Article by Paul Mitchell Gold Authorised Ashtanga Yoga teacher of the Ashtanga Yoga Shala, Toronto.
Yoga practice is not an exercise class and it’s not a workout. Sure, it’s vigorous and physically challenging, but that’s just the means rather than the end. However, as with any physical endeavour, aches and pains are unavoidable and injuries can happen.
If one gets injured practicing yoga, the yoga practice is the best way to heal and rehabilitate. Also, if one gets injured doing some other activity, yoga practice is the best way to heal and rehabilitate. Finally, if one begins yoga practice with a preexisting injury, the yoga practice is the best way to heal and rehabilitate. From my experience, yoga practice is an amazing healer. Read More
Article from http://www.somahappy.com/2012/10/psoas-magic/
How is the psoas different from other muscles? In our fields there tends to be this magic surrounding it that isn’t necessarily attached to other muscles like the biceps, for example.
The psoas is the most important muscle in the body for three reasons: One, it brought us up to stand. The lumbar curve was created when we came to stand upright by the psoas, which to me is an unbelievable concept. Evolutionarily, psoas has no function in any mammal until we came up to stand, and in coming up to stand the psoas pulls the lumbars forward and creates this curve that is everything.
The second thing is that it’s the muscle of walking. It is the muscle responsible for propelling you forward. There are a lot of muscles helping it, but essentially walking is falling, and falling is all about your psoas. There is all of this wonderful stuff about whether or not the psoas a hip flexor. I buy into the idea that technically it is not a hip flexor. It’s really kind of interesting because we learn that the psoas is the main hip flexor of the body, but technically a healthy psoas never flexes, which is really kind of a cool concept. When it’s happy, it lives in the bowl of the pelvis and it just lengthens as we walk, but it never flexes. The bottom of the psoas is never being drawn closer to the top of the psoas in the classic example of flexion, like I flex my biceps. Read More
The Ashtanga Yoga Hygiene Manifesto by Carol Miller guest posts
The first of the five niyamas in Patanjai’s yoga sutras is “saucha,” which can be translated as cleanliness. For our purposes we will assume Patanjali is referring to bodily cleanliness, which may be the first step to more subtle and enlightened forms of cleanliness or purity. This is a very important observance for both students and teachers of ashtanga yoga. Please be considerate of your teacher and fellow students by bathing or showering prior to yoga class. I have been in the uncomfortable position of delivering this message to students face to face and it’s not fun for me and is usually embarrassing for the person on the receiving end. So I am going to spell out the necessary procedure here in excruciating detail. Most people already know how to keep themselves clean and smelling nice, but it only takes one odiferous yogi to send fellow seekers on the path to samadhi running to the other end of the room. When the room is hot and crowded and there is nowhere to escape the smell of B.O., I have seen students actually pick up their mats and leave. There was a time when I gave the hygiene talk in person as part of our teacher training. Luckily, I now have too many other responsibilities to offer the live version, but this section is required reading for each of our teacher trainees. Adherence to these rules is mandatory in order to receive your certificate of completion.
1. WATER-Bathe or shower before class. Besides making you smell good it has the added benefit of warming up your stiff muscles before yoga. In India bathing is an important ritual and even the poorest people who live in a cardboard box manage to take a bucket bath every day before they perform puja. In India I’m pretty sure even people who live in cardboard boxes perform puja. Read More