Karandavasana

In this article I have described Karandavasana in a way that it can be learned without a teacher lifting us up from the floor. While this may provide good exercise for the teacher I don’t think that it does much towards the student being able to perform the posture themselves. The key is to no not let it get to the point were you fall down to the floor and then can’t lift up anymore. Instead of that stop right before you would loose your composure, hold it there for a few breaths and then pull up before you fall down. By practising this daily this “point of no return” can then be gradually lowered.

The Secret of Vinyasas

The secret to being able to jump through in a vinyasa is not in the ability to jump but in the ability to brake! Everyone can jump. In fact you hold yourself back from jumping if you do not have the strength to brake your jump. Your body inherently knows if you do or do not have that strength and will even override your conscious attempts to jump in order to protect you. Luckily! How brilliant is that?!

Pincha Mayurasana

With Pincha Mayurasana starts the strength section of the Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga. This first posture focuses on stabilizing of the shoulderblades (scapula).

Contraindication:

In case of an existing shoulder injury, jumping out of the posture (vinyasa nine) may need to be modified.

Leg-behind-head postures: importance and warm-ups

Leg-behind-head postures are some of the most important, effective and beneficial yoga postures. They open the hip joints, a work that will continue later on through the extreme hip rotations. This process is essential in releasing life force from its reservoir at the base of the spine, it’s ascent leading to divine involution.

Leg-behind-head postures are also instrumental in developing the organs of the thoracic cavity, viz the heart and the lungs through producing a strong oscillation of intrathoracic pneumatic pressure and the weight that they make the ribcage strong and supple through weight and pressure that they apply. […]

What Are We Stretching?

There seems to be a lot of confusion around stretching and I am often asked the questions, “What are we actually stretching?”, “Are we stretching muscle or fascia?” and “Should we stretch ligaments?”. One important principle we first need to understand is that stretching will be a different experience depending on your degree of mobility.

Rotation pattern of the Primary Series

The term rotation in this article refers to the rotation of the thighbone (femur) in the acetabulum of the hip joint. These actions are important to keep your knees and hip joints healthy and in the long term to open the hip joints so that lengthy sitting in Padmasana and similar postures becomes possible.

Kapotasana

During my recent workshops I noticed that there is still a lot of confusion about the importance of nutating the sacroiliac joints in various forms of back-bending (but also in forward bending). Here is a modified passage from my 2009 text Ashtanga Yoga The Intermediate Series that sheds light on sacrum nutation during Kapotasana. This is something that any natural backbender will do automatically but even if you do not belong to this group, the actions can be induced by understanding and learning. This will improve your backbend significantly. This passage is shortened as the original has over 5500 words.