Therapeutic Postures: Currently Under Construction

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Advanced Yoga Postures

Accomplishing advanced postures doesn't always make you an advanced yoga practitioner.  The physical yoga postures came easy to me when I started yoga in my mid twenties because I was a competitive gymnast and collegiate cheerleader.  The challenging tasks for me were the more beneficial features of yoga,  such as relaxation and meditation.  I like to look at advance postures as an opportunity to play, have fun, and grow my practice.  They are also great teachers because you learn the areas where you have habitual tightness, weakness and they will humble you by teaching you the practice of surrender for example.

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Spinal Health

Long days of sitting in your car, at your desk, and when you get home can create a lot of compression on the spine.  A yoga therapy session can be catered to lengthening the spine, creating traction for the back, and opening up the muscles that support the spine.  The session would involve a balanced yoga asana practice that includes backbends, forward bends, side bends, and twists, to help prevent degeneration of the intervertebral disks.  I can teach you a daily "wind down after work ritual" to improve your spinal health that you could do virtually anywhere.

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Meditation

I am sure by now you have come across a study, article, or been advised by your MD to take up Meditation to improve your health and reduce stress.  There are numerous ways to meditate and the key to success is to find a style that resonates with you.  Meditation was very hard for me to be open to in the beginning.  I started out with a goal of 10 minutes per day.  About 5-7 minutes in I was fidgeting all around, looking at my watch, and my mind was going crazy.  I couldn't wait for my buzzer to ring so I could move on with my day and tackle my to do list.  I started meditation when I was in my yoga teacher training class because we were required to and I am a compliant student.  I completed my assignment daily and began to notice the benefits.  The days that my meditation practice didn't occur I noticed that my mood was not as pleasurable.  I also noticed that I was actually more creative and productive on days when I took the time to meditate.  I think a big key in building a successful meditation practice is that you must be compassionate with yourself and learn not to place judgement on whether or not today's meditation was "successful".  I can teach you my meditation techniques and I can also direct you to some excellent meditation teachers and cd's to use.

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Pranayama: Breathing Practices

Nadi Shodhana is a pranayama practice that yogi's do to for balance.  The sanskrit words Nadi Shodhana Pranayama translated into English means Alternate Nostril Breathing.  This practice is believed to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. The left nostril corresponds to the yin energetic which is cooling, restorative, and feminine in nature.  The right nostril corresponds to the yang energetic which is warming, energizing, and masculine in nature.  Ideally this practice should be done in a quiet environment where you can dedicate 5-20 minutes to direct your awareness solely on the breath. Kapalabhati, Nadi Shodhana, Bhramari, & Ujjayi techniques are a few breathing practices that can either energize or relax you.  Pranayama practices quiet the mind, calm the nervous system, and are great for setting the stage for meditation.

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Inversions

Blog details and descriptions to come.

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Tittibhasana

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Shoulders & Neck Therapy

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Back Bends

I often refer to back bends as Heart Openers for a couple of reasons.  The physical act of bending backwards requires the body to open the chest and heart in order for the spine to flex in that direction.  Most people envision a back bend as the thing gymnasts and kids can do on their hands and feet.  In fact, there is a huge range of back bends that are incorporated into Yoga Therapy sessions.  One of my favorite stretches involves lying on your back on your bed and simply hanging your head off the bed.  This particular posture (asana) is a gentle back bend that is very passive.  Passive stretches are great because they invite the body into opening and they utilize gravity to assist in the posture.  Most people can benefit from incorporating backbends into their daily lives because there is a great deal of time spent driving, computing, and doing other activities that constrict the pectorals and other muscles of the chest.  Check in with your posture and see if you sit with your head forward, your shoulders are rounded and your chest is collapsed.  These are physical cues that Heart Openers are needed. Energetically if your heart is closed you may notice shortness of breath, shallow breathing, asthma, and other lung conditions.  Yoga Therapy that incorporates back bends can be the first step in healing this energy center.

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Creative Flow

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Bird of Paradise

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