Posts made in January, 2015

Balance

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Anatomy | 0 comments

Balance

In Yoga Asana, balance poses are an ingenious way of challenging oneself both on a physical and mental level. However, there are many systems involved in balancing if we take a closer look. The ability to balance depends upon sensory, muscular and motor systems as well as the vestibular system of the inner ear. Proprioceptive information which informs the body’s position in space enters visually, through the tiny little levels of the vestibular system, and through skin, joint and muscle receptors. Input from tactile, pressure and vibrational changes are necessary to stand, walk and detect the body’s relationship to gravity. The extrinsic and intrinsic muscles of the foot, meaning the muscles that begin in the shin and foot respectively create a ping-pong ball effect of support all over the body through these receptors to maintain a direct point of balance with gravity. In other words, balance is a series of falls and catches over and over again. In many cases, falls are caused by a loss of balance or the inability to maintain the body’s center of gravity over its base of support. Strengthening the body’s balance centers will prepare your body for avoiding bad falls. Here are some things you can do to strengthen along with yoga asana poses like tree pose, half-moon, and warrior three. -Write the alphabet with your foot: With the foot in the air, write the alphabet with your foot. Try to reach all the edges of space with your toes, not to cut any letters short. This will maintain a full, dynamic range of motion of the ankle. -Balance on one foot: Sometimes known as “storking” in physical therapy lingo. Prepare your arch by grounding all four corners of the foot and lifting the inner arch. Balance until your ankle gets tired. Increase difficulty by swinging your arms, closing your eyes, or a combination of both! This helps the coordination of the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the foot, as well as challenging your visual input. -Theraband: Sit on the floor with legs outstretched and use a stretchy band around the ball of the foot to add resistance to pointing your toes- try a set of 15. Then place the theraband around the pinky edge of the foot and do three reps of 8 times pressing your foot out to the side (or pronating). These are important muscles to reinforce because in common sprains, the weakened ligaments are on the outside ankle. -Toe scrunches with towel: Strengthen the transverse arch of your foot, the arch that runs crossways just beneath all 5 toes. Sit in a chair with a towel under your foot, scrunch the toes and the transverse arch repeatedly pulling the towel towards you. This strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the foot. -Self – care: Massage the entire length of the shin, just outside of the shin bone beginning at the top all the way to the ankle. Massage the full length of the calf all the way to the Achilles tendon and give that tendon some love by squeezing it. Massage the outside edge of your shin from the top all the way to the ankle. This is especially helpful if you work on your feet and/or wear uncomfortable shoes all day. -Raise the legs: Lie on your back and lift your legs up the wall at the end of a long day. This allows the flow of blood to release from pooling at the ankles will reduce swelling, and increase neuromuscular efficiency of the lower leg. An architect or contractor would agree that the most important part of a...

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Winter Solstice

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Soul Talk | 0 comments

Winter Solstice

UTTARAYANAS / SVADYAYA Winter Solstice / Self Study Om asatoma sat gamaya Lead us from the darkness to the light The Yogins believe that each of us embodies an entire universe inside of us, -the sky, the planets, mountains rivers, seasons, – moving with the rhythm and flow of the cosmos. During the Fall Equinox, the days get shorter giving us longer periods of darkness and night. December 21st, the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, but with it comes the celebration of the sun’s return. The nights will gradually grow shorter and the light of the day will return. This ebb and flow of the darkness and light brings us back to the balance and impermanence of nature. Yin and yang infinitely at play as we move from one extreme to the other; we are always brought back to the center. We come and we go, we inhale and we exhale, we give and receive. And so it goes, the ever-changing balance of life. As the Winter Solstice is a time of slowing down, it brings an excellent opportunity for reflection; to go inside, to take time to breath, to prioritize what’s important, to reflect on our life’s journey; for Svadyaya. Are we making intuitive decisions? Are we finding joy in our journey? Are we moving through life with balanced awareness or perhaps in an unconscious karmic pattern? Though by our inner nature we intuitively need to slow down during this season, with all the hubbub and much ado of the holiday season, it’s almost an impossible feat to accomplish. Instead of getting quieter, the fun of the holiday season creates inner conflict that can easily throw us out of balance. Here’s a few way to bring yourself back into balance: Eat warms soups and stews to keep up the jatharagni- the digestive fire inside. Include warming herbs in your diet such as ginger, clove, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and turmeric. Give your friends and family the gift of your presence rather than standing in long lines fighting traffic to give them a material present. Find some time to wrap yourself up in a comfy blanket and sip on hot tea with an inspiring book. Volunteer somewhere where you can make a difference in someone’s life. Insist on finding time for meditation. Meditate to find the peace and joy in your heart, so that you may spread that peace and joy to...

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