can be a liability in yoga or any type of exercise or activity.

I also reminded them that it is safer for your body to be less flexible than more flexible. There is a smaller chance you will hurt yourself as your body just can’t over do it.

When you know you have an injury, an issue, are over flexible or under flexible, etc. you make modifications, adjustments or utilize props to help you get into the best yoga pose for … Continue reading