Trip to Pune

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Guruji and his family ! In 2 weeks Nichole will be studying at the at the Iyenagr Institute in Pune for 4 weeks ! Please check in and follow this blog for more updates on her travels

Guruji and his family ! In 2 weeks Nichole will be studying at the at the Iyengar Institute in Pune for 4 weeks ! Please check in and follow this blog for more updates on her travels


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With the practice of yoga we can save ourselves from the attraction of desires and discover the right knowledge to guide us in creating a healthy self


Let’s don’t forget to give “Thanks”

As all the Holidays are coming into view in the next weeks to come, Don’ forget to give “thanks” to yourself and your body. Use your Asana and Pranayama practice to feel “thankful” then  feel Peaceful


We all need to work on our minds and thoughts not taking over! I myself have this to work on, Smirti ( sleep ) is the one way that seems the easiest to help but we cannot sleep all day or night! Iyengar Yoga helps you take your scattered mind inward  to concentrate on how you are positioning your body spreading your awareness then to focus,reflex and observe .


Guruji

IMG_1310With the passing of our Guruji, I have felt sad and a gravitational pull that something is a little off. I know this will not last and i have been getting out some of his books and surrounding myself with them and just picking one up letting the book open to a page it chooses and just reading. Guruji has left this world but he has left us with so much! I am so grateful , Nichole


glacouma copy


Patanjali makes the aspirant aware of the obstacles that he/she/ comes across while practicing yoga. The restraint of the citta is not at all instant. When the sadhaka is constantly practicing to restrain his?her citta he/she realizes how many distractions he/ she has to face. B.K.S. Iyengar


Stretched

Relephant Bonus: The video every yogi needs to see!

 

Last spring, I was honored to be invited to co-teach a training at Avenues Yoga Studio in Salt Lake City.

The 20-some students were earnest, curious and right on board with our slower-than-usual approach to asana practice, and our emphasis on meditation and philosophy. I am inspired to know that this group of teachers is bringing their wisdom into the world of yoga.

Early in the training, one student who had been teaching in a fitness studio asked a very important question. She explained that one of her female students became unusually flexible prior to ovulation (probably because of the presence of relaxin, a hormone that relaxes the ligaments that hold together the various joints in the pelvis—hip joints, sacroiliac joints and pubic symphisis). The teacher said that she encouraged the student to move farther into poses at that period in her cycle since she was already more flexible.

“Should I continue doing this?” she asked.

Twenty years ago I would have said yes. In fact, I did encourage women to take advantage of their relaxin-induced flexibility during pregnancy. No more.

Fortunately, the third time I took anatomy the importance of understanding the structures of ligaments and tendons finally sank in. (For clarification, ligaments connect bone to bone in our joints; tendons connect muscle to bone at the joints.) Ligaments and tendons are constructed of dense, regular, collagenous, connective tissue. Ligaments are dense, fibrous tissues that are designed to limit the movement of our joints.

Please repeat this three times: Ligaments are designed to limit the movement of our joints.

This is also very important: ligaments and tendons are considered to be avascular, i.e. containing no blood flow of their own. Oxygen and other nutrients diffuse into ligaments and tendons from cells outside the tissues. Because these structures need to be strong, they are largely comprised of collagen fibers with some elastin to create a small amount of stretch.

Don’t Sprain Your Body!

Have you ever sprained an ankle? How long did it take to heal, and did it ever return to its former stability? When you sprain your ankle, you overstretch ligaments. Because the tissue is avascular, it does not heal as quickly as muscle does. Ligaments do not have the “memory” that muscle tissue has. When you overstretch ligaments, there’s a good chance they will not bounce back to their former length.

Ligamentous Tissue

If ligaments are meant to protect joints by limiting their movement, continually overstretching joints can lead to joint instability over time. I know a number of serious practitioners who are now in their 50s—including myself—who regret having overstretched our joints back in the day. All too many longtime practitioners now own artificial joints to replace the ones they overused.

Those fancy poses way back when were not worth their consequences.

Healthy Asana

Flexible people have a much stronger tendency to overstretch joints than stiffer people do. Armed with the pervasive “no pain, no gain” philosophy, we flexies tend to keep stretching until we feel pain. Because our muscles are loose enough that we don’t feel much there, we collapse into our joints where there’s plenty of sensation. Not only does this overstretch our ligaments, it can also wear down the cartilage that protects our joints and keeps them articulating smoothly.

The Counterintuitive Answer

My advice to the student’s question was to encourage her student to protect her joints, to do less rather than more. Counterintuitive, I know, especially when many asana classes encourage people to push past their limits and rock those fancy poses. If a person’s ligaments are made unstable by relaxin—or by excessive heat or any other outside factor—that creates a situation of imbalance in the joints.

You wouldn’t encourage a muscle-bound yoga student to lift more weights and stiffen up. Equally, a too-flexible student doesn’t benefit from becoming even more flexible. Too much flexibility is just as unhealthy is too much stiffness. Balance is what we’re going for in asana practice. Familiarize yourself with what normal range of motion looks like.

By all means, do practice to lengthen your muscles, and remember that it takes 30 seconds of continuous stretching for your muscle spindle neuron to actually allow your muscle to habituate to a new, longer length.

So take your time, and be gentle. When you feel tissue stretching along the bones—as long as that stretch is not extreme—it’s probably healthy. When you feel discomfort in a joint, please stop doing what you’re doing.

And please protect your students’ future joints by teaching them the difference.


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