Tag Archives: beginning yoga

DESCRIPTION for Yoga Classes .

I teach according to my students collective understanding. Whether you are new or an experienced practitioner, you will be led into a deep satisfying experience.

Breathwork is a strong force in my practice. You will develop great breathing fitness.

Props are not something I use or teach unless the individual has severe balance issues. Straps are okay because they encourage a deepening.

You will feel soar and joyful. The extensive experience I have in neuromuscular rehabilitation comes through as I teach. You will be guided and directed safely into postures for reconstruction and maximum usability.

Postures and stretches are appropriate for everyone.

The Ladder Metaphor

Imagine everyone in the class each had a tall ladder. We are asked to climb the ladder step-by-step. Some are fearful of ladders and just stand there in contemplation while some take a few steps and others climb all the way up. Wherever the student is on the ladder is where they will stay until all students have reached their individual peak.

While holding your safe position, you work to develop the strength, power, and courage to be able to go further. After a moment, everyone begins their descent. The highest come down to meet the next group and slowly from there we all come out of the ladder/posture together. Every time you practice, this is the idea and the power in what you will be doing.

…..therefore, anyone can practice with me. If you have to simply sit there and ponder the movements, that’s where it starts. Reconstruction of our physical body starts with guided direction. The way I guide you, you guide your body.

Ambient energy

I teach with positive vibes. All teaching is in the “positive” tense. Good music will assist in a deepening experience into the space you remember as your best self .

Constructing Yoga Postures Properly

Yoga postures (asana) provides a lifetime of healthy physical movement when performed with proper construction.

A Yoga posture, or asana, is a guide for strengthening the body’s ability to move, function and heal. Yoga postures are in perpetual motion. The motion, however, is usually microscopic. At a neuromuscular level, the motion is muscle tissue, heart rate, and bone in constant adjustment and alignment. There is never a static moment. This is the way asana reconstructs our body. A “picture” of a yoga posture is like a snapshot of motion in time.

Viewing a photo of a yoga posture and creating it, is like photographing an automobile and labeling it “how to build a car.” To put it another way, viewing a yoga pose and attempting to replicate it is not as easy as it seems.  What the photo shows is a result of something that has gone through a construction process. There are many details involved in the process. There’s more than meets the eye. Therefore, construction without proper instruction can create a less than beneficial experience, whether building a car or a yoga asana.

The quality is in the construction

The quality of the construction of a yoga posture is where the quality of your results lie.  “How to build an automobile” would show detailed instructions of every aspect of the process. It would take into consideration, details related to durability, functionality and style. The same goes for yoga asana.  There are many details in the process. Details can be microscopic. Details that can only be discovered and experienced by the creator, you!

The power and magic of yoga posture is in the details of how to construct it. If you are constructing it with poor quality parts, the longevity or benefits will not be as noticeable.  So a photo of a yoga posture is only a veneer of what’s underneath. You can put a Mercedes emblem on a K-car but it won’t change the quality. This is to say that the picture is not the experience. Similar to a Hollywood movie where the store front is only a prop. There’s nothing behind it.

OR

I have a  video here,  to share more about this concept.

Many people today get fooled on how difficult certain physical feats can be. They’ll watch a video and see how easy the person makes it look. However, we all know there’s more to the process than meets the eye. Like Olympic champions, there’s a process far deeper than the race itself.  It’s like the “People are awesome VS Fail Army” videos.

Actors can pretend to be superheros and dancers can pretend to be yogis.  However it’s important to remember yoga is about the details of construction, not snapshots in time.

How to build your car

In the scope of yoga posture, this phrase is important to remember: “Yoga is not about standing on your head. It’s about standing on your own two feet.”

To be able to stand tall is a monumental feat. Knowing how your feet are placed and how your muscles support your posture is a profound step in knowing how to build an asana. When standing, feel all edges of your feet embracing the earth. Allow your toes to spread open to support your stance. When bending forward, allow the spine to lengthen throughout the entire movement.

There are little elements in each posture that make big differences. Little adjustments in alignment can make for a more painful process, but bring the benefits that might have been missed. I can make a slight adjustment to a student’s pose that may take months for them to perfect.  Without knowledge of the adjustment, they would build a poor quality structure.

YOGA asana proper alignment

Example:

A young woman in class is comfortable sitting on her heels with her toes pointed outward and her buttocks on the floor. This sitting posture created a lateral twist of the knee and excluded the alignment for stretching the foot.  I gave her the task of keeping her foot in-line with her leg in order to sit over the feet and help open up the muscle and tendon tissue in the top of the foot. Therefore it allowed stretching the flexors of the foot. This was painful experience for her, but eventually she created greater ROM (range of motion) in her flexion and extension of the foot.

As you build your masterpiece, think of structural alignment. Play with your movements and expand your capabilities. In doing so, you will progress much smoother with greater confidence.

Where are the instructions?

While it’s nice to have a great guru by your side, sometimes all you need is your mat. Each pose has attributes to its design you must follow.  Therefore, attend a class with a knowledgeable instructor or attend my Online Classes opening this spring. Until then, get a good book like my favorite, Total Yoga.

A book can describe alignment in detail. This can be better for comprehension than trying to listen to an instructor. Remember, each posture reconstructs your body for maximum movement and function. The key to success is performing the asana correctly.

Remember to cultivate mindfulness of alignment while you practice. The practice of Iyengar Yoga, BKS Iyengar, is known for its detail of alignment.

How does your body react? When in a pose, stay long enough to look at your posture. How is your breathing? Are you relaxed or stressed? Is your heart rate even? Are you engaging the posture enough to warm the body?

Align with your reflection

A mirror can help you discover alignment. Is your foot straight? Are your arms straight? Are your knees bent, locked, etc? After awhile you can feel the alignment from within and will need the mirror less and less. So you will begin to feel the pose more clearly.

A yoga mirror can help align what you feel about your posture and how it really is.

Yoga is a method of exercises to strengthen all aspects of our lives. It’s not a sporting event or race. Yoga can prevent injury and enhance your physical performance.  Yoga is the “practice.” Remember the reason for the asana is the time to strengthen the body, mind and spirit.

Yoga Asana building space
Create an inspirational yoga workspace.

For more instruction, please attend my online yoga classes beginning this spring. In doing so, you will receive much clarity of the process of health and rehabilitation.

Learn more in my post about Mindfulness in Yoga.

Blessings on your journey!

Elenture Full-Zip Exercise Yoga Mat Carry Bag with Multi-Functional Storage Pockets (Stripe)