Control and Release

Hello world. Or hello private journal. It’s been a long while.

I’ve been absorbed by life.

I moved from Canada to Australia (again). From a busy city, to a coastal town. I have been a little distracted!

Yoga is still guiding my life. But I admit that there is more to me, than just yoga, or just art, or just any one thing. Because every animal, every plant, every thing is made up of more than one component. Similarly, yoga is more than just asana. Pranayama has seeped into me more than the physical postures. Although pranayama is within the physical yoga postures. Life is immersion, not division. One thing leads to another.

I find yoga in the ocean, as an artist finds art in sand, a scientist finds an equation in the jungle. Art led me to yoga and yoga leads me back to art.

With the new year, I accept that we cannot control life, but be guided by life. How much control do you have? How much do you release? What do you hold on to, and what do you let free? Are you holding onto what you need, and freeing what harms you?

If you have mastered that (or like most of us, haven’t mastered anything)! do you consider self control, to be controlling or freeing?Image

 

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Navasana

Handstand preparation

A rhomboid strengthener to prep for handstand. Requires more muscular effort in my opinion, minus the free stand balance aspect.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana – Handstand

Yoga can turn our bodies into pharmaceutical plants that churn out tailored hormones and nerve impulses that heal, cure, raise moods, lower cholesterol, induce sleep, and do a million other things. Yoga can do it at an extremely low cost with little or no risk of side effects.

Yoga seems to hold out the promise of increasing not only our life spans but our health spans. It may be part of the answer to enhancing not just the quantity of life but its quality, to helping us remain healthy for a longer period of time, to making our last years more vital and productive. That promise seems like a wonderful topic for a serious program of research.

From: The Science of Yoga

With Seane

“A body in mov…

“A body in movement needs the things that nature provides: oxygen from fresh air, clean water to stay hydrated, and food for energy. Exercise is my medicine. Let’s work together to keep ourselves, and the planet, healthy.” David Suzuki

Shoulders

The glenohumeral (shoulder) joint is the most mobile in the body. The shoulder is vulnerable to injury because of it’s high range of mobility and lack of stability. Shoulders rely on their surrounding muscles, so we need to build them to prevent injury, dislocation and pain.

The shoulder joint is known for it’s relation to scapulohumeral rhythm. The scapula (shoulder blade) moves in connection to the humerus (upper arm bone). If the trapezius’ that control the shoulder blades are weak, then the cervical spine cranks forwards. If this occurs, the body will inevitably experience neck pain, tension – headaches.

To keep the shoulders strong

The rotator cuff muscles act to hold the arm body connection. You can warm up and nourish the tendons and muscles with slow, mindful shoulder shrugs. Inhale, lift the shoulders up. Exhale, and again take a slow full breath.

 

 

 

 

Exhale, squeeze the shoulder blades together toward the spine. The rhomboids engage to retract the scapula. When exercised, the synovial membrane inside the ball and socket joint secretes a lubricating liquid to protect the joint.

 

 

 

 

Holding each end of a strap, with straight elbows, inhale raise the arms forward and up. Exhale and lower the arms forward and down. Continue this cycle. This improves shoulder mobility and is a mild strengthener for the anterior and medial fibres of the deltoid.

 

 

 

Start from top push up position. In slow motion lower yourself by moving your elbows backwards. Keep  your arms hugging in against your ribs. Move your shoulders away from your ears. When your upper arm bones are horizontal to the floor, pause and breathe. Then exhale and lower your knees. This strengthens the triceps and trapezius.

Crotch talk

The pelvis is a mobility centre, connected to the two longest bones, the femurs. The pelvic bowl in which range of motion is executed during running, skating, cycling, swimming, yoga. It’s the foundation of our alignment when in motion. How we carry our pelvis determines the structural alignment of our spine, initiating upper body balance. The architecture of the pelvis and spine are a direct report from our level of flexibility in our hips.

Supple hips improve a runners stride, a cyclists cadence, a swimmers kick, a yoga practitioners asana.

Keeping an open pelvic mind

Hip extensions such as Bhujangasana (cobra), Dhanurasana (bow) and Ustrasana (camel) lengthen the psoas and iliacus (aka iliopsoas) to reverse the tightening affects of sitting in a chair. The psoas is the postural muscle master and almost anyone can benefit from it being lengthened. To bring awareness to the psoas elevate the lower sides of the waist towards your ribs while keeping the shoulders down and lower ribs in. In warrior 1, you can lengthen the psoas major on the back leg by elongating the lower side waist.

 

Hip flexions such as paschimottanasana and uttanasana (forward folds) strengthen the psoas. The psoas should be activated in forward bends, instead of the hands pulling the torso forward. You can tone the psoas muscles by tilting the pelvis anteriorly while drawing the sternum forwards. These poses stretch the hamstrings and piriformis.

 

 

Hip rotators such as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (pigeon), Vrksasana (tree) and Baddha Konasana (Cobbler) externally rotate the femur via the piriformis. Pigeon flexes the piriformis muscle on the forward leg and lengthens the psoas on the rear leg. Note: pigeon and tree have one leg in extension and the other in external rotation for those of you who like to multi task. hah!

 

Keep in mind, you probably need to hold each pose for at least 60 – 90 seconds to release the tightness.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana – Handstand