I have two workshops coming up. One on Restorative Yoga this Sunday and Sun Salutations in May:
The teacher trainees will be attending and working with me at the Sunday workshop and the Sun Salutations will coming the Ashtanga Sun Sal As and Bs. I have worked on these with Richard Freeman and Tim Miller in workshops so this will be a good one. You will learn the subtle energetic componenets, drishti, and bandhas. Also modifications for Pregancy or for Beginners. I am looking forward to both.
Many people think Restorative is Yin. It isn’t. Yin is intense. Restorative is anti-intense.
I have to do a primary series today even though it is new moon. I don’t observe the traditional rest days because some times I have to take off other days. This weekend I am working with the trainees so practice will be difficult. They came up with those days so Patabhi Jois could have some days off. Otherwise he would have taught 7 days a week all year.
Last item today on the guy who is claiming there are a lot of people dying, getting strokes, etc from yoga. Here is what Richard says:
I read the article in the NY Times a few weeks back [“All Bent Out of Shape,” January 8, 2012] and the author said yoga asana can be dangerous—it can cause strokes, and serious injury. Do you know of anyone who’s had a stroke due to doing yoga? — Kevin
No I don’t. Although it is theoretically possible particularly if the practitioner is at a high risk for having a stroke. Therefore you would have to examine such unfortunate incidents in detail and on a case-by-case basis to see if there was a causal link between the particular asana practice and the stroke. In relation to the article, which mentions the danger of extreme motions of the neck, there is the possibility of neck injury in postures like the plough pose (halasana) if they are not done with proper respect to the mechanics of the shoulders, neck and head. This is particularly the case if the posture is held for a long time and/or if the practitioner ignores feelings of discomfort or pain from their own body.
The danger of practicing these kinds of postures has long been known by serious practitioner. A more common injury is over stretching of certain ligaments in the back of the cervical spine which can cause a distortion and a loss of the cervical curve. This, in turn, can eventually cause a pinching of nerve roots and/or the arteries and veins of the neck.
When you’re practicing this family of postures if you feel pressure in the forehead or the eyes, if you have any distortion of vision, ringing in the ears, or if you have any difficulty breathing you should come out of the pose. In addition if you experience heart palpitations, any discomfort around the base of the skull, or tension in the throat muscles or pressure of the lower cervical vertebra on the floor, you should also come out of the pose.
In the shoulder stand family of postures, the weight should be on the outer portion of the spine of the scapula and along the humerus to the elbow—NOT IN THE HEAD! This is why props are often recommended as you’re learning the poses, if you’ve had whiplash from an accident, or if you have other neck issues.
After your practice, if you have stiffness or pain in the neck or any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should consult your teacher about correct alignment.
I am really over this guy. I can’t believe he got on the Colbert Report. Like I said, I won’t read his book.
As I said a few days ago the daily Ashtanga is helping my knees. About 12 years ago I tore both meniscus at different times. One time I was walking, the other on the treadmill walking. One is a medial tear, the other lateral.
The medial has always been problematic. I refused surgery and did my own rehab, knowing full well I might have to go to surgery. For the medial they wanted to remove it all.
I rehabbed on a stationary bike for a while and then went to the elliptical. When I got SOME mobility back, I went to Bikram about six days a week for quite a while and got some mobility back and reduced all the swelling. I have not had to have surgery. I still can’t do this:
I can SOMEWHAT do it on jumbo blocks:
I SWEAR by the jumbos. Get two and see what I mean. I have four.
Any way after getting bored with a lot of Bikram, I practiced vinyasa, went to various trainings with Ana Forrest and Tias Little among others looking for knee answers and didn’t get quite what I needed.
Then last Fall I got some INSIGHT at Esalen:
And decided to go back to Ashtanga, which I did BEFORE I found Bikram:
That guy just PISSES people off. Love to put his pic in.
Anyway I noticed the past few weeks my knees are better and this morning I literally came down the upstairs steps literally skipping without grabbing a rail. For sure the knees are coming back. I can almost do Janu Sirsana B:
I almost can sit on the heel on one side. I think the practice of Bhekasana in the Intermediate series has helped a LOT. I hold that a lot longer than five breaths and my feet come closer to the ground all the time:
Yoga can be so therapeutic if you use it that way. It takes a long time to find what works. This is what is working for me NOW. Believe me I tried more things that didn’t work. I am sure the problem is my knees is just tight fascia from having those injuries for so long that restrained my movement and mobility. Over time, it ends up as tight tissue that is PAINFUL to release. You have to do SOMETHING for it though and a lot of times, people just want to baby the injury and ignore what is really going on. Ana Forrest did teach me that. You have to look right at it withough fear.
So move fearlessly through this beautiful day.
Read Full Post »