Shoulder Opening Workshop today at Haipoo Yoga!

Shoulder Opening Workshop today at Haipoo Yoga!

Shoulder Opening Workshop today at Haipoo Yoga!!! We mostly work in our yoga practice on opening the shoulders in Flexion and in Extension. Having a full range of motion at the shoulder joint helps to prevent injuries to the cervical spine and helps release tension in the muscles of the upper back and around the neck. Most of our shoulder opening poses in yoga are backbends. Usually the more advanced backbends take the shoulders into flexion but not always. It’s important to also remember that yoga is not just about flexibility. We are always looking for balance. Too much flexibility can lead to injuries at the joints. Not enough flexibility can lead to injuries in the muscles. This picture is of one of my favorite shoulder opening partner exercises. In this position, you can help your partner take their shoulders deeper into flexion, you can use your hands to help them externally rotate their shoulders, and you can encourage them to find more core and pull their front ribs in making more space and lengthening their spine. When you engage your core while Backbending you lengthen your spine and you actually deepen the pose

Read More

A win-win for everyone involved!

A win-win for everyone involved!

This has to be one of the best ‘feel good’ partner yoga poses! And it feels good for both partners too. If you are on the body in the Seated Forward Fold your partner helps you to fold deeper into flexion. If you are on top in the Upward Bow Pose variation your partner helps you lengthen your spine, open the mid and upper back, and take the shoulders deeper into flexion. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Read More

A lot of stuff bubbles to the surface when you are in the fire.

A lot of stuff bubbles to the surface when you are in the fire.

This first picture is of a hip flexor stretch that I love. If your hip flexors are tight — your low back is going to suffer when you backbend. Monkey Pose and Hanuman variations are great to open the hip flexors. And variations of Lying Down Kneeling Warrior, like this one — using the block. And the Backbends themselves will open the hip flexors as well. Use your core to stabilize the low back, lengthen the spine, and help the hip flexors release.

Read More

The Camel Pose.

The Camel Pose.

Backbending Workshop! The Camel Pose is a great intermediate backbend. Once your hands can slide down to the soles of your feet, you are definitely ready for the first stage of the Full King Pigeon. Don’t forget to hug your inner thighs in and push them back while you are pushing your hips forward. Engage your core while you push your heart up and try to extend your spine. And make sure not to strain your neck. The cervical spine has lots of flexibility and a huge range of motion. Think about how imbalance leads to more imbalance. We want to stabilize areas that are vulnerable and open areas where there isn’t a lot of movement or full range of motion. 

Read More

Sun Salutations.

Sun Salutations.

The Sun Salutations are a big part of yoga. The Sun is another symbol of our inner Light. We connect the idea of the lightest and brightest thing in our world with the lightest and brightest (and most subtle) aspect of who we are.

Read More

Experiencing suffering in order to grow.

Experiencing suffering in order to grow.

This girl had such a big weekend in my intensive at Kula Yoga this past weekend! Look at your King Pigeon — Samantha! Beautiful.  We did so many backbends in my Backbend Workshop on Saturday afternoon. My teacher — Dharma, would be proud of us. Backbends are such great teachers. They are energizing, uplifting, stimulating, and intense — taking us out of our comfort zone and deep into the fire. They teach us about surrendering in the middle of the fire. They teach us about breathing into the discomfort. They teach us to open our heart and to let go of the ego. How quickly can you get past your fear and resistance? It’s not easy being vulnerable. Let go. Let it go. Open up and let go. All of our growth lies out of our comfort zone. One of my favorite definitions of Tapas is — “experiencing suffering in order to grow.” Are you ready to let go of your ego? Are you ready to grow? A lot of people don’t like Backbends because they challenge the ego so much. We develop complicated patterns and ways to avoid being vulnerable. The ego says — I don’t like this, I’m uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable. Be vulnerable. Be authentic. Feel your feelings. Yoga is real and authentic and sometimes painful. Go towards the pain. Don’t avoid it. That pain is a part of you that is disconnected and is trying to reconnect. Pain is how we heal. And the way we sharpen our intellect is by learning the difference between pain that is leading to growth and pain that is leading to injury. So proud of where we went in this Backbend Workshop on Saturday!

Read More

Sometimes You Support Your Partner And Sometimes They Support You!

Sometimes You Support Your Partner And Sometimes They Support You!

This is one of my favorite partner yoga poses. I love the assisted stretch you get from your partner when you are on top in the backbend and also when you are on the bottom in the forward fold.  My teacher — Dharma Mittra, always likes to add in some partner yoga poses to his classes and I try to do the same whenever possible.

Read More