Today we are examining hand placement, which plays a major role in the foundation of the Yoga practice. Keep reading for key alignment tips and don’t forget to watch the video!
Poses that require you to have your hands on the floor will either help build your practice correctly or will end up injuring your shoulders.
I often see students try to do more advanced postures like the beloved handstand without understanding the placement of their hands—giving them zero chance of balancing upside down. Let’s start at the beginning of the practice-focusing on understanding what we’re asking of the physical body-and build upon that. Keep reading for key alignment tips. Continue reading 5 Key Tips to Hand Placement in Yoga
At first glance, 2018 seemed like a strange, frustrating year in many ways. A year I couldn’t quite put into words until I received my birthday poem in mid-November. This is a gift I look forward to each year and something that my adoptive father has been writing for me since I was 13. This year’s poem, which you can read below, described what I was feeling in a way that I was not yet able to fully express or understand.
Finding your voice
You think you are free, but there probably isn’t a gesture, a thought, an emotion, an attitude, a belief in you that isn’t coming from someone else. Isn’t that horrible? You feel pretty strongly about certain things, and you think it is you who are feeling strongly about them, but are you really? It’s going to take a lot of awareness for you to understand that perhaps this thing you call “I” is simply a conglomeration of your past experiences, of your conditioning and programming… Anthony de Mello, Awareness,
It’s a Herculean effort, to be sure—
not the finding of right words
(let alone right thoughts and actions),
but rather the separating
of those planted by others
from the ones that are unmistakably your own…
For a writer,
It is the most constant
and compelling challenge.
Getting beyond the conditioning
to the core—
and discovering the voice
that is uniquely yours—
is a lifelong journey.
What the great writers eventually discover
is that the secret comes
only to those who listen.
This has been a year
of clearing the way,
diving deep, with courage,
dissolving and re-membering.
You step forth now
in the space between
“no longer and not yet”—
perhaps less sure
but certainly more open.
Engage the Earth’s wisdom.
Allow its energy to lead you
into the stillness
that precedes thought,
and in that place,
free from ingrained attitudes, emotions, and habits,
let the words come
as they will.
And they will.
Upon reflection, I would take three key phrases from my birthday poem that helped define 2018.
- Clearing the way: I have changed my schedule so I can clear the way for my vision. I have cleared the mental thoughts and stories that are holding me back from this vision.
- The “space between no longer and not yet”: this has been a constant theme in my classes this year as I have fought with and finally accepted that I did not know the next steps in my life—and I had to be ok with that. For a Type-A controlling personality like me, acknowledging that a shift is taking place and not knowing what that means and where it will lead is pretty damn scary.
- Stillness: “sit with the question and the answer will come” is an approach I strongly believe in. This year, my soul was restless and I was often uncomfortable in my own skin; I was doing a poor job of honoring the space between no longer and not yet. After returning from a recent trip to Sayulita, I feel as if my heart found the stillness and understood the necessary steps and action needed to get there. Hello 2019!
So I ask you: What are your three power words or phrases for 2018? What did you learn that you would like to take into 2019? What past conditioning is holding you back from your vision? Has your vision for your life changed? What action plan will you create?
OWN YOUR STORY
I’ve been thinking a lot about life and destiny lately. Thoughts like, “How much of our path is already determined for us at or before birth? In the end, how do our choices impact and determine the course of our lives?”
Funny enough, all of this started with a conversation I was recently having with my 3-year-old niece, Stella. She’s about the only little human who can wake me up in the morning before I’ve had my espresso and make me read a book called “Where’s Eleven?” By our third time reading it, she had other questions.
Stella: Are you a grown up?
Stella: But look how you big you are and how little I am.
Me: I’m a very big kid.
Stella: But do you make your own food? My mommy and daddy make my food.
This summer, I was thinking of taking the month of August off to paddle board, play on my mat, watch Netflix, and chill. But like always, life laughed at me and made other plans!
I’ve spent the last four months balancing my teaching schedule with recording audio fitness classes and developing them into specific programs—just me, a sound engineer and a recording booth! I never really imagined my career would take me in this direction— especially with my accent! It has been very challenging, but looking back at the last four months, I think it’s exactly what I needed. It has made me more precise in my teaching and allowed me to face more of my fears. If you wish to check out the finishing product and try any of the audio classes for FREE, download the ClassPassGo app here! and look for me, Ella under trainers. I’m a very visual person, so having to teach with only my voice and no visuals forced me to be as direct and efficient as possible.
Yoga Tutorial | How To Do Half Moon
This week we are focusing on a balancing pose called Half Moon. We are using the wall as it keeps us honest. Keep reading for key alignment tips!
1. Make sure the foot placed on the wall is hip level and not any higher than that. Actively push the foot into the wall.
2. Unlike Warrior 3 where the hips are squared, in Half Moon we want the hips stacked open.
3. Lift both kneecaps towards your quadriceps
4. If you’re just learning the pose, or are less flexible, place a block underneath the bottom hand. Remember that the block has three levels so use the one that is most appropriate.
5. The foundation and stability of this pose is coming from the big toe that is on the mat. Remember to push it down firmly or lift up all of your toes.
6. Top and bottom hands should be in one nice line. To help achieve this and open the chest, pull the shoulder blades together.
7. You can test your foundation by picking up the bottom hand and see if and where you collapse.