yoga seeds #14 – Special and subtle: the breath

The most basic pranayama practice is observing the breath. "Basic", as opposed to "simple", because it's the basis upon which we can develop other practices and also because observing the breath is no simple matter. For one thing, as soon as we turn our attention to it, the breath tends to change. The first challenge…Read more yoga seeds #14 – Special and subtle: the breath

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yoga seeds #13 – Including

Everything that happens during our practice can be related to as a chance to practise: I lose my thread and I don't know if it's right or left leg now, I push too hard and hurt myself, I get dizzy when I come up, I wish I could do what my neighbour can, I topple…Read more yoga seeds #13 – Including

yoga seeds #12 – Valsalva Manoeuvre

Here's a wonderful term that you can casually drop at your next social get-together to impress friends and relatives alike! As sophisticated as it sounds, this action is what makes the throaty grunt that sometimes accompanies a big physical effort like lifting or pushing a heavy load or even a move during yoga class... Achtung!…Read more yoga seeds #12 – Valsalva Manoeuvre

yoga seeds #11 – sitting up straight…

… is actually not sitting up straight at all but, rather, sitting up curvy! Our spine is happiest with its natural curves (towards the front at the lower back -lumbar lordosis-, towards the back at the ribcage -thoracic kyphosis- and towards the front at the neck -cervical lordosis-) and that’s when it’s most efficient in…Read more yoga seeds #11 – sitting up straight…

yoga seeds #10 – zigzags and spirals

Sometimes we reach a certain point with an asana that feels very clearly like something's clicked, like a change of paradigm. "I got it!" It could be that we've developed strength enough to support the position, or flexibility enough to do a bind, or balance enough to stay there. It could also be that we've…Read more yoga seeds #10 – zigzags and spirals

yoga seeds #9 – the ups and downs of headstand

*Contains more than the usual daily serving of anatomic and physiological references. 100% useable. Does not contain traces of (being) nuts. Inversions in general and headstand (shirshasana) in particular are controversial in the yoga community. On one extreme there are those who say they are the most important poses in yoga. On the other, there…Read more yoga seeds #9 – the ups and downs of headstand