Tag Archives: yogadoug

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)

 

 

Stirred not Shaken

The turbulent world around us seems to be experiencing a division of ideas on what it is to be human. We definitely have two sides expressing their presence.  It’s a peculiar spectacle to watch at the least. The dark and the light, or is it knowledge and ignorance, synthetic or organic?

Some entities feel humans should not have freedom or knowledge and instead be led into a pre-determined lifestyle free from unique expression, because unique expression would lead to chaos. Then there are those who believe the unlimited free will of humans will express be expressed in harmony and joy and discover a new world of abundance for everyone with no “one” in control.

This expression of creative differences may be referred to as “opponents”, but not really.

There are humans who have been blindly led to a life of disease and confusion. They are lost and will fight to keep their position at all cost rather than face the idea of responsibility for their life and their own direction. These are the slaves of a system. They will not face humiliation or judgment from their peers to become free. They will fight for their system as long as it keeps them fed, numb and entertained. These slaves are controlled by the few. A few people wanting to control  food, water, energy, employment to the system, media and entertainment.

Then there are the awakening ones. These humans have literally, like waking from a bad dream,  shaken off any and all beliefs from the rubbish fed into society by the few who have wanted to control all.

The awakened ones are simply saying no to the system of limitation and offering their precious human energy in another direction. The awakened ones do not want to change the system and continue to ask for permission from the big boss. They are creating a new world out of their exponential growing intelligence and ideas of freedom and living on earth as natural human beings.They understand that Mother Earth can more than provide for everyone, water, energy, food, housing and their is no reason for fear or control.

When you look at it like this, you see the one side using fear and tyranny to manipulate and control more and more people into playing their game, and another group simply walking away to play a new game. But those still clinging to their control game of human limitation want to numb as many as possible to become slaves and help to cage those walking away. It’s not possible. When one has awakened to their ability to create and make choices based on their desires for joy, their is no one with a greater power over them. It’s at this great understanding when the law of attraction is realized and life becomes new again.

The awakening ones know that its our simple joy to live as an example and allow everyone to experience their current beliefs as they are, that lights the way much clearer.  They believe humans have unbounded energy and potential and when harnessed with conscious clarity and passion can create anything.  So they are creating a world free from control and experiencing a dawn of human joy and creativity like never before.

Awaken, for it is better and easier than you may think.

Begin to ignite into ideas of a life with no jobs, no money, abundant food, water, creative freedom, and harmony.

Start with gratitude for you next breath, and move with joy. Keep your heart forward and just say no.