Yoga Can Wreck Your Body?

Yoga Can Wreck Your Body?

According to a recent New York Times article, yoga can wreck your body:

…for many people, a number of commonly taught yoga poses are inherently risky. The first reports of yoga injuries appeared decades ago, published in some of the world’s most respected journals — among them, Neurology, The British Medical Journal and The Journal of the American Medical Association. The problems ranged from relatively mild injuries to permanent disabilities […]

Read the complete article here, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Shouldering Responsibility: When Mobility Goes Over(your)head? (Week Two)

Shouldering Responsibility: When Mobility Goes Over(your)head? (Week Two)

Raise your arms overhead. If you can’t extend your arms up without your arms bending or feel tension in your neck or how about scrunch your face up like you just ate something sour – then you are in for some challenges in your yoga practice! Guaranteed downward facing dog is probably not your favorite pose, but do not fear because improving your shoulder mobility and fascial elasticity in your arm lines can be done, with a few simple corrective movements.

As we know, corrective movement is all about unblocking tension and reducing compensations through better movement mechanics. This is why it is said that Yoga is 90% waste removal. Our fascia plays a significant role in integrating the systems that aid in removing waste and unwanted tension that is limiting our movement and experience on and off the mat.  Many systems integrate together to achieve this, and the facial system is a large contributor.

Most injuries are connective-tissue (fascial) based, not muscular injuries (this happens after the body’s blocked energy has to go somewhere, and results in an ”ouchie”—so how do we best train to prevent and repair damage and build elasticity and resilience into the system? By listening to our body, and be reducing tension on the joints.

When we talk about shoudlering responsibility, the deep arm lines – take the front lines!

The fascia of the upper torso and arms are comprised of multiple designations (4) intertwined in the webbed matrix known as the “Deep Arm Fascial Lines.” The 4 Arm Lines run from the front and back of the axial torso to the tips of the fingers. These lines connect seamlessly into the other fascia lines particularly the Lateral, Functional, Spiral, and Superficial Front Lines.

These lines (for which we have 2 on either side of the body) are the following:

The Brachial Fascia, derived from the Pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi medially and from the deltoids laterally. It differs in thickness, being thin over the biceps brachii,  but thicker where it covers the tricpes brachii and is continuous by covering the deltoids, and the pectoals group attaching above (and to) the clavicle,  acromion as well as the spine of the scapula.  This fascial line forms a thin, loose, membranous sheath for the muscles of the arm and is composed of fibers disposed in a circular or spiral direction, and connected together by vertical and oblique fibers.

The  antebrachial fascia (or antibrachial fascia, deep fascia of forearm) is continuous with the above , as with the brachii fascia and follows from the elbow to the wrist and finger tips via the the palmar fascia; which consists of resistant fibrous tissue arranged in longitudinal, transverse, oblique, and vertical fibers and is a dense, membranous investment, which forms a general sheath for the muscles in this region.

The Arm Lines affect posture indirectly, since they are not part of the structural column; however they are integral for sensory input in response to our environment; such as examining, pushing, pulling, manipulating and interacting with our external world.

When we talk about the arm lines, you will also notice we have included the pectorals group and the latissimus dorsi as significant muscles contributing to the efficiency of shoulder mobility. These two muscular groups contribute substantially to tight “shoulders” when they too are tight, because they significantly limit shoulder flexion in overhead extension, as well as pull the shoulder into internal rotation, which can lead to kyphotic posture and forward head carriage.

Another honorable mention in shoulder limitation is the rhomboids group (sitting in between your  spine and your shoulder blades).  These muscles pull your shoulder blades towards the spine and promote a proud chest. If tight these muscles will prevent the scapula from movement at all.

Fortunately, there are many Yoga poses you can perform to improve your shoulder mobility and alignment in downward facing dog, shoulder stands and inversion.  Try adding these shoulder openers to your home practice and move more freely:

  • Myofasical release with the foam roller –  ( focus on mid back and under the arm for the lats)
  • Thoracic Extension with a towel or roller for chest expansion –  (place along the length of the spine)
  • Eagle Pose (arms) – (stretches the rhomboids)
  • Cow Face Pose – (arms) – stretches the triceps, lats and shoulders)
  • Bridge Pose – (passive bridge, place a block under the hips along the pelvic ridge and sacrum)
  • All fours posture with reversed palms – (stretches the anterior forearms and biceps group)
  • Cobra Pose – (focuses on stabilization of the spine and spinal flexion)
Vancouver Yoga Review Author Featured On The Georgia Straight!

Vancouver Yoga Review Author Featured On The Georgia Straight!

Vancouver Yoga Review author, Sarah Jamieson, is currently featured on the cover of the Georgia Straight magazine. This inspiring yoga teacher and movement coach is running for the world to raise money for charity:

Nearly a decade ago, the North Vancouver native made it her goal to raise $1 million for charity by the time she hit 35, a venture she’s dubbed Run for a Cause. Now 32, she’s raised almost $800,000, logging thousands of kilometres running at home and abroad to support organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Vancouver Police Foundation, and Engineers Without Borders, among many others […]

Read the full article here or pick up a print copy. Congrats Sarah!

“Beyond Addiction: The Possible Self”: An event with Dr. Gabor Maté

“Beyond Addiction: The Possible Self”: An event with Dr. Gabor Maté

Source: banyen.com/events.htm

On Monday, Jan 9 at 7pm, Banyen Books is hosting “Beyond Addiction: The Possible Self,” a public talk and book signing with Dr. Gabor Maté! This is going to be an exciting event!

Dr Maté is a Vancouver physician, author and public speaker who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and mind/body health. He has authored the best-selling In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, Hold on to Your Kids, When the Body Says No and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder.  Full event details can be found on the Banyen Books website. The talk will cover:

Addictions of all kinds consume us, and take us away from our true nature. We are only free and independent when we release all identifications from the past that have coalesced to form a false identity. Dr Maté, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts will discuss the mindset and practices required to support a commitment to our authentic self. A great way to begin the new year!

Dr Maté will be joined by Sat Dharam Kaur ND, creator of Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery; Satwinder Kaur, program graduate and Julia Wilson, yoga researcher. Sat Dharam Kaur

Sat Dharam Kaur ND is an award-winning naturopathic doctor who has been practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga for 35 years. She is the author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health and The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Breast Cancer and is completing a book that addresses yogic and naturopathic treatment of addiction.

Julia Wilson has been workingJulia Wilsonwithin the addictions field since 2006. She is currently an addictions counselor with experience in group and individual therapy as well as workshops and lecture style education sessions. Julia has worked as a primary researcher on projects in Vancouver’s downtown eastside in collaboration with Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and W2 Community Media Arts. Julia is also a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher and teaches at various yoga studios and addiction treatment centers throughout Greater Vancouver.

Satwinder Kaur lives in Satwinder KaurVancouver, and is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher who completed the Beyond Addiction program in Toronto in 2011. She currently leads workshops and teaches the program, and is motivated to help create a healing space in Vancouver for people to recover from addiction.

The event will take place on Mon, Jan 9 at 7pm at the Unitarian Church (949 W49 Ave, Vancouver). Tickets are $11 (available for purchase through Banyen Books either by phone or in person, 604-737-8858).

Shit Yogis Say

Shit Yogis Say

The latest installment of the popular ‘shit people say’ meme (like Shit My Dad Says) is Shit Girls Say. The popular Twitter account riffs on the daily chatter of gals everywhere and really took off when a video version was released in December. Canadian yoga-clothing giant Lululemon’s latest campaign is a parody of that parody, called Shit Yogis Say. Check out the following video and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

A Guide to Shouldering Responsibility: Be Shoulder Savvy (Week One)

A Guide to Shouldering Responsibility: Be Shoulder Savvy (Week One)

Being shoulder savvy in your yoga practice is a great asset to both being a teacher and a student. Your shoulder joint and the proper functioning of the muscles associated with the movement of your shoulder joint and shoulder girdle are paramount in yoga and many yoga postures.

When we think of the shoulder, we tend to think of only the joint itself. The shoulder girdle, the shoulder girdle consists of several bony joints, or “articulations”, which connect the upper limbs to the rest of the skeleton, along with attachment sites of the connective tissue  and provide a large range of movement (hence it’s known as a ball and socket joint). The shoulder girdle may also see this referred to as the “pectoral girdle.”  The main bones which form the shoulder girdle are the clavicle, the scapula and the humerus.

Shoulder Anatomy 101:

There are three main joints in the shoulder girdle, these are the glenohumeral joint (GHJ),  acromioclavicular joint (ACJ), and the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ), all of which come into play in many yoga postures such as downward facing dog, upward facing dog, shoulder poses and inversions.

When asked to locate the shoulder, most often people will point to the glenohumeral joint, which provides a large proportion of the movement at the shoulder girdle; however the ACJ and the SCJ joints are just as integral in load distribution and muscular recruitment in all yoga postures. The ACJ is formed at the lateral end of the clavicle and is important in transmitting load and force through the upper limb and shoulder to the axial skeleton. The ACJ has minimal mobility due to its supporting ligaments; whereas the SCJ occurs at the sternal end of the clavicle, the cartilage of the first rib and lateral, upper portion of the sternum, which functions in all movements of the upper limbs and plays a larger role in throwing or thrusting movement patterns.

Another important (and often neglected) joint that permits movement and postural awareness is the scapulothoracic joint ; which supports movement and stabilization of the shoulder. It overlies the 2nd – 7th ribs, is tilted slightly forwards by an angle of 30°, and is encased by 17 muscles which provide control and stabilization against the thoracic wall (the ribcage). Even though it is not technically a “joint” it is referred to as one because of its functionality.  This joint relies entirely on the surrounding musculature for its control and aids in movement of the skeleton and spine. During elevation the glenohumeral joint rotates 2° for every 1° of scapulothoracic rotation.

How can we protect our shoulder joint in Yoga, as well as off the mat?

Learning to engage and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and the muscles associated with our posture is crucial to preventing common shoulder injuries. For students who lack mobility, learning how to properly improve mobility to the muscles surrounding these joints will reduce tension and force to the joint structure, as well as improve proper recruitment and motor control through movement and postures.

 

The rotator cuff consists of the subscapularis, infraspinatus, teres minor, and supraspinatus. This group is one of the most important but widely misunderstood structures in the body. The names of three of the muscles give you a clue to their location: subscapularis sits under the scapula, between the ribs and the front surface of the scapula. Supraspinatus sits above and infraspinatus sits below the spine of the scapula. Teres minor sits on the outer edge of the scapula, near the posterior fold of the armpit.

Its job is to support and position the ball that forms the head of the humerus and fits in the socket of the shoulder joint. The shoulder is inherently an unstable joint, so building the strength of these supporting muscles is crucial to proper functioning.

These important external rotators, infraspinatus and teres minor, are the part of the rotator cuff that is strengthened in Downward Dog. A weakened rotator cuff might lead to abnormal shoulder-movement patterns, which can contribute to inflammation and pain. Not only that, but weak muscles are likely to tear when you put a load on them that they aren’t strong enough to handle. Thus practice makes perfect, and to do so stay focused on the transitional movements and modify if necessary.

When I teach downward dog to students, I have them start in poses such as an elbow plank to dolphin pose, then from a straight arm plank moving to downward facing dog, cueing on the important of external rotation and recruitment of the shoulder girdle.

Once you’ve mastered keeping the external rotators engaged in these poses, you can apply the action to more challenging poses such as upward-Facing dog and chaturanga dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), and even into inversions and hand stands.

Adding in a little thoracic spine mobility would also support proper elongation of the spine and assist in deep breathing while moving through pose to pose. Next week we will dive deeper into the functionality of the rotator cuff muscles and it’s association with the fascial system for improved stability and mobility.

 

The 12 Days of “Sustainable” Christmas

The 12 Days of “Sustainable” Christmas

The spirit of Christmas Giving, comes from opening your heart and lending a hand. The holiday season is a simple holiday for most, but for some it can feel foreboding. It is a time of giving, but for many families this simplicity is overshadowed by the consuming side of Christmas.

The Grinch said it best…

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. “
– Dr. Seuss

Therefore, this holiday season “Spread a Little Cheer, for All to Hear” and give back to your community and to others, share your love of the holidays.  Free hug, a warm smile, a simple hand shake and hello, can go further then you think.

Taking that extra step and donating your monetary gift of hard work or spare a little time to work with those who may not be as fortunate and offer them the gift of empowerment. It gives families and communities the power to improve their own lives.

Sticking with the spirit of the holidays I have chosen to illuminate some of my own personal experiences around the holidays, as well as Vancouver’s amazing gift giving options with a favorite song, “The 12 Days of Christmas;” which was first published inEngland in 1780.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Giving …

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Upstanding values from the family tree

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

2 open arms ~ (for free hugs)

And upstanding values from the family tree

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

3 “Adopt a Project” – (Vancouver Police Foundation PALs, Hope in Shadows, Portland House Society )

2 open arms

And upstanding values from the family tree

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

4 Sponsored Families ~ (Presents of Peace – YWCA)

3 “Adopt a Project”

2 Open arms

And upstanding values from the family tree

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

5 Golden Reasons (Compassion, respect, community, integrity, accountability)

4 Sponsored Families

3 “Adopt a Project”

2 Open arms

And upstanding values from the family tree

~~~~ (keeping with the theme of the song, but shortening the scrolling feed, here are the full list of the 12 days of Christmas)

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

12 months of Photos ~ (buy your 2012 Hope in Shadows Calendar today)

11 Pals-a-Paling ~ ($400 raised for the Vancouver Police Foundation and VPD PALs Program)

10 Co-ops –a Coping ~ (Vision Vancouver’s low cost housing strategy for 2015 supported)

9 (99%) Occupy local markets  ~  (buy local, support fair trade consumerism)

8 Happy Jigs a Jiggin rather then rioting ~ (perform 30secs of your happy dance….mine is the Snoopy dance) 

7 dwarfs –a- ELfing ~ (Operation Elf Team 2011)

6 Cows-a -Mooing ~ (sponsored herds for small enterprise and empowerment through international development agencies like CARE Canada and Free the Children)

5 Golden Reasons ~ (Compassion, respect, community, integrity, accountability)

4 Sponsored Families ~ (Presents of Peace – YWCA)

3 “Adopt a Project” ~ (Vancouver Police Foundation PALs, Hope in Shadows, Portland House Society )

2 Open arms

And upstanding values from the family tree.”

~~~~~

I hope you all enjoyed this witty banter and I wish you all a very merry and happy Christmas holiday season.

“OM” FOR THE HOLIDAYS

“OM” FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Celebrate this holiday season, and bring well-being”om” for the holidays.

For many, the festive season is the perfect time to escape on a rejuvenating yoga retreat – either at home, or somewhere a little more warm! The dark, cold Winter months can test our bodies and minds – yet there’s plenty we can do to bolster our immune system and maximize the chance of staying healthy. As well as, maintaining a committed yoga practice, there are many ways to help yourself get through the Winter months with body and soul intact The yoga philosophy tells us, resisting something – in this case, the Winter – we have no control over only brings us pain (ahimsa).

So why not actively embrace the coming Winter – accepting the ups and downs of this Season, and opening up to its possibilities, rather than closing up against it? For some it can be a hard time to find the time, with all the hustle and bustle and swirl of commercial and social pressures. Around the holidays, you can find a heap full of stocking fun filled Yoga karma classes around town!  Sometimes, giving the gift of community and investing in a community charity project, can help remind you (and others) the meaning behind Christmas. And it’s a great way to stay in touch with your inner “santa’s little helper” and stay healthy!

Apart for yoga and community giviing, here are some tips to stay healthy and keep your well-being from getting frosty this Winter:

  • Favor a warm, nourishing diet. As human’s we’re designed to eat more in Winter, adding a few pounds without guilt! However, it must be the right types of foods to nurture whilst minimizing congestion and maximizing our immune systems. Rice, barley, rye, healthy oils (ghee, coconut, linseed, avocado, hemp, olive), and seasonal root vegetables in soups and stews are all recommended.
  • Fancy a glass of organic Merlot? The good news is that Ayurveda suggest an occasional glass of warming wine may be beneficial in Winter. You can make a warming wine punch with added cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, fennel, cumin, coriander, nutmeg and black pepper.
  • Saunas, steam rooms, hot yoga and massage are key to staying warm in the winter months. Ground yourself with a massage with a warm sesame oil or olive oil followed by a warm shower/ bath to prevent feelings of coldness, and stiff, aching joints.
  • It’s a good idea to be up by 7am latest and to do some vigorous exercise to get the lymph system moving  towards preventing congestion.  Sun salutations and modified vinyasa flows are ideal as they build up heat and work all the major muscles. Add in corrective movement and you have a reciepe for endured holiday merriment!
  • Herbal help: Chyvanaprash can be taken daily to strengthen the lungs and boost the immune system. For recurrent colds, take Trikatu made of ginger, black pepper and long pepper, which dry up mucous and clear channels. It is traditionally taken with raw honey. Turmeric is a natural antibiotic for all respiratory tract infections. Boil half a cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, add a little milk then use as a gargle. Chew a clove a day to keep infections at bay. Raw honey (such as from your local farmers market) is also excellent for clearing mucous as its heating, drying and channel clearing. However make sure to never heat honey; Ayurveda considers this makes it toxic.
  • Every year in just about every town, unique individuals come out of the philanthropic wood word and embody the message of the holidays, by creating their own traditions—whether that means giving back to their community, reversing the swirl of over-consumption, reaching out to those overwhelmed with suffering, or celebrating the gifts of life and love.

Whatever your holiday routine is, remember to take time out to celebrate yourself and your health!

Vancouver Yoga Deals This Christmas

Vancouver Yoga Deals This Christmas

Source: http://www.myembodiment.com/tag/adoptee/

At the request of one reader last week, I attempted to furnish a list of Christmas Yoga Deals in the Vancouver area.  I say “attempted” because I didn’t have a lot of luck. Slim pickings! If you know of any others I can add to this (somewhat paltry) list, reply in the comments section below and I’ll keep it updated!

Vancouver Downtown:

None found! Gasp!

Kits/Point Grey:

Yogacara Studios (http://www.yogacarastudios.com/) – Monthly memberships for $89 (conditions apply, see website).

Broadway:

Open Door Yoga (www.opendooryoga.bc.ca) – In the month of December, start a membership (12/18 months) and receive a $50 gift certificate to give away! You get a $50 gift certificate for every 3 month pre-payment that you make.

Yoga on 7th (http://www.yogaon7th.com/)– Buy specialty gift cards for your loved ones! Yoga Gift Cards ($15; 4 class card for $60; 12 Class Card for $189). Gong meditation ($15) and Body  Rolling ($25) gift certificates also available.

Prana Yoga College (http://www.pranayogacollege.com/) – Online store has yoga resources (books, CDs, DVDs) on sale!

 

 

Judith Hanson Lasater Is Coming To Vancouver!

Judith Hanson Lasater Is Coming To Vancouver!

SoulSpring Wellness is very excited and honoured to welcome Judith Hanson Lasater to Vancouver BC in February 2012!

This internationally renowned yoga teacher, yoga therapist and physiotherapist of over 30 years will be in Vancouver on February 3 & 4, 2012 for a workshop on the Sacral-iliac Joint and Lumbar Spine in Asana. This training is ideal for yoga teachers and serious students wanting to better understand how to work with and move with pelvis and spine in asana.

The Sacroiliac Joint and Lumbar Spine in Asana with Judith Hanson Lasater:
Many practitioners of yoga, both novice and teacher alike, have had problems with their lower back and/or sacroiliac joint. What poses can make this area better? Worse? These two days for teachers and serious students will include anatomy, movement principles, therapeutics and applied asana practice to help us all teach with more knowledge and compassion. Come prepared to learn new principles, see them applied to others and feel them in your own body so they will become a part of your teaching.

Email christina(at)soulspringwellness.ca, call 604-649-8522, or click here for more information.

www.soulspringwellness.ca

 

 

 

Getting to the “Core” of POSTURE: What’s in your “TRUNK”?

Getting to the “Core” of POSTURE: What’s in your “TRUNK”?

The root of many common limitations and injuries in yoga (sore backs, shoulders, hips, etc) often come from a lack of awareness and ability to properly engage trunk muscles and the stabilizing muscles associated with breath; which regulate intra abdominal pressure thereby leaving the joints and spine unsupported and vulnerable. You will notice that in this first sentence I have used the word “trunk” instead of core. The word core, in the fitness industry usually sends both professionals and fitness go’ers in the direction of understanding to merely include the abdominals groups (inner and outer unit etc); whereas, the word trunk brings to mind not only the core group of abdominals and pelvic stabilization muscles, but the postural muscles of the spine, serratus group associated with breath and muscle that connect the shoulders to the hips, and fascial lines. As well as, from a strength and conditioning standpoint, your trunk is your powerhouse, it’s the epicenter of  reactionary movement and control.

The various syndromes we have looked at have targeted either the shoulder girdle or the pelvic girdle, as separate syndromes so that we could portray the articulation and understanding of each classified group of breakdowns. In this article we integrate the two by showcasing the postural integration of the trunk and associated movement patterns.

One key component of movement incompetency and structural breakdowns is asymmetry. As we know the importance of identifying asymmetry and movement in competency is to avoid building stability over poor mobility. Movement incompetency may demonstrate altered motor control, a neurodevelopmental component, or regional interdependence.

When we exercise or increase mobility to an already dysfunctional joint, this creates greater dysfunction resulting in a poor outcome to treatment and possible further injury.

What’s in your trunk, and how do you screen for instability?

In the FMS screen (as mentioned previously) is a diagnostic tool for health professionals and coaches to use to screen 7 common movement patterns.  The Trunk Stability Push Up demonstrates pain, global muscle weakness, hyperextension of the lumbar spine, and “winging of the scapula”. Positive findings can indicate weak or inhibited core pelvic, and postural stabilizers including a lack of symmetrical trunk stability.

The first signs of most postural and muscular imbalance usually develop in the patient’s static pelvic positioning in tandasana (mountain pose), best while in the focus of the breath.

As in the LCS an anterior tilting of the pelvis suggests shortening of the hip flexors (iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fascia lata) and/or the lumbar spinal extensors. The Posterior tilting of the pelvis suggests tightness of the hamstrings, and a lateral pelvic shifts suggests unilateral shortening of the hip adductors. Thus including weakness of the lateral pelvic stabilizers or leg length inequality; which could also be associated with lumbar motion segment pathology.

Secondarily, observing the general postural attitude, the quality of the lumbar spine lordosis and the symmetry of body landmarks and muscular contours we then can move upward and compare the quality of the spinal extensors, postural muscles in the lumbar and thoracolumbar region bilaterally. Still heading north to the shoulders and carriage of the head. Most often we have touched on rounded shoulders, and weakness in the posterior body, with concurrent tightness in the anterior body.

Predominance of the thoracolumbar musculature could suggest overactivation in gait, poor stabilization of the lumbar spine and is associated with a weak gluteus maximus, especially if you are teaching a room full of runners and cyclists in yoga.

One other focal point to compare is thoracic mobility through motion segmentation. The rib pull or arm stack variation (modified of the “T” rotation in Yoga) will indicate limitations on right and left sides, which then can lead into postural observation in the anterior body, take a peek at the abdominal wall, breathing pattern in a variation of abdominal breathing patterns standing, supine and prone. The role of the abdominal wall and what Tom Meyers calls the “Four Pillars” (for more information please revert back to my “breath for inspiration” article earlier this year) whose role in stabilization and protection of the spine is crucial.

How can we start to integrate better movement, stabilization and connection with our trunk, shoulder and hips?

Best place to start is to understand what it means to re-pattern and “clean up” asymmetries.

1. Muscle function is movement-pattern specific. Isolation does not necessarily improve integrated movement; which is why we “re-train” movement’s not specific muscle. In a stressful (i.e. survival or threatened) environment/situation, the body will always sacrifice movement quality for movement quantity. Our fascia is connected to our ANS which functions on fight or flight for protection of our body.

2. Remember that we must train the CNS (central nervous system): The brain many times, will create a mobility problem, because it’s the only option left. Movements require the communication of our CNS, the governing body which transfers impulses and motor recruitment to primitive memory banks!

3. Motor Control is key! The timing of the stabilizers with the mover muscles is the key to healthy movement quality.  Soft-core/Reactive Core (RC)/low-threshold strategy– this involves the deeper “stabilizer” muscles (aka “Inner Unit or 4 pillars) including TVA, respiratory diaphragm, pelvic diaphragm, pelvic floor, multifidus. Gray cook  calls this “tapping the breaks.”

Next, it’s easy to modify traditional Yoga postures in your class or session format. Keeping in mind you need to identify whether there is a mobility or stability breakdown in movement.

FMS integrated Yoga: Yin, Hatha & Vinyasa Focused:

  • Mobility: T-Spine Rob Pulls and Arm Stack Variations.
  • Mobility/Stability: Modified Vinyasa All fours to Plank to Downward Facing Dog with Arm Reach (Sun Salutation Series)
  • Mobility: Modified wide leg upward facing dog with transverse anterior opening sequence (Sun Salutation Series)
  • Stability: Bridge Single Leg Lock with Posterior/Pelvic Stability
  • Stability: Modified Side Plank Variations and Kneeling Side Angle to Gate Pose variations.
  • Stability: Quadruped Stability Ball Rock with Arm Raise

Next week we will dive further into posture,  structural joint integrity and once again re visit the power behind our breath. Namaste!

Give The Gift Of Yoga: Passport To Prana

Looking for the perfect holiday surprise for the person who has everything? How about giving the best yoga your city has to offer with Passport to Prana, the original multi-studio yoga pass? Spread the cheer and goodwill over a full year of classes–that’s right, the Passport to Prana is now good for a full twelve months from the date of activation–ranging from slow and restorative to fast and fiery. Perfect for both couch potatoes and yoga buffs, alike, Passport to Prana is the perfect treat to tuck into your loved ones’ stockings this year. Order by Dec 15th to receive your Passport in time for the holidays.

Here are top 5 reasons for giving the gift of yoga this holiday season:

1. Passport to Prana makes a great stocking stuffer.

2. Share the amazing benefits of yoga: increased calm, better sleep, overall improvements in strength and flexibility–need we say more?

3. Workout without breaking the bank. Passport to Prana offers you months and months of yoga for a fraction of the cost of joining a gym.

4. Meet the neighbours. Passport to Prana gives you ample incentive to get off the couch and into different neighbourhoods. See what your city has to offer.

5. Show someone you care. Introduce a loved one to a practice that will improve their quality of life for years to come. Now that’s a real gift!

Visit www.passporttoprana.com and use the following promotional code to receive 10% off (offer expires December 15th, 2011) your next online Passport to Prana purchase site wide: HAPPYHOLIDAYS           

Christmas Yoga Deals In The Lower Mainland!

Source: http://www.vayushayoga.com/

Not sure about you, but I have a few friends and family members who might be interested in yoga, if it was free. Christmas is the perfect time to give them the gift of YOGA! Not from the Vancouver area? Want some deals in the burbs?

In the interest of helping you help your suburban potential yogi, here are a few yoga deals happening in the Lower Mainland:

Langley:

Hari Om Yoga (http://www.hariomyoga.com/) – Buy a 5 Class Card for $50! On sale now until Dec 24, this is a very reasonably priced gift for that potential yogi. All cards expire on Feb 28
(only one card can be used per person, although one person can multiples as gifts).

Bikram Yoga Langley (http://www.bikramyogalangley.com/) – Karma promo ends tomorrow!  KARMA classes! Bring a non-perishable or monetary donation with you to class. Anyone making a
donation will receive 20% off packages and memberships!

White Rock:

Live Yoga (http://www.liveyoga.ca/)– With every gift certificate of $25 or more purchased before Christmas, receive a free class! The class can be used yourself, or given away as a stocking stuffer!  Live Yoga is also hosting a Holiday Karma Yoga Class on Dec 11 from 1pm-2:15pm by donation to the Food Bank.

Surrey:

Vayusha Yoga Studio (http://www.vayushayoga.com/): In December only, buy One Month of Unlimited Yoga for $30!

Abbotsford:

Bikram Yoga Abbotsford (http://www.bikramyogaabbotsford.com/) –Buy a 40 class card for $299! Save $150! No expiry date!

Know of any other great deals for yogis? Comment below and I’ll include them next week!

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