We all have our natural tendencies and habits. The things that come easy to us, and because they are easier, we tend to overdo them. When students first come to yoga, they may fall generally into two categories: strong and stiff, or more flexible and loose jointed. Over time, and as your yoga practice deepens, you will discover you are, more accurately, loose in some areas and strong in others. Certain poses will be useful for stabilizing these loose areas, and other poses will create space where you are tight. The refined work becomes discovering this fine balance through the subtle work you do within the poses.
A wonderful pose to find this balance is in Spinal Stretch, try this:
Whether you consider yourself “flexible” or “stiff”, there are many benefits to discover from a longer hold in poses like Spinal Stretch. The looser students will gain necessary strength, endurance and stability, while the tighter students will find more space in the backs of the legs and the upper back. This pose is a great preparation for downward facing dog, adho mukha svanasana, and is also useful for re-creating balance in the body after something asymmetrical like a twist.
Meghan Goodman is a yoga instructor and professional dance artist who can sometimes be seen dancing on the side of tall buildings. She has been teaching since 2006, and is currently completing a certification in Iyengar yoga under the guidance of training teacher Louie Ettling. For more information on classes, performances, to book a workshop or private session, please visitwww.meghangoodman.wordpress.com
Everyday activities like sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, hunching over a cell phone or even holding a bag consistently on one side can cause stagnancy, stiffness and fatigue in the body. As habits build, poor posture can easily become second nature, causing back and neck pain and even damaging spinal structures.
However, the main factors that affect posture are totally within our control, and aren’t difficult to change with consistent awareness. If you’re sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, the following tips will help support you in maintaining a better posture.