Maria

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Posts posted by Maria


  1. Hi Candace, I've been struggling with the "90 degree angle in the elbow joint" rule when doing chaturanga dandasana for years now. No matter how hard I try and how much strength I develop, it seems impossible for me to get that right alignment where the wrists are directly below the elbows in this pose. In order to keep my balance and not tip forward, my wrists have to be a bit more forward than the elbows. I've started to wonder if it has something to do with how long the arm bone (humerus) is. My arms are proportionally very long; my elbows extend below the top of the hip bone (iliac crest) when bent. While this is very handy in yoga poses involving binding - I'm like a gorilla :D - could it mean that I get too much weight on the upper part of my body in chaturanga? I've looked at many pictures of yogis having the correct 90 degree alignment and noticed that their elbows are somewhere around the lower rib cage, not the hips! What's your take on this?

     

    Thanks so much for this forum and the opportunity to ask odd questions like these :)

    YogaByCandace likes this

  2. Shoulder pain is such a common problem for vinyasa yogis! I've had the exact same pain in my shoulder and it takes a long time to heal. In terms of anatomy, the pain is caused by the supraspinatus muscle that passes beneath the acromion process. If the alignment of the joint is off, the muscle starts chafing against the bone. To prevent this, it is super important to avoid tilting the shoulders forward and down when lowering down into chaturanga. Keep your chest open, the shoulder blades together and actively draw them down. Also, before going down from plank, shift the weight forward so that when your elbows are at 90 degrees, your wrists are directly under your elbows.You can practice this alignment by doing chaturangas against the wall. I also found it helpful to use a strap to test how low I should go: make a loop and place it just above your elbow joints, when you lower into chaturanga, the strap prevents you from going below 90 :)

    yogafire, YogaByCandace and Turi like this

  3. It does sound like bone compression to me too. You can also test if the right hip is more flexible in the other direction than the left by closing the hip for example in eagle pose. If the right leg crosses over the left more easily than the other way around, it might be due to the bone structure in your hip.

     

    When you do seated meditation, try sitting on a bolster in hero pose. This is what we were instructed to do in teacher training, if our hips were not mobile enough for sitting cross legged.

    mimisouth likes this

  4. I'm curious to hear how you've been taught to jump back to chaturanga dandasana. I've noticed that there are two different techniques: jumping first to plank and then lowering down to chaturanga or jumping directly to chaturanga with elbows bent to 90 degrees.

     

    I've been instructed to do the latter in order to protect the shoulder joint and the lower back. Any thoughts?

    afriske, Nix and yogafire like this

  5. I vividly remember how difficult it was to start kicking up to a handstand against the wall. I was sure I would never make it! The idea of falling on my head was terrifying. Luckily I had a friend who assisted me for the first couple of times and that made a huge difference. Could you ask your yoga teacher to help you too?

     

    Now I'm just as frightened to do handstands in the middle of the room. I've been to a couple of workshops and the progression is slowly coming, but still need more courage and, of course, practice, practice, practice...

    Turi and laceyd like this

  6. I have the exact same problem and I'm also currently suffering from rotator cuff issues. The advice I got from my physical therapist is to take it back and stop the movement of the shoulder joint way before it feels "enough". I know, it's hard to remember to do that when you are used to greater range of movement. Another important thing is to take care of stability, which means strengthening the supporting muscles around the joint.

    YogaByCandace and helenschki like this

  7. What is the subtle body?

    It's basically how the non-physical human body is described in Eastern philosophies. It consists of prana (life force), chakras (energy points), nadiis (energy channels) and different sheaths (koshas). The whole concept of the subtle body in yoga is quite esoteric, but if you keep an open mind it's also quite interesting :) I suppose studying the subtle body is included in all Yoga Alliance certified teacher trainings.


  8. I attended 200 hrs Vinyasa flow teacher training this summer and was a bit worried about the same thing before going. My practice was relatively strong already, I could do some advanced poses (headstands, handstands against the wall, wobbling crow etc.), but more importantly I trusted my body and felt strong in the basic flow sequences. It turned out that I was somewhat in the middle; there were far more advanced students in the group, but also those who needed to build more strength in their chaturangas. As far as the actual asana training goes, having a strong foundation without being able to perform all the tricks you see on Instagram is enough for teacher training.

     

    However, what I struggled with was the Sanskrit, the history of yoga and the teaching of the subtle body. At least in my training, they formed a huge part of the curriculum. We studied these things 6 hours a day! So to make you life a bit easier, especially if you are planning to take an intensive course, try to learn Sanskrit as much as possible (at least the names of poses, the eight limbs, the chakras, the koshas and so on). This way you can really focus your energy on asanas, assisting and sequence planning and the spiritual side of yoga on the actual course. Good luck!