• Postural changes are frequently associated with osteoporosis, back pain and other pathology. Restoration of a more optimal anatomical alignment can help relieve back pain and other symptoms plus it can help assure better weight-bearing forces through the bones and more specific muscle contraction on the bones, thereby positively affecting bone health and strength.

    Research has shown that the single major determinant of bone density (1/3 of bone health) is muscle contraction. Therefore, theoretically at least, the more specific an exercise program can be in targeting the at-risk areas of the body, the stronger the bones will be and risk of fracture will be reduced. The Meeks Method specifically targets strengthening of the Erector Spinae, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus muscles, the primary support muscles of the spine and hips. Other muscles are, of course strengthened as the entire body is taken into account. Research has shown that strengthening the erector spinae muscle group reduces the incidence of compression fracture in persons with osteoporosis (Sinaki, Itoi 2002.) Also, it has been shown that a decrease in hip extension is exaggerated in fallers and may limit performance (Kerrigan et al 2001) in the elderly.

    Click here to read more.

  • A recent article published in the New York Times warns about the “dangers” of obsessive  yoga and malpractice.

    A usual, it’s good to keep cool about warnings. At the same time it’s important to remember how to renounce “performing” in your practice.  Be aware…

  • I’ve just read some of Ganga White’s Yoga Beyond Belief and was intrigued by the chapter called “Pain is your friend”.

    Some teachers pretend Yoga presents no risk. In fact things can go wrong, according to White who first welcomed big names like Patthabi Joïs and B.K.S. Iyengar to Los Angeles in the 1970’s.

    Ganga explains how he started practicing Yoga without paying much “attention to sequencing, structural dynamics, alignment and physiological principles of kinesiology”. He was more or less told to achieve the postures.

    “Soon I started developing back pain.” He finally had to stay in bed for a month. But when he started to feel better, he also started practicing again, finding new ways of practicing. Finding awareness. ” Initially, the pain limited  me to only the simplest of poses and I could not bend much at all.”

    Ganga realised that pain was “a language”, the “voices of body intelligence”. “Pain is necessary and defines the limits and the edges of strain and injury.”

    Ganga White and Peter Sellers

    He kept exploring new ways of practicing, learnt the “inner process” of Yoga. The inner voice of Yoga.

    “Sharp pain can mean “Stop!” Dull pain can mean to go slowly and breathe as we move energy into new areas.” … He “began to see how these inner messages literally guided [him] to adjust [his] movements’s subtlety and showed [him] the way to heal [himself].”

    “There is no magical technique or practice that will keep us free from harm, injury or physical problems… It is staying constantly alert and vigilant that will guide us in the right direction.”

  • I was going to write a piece on Yoga schools battles. if you are practicing happily, you probably can’t care less about who does what and the difference between

    BKS Iyengar, founder of Iyengar school

    BKS Iyengar, founder of Iyengar school

    Iyengar,

     

     

     

     

     

    K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Astanga Yoga

    K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Astanga Yoga

    Astanga,

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Swami Satyananda, founder of Bihar School

    Swami Satyananda, founder of Bihar School

    Bihar

     

     

     

     

     

    Bikram Choudhoury, founder of Bikram Yoga

    Bikram Choudhoury, founder of Bikram Yoga

    Bikram

     

     

     

     

     

    But if you are in the ” industry” and teaching Yoga, you might want to read the well researched “Yoga battles“, published last June in the Indian Calcutta Telegraph.

     

     

    imagesCA383SAIInspiring Yoga teacher Wendy Teasdill once told me: “Don’t worry about school battles and do your practice.” I often think of her and practice as well as I can.

    In the UK , a lot of teachers go through the British Wheel of Yoga to qualify. Now if you go to American Yoga Alliance website (they have  recently opened a UK branch), you read:

    Quote 1 “…The BWY are NOT the governing body and you do not require to do their training courses to teach yoga. There is no official governing body for yoga in the UK.

    Quote 2 “…There is no governing body for yoga in the UK. Yoga Alliance UK has been established to promote and encourage high standards of teaching. Joining is on a voluntary basis, and we do not claim (or want) to be a governing or regulating body.”

    My qualifications being certified by Yoga Alliance, I therefore stick to it and do my practice as well I can.

     

  • zoum zoum et yoyo 003

    Changing the litter: make sure you get the right posture.

    zoum zoum et yoyo 001