muck_a_luck: (Yoga Om)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
So you know how the instructors always tell you that as you prepare to bend forward in Baddha Konasana you should "open your feet like a book?"

I have never been able to do that. My feet *hate* Baddha Konasana. Also, in the past, I have not been very flexible in this posture.

Well, I had the aha moment.

I have in the past not worked very hard on understanding this posture. I was reading about it in Cool Yoga Tricks, and realized that I really needed to concentrate on getting my knees to move closer to the floor. (I know, I know, hush. This is what comes of being one's own teacher! Years to come to basic realizations!) When I concentrate on that, my flexibility in the posture increases immediately.

And?

Voila! My feet open like a book!!!

It is nothing to do with the feet or hands or ankles. It's a natural result of the hips opening allowing the legs to fall apart, changing the way the soles of the feet come together.

Years! But it finally happened!
zats_clear: (yoga pigeon pose)
[personal profile] zats_clear
I did the Forward Bend and Chakra Vinyasa sequences from Shiva Rea's latest dvd, Daily Energy (obtained from Netflix if you are US) and am typing to you with shaking arms and a light sweat at the back of my neck under my hair!  I

note to CK:  finish that review already so they know what I am talking about!

Shiva can be challenging to my ego balance at times, but I like her anyway so I persevere.  My limited experience with this dvd thus far has shown me that she moves slower so I can fall more gracefully follow her with more understanding.  I'm posting because it is a "yay me" moment...I completed a sequence without migraine, nausea, dizziness, or getting up close and personal with my mat!
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
As Downward Facing Dog is the first stage of handstand ...

... so Dolphin is the first stage of headstand.

Yes? No? Does this make sense to anyone else?
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I did headstand, I did headstand!

Okay, context is that I've always been terrified of going upside-down, and also anything that might put pressure on my neck, so I've never been brave enough to have a real try at headstand, and today I went to an excellent Iyengar class and did headstand and it felt weightless and easy and awesome.

(We'd been working a lot on broadening across the back and the teacher made some comments about the movement of the lats which somehow made things click, I think.)

So this was really pushing a limit for me, and now I am full of \o/, and I needed to tell the world (or at least the comm) *g*.
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
[personal profile] beachlass
One of the seemingly universal pieces of advice about spiritual practices: They take practice. Especially on the days when you don't want to, and it goes wrong and you are sure it's going to accomplish nothing. In one of Thomas Merton's books, he advises that if prayer always feels great, you're doing something wrong, because you need to pray through the bleak empty times as well.

One of the things I'm loving about yoga practice is the quietness of mind that I reach during it. And yesterday, when I woke up having a crap day, and didn't manage to start my morning practice until 3pm, I knew that quietness was probably going to be out of reach. And knowing that is probably one of the things that kept delaying me from trying. But I'm trying to practice every day during Lent, no exceptions, and I know that the days I am too busy/don't want to/feel useless are days that I really need to push through.

And then suddenly, when I was reaching for a forward bend, and realized I needed to let go rather than stretch, I experienced one of those shifts, and it wasn't just physical. More of an epiphany than a piece of quiet - and I realized that maybe letting go was what I needed for the problem that had thrown off my whole day.

I feel a bit more at peace this morning, and am going to try to carry the sensation of letting go and relaxing into the bend from my physical pose into my heart and actions.
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
[personal profile] beachlass
I feel like something shifted after my yoga class last week, and suddenly forward bends, which had been more a source of frustration than unwinding, started working for me. And I found that with that one piece working better, I was also more consistent with daily practice.

So - definitely looking forward to this week's class. 
muck_a_luck: For yoga mods. (Yoga Mods)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
When I started doing the Yee disc (Power Yoga Total Body), I used to worry that I was going to sprain my big toes, particularly my left one. I couldn't figure out what I was doing, but it was bad and I was doing it a lot.

Then I quit yoga, and most exercise, for a long time while I was pregnant and nursing.

Then I came back to exercise through weight traning and aerobics.

So before I re-started a lot of yoga, I had been doing a lot of strength work with my legs and butt. Squats in particular with a lot of weight.

When I started doing yoga again, I could really tell the difference having much stronger legs made.

In particular, I realized that how I was hurting my toe was that I was using it to push off when I left a lunge pose and stepped my foot back forward. I realized for the first time that the power in that move is not from the back foot pushing off. That foot is supposed to sort of float forward, as you take all your weight in your front thigh and draw the back leg forward to the standing forward bend.

Wow.

It makes a HUGE difference. That's why Shiva Rea says to move "like you are walking on the moon." That back leg is just along for the ride.

It occcurred to me to share this insight this morning after I did the Yoga Zone routine with all the deep lunging. My legs got very tired, and I started pushing off with my toes and I immediately felt that bad old feeling from the beginning.

One thing I know from the internet, if it has happened to me, it has happened to thousands of other people. If this is a problem you have, try to be aware of how you are stepping forward. Honestly, as with a lot of yoga, this is yet another component that becomes easier when you have supplemented your exercise with other disciplines. You might consider some weight work on your legs, if you have access to equipment. In any case, focusing on that transition of weight so that the work is in the front leg could really make a difference.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
Around Christmas last year I was looking for Shiva Rea on You Tube and found this. It's from her Yoga Trance Dance DVD, which I immediately put on my Christmas list.

A ramble about how to crash into furniture and cry and have the two events be completely unrelated )

Yoga Shakti

Jul. 7th, 2009 04:29 pm
zats_clear: (yoga mod icon)
[personal profile] zats_clear
 
Some days, you just get it.  It clicks.  Something you have been struggling with for what seems like forever, that was all Sanskrit before now, just translates itself right into your body and you have all the right moves.

Today for me?  That was part of Solar Flow 2, Rhythmic Vinyasa Two, where Shiva Rea hauls you gracefully (unless you are falling over) between Uktasana (Powerful Pose) and Virabradrasana (Warrior One) with variations that had me on my derriere until just now.

Anyone else have similar experiences?  Does anyone (besides CK) have Shiva Rea's Yoga Shakti?

Om Shanti

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