rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Here's an interesting article in the New York Times on using a yoga-based exercise (a supported version of headstand) to treat rotator cuff problems.

You can read or download the original paper here.
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Two very important notes:

1) This would not be a good DVD for someone who currently has a shoulder injury or is recovering from one (Gary Kraftsow's Viniyoga Therapy DVD might be a better option).

The presenter, Jill Miller, is very flexible and some of the stretches are not only very deep but turn out to be deep in unexpected ways; Miller does throw in reminders to back off if experiencing pain, but IMHO it'd be very easy to make a shoulder problem flare up before you know it. Alternatively, you might find that you could only avoid re-injuring yourself by skipping half the exercises.

However, if your shoulders are currently in good health but you're doing things that put them under a lot of stress (like, oh, rock-climbing, for example -- or slumping in front of a computer), or you've had recurrent problems in the past, this DVD might be a good preventative. I'm planning to use it a lot.

2) There's very little actual yoga in this DVD.

It builds up to an examination of how the various principles demonstrated apply in Dolphin and Downwards-Facing Dog, there are a few moments of sitting in Dandasana, and one exercise is described as "one quarter Urdhva Danurasana", but those are pretty much the only asanas to appear.

What the DVD does contain is a lot of exercises deeply influenced by yogic understanding of anatomy, which work to develop flexibility and strength in ways with obvious applications to asana practice.

So it won't substitute for a practice DVD (or your own personal practice), but it might make an excellent complement to one.

Caveats over, there's a lot I like about the DVD.

It has the excellent idea of having a "workshop" section which discusses the anatomical principles involved, then breaks down and teaches the various exercises (and some modifications, though it'd be nice to have more), followed by a "practice" program which takes you through them at full speed and with repetitions. So you don't have to replay bits repeatedly in order to figure out what you need to do, or listen to an extensive description every single time.

And the exercises are really, really good, and terrifyingly comprehensive: if your shoulders are stiff or weak at any angle, the DVD will expose this ruthlessly. It's especially good for those of us who think we have flexible shoulders but have been unconsciously "cheating" certain movements for years.

The presentation is fairly un-fussy. Miller seems tooth-achingly artificial during the little introduction at the start of the DVD, but relaxes and displays an off-beat, dry snarkiness when she's actually narrating and teaching.

Basically, it's a specialist video; it's not giving or trying to give a complete practice. But what it does, it does very well.
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Reverse namaste: how do you do it without getting your fingers stuck in your sports bra? Tell me I'm not the only one with this problem! *g*

Any reverse namaste tips would be welcome; I have tight shoulders so this is a hard one for me.


Jul. 1st, 2010 08:33 am
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Warrior II)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
My mom has developed terrible arthritis in her shoulders, as well as debilitating limited mobility in one hip. Being the born-again yogini that I am, I picked up Yoga for Arthritis, by Loren Fishman, MD and Ellen Saltonstall, at the library.

This book has some really interesting stuff in it, even if you aren't so concerned about arthritis, and are more just interested in how the body works. I don't really have a review of the book, but in particular, I am fascinated by and wanted to share the explanation of how the shoulders work and how they can deteriorate.

Extended excerpt )


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