6 Mistakes Home Yoga Practitioners Make (and How to Fix Them)


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/6-mistakes-home-yoga-practitioners-make-and-how-to-fix-them

6 Mistakes Home Yoga Practitioners Make (and How to Fix Them)

Practice at home on the regular? We do, too! While this is a great option, streaming yoga without a live teacher can lead to common mistakes. Top online teachers share what they think we do wrong and give their tips on improvements we can make.

Online classes make practicing yoga more convenient, accessible, and affordable. You can practice wherever you’d like, whenever you’d like, and choose the length, type, and level of the class. The best part, other than not having to change out of your pajamas? Most streaming yoga services such as YogaGloOMStars, and more cost $20 or less per month.

The downside is that unless there’s a two-way camera involved (Ompractice offers this service), there’s no live teacher to offer suggestions and corrections. So we asked popular online teachers what mistakes home practitioners are making the most—and how to correct them.

See also Tips from Social Media’s Top Yogis on How to Handle Haters and Trolls

6 ‘Mistakes’ Home Yoga Practitioners Make (and How to Fix Them)

 

How to Create a Healthy Morning Ritual and Access Your Most Authentic Self Through Writing


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/how-to-create-a-healthy-morning-ritual-and-access-your-most-authentic-self-through-writing

How to Create a Healthy Morning Ritual and Access Your Most Authentic Self Through Writing

Artist Julia Cameron reveals how her morning writing ritual helps her contemplate life and access her truth.
Reflection_302_01_bjk

Robert Stivers

Every day, I do something I call morning pages. I do them first thing in the morning. In fact, I drink cold coffee from the night before so that I’m not delayed by making my coffee. I write three pages, longhand, about anything and everything—from the tiny to the huge. When I miss a day of pages, I feel completely disoriented.

Writing like this is a sort of cleaning process. It’s as if you have a tiny little whisk broom and you take it into all the corners of your consciousness. So it might be, I forgot to call my sister yesterday; I didn’t buy kitty litter; the car has a funny knock in it; I didn’t like the way James talked to me in the meeting yesterday… and so they go, all across your consciousness. I’ve been doing morning pages for 30 years, and I find it’s a way of putting myself directly in contact with what I would call a higher power.

I often start off writing grumpy—then I move past grumpy into a smoother flow. The pages start off difficult when I think to myself, Oh my God, I don’t have anything to say for three full pages. Yet when I dive in and try to find something to say, the flow of writing loosens up and I can feel a sense of clarity, originality, and authenticity.

I have what I call writing stations: different places in my house that put me in a different mood. I usually [do my morning pages] in the living room, where I have a large plate-glass window looking out at the mountain. Later in the day [when I work on other writing projects], I might move to my study, which is a room that is enclosed—I sometimes call it the cockpit—which is good for concentration. In the summer, I write out in the garden. Each place has a different mood, and I take my emotional temperature and say, What room am I in the mood for now?

Everybody has an inner critic. Mine is called Nigel, and Nigel is a British, gay interior decorator. There’s no pleasing Nigel. I’ll write something and Nigel will say, Oh that’s so boring; no one will be interested! But I’ve learned to say, Thank you for sharing that, Nigel—and keep right on moving. I think self-doubt goes with the territory of being a writer. I find I can move past it by making my critic into a little cartoon character. The minute I have humor again, I’m able to move past my self-doubt.

I used to write trying to be brilliant, and I was really writing out of my ego. Then I started doing morning pages, and I’d put a little sign up by my desk that said, OK, God, you take care of the quality, I’ll take care of the quantity. As I move deeper into my practice, I’ve recognized that there are hunches, intuitions, and ideas that come to me through writing that don’t come to me in any other way.

Explore your creativity in a weekend immersion with Julia Cameron from July 13–15, at 1440 Multiversity in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz. Learn more at 1440.org/faculty/julia-cameron.

 

Live Be Yoga: John Schumacher Reveals How a Dedicated Yoga Practice Builds a Better Future


https://www.yogajournal.com/livebeyoga/john-schumacher-how-dedicated-yoga-practice-builds-better-future

Live Be Yoga: John Schumacher Reveals How a Dedicated Yoga Practice Builds a Better Future

The master teacher and disciple of B.K.S. Iyengar says it takes 5 steps.
John Schumacher

Live Be Yoga ambassadors Jeremy Falk and Aris Seaberg are on a road trip across the country to share real talk with master teachers, explore innovative classes, and so much more—all to illuminate what’s in store for the future of yoga. Follow the tour and get the latest stories @livebeyoga on Instagram and Facebook.

The first thing I noticed about John Schumacher was his flawless regal posture. It was unsurprising, as the Iyengar lineage—through which he discipled for over 30 years—is reputed for its strict style of alignment and stern disciplinary instruction. Schumacher looked as if he had abhyasa (dedicated practice) in his blood. Yet he also emanated an effortlessly flowing state of gentle kindness and grounded ease. Appearing to be the healthiest and most vibrant 72-year-old I have ever met, he has studied yoga for more than 50 years—longer than most yogis today have been alive. When we met with him at the studio he founded, Unity Woods Yoga Center, in Bethesda, MD, he shared how his three decades of apprenticeship with B.K.S. Iyengar himself gives hope in these uncertain times because the practice offers us the tools to change the world.

Step 1: Place Many Tools in One Box—Not One Tool in Many Boxes

These days, students begin their journey into yoga with an abundance of studios and online classes; they can acquire knowledge from a multitude of sources easily. However Schumacher is cautious about this approach. “There are a lot of teachers out there. In the beginning, keep shopping. Find someone that you resonate with and you’re happy to go see every week,” he says. Once you do, inquire into that lineage with consistent and dedicated practice. That’s how you’ll dig deeply into “an accumulation of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that’s been honed over a long time, where much trial and error has already been worked through.” There are no preclusions toward learning from many teachers. “Any structure or framework inherently has limitations,” Schumacher admits, “but [choosing one] also provides a substantial foundation on which to build.”

Step 2: Sharpen Your Lens

Our ability to see—to acquire and build understanding—is correlated to the details for which we look. Iyengar was unprecedented in his instruction of yoga asana through meticulous awareness, which amplified the benefits of the poses. “The very process of paying that kind of attention to what you’re doing is the beginning of dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation),” says Schumacher. The scrupulous precision of the body’s position, a cornerstone of Iyengar yoga, unlocks an entirely new depth of skill. By increasing internal sensitivity of the microcosm, one becomes substantially more sensitive to how they interpret the macrocosm. Those efforts can be applied to anything, including daunting challenges like changing the world.

Step 3: Use “Limitations” as the Reason to Practice

“Whatever it is that you think you can’t do is the reason to do yoga,” says Schumacher. Yoga gives us the tools to progress through our perceived limitations with observation, regulation, patience, and sensitivity, so ultimately “you’ll open yourself up to something that you didn’t think you could do.” And when we taste the liberation of dissolving a limitation, we’ll be equipped with the skills to show up in places that may scare us. “When you meet those places and move through them, it empowers those who practice,” he says.

Step 4: Get to the Truth

This sense of empowerment is crucial to continue down the yogic path. As we sharpen our lenses and dismantle limitations, we get to the heart of yoga. Schumacher describes this as “penetrating ourselves to such an extent that we become clearer and clearer about who we really are.” The clearer we are with our own truths and what our work is as individuals, the better able we are to tackle society’s problems. “You can’t really do much about anything unless you can see clearly what’s going on in the first place,” Schumacher points out. This self knowledge, syadhyaya, is essential for building a better future. As the thirteenth-century mystic-poet Rumi reminds us, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Step 5: Get Connected

With this deeper understanding and connection to the self, we begin to connect to other people authentically. “Once you see yourself as connected to the people you’re interacting with, there’s less likely to be abuse and people taking advantage of one another,” says Schumacher. Ultimately it is from this understanding—not by fighting against it, but through achieving true yoga (union)—that we are empowered to build a better future, which deepens self-understanding and fosters stronger connections with everything around us.

 

Plug Into the Wall + Recharge: 4 Soothing Restorative Poses


https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/plug-into-wall-recharge-4-soothing-restorative-poses

Plug Into the Wall + Recharge: 4 Soothing Restorative Poses

No energy to set up for restorative yoga? Plug yourself into a wall and reboot with Kathryn Budig’s simple poses.

 

When Restorative Yoga Doesn’t Feel Relaxing…


https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/on-solid-ground

When Restorative Yoga Doesn’t Feel Relaxing…

Give roots to your restorative practice and to feel free to expand.
woman doing relaxing restorative yoga poses

It’s been a long week, so you sign up for a Friday evening restorative yoga class. Unwinding with some rejuvenating supported postures for an hour and a half sounds perfect—almost like a minivacation. But moments after you close your eyes and immerse yourself in the first pose, an unexpected visitor arrives: anxiety. Suddenly your mind is filled with an endless stream of thoughts about the past week’s events, your job security, and everything you have to accomplish over the weekend, not to mention doubts about where your relationship is headed and whether or not you paid that credit card bill. The pose feels as though it’s going on forever, and although your body isn’t moving, your mind won’t stop racing. You feel restless, agitated, and out of control. This is supposed to be “restorative" yoga. What happened?

Restorative yoga is a passive practice in which poses like Supta Baddha Konasana(Reclining Bound Angle Pose) or Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose) are held for several minutes at a time, propped with blankets, blocks, and bolsters to minimize the amount of work that the muscles are doing in the pose. A restorative practice can rest your body, stretch your muscles, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and calm your nervous system, moving you into a peaceful state of deep relaxation. But while the practice of restorative yoga comes easily to some people, it can present real challenges for others.

“A lot of people think that restorative yoga is like a bliss practice, where they’ll just be lying around and relaxing," says Jillian Pransky, the national director of restorative yoga training for YogaWorks. “But the practice of being still and restful provokes anxiety for many people. And during times of extreme stress, such as illness, a difficult transition, or grief, releasing control of the body can overwhelm the nervous system."

Passive postures can evoke feelings of discomfort for myriad reasons. On a physical level, Pransky says, the body is in a vulnerable state: You are releasing control of all your muscles, lying with your eyes closed and your chest and abdomen—the location of your vital organs—exposed. In many restorative poses, the body is also splayed out, and often the bones are not resting in their sockets, which can leave you feeling physically unstable or insecure. In Savasana (Corpse Pose), for example, the thigh bones pop up from the weight of the feet on the floor and the external release of the leg muscles, as opposed to resting inside the joint as they do when you’re standing or reclining with the knees bent.

On an emotional level, restorative poses can be challenging because, when the body is in a passive posture, the mind has fewer physical tasks and sensations to focus on than it does in more active poses, making your attention more likely to turn inward. Any emotions you might have been suppressing throughout the day—fear, frustration, sadness, anxiety—are likely to come to the forefront of your mind once your body begins to relax.

Finally, if you go very deep into the meditation of the pose, says Pransky, you can lose a sense of your physical shape. If you are in a content and secure frame of mind, this can deepen your experience and provide a sense of bliss; but if you are going through a difficult time, losing a sense of your body can feel frightening and disorienting.

But just because restorative yoga can trigger anxious or uncomfortable feelings doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. In fact, times of high anxiety or stress are the times you can most benefit from the healing aspects of a restorative practice. The solution, Pransky says, is to support passive postures with props in such a way that the body and mind feel grounded, safe, and integrated. That way, you can still experience the benefits of restorative yoga, and can eventually learn to use the practice as a tool for being with all those feelings.

Pransky didn’t always teach restorative yoga with these adaptations. Her own restorative practice was initially more about feeling light and blissful than feeling rooted and stable, she says. But 11 years ago, a death in the family brought on a period of intense anxiety that caused her practice to change. Suddenly her former way of practicing restorative yoga—going so deep into the meditation of the pose that she’d be aware only of her energetic body, not her physical body—was no longer blissful but destabilizing and disconnecting. “I was just out there. It was really scary," she says.

Pransky’s experience with anxiety led her to develop an approach to restorative yoga that could accommodate and support an agitated mind. She drew on her training in Anusara Yoga, which emphasizes the biomechanical and alignment principles of “integration" (setting up the bones so that you can draw them toward, and not away from, the core of the body). She also tapped into her studies with somatic therapist Ruella Frank, PhD, in which Pransky says she learned how to “contain the outline of the body" with the use of supportive props and blankets so that the body feels cradled and safe, similar to the way a baby becomes calmer when swaddled.

Other techniques for making the body feel less vulnerable in restorative postures include using blankets to create a layer of warmth and protection, and placing eye bags over open palms to create a “hand holding" effect. Pransky also recommends resting the feet against something—a wall, a rolled-up blanket, or a partner—in every pose. This helps the body feel more connected to the earth, she says, and integrates the legs back into the body, creating a deeper sense of stability and safety. Props such as folded or rolled blankets placed to support the arms and legs likewise ensure that the weight of the leg bones and arm bones drops in toward the body, and that the weight of the head is fully supported.

Finally, Pransky recommends leaving the eyes open during a restorative practice if closing them is uncomfortable for you. “When you have a very busy mind, closing the eyes can be an invitation for the mind to wander into worry," she says. “Keeping the eyes open can help you feel more connected to the outside world."

With these adaptations, Pransky says, you can develop the capacity to be more grounded and relaxed in restorative postures, whatever your mental state. “Once you can become more connected to your breath, the whole nervous system calms," she says. “And then, when those difficult emotions arise, you might find that you can handle them more easily than you thought you could."

Rest Easy

The poses in this sequence are designed to give you the experience of being cradled and protected while providing the opportunity for deep relaxation and rejuvenation. When you’re practicing them for the first time, it can be helpful to have a friend assist you in setting up the props. Warm up with a few rounds of Cat-Cow Pose, or any other gentle poses that help you connect with your breath. Once you’re propped and positioned, take the first few minutes in each pose to sense where you connect with the floor or the props. What part of your body rests most heavily on the support underneath you? Let this area be like an anchor rooting you to the earth. Slowly allow this sense of connection to spread to all the areas where you meet the ground and the props.

When your body feels completely supported, let your attention turn toward your breath. Like an ocean wave, each breath will rise and fall on its own. Rest your mind on the tide of your breath. Throughout each pose, let your attention move back and forth between the earthlike qualities of your body and the fluidlike qualities of your breath.

Stay in each pose for up to 15 minutes. Even a few minutes will make a difference. If you feel restless but want to stay in the pose, you can do small vinyasa movements with your hands to help yourself settle down: Roll your open palms to the sky as you inhale; roll them back to the ground as you exhale.

Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose), variation

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This pose is usually done with the legs extended all the way up the wall. Having the legs lower, with the feet against the wall, encourages grounding by creating a sensation of “standing" on the wall, as opposed to having the feet wide open to the sky.

Lie on your back with your calves and feet supported by either bolsters or blanket-covered blocks. Wrap or cover your calves with a blanket. Rest the soles of your feet against the wall. Place an additional folded blanket across the pelvis to help release tension there and to encourage the pelvis to rest more heavily on the ground. Rest your arms by your sides, either palms down or, if facing up, with an eye bag in each open palm. If your upper back and shoulders don’t rest heavily on the floor, support them with towels or blankets. Place a folded blanket under your head.

You should feel firm support all the way up the torso, out through the arms, and up through the neck and head. Your throat should feel open and tension free. On each exhalation, allow the weight of your lower legs, pelvis, upper back, and head to be fully held. On each inhalation, allow your ribs to expand in all directions. Stay in the pose for 5 to 15 minutes.

Salamba Balasana (Supported Child’s Pose)

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Place blocks underneath the two ends of a bolster and come into Child’s Pose, with your torso supported by the bolster. It should feel as though the support is coming up to meet you rather than your torso dropping into the support. Slide your arms underneath the gap between the bolster and the floor, bringing each hand toward the opposite elbow. If the forearms or elbows don’t touch the ground, fill in the space with towels or blankets so that you are supported from the elbows to the fingers. Supporting the elbows and arms helps to release tension in the upper back and neck and to integrate the arms back into the body. In order to release tension in the lower back and create a deeper sensation of groundedness, place a heavy blanket on your sacrum. If the base of the shins or the tops of the feet are off the floor, prop them with a rolled-up towel.

Turn the head to one side, alternating sides halfway through the pose. On each inhalation, feel the back body expand; on each exhalation, feel the support under the chest and belly. Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 minutes.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose), variation

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Supta Baddha Konasana opens the whole front of the body: the pelvis, belly, heart, and throat. These are areas we instinctively protect, which is why a pose like this can leave one feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Place a block lengthwise under one end of a bolster to prop it up on an incline. Sit with your back to the short, low end of the bolster. Place a second bolster under your knees and bring your legs into Bound Angle Pose with the soles of your feet together. Wrap a blanket around your feet to create a feeling of containment. Place another folded blanket over the pelvis to create a feeling of insulation. Lie back on the bolster. Place supports under your arms so that they are not dangling and there is no feeling of stretch in the chest. Stay in the pose for 5 to 15 minutes.

Side-Lying Savasana and Jathara Parivartanasana (Side-Lying Corpse Pose and Revolved Abdomen Pose), variation

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Twists are generally good for the nervous system, but some twists can make breathing feel constricted, which can be anxiety provoking. This gentle, supported twist allows more room for the breath to come into the rib cage and belly.

Start by lying on your left side with your feet at a wall and your back against a bolster that is at least as high as your spine. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees and support your right knee and shin with a bolster or folded blankets so that the right leg is as high as the right hip; rest the sole of your left foot against the wall. Next, place folded blankets under your top arm and hand to lift them to the height of your shoulder. Finally, tuck a folded blanket under your head and neck to lift your head in line with the spine. Rest here for 2 to 5 minutes.

To move into the twist, roll your torso to the right over the bolster, keeping your right arm fully supported by it from shoulder blade to fingers. Your right hand should be no lower than the height of your right shoulder. If you have tightness in your shoulder or chest, try placing more support under your arm until your hand is higher than your shoulder. You should not feel a stretch, but rather as though your chest is open and your breath is fluid. Stay in the twist for 2 to 5 minutes. Repeat on the other side.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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Savasana can be a very expansive pose, especially when done with the legs wide apart and the arms away from the side body. Keeping the legs and arms a little closer to the body encourages a more contained feeling.

Roll up a blanket and place it alongside a wall. Lie down with the soles of your feet against the blanket. Place an additional rolled blanket or bolster under your knees to encourage the thighbones to drop deeper into your pelvis. This helps release tension in the iliopsoas and allows the pelvis to rest more heavily on the ground. Place a folded blanket over your belly to release tension and weigh the hips down even more. Rest your arms by your sides, palms facing down.

If your upper back and shoulders are rolled toward your heart and don’t rest heavily on the floor, fill in the space with towels or blankets so you feel firm support all the way up the torso to the neck and head. Support your cervical curve with a small rolled towel and place a folded blanket under the head to create a cradling effect. Your chin should be perpendicular to the floor, and your throat should feel open and tension free. With each exhalation allow the earth to fully hold each part of your body: your heels, thighs, pelvis, upper back, and head. Once you feel completely connected to the ground, rest your mind on the waves of your breath. Stay in the pose for 5 to 15 minutes.

Reverse Savasana (Corpse Pose), variation

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This reversed variation can feel more secure for someone who feels vulnerable in Savasana. Lie on your belly. Turn your head to the right. Bring your arms out to the side, elbows bent. Take your right knee out to the side. If needed, place a blanket for cushioning and support under the right arm, knee, thigh, belly, or all four. Cover your entire body with a blanket, including the exposed soles of your feet. After a couple of minutes, turn your head to the other side and switch the position of the knees. Stay here 5 to 10 minutes, releasing your whole front body into the ground.

 

Practice Tips for the SI Joints


https://www.yogajournal.com/teach/practice-tips-for-the-si-joints

Practice Tips for the SI Joints

anatomy, sacrum, si joint, spine, pelvis

After learning all the ways that asanas can stress the sacroiliac area in Protect the Sacroiliac Joints in Forward Bends, Twists, and Wide-Legged Poses, you may be thinking, “Maybe I’ll just advise my students to give up yoga, go home and sit on the couch watching reruns of Sex and the City until their SI joints fuse . . . and I’ll ask them to save me a seat." Luckily, you can do better than that (and not just by picking a better TV show).

To help your students prevent sacroiliac joint (SI) problems, or avoid making existing ones worse, follow these three suggestions: put it in placestabilize it and move it with care.

I. Put it in place

If your student does not have an existing SI problem, or if she has had SI problems but her joints are currently in good alignment (pain-free), you can skip to suggestion 2, “Stabilize it." If your student’s SI joint is currently out of place, advise her to try to get it back into place before practicing asanas. This is easier said than done, and it doesn’t mean she can’t ever practice if her SI joint is a little out of place, but it’s much better to practice with the SI joints where they belong.

One way to get a misaligned SI joint into place is to have a qualified health professional, such as a physical therapist, chiropractor, or osteopath, physically manipulate it. As a yoga teacher, you don’t have license to do this yourself, so don’t try unless you have additional qualifications. Also, despite their training and licensing, most health professionals really don’t understand how to manipulate the SI joints effectively, so advise your student to be careful to choose a caregiver who has a track record of helping with this specific problem.

A second way your student might get her wayward SI joint back into place is by practicing specialized asanas to put it there. There is not room in this article to go into the details, but here is a general framework for understanding these poses. There are lots to choose from, and each health professional or yoga teacher seems to have her favorite. Despite the wide variety, postures that help realign the SI fall into just four simple categories.

Backbends, like Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose), may help by directly pushing the top of the sacrum backward into place.

Modified twists can sometimes help by rotating one side of the sacrum backward and the other forward; however, these poses tend to be complicated and tricky to perform, and the wrong twist can easily make matters worse, so your student needs to learn them from a specialist.

One-sided pelvic tilts, such as reclining and drawing one bent knee toward the armpit on the same side, may help by focusing the adjustment specifically on the joint that is out of place, so that the ilium shifts in the right direction relative to the sacrum.

Exercises that pull the ilium bones apart, such as certain variations of Padmasana(Lotus Pose), or specialized poses that use props or muscle actions to apply lateral pressure to the upper thighbones, may help by opening the top part of the SI joint space. This seems to give the upper sacrum room to slide back into place without grating its rough auricular surface across the auricular surface of the ilium.

Many of the most successful SI-adjusting exercises combine elements from more than one category, and some add another factor: muscular resistance. For example, practicing Salabhasana (Locust Pose) variations with just one leg lifted combines backward bending with one-sided pelvic tilting and works muscles against the resistance of gravity. Combining a Padmasana action with a backbend (as in some forms of Matsyasana, or Fish Pose) can often create both the space and the movement needed to put the sacrum back where it belongs.

There are a few crucial things to tell your student about adjusting her SI joint, whether she does it herself or has someone else do it. First, tell her that a good SI adjustment should feel good, both during the adjustment and afterward. If the adjustment feels at all painful, or even neutral, it is probably not helpful and may even be harmful. Second, tell her that the appropriate adjustment or pose for her SI may be one-sided. An asymmetrical adjustment or posture that helps the SI when practiced on one side may well make it worse when practiced on the other. Advise her to only practice the posture on the side that feels relieved by it. Third, tell her that not all adjustments are appropriate for her. A posture or manipulation that works wonders for her friend may do nothing at all for her. Advise her to find just one or a few postures or adjustments that work well and to abandon those that don’t work. Fourth, tell her that immediately after she gets her SI adjusted into place, she is best off leaving it alone overnight (or longer) before practicing any asanas. When she does practice, she should begin with stabilization.

II. Stabilize it

Certain yoga postures and practices can help stabilize the sacroiliac region by strengthening the muscles that cross the joint or holding the pelvic bones in place.

Backbends against the resistance of gravity, such as Salabhasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) all strengthen the erector spinae muscles that run vertically from the sacrum or ilium up the back. They also strengthen the gluteus maximus (buttock) muscles. Note that practicing one-legged variations of these poses (like Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Bridge Pose with one leg lifted) doubles the strength demands on one side of the body and puts asymmetrical stress on the SI joints. This means that these poses can be especially effective strengthening exercises, making them therapeutic for people who have an existing SI imbalance; however, the asymmetry also has the potential to worsen an existing imbalance.

Mula Bandha (the Root Lock, performed by contracting and lifting the area bounded by the tailbone, pubic bones, and sitting bones) strengthens the pelvic floor muscles (pubococcygeus, iliococcygeus, and coccygeus) that help keep the lower end of the sacrum from lifting and the lower pelvic bones from spreading apart.

Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III) powerfully strengthens a host of muscles that either cross or affect the SI joints, including the piriformis (which runs from the front of the sacrum to the outer upper thighbone), erector spinae, gluteus maximus, and gluteus medius (which runs from the outer ilium to the outer upper thighbone). However, this pose is an asymmetrical forward bend that can irritate the sacroiliac of the standing leg, so it is best reserved for students whose SI joints are already in place and stable.

Pranayama (Breathwork) includes certain actions that cinch the waist to a narrow shape without contracting the outer layers of the abdominal muscles. These actions help selectively contract the innermost abdominal muscle layer, the transversus abdominis. Strengthening this muscle helps stabilize the SI joints by holding the fronts of the ilium bones together horizontally.

III. Move it with care

Teach your students to avoid SI injury by moving with special care in the poses that put the most strain on the sacroiliac joints, especially seated forward bends, twists, and wide-legged poses. The most important instructions are to move the sacrum and the two ilium bones as a unit, keep the pubic bones together, and roll to one side before sitting.

Move the sacrum and the two ilium bones as a unit. In forward bends, instruct your students to “lift the sitting bones" or to “lift the sitting bones and tailbone together," not “lift the tailbone" alone, because lifting the tailbone faster than the sitting bones tilts the top of the sacrum forward relative to the ilium. Instructions to lift the sitting bones (and to “tilt the top of the pelvis forward") are intended to activate the iliocostalis muscles that run vertically from the back of the ilium to the rib cage. These muscles drive the pelvic tilt by moving the ilium bones forward, and these, in turn, push the sacrum ahead of them. This is less likely to cause SI trouble than actions that attempt to drag the ilium bones forward by pulling on them with the sacrum.

Teach your students that when the pelvis stops tilting forward in a forward bend, they should also stop moving the sacrum forward. They can continue bending the spine forward a little after the pelvis stops, but they should avoid bending it too far or pulling too hard, because this can draw the sacrum out from between the fronts of the ilium bones.

Protecting the SI goes hand-in-hand with protecting the disks of the lower back (lumbar) in forward bends (see Protect the Disks in Forward Bends and Twists). Both require that your student bend gently, rather than forcibly pulling her spine forward (or allowing someone else to push it). However, to protect her disks your student has to limit the amount of forward bend in her lumbar spine. In doing so, she runs the risk of inadvertently transferring the forward-bending force that would have gone into her lumbar directly into her sacroiliac joints. To avoid this, teach your student (1) to reduce the total amount of forward-pulling force in forward bends–advise her, in particular, not to pull too hard with the arms–and, (2) to bend cleanly at the hip joints, rather than letting the body bend half way between the lumbar spine and the hips.

Moving the sacrum and the two ilium bones as a unit is also important in twists. Instruct your students not to rotate the sacrum faster than the pelvis. Rather than insisting that they hold the pelvis rigidly in place, allow them to let it turn a little along with the twist. Teach them that when the pelvis stops turning, the remaining twist should come not from the SI joints but from rotation higher up on the spine and trunk (that is, from joint movement of the thoracic vertebrae and ribs, facilitated by release and stretch of surrounding muscles).

Keep the pubic bones together. In poses that spread the thighs apart, like Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend), Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend), and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose), teach your students to release the inner thigh (adductor) muscles while keeping the pubic bones together by stabilizing them with other muscles. Although students without SI problems may need to learn to relax the pelvic floor and spread the sitting bones in these poses, those with SI instability may benefit instead from instructions to contract the pelvic floor muscles, pulling the sitting bones and pubic bones toward one another. (Using the pelvic floor muscles to pull the tailbone toward the pubic bones can also help, especially if bending forward). Also instruct your students to narrow the waist in wide-legged poses. This selectively activates the transversus abdominis muscle, which helps hold the front of the pelvis together left to right.

For many students (especially more flexible ones and those with existing SI problems), all this muscular stabilization may not be enough in Baddha Konasana. It may also be necessary to place supporting blankets under each thigh to prevent the legs (and therefore the pelvis) from spreading too far. This is even more important in Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose), because the alignment and relaxed muscles of this pose make it especially hard on the SI joints.

Roll to one side before sitting. After Savasana (Corpse Pose) or other reclining poses, instruct your students to roll to one side. Tell those with SI instability to move the pelvis and spine as one unit. Sitting straight up from the supine position can force the psoas and iliacus muscles to put excess forward pull on the spine and pelvis. Rolling as a unit prevents excess twisting at the SI joints.

Following these suggestions can help you and your students maintain healthy SI joints as you increase your body’s mobility and advance in your practice.

ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Roger Cole, Ph.D. is an Iyengar-certified yoga teacher and Stanford-trained scientist. He specializes in human anatomy and in the physiology of relaxation, sleep, and biological rhythms. Find him at rogercoleyoga.com.

 

《 Sade – Somebody Already Broke My Heart (05:00) 》


《 Sade – Somebody Already Broke My Heart (05:00) 》

Make Your Yoga Last for Life: 7 Poses to Build Muscular Balance


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/7-poses-build-muscular-balance

Make Your Yoga Last for Life: 7 Poses to Build Muscular Balance

Want to avoid asana burnout? Amy Ippoliti says the trick is all in optimizing functionality by engaging the deep stabilizers while finding ways to give the major movement muscles a break.

Want to practice or study with Amy Ippoliti in person? Join Amy at Yoga Journal LIVE New York, April 19-22, 2018—YJ’s big event of the year. We’ve lowered prices, developed intensives for yoga teachers, and curated popular educational tracks: Alignment, Alignment, & Sequencing; Health & Wellness; and Philosophy & Mindfulness. See what else is new and sign up now.

A strong proponent of practicing sustainably, Amy Ippoliti’s “Yoga For The Long Haul” workshop at Yoga Journal LIVE San Diego was full of tips for turning yoga into a lifelong endeavor. Her key to avoiding asana burnout? “Instead of chasing the big, fancy pose, focus on moving in a way that feels functional.” The trick, she says, is learning to engage the deep stabilizers while finding ways to give the major movement muscles a break.

We’ve all heard the pervasive cues to “use our core” and “integrate the joints.” While it’s easy to agree that these are constructive instructions, the nebulous language can make it difficult to know exactly what those actions entail in practice. Unlike the larger, more superficial muscles that we use to move our bodies in space, the deeper stabilizing muscles perform the rather important task of holding the skeleton in place, ideally in a shape close to good, functional alignment. The interplay between the stabilizers (which we can’t see, or potentially even feel) and the major movers (which can have a tendency to dominate and thus become overloaded) is a complex one, to say the least. Ideally, muscles work together in a carefully choreographed team effort that involves an appropriate distribution of the required labor, as well as a specific, sequential firing of the relevant muscles in the correct order. If this sounds complicated, it is! And given that the modern lifestyle is often deficient in well-rounded movement, one can imagine how easily the delicate balance can be thrown off. In fact, many of the postural imbalances that are now so common, whether from a sedentary lifestyle or a highly active one, are rooted in a lopsided relationship between the deep stabilizers and superficial movers. As Amy puts it: “We get so fascinated by our big movers that we also try to use them for the smaller, more subtle jobs.” Here’s how to strengthen some of the most important stabilizers, and release the commonly tense movement muscles.

 

《 Sade – The Sweetest Taboo (05:03) 》


《 Sade – The Sweetest Taboo (05:03) 》

4 Ways to Build Hip Stability + Prevent Injury


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/4-ways-build-hip-stability

4 Ways to Build Hip Stability + Prevent Injury

Tight or open, your hips need to be strong for injury-free movement. Learn how to build stability in common yoga poses.
leg raise

Tight or open, your hips need to be strong for injury-free movement. Learn how to build more stability in common yoga poses.

Stability in the hips is crucial for athletes—and everyone else: The hips’ primary function is to bear weight, and we need them to stabilize the upper body, support the lower limbs, and absorb shock from movements such as running and jumping.

The gluteus medius is the hip’s primary stabilizer. It originates from the outer, top rim of the iliac crest and inserts at the top of the thigh bone, covering the outer hip, and maintains stability in the joint with the help of the gluteus minimus. A lax, unsupported hip joint slides around unnecessarily, irritating the soft tissues and increasing the likelihood of alignment problems and overuse injuries elsewhere in the body. Simply put, the role of the gluteus medius is to minimize excessive movement by keeping the thighbone firmly integrated in the hip socket.

See also Anatomy 101: Understand Your Hips to Build Stability

4 Ways to Build Hip Strength + Stability

Standing and balancing poses can build both strength and stability in this muscle—when practiced with the appropriate engagement. Let’s take a closer look at how to turn on the gluteus medius in a few common poses.

WARM UP Since we want to build strength in the widest possible range of motion, it’s smart to precede these poses with a few stretches to lengthen the relevant muscles. Try Gomukhasana or Pigeon Pose.

 

《 Sade – Stronger Than Pride (47:48) 》


《 Sade – Stronger Than Pride (47:48) 》

【男人想想】宅男的逆襲──談西方母豬教INCEL


如何真正鬆綁二元對立的性別特質,加入多元性別的視野與思考,讓成功可以有不同的定義、讓男子氣慨可以有不同的面貌,將是未來性別平等教育要持續紮根與落實的地方。

#男子氣概 #陽剛氣質 #母豬教
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/6979

【男人想想】宅男的逆襲──談西方母豬教INCEL

友善列印版本

亞列克.米納希安(Alek Minassin)今年25歲,自稱自己是個INCEL,INCEL是involuntary celibate(非自願禁慾)的縮寫,他們大多數是男性,他們厭惡女性,他們認為女性瞧不起他們,不願意與他們發生性行為,他們認為自己的非自願禁慾狀況,就是女人害的。後來,亞列克在網路上寫著「非自願禁慾者的起義時刻到了,我們將推翻所有的高富帥(Chad)[1]以及只願意跟他們上床的女性[2](Stacy)。」2018年4月23日,亞列克開著廂型車衝進去多倫多的人行道上,造成10人死亡,15人受傷⋯⋯

在台灣,也有一群男性敵視女性,他們稱自己為「母豬教徒」,把一群特定的女性稱作為「母豬」,他們普遍反對性關係混亂的女性及思想存在公主病的女性;他們在網路上抨擊女性,抨擊女性享用「女權自助餐」,也就是一方面認同女性主義精神,一方面卻濫用女性性別身分來獲取特別優勢的人。

不管是INCEL或是母豬教徒,他們偏激的言論常常在網路上帶來一番的論戰,擁護性別平權的網民認為他們是仇女現象、仇恨言論的最佳代言人;但也有一群網民認同他們的想法,認為他們闡述的是事實,對母豬的不滿,並不是仇恨言論的一種。

對我們而言,將INCEL與母豬教徒定義為仇恨言論是危險的,因為仇恨言論可能會加深性別間的隔閡,讓男性更加仇視女性,而女性也將男性同質化成一群不支持性平運動的沙文主義者。我們認為,貼近這群男性的心聲,看見這群男性在社會上遇到的挫折,才有可能繼續往性別平等的路上邁進。

西方母豬教:INCEL

22歲的男大生艾略特·羅傑(Elliot Rodger)在網路上發表了一個宣言「我的扭曲世界」,在宣言裡面,艾略特提到他22歲為止依舊是個處男,周遭的女性都看不上他,卻和其他(不如他的)男性接吻,他忿恨這個世界,他將誘惑那些女性到他居住的公寓並刺殺這些被寵壞的妖豔賤貨⋯⋯2014年5月23日,艾略特駕車到社區衝撞行人並且開槍,釀成3死13傷⋯⋯艾略特可能沒有想到,他的厭女宣言以及槍擊案件竟然讓他在後世被INCEL稱為「聖人」⋯⋯

INCEL一開始只是一個網站名稱,網站經營者只是想在網站上分享自己遇人不淑,沒辦法與人發生性行為的網站;隨著社群網路的盛行,開始有一群人挪用INCEL這個詞彙,這群人(男性居多)認定自己沒辦法與女性發生性行為是被這個社會逼迫的,他們是非自願的狀況下處於禁慾的狀況。

INCEL將這個社會區分為四種人,一是與他們對立的男性,他們源自於美國的把妹文化(PUA,Pickup Artists),他們風流倜儻,迷人風趣,女性都很喜歡他們,願意與他們上床,INCEL稱呼這些人為CHAD,這種男性是人生勝利組,他們男子氣概強烈,能夠隨時吸引別人跟他們上床,而這些人搶走了INCEL與女性上床的權利;相對應的,INCEL就是另外一群男性,他們可能有著很多綜合的因素導致於不被女性們喜歡,他們長時間處在一個非自願禁慾的狀況(involuntary celibate)。

光譜的另一端為女性,INCEL認為女性有責任與義務要與男性發生性行為,在這個前提之下女性被區分為兩種,一種是Stacy,Stacy女性特質強烈,是全天下男性都喜歡的對象,她們性感冶豔,但她們瞧不起INCEL,也只跟Chad上床;Becky的女性特質就沒那麼強烈,她們通常有讀一些女性主義相關書籍,比較文青一點,認為男性普遍而言比較喜歡素顏的狀態,相較於Stacy從不正眼看待INCEL的狀況,INCEL認為Becky會比較願意關注他們。

Becky與Stacy的差別(圖片來源:美國最大社群平台Reddit)

艾略特的「我的扭曲世界」宣言中對女性敵對的態度,貶抑女性特質,仇恨女性的言論與INCEL的想法不謀而合,因此當槍擊案發生時,INCEL社群認為艾略特代替了他們在對抗這個世界,縱使艾略特可能根本不認為自己是個INCEL,甚至不知道ICEL是怎麼樣的族群。

性「能力」作為真男人的標準

何謂「男子氣概?」

「簡單的說,就是指我們預期男人應有的特質」 [3]

在高度性別刻板化的現代社會中,我們不僅預期女性要有女性的樣子,我們其實也預期男性要有一定的樣子。女權運動以前,女性與男性在高度性別僵化的社會中依循著性別刻板印象在生活,女性依附著男性、遵循三從四德;而男性則要堅強勇敢、決策果斷,最重要的是要「成功」,不管是傳統中的「五子登科[4]」或是現代社會中說的「人生勝利組」,成功似乎是一件每個男性都被要求追求的事情。

在「男子氣概」的研究當中,許多研究證明男性的養成過程中強調要學會競爭,競爭力強,才可以為男性帶來成功。競爭力強的男性,才能吸引女性願意與他們發生性行為,Chad之所以讓女性趨之若鶩與他們上床,便是因為Chad站在男性界的頂端,有強壯有力的身體讓女性能夠倚靠,以及一雙3000元美金的靴子顯示出他們的財力雄厚。

Incel與Chad的差別(圖片來源:美國最大社群平台Reddit

身體與金錢,是這個社會去評斷一名男性是否「成功」的因素,身體健壯是性徵展現的方式,在INCEL的定義中,Chad的一舉一動都符合傳統對於「男性的樣貌」,從走路、說話的方式,到髮型以及看人的樣子,都能夠展現出Chad的性魅力;而金錢則是在資本主義社會底下,最簡單衡量男性是否成功的關鍵。

強大的性「能力」為Chad吸引更多的女性,而更多的親密關係,更有助於建立起Chad的男性氣概。在獵豔文化(Hunting Culture)中,當一名男性在受到越來越多女性注目時,其男子氣概會不斷的被增強,因為整個社會會告訴Chad,你的樣貌、身體都是值得被肯定的;相反的,INCEL因為其行為舉止與社會認定的「陽剛」有差距,因此其男子氣概就會不斷的被削減。

看見男性無力的憤怒

INCEL厭女的發言,其實是年輕世代男性對於這個社會單一陽剛特質憤怒的表現,性別平等運動不斷強調多元與尊重的當下,獵豔文化卻還是用單一標準在強調男性的價值時;新一代的男性一方面開始有了系統性的教育在推動性別平等,另一方面卻依舊被傳統「男子氣概」的方式束縛住,在不知道怎麼宣洩自己的挫折下,最後才演變成了無法挽回的暴力行動。

上一篇男人想想中,我們提到現今男性除了要面臨既有的男性挑戰,在性別平權的過程中女性也逐漸加入了競逐「成功」的競賽。與此同時,在尚未改變男性對於「成功」的想像前,我們深信,美國的INCEL或台灣的母豬教絕對不是個案,在未來,這樣厭女的族群只會越來越多。但這並不是性別平等教育的最終目的,因此如何真正鬆綁二元對立的性別特質,加入多元性別的視野與思考,讓成功可以有不同的定義、讓男子氣慨可以有不同的面貌,將是未來性別平等教育要持續紮根與落實的地方。

勵馨舉辦男性情感團體超過十年了,我們看見男子氣概已逐漸開始鬆綁,大多數的男孩開始不再追逐傳統的男子氣概,他們開始說出自己的故事,那些傳統上男性不能說的故事。因此,下一期的男人想想,我們將以專題的形式介紹這群男孩,來看見他們曾經被束縛住,無法言說的「男性故事」。


[1] Chad:在INCEL的定義裡面,男子氣概特別強烈,足夠吸引女性與他們發生性行為的男性。

[2] Stacy:在INCEL的定義裡面,女性特質強烈,並且只願意與Chads上床,瞧不起INCEL的女性。

[3] Frank Pittman 著,楊淑智譯(1995)。《新男性──掙脫男子氣概的枷鎖》。 臺北:牛頓。

[4] 五子登科:孩子、車子、房子、妻子、金子

 

《 Sade – Lover Rock (59:06) 》


《 Sade – Lover Rock (59:06) 》

10 Ways to Get Real About Your Body’s Limitations & Avoid Yoga Injuries


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/10-ways-to-get-real-about-your-bodys-limitations-avoid-yoga-injuries

10 Ways to Get Real About Your Body’s Limitations & Avoid Yoga Injuries

YJ Influencer Laura Burkhart offers the story of her own chronic pain and hip injury as a caution to yogis and encourages you to get honest about your own practice.
lauraburkhart-hanumanasana---NOW---Blink-Inc-

Blink Inc

Yogis, it’s time to get honest with yourselves and start respecting your body’s limitations. We’ve all heard success stories of people who have healed their body, mind, and emotions through yoga. But lately, I’ve been hearing about more and more students and teachers (including myself) who’ve been hurt by their asana practice.

Why is everyone talking about yoga injuries all of a sudden? For one thing, there are more people practicing yoga now and so likely more injuries. But getting injured by yoga, which most of us start doing for its healing benefits, can also be confusing, embarrassing, and counterintuitive. All of that can make it hard to talk about.

My Yoga Injury Story

I started practicing yoga during a time when I was dealing with chronic health problems and a lot of stress. I was originally attracted to it, because it reminded me of the moving meditative quality I used to find in dance. But unlike dance, where I was taught to push past pain and difficulty with a smile on my face, yoga, ironically, encouraged me to respect my body and its limits.

While I thought I was working within my limitations, years into my yoga practice, I made the decision to stop lifting leg weights in order to increase my flexibility to get into Visvamitrasana, which would eventually be photographed for this Master Class article in Yoga Journal. I was happy when my consistent practice “paid off” and I was able to work into “advanced” poses that required a lot of flexibility and arm strength. What I didn’t know was that 14 years of dance, followed by 16 years of yoga, plus 7 years of not counteracting all the stretching with strength training, had led to overuse of my hip joints and strain on my tendons and muscle fibers.

A couple of years ago, my body started telling me it was exhausted and didn’t want to do long practices or extreme poses. Did I listen? No. I had big plans, work to do, classes to film, and bills to pay. One day, while demonstrating Compass Pose, I pulled my left knee into my armpit and immediately felt a deep pain in my left groin. My initial reaction was frustration with my body for not keeping up with me. I pushed past the pain and continued doing everything I’d been doing. A week later, while teaching I demonstrated Side Plank with my top (injured) leg in Tree Pose and heard a “pop.” That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was in so much pain that I could barely sleep or walk for 5 months. During that time, to teach I either sat in a chair or hobbled around in pain.

Today, 19 months later, after three x-rays, two MRIs, six doctors, six physical therapists, two acupuncturists, and multiple injections, I’m still walking on eggshells. It’s painful to stretch, strengthen, and externally rotate my left leg or pull my left thigh toward my chest. I’ve slowly progressed from 14 to 43 simple yoga poses, but basics like Happy BabyChild’s PoseCrescent LungeWarrior IITriangle, or a simple cross-legged position are difficult for me. After a year of being misdiagnosed, I found out I had labrum tears, a strained psoas, multiple hamstring and gluteal tears, tendonitis, and tendonosis. According to my orthopedic doctor, the labrum tears were caused by repetitive deep hip flexion—the head of the femur bone hitting the hip socket. (Think poses like Visvamitrasana, Tittibhasana, deep forward bends, and even Child’s Pose.) Unfortunately, my labrum and gluteal tears might have to be fixed surgically, which will also come with a bonus package of 5–12 months of rehab.

I haven’t talked much about my injury, not so much out of embarrassment or secrecy, but because I made a decision a couple of months into the healing process to focus on the positive and what I could do, rather than what I couldn’t. I find talking about the injury, and focusing on the physical and emotional pain it’s caused, is a depressing road that leads nowhere.

See also Prevent Yoga Injuries: 3 Risky Poses You Can Make Safer

Unfortunately, I’m not the only yogi dealing with serious injury.

It didn’t take long to reach out to a handful of other highly skilled teachers in San Francisco (where I live), Los Angeles, and beyond, who have been injured by yoga. Like myself, Jill Miller and Melanie Salvatore August have suffered from major hip injuries due, in our opinion, to overuse. Jill recently had a hip replacement. Erika Trice healed a back injury using yoga, but ironically feels too much asana created repetitive stress injuries in her shoulders and lower vertebrae. Sarah Ezrin recently had shoulder surgery for an injury that she also believes too many Chaturangasand binds contributed to. Similarly, Kathryn Budig assumes years of repetitive movement, vinyasas, and emotional stress led to the shoulder labrum tear she just recovered from. Jason Bowman had surgery for a knee injury that he attributes partially to the regular practice of poses requiring external rotation paired with deep knee flexion like Lotus Pose. Meagan McCrary thinks it was 10 years of hyperextension and nerve entrapment around her joints in practice that short-circuited her nervous system and caused her severe chronic pain. I also know many teachers who have had to reduce the intensity of their practice or focus more on strength training due to non-yoga-related injuries.

In the classroom, I see shoulder injuries most often. They tend to happen to ambitious newer students who skip learning the basics and push hard the first 6–18 months trying to “advance” their practice. Normally I find students experience shoulder pain when they practice too often, do too many Chaturangas (incorrectly), or try to get into arm balances when their alignment is off. Luckily, most students are grateful for any tips and corrections when it comes to injury prevention while other students don’t think the adjustments or warnings are for them until it’s too late.

See also Study Finds Yoga Injuries Are on the Rise (Plus, 4 Ways to Avoid Them)

What do you do after a yoga injury?

On a brighter note, if you are injured, your life is not over by any means. I have actually “accomplished” more since I’ve been injured by thinking outside the box and stepping beyond the lines of the path I had created. I discovered that I love writing articles and blogs, mentoring teachers, experimenting with yoga props, swimming, and having a simple, yet satisfying yoga practice. I still take yoga photos (some of which have been published in Yoga Journal Italy and Singapore). And I’m currently creating a co-led teacher training with Jason Crandell. My injury has given me an opportunity to step back and create a different life for myself.

That being said, I would do anything to go back in time, to have listened to my body, and to not have pushed so hard in my practice. I wish I would have avoided ending up in my current limited state, having to constantly monitor and be cautious with my body. I wish I didn’t experience pain in my left hip, lower back, and hamstrings on a daily basis. It would also be amazing not to worry about how I’m going to get well or my healing timeline. I’ve accepted the fact that I will no longer do crazy yoga poses, but I would love to one day do simple poses such as Triangle on my left side or move through a vinyasa without pain or fear of reinjuring my body.

These stories are not to scare you, but to encourage you to be careful, listen to your body, and not to push past your God-given limitations! You can have a healthy practice that is extremely beneficial to your body if you can get real with yourself about it. The following questions are a good place to start.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Yoga Practice

1. Does your practice balance the rest of your life?

If you are already performing high-intensity activities such as running, swimming, cycling, etc., I recommend choosing an asana practice that is less intense in nature, such as Iyengar or restorative practice. That way you can reap the benefits of yoga and avoid overusing your joints, tendons, and muscles. On the flipside, if you lead a sedentary life, then a vinyasa practice might bring your body into balance.

2. Do you practice too much?

As practitioners get serious about asana, some feel the need to do an intense 90-plus-minute practice, 5–7 days a week. Many yogis try to keep up with this “expectation” because they believe it’s what a “true yogi” would do. Unfortunately, for many of us, too intense of a practice too often can also lead to overuse of joints and unnecessary repetitive stress on tendons and muscle fibers. I personally don’t recommend doing long, high-intensity yoga practices more than 3–4 days a week.

3. What motivates you to practice?

Your teacher? Your ego? Social media? Your body? Some of us want to “master” complex asana to win favor and praise from our teachers, fellow practitioners, or social media followers.

This need for approval and recognition can be exacerbated when teachers encourage students to push deeper into poses, or praise students who have the ability to get into difficult asana, rather than applauding students with mastery of alignment and stability. If you always want to go deeper or make a pose “more advanced,” where is that coming from and why?

4. Does what you’re doing hurt?

If it hurts, don’t do it. Period. Regardless of whether your teacher is pushing you to go further, or you see other people going deeper.

We come from culture of “no pain, no gain” and pushing past our limits. Hard work, sacrifice, and going the extra mile get us good grades, promotions, and wins in sports. While this mindset can lead to advancement, it can also lead to imbalance. Your internal drive may be high, but your anatomical structure can only take so much. Too much pushing can lead to impingement, strain, and tears in the joints, tendons, and muscles. Honor your body’s limitations.

If you have existing injuries, tell your teacher. Your teacher should be able to show you how to modify poses, which poses to avoid, and maybe even guide you toward poses to heal what ails you. You might also need to back off your intensity with the practice to avoid making the injury worse.

5. Are you protecting your shoulders?

In Chaturanga, do your shoulders dip below the level of your elbows? Do you jump back every time you vinyasa? Do you land in Chaturanga or Plank? I recommend limiting jumpbacks and landing in Chaturanga when you do. For most of your vinyasas, I recommend lowering your knees to your mat or skipping Chaturanga all together to prevent repetitive stress injuries, such as labrum tears and rotator cuff issues. If you have a pre-existing shoulder issue, avoid Chaturanga and arm balances.

See also 7 Steps to Master Chaturanga Dandasana

6. Are you protecting your hips?

Are you listening to your body? In poses where you externally rotate your legs and/or go into deep hip flexion (like Compass Pose, Tittibhasana, Visvamitrasana, Krounchasana), observe how far your body naturally wants to go without pushing further. Also consider balancing out hip flexibility with abduction, adduction, and gluteal strength training.

7. Are you protecting your knees?

A few pointers: In standing poses, don’t let your bent knee go past your ankle. In standing poses that require external rotation like Warrior II, rotate the front leg from the hip socket rather than the front foot. Be sure your body is well warmed up for poses that require deep external rotation with knee flexion like Full Lotus Pose before attempting them. If you already have issues with your knees, avoid Pigeon Pose and practice Thread the Needle on your back instead.

8. Are you protecting your lower back?

Do you warm up before going into deep twists? Recently, many senior teachers and physical therapists alike have begun recommending not squaring your hips in twists, especially if you’re hypermobile, to protect the lower back and SI joints. If you already have lower back issues or have tight hip and hamstrings, be careful with forward bends, particularly seated forward bends. In seated forward bends elevate yourself on a block or folded blanket to avoid rounding your lower back.

9. Are you working on mastering alignment and increasing stability?

I view an advanced student as one who knows how to align their body and use appropriate props when needed. Better alignment will also help you avoid injuries.

10. Can you be happy with where you are?

Be in the present moment; focus on what you can do now, not what you used to do, or what you think you should be doing a month from now. Your practice will change over the years. Don’t get too attached to the current season. This doesn’t mean you can’t have goals, but be realistic and see where your goals are coming from, and if it honors your body.

Shift your goals from intensity, strength, flexibility, and complex asana to digging below the physical. Our yoga culture has drifted away from the purpose of asana. The practice was originally intended to prepare the mind and body for meditation, not a career as a contortionist.

See also 4 Poses to Prevent + Heal Shoulder Injuries

My Practice Then & Now

 

《 Sade – Jezebel (05:34) 》


《 Sade – Jezebel (05:34) 》

台灣海洋研究新希望:海洋研究船「勵進號」啟用


過去海研一號、海研三號等研究船帶回來豐富的海洋生物標本,台灣的海洋生物研究者從中發現很多新的物種!可惜的是,實際上還有很多海洋生物的標本長年靜靜的擺放在博物館的角落裡,缺乏研究人員投注心力去分類跟整理。
#海洋生物 #台灣海洋研究 #勵進號 #海研一號 #海研二號 #海研三號
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/6978

台灣海洋研究新希望:海洋研究船「勵進號」啟用

友善列印版本

筆者是海洋生物研究者,近日看到台灣新的研究船「勵進號」(Legend)舉行啟用典禮(link is external)的新聞,讓還在耿耿於懷幾年前「海研五號」沉沒的我,感到十分的振奮。

5月22日是國際生物多樣性日,5月23日是國家實驗研究院耗資8.9億元打造的2629噸新研究船「勵進號」啟用的日子。三百多年前的這一天,也正是現代生物分類學之父林奈 (Carl Linnaeus,1707.5.23-1778.1.10) 的生日。這三個日子的巧合,不禁讓人對台灣海洋科學研究的發展產生新的期許。

在談台灣海洋研究的未來之前,我們可以先了解一下台灣的海洋研究船與海研五號具備的意義。

在海研五號以前,台灣原本擁有的海洋研究船,有「海研一號」 (1985下水,800噸)、「海研二號」 (1993年下水,294噸)、「海研三號」 (1993年下水,294噸)。

海研一號自下水以來,其航跡已走過台灣海峽、南海、東海與西北太平洋,甚至也曾跨越赤道到南太平洋海域進行調查,航行距離已超過168萬公里,相當於繞地球42周;海研二號跟三號雖然噸位較小,但也肩負起調查台灣南北海域的任務,這3艘研究船皆為台灣海洋科學研究帶來了極豐碩的成果,也值得台灣人感到驕傲。

隨著累積的成果資料越豐富,越發現許多值得研究的新問題,在面對更深入、更龐大的海洋研究課題時,需要具備長期航行能力以收集龐大資料,以及搭載先進精密儀器與更多空間來分析跟保存資料跟樣本。由此可見,台灣極需要新的大型研究船,甚至是組織研究船隊。

在這樣的需求下,催生「海研五號」的誕生。她是一艘2700噸的船,搭載了許多先進的儀器,用於觀測台灣周邊海底地震狀況,曾經於東沙南方海域震測出其蘊藏天然氣水合物,發現新的能源可以提供開發。

非常不幸的是,這艘研究船卻在2014年10月10日,於澎湖沉沒了。下水不到3年的研究船沉沒,不僅僅損失高達17.9億新台幣的建造經費,也失去兩名優秀的研究人員與龐大的研究資料,背後成本損失難以估計。這起事件重損台灣的海洋研究,也象徵台灣的海洋研究發展的腳步變得停滯。

為什麼海洋研究船如此重要?因為唯有靠搭載先進、精密儀器的海洋研究船,我們才能夠確實的探索海洋資源。藉由分析和統整探索的結果,我們才能夠發現新資源,來提供人們利用,或是更進一步發展新的研究跟應用,背後所帶來的各項實際的利益發展,是極為龐大,甚至可以說是無法估計的。

譬如,隸屬於國家實驗研究院的『台灣海洋科技研究中心』,長久來極力於探測台灣的海洋環境,也交出了漂亮的成績單。近年來研究的成果有::1. 建置環臺岸基海洋雷達系統、2. 設置海氣象資料浮標、3. 發展準寬頻海底地震儀、4. 發展海洋岩心庫、5. 發展海象預測系統等。

這些研究的成果,可以實際地應用於新的能源發現、地震與颱風的紀錄跟預測,為台灣能源開發與防災上提供嶄新的契機。

如今,有新的研究船誕生,可以支持更多不同的海洋研究計畫。除了延續跟發展新的海洋地質、海洋物理與海洋化學的領域的研究以外,筆者認為在多元化的台灣海洋研究上,同時更應該回歸及落實生物領域方面,如海洋生物分類學。

為什麼我們需要海洋生物分類學?更現實的問題是,對生物做分類有什麼意義?

分類學是一門古老的學科,從人類接觸自然開始,就不斷地為自己接觸到的、發現到的生物命名跟分類。至現今,世界各國在探索海洋的同時,對海洋生物的基礎研究向來是十分的重視,歐洲在這方面的系統研究,有超過數百年的歷史;海洋之國日本也是這個專業領域的佼佼者,日本皇室一直有生物分類研究的傳統,昭和天皇與明仁天皇都非常重視魚類研究,希望藉此替國民盡一分力。今年5月22日,新加坡跟印尼組成的考察團隊,在印度洋爪哇海域發現多種新物種,預計2020年發表成果。

基礎研究帶來的,不僅僅只是發現多少種類、有多少數量,這些科學化、系統性的分類,背後更涉及到漁業資源的開發,甚至跟生物科技、材料學、仿生學等高科技領域息息相關。

當研究到一定的程度,全面掌握到生物的特性,就能從中獲得利益的可能性,譬如南極磷蝦 (Euphausia superba Dana, 1850),有豐富的蛋白質和ω-3脂肪酸,可以加工成為營養食品、家畜食品和寵物食品。

北極與南極的生物標本。(來源:作者提供)

但是,在能夠利用這個生物的特徵之前,得先藉由海洋生物學家的研究,來了解磷蝦的基礎資料,才能有機會從中開發後續的應用,亦能確實掌握野外的族群數量,以至於不會因為過度的捕撈而枯竭,進而也能開發新的替代品,因此海洋生物的基礎研究是十分重要的。

過去海研一號、海研三號等研究船帶回來豐富的海洋生物標本,台灣的海洋生物研究者從中發現很多新的物種,努力的為台灣留下許多寶貴的物種資料,為台灣的海洋生物寫下精彩又豐富的故事。

水試一號、海研三號帶回來的生物標本。(來源:作者提供)

可惜的是,即使我們擁有這麼豐盈且珍貴的標本數量,實際上還有很多海洋生物的標本長年靜靜的擺放在博物館的角落裡,缺乏研究人員投注心力去分類跟整理。

會有這樣的狀況,並不是研究人員不願意花心思去進行這些基礎研究;除了人力資源不足的問題外,主要為台灣海洋研究的主流政策,皆重視在應用方面,並且以高科技技術為導向。

主流研究對於傳統基礎生物研究投注的心思以及經費較少,導致台灣在海洋生物的基礎研究變得較狹隘,以食用、養殖、觀賞為主。然而,這樣「偏食」的研究方向長期下來,對台灣未來發展是不利的,也終究在國際上相關領域上,被他國遙遙甩到後面。再更進一步,心繫家鄉的台灣基礎研究人才,因為環境無法提供其發展空間,不是被迫放棄,就是被迫出走,到極重視基礎研究,也願意提供經費的國家去做研究。

近年來台灣漁業枯竭的非常快速,這件事情帶來的警訊是台灣海洋生態崩解的隱憂。

立法、調整漁業政策、水產養殖開發、海洋生態保育等等行動為當務之急,是不能不做的之事。在這同時,筆者認為台灣海洋研究政策亦要重新開始重視海洋生物基礎研究,積極培養基礎生物研究人才,投注預算以鼓勵海洋生物調查。也必須建立各類生物的物種資料庫,以提供後續的發展,與現有政策相配合,才是長遠跟永續的投資。

台灣有豐富的海岸地形,其周邊的海洋環境更是多樣,海洋生物資源豐富,相信經過政府大力的支持與研究人員進行系統性調查,可以有豐碩的成果,帶來的利益不僅僅是挖掘到新的資源,更能穩穩為台灣邁入貨真價實的海洋國家時,打下穩固的基礎。

 

《 Sade – No Ordinary Love (07:18) 》


《 Sade – No Ordinary Love (07:18) 》

產業簽台版「綠色協議」 結盟處理海廢、電子、營建廢棄物


http://e-info.org.tw/node/211952?utm_source=%E7%92%B0%E5%A2%83%E8%B3%87%E8%A8%8A%E9%9B%BB%E5%AD%90%E5%A0%B1&utm_campaign=9d3dec0e06-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_01_09_28_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f99f939cdc-9d3dec0e06-84956681

產業簽台版「綠色協議」 結盟處理海廢、電子、營建廢棄物

2018年06月01日
環境資訊中心記者 賴品瑀報導

1日在環保署署長李應元的見證下,產業界簽訂台灣版「綠色協議」,更對塑膠、電子廢棄物、營建廢棄物與焚化底渣等物質的再利用,各自組成循環經濟聯盟。三聯盟目前都已有20多家廠商參與,他們希望此舉結盟合作,可以壯大再利用產業規模,也藉由交流平台,讓法規也能整合配合。

「綠色協議」仿效蘭綠色協定(Green Deal),是民間自主發起,政府部會、地方政府、企業、智庫、學術單位、銀行都參與其中。李應元表示,荷蘭已經運作三年,目前有1200團體參與,合計簽了上千個協議,從前端的產品設計,到後端的回收利用,都設法尋找合作機會,走向循環經濟模式。

DSC04815
產業界今天簽訂台灣版「綠色協議」。賴品瑀攝。

今年「綠色電子資源聯盟」、「海廢塑膠循環經濟聯盟」、「台灣建設資源循環聯盟」陸續成立。

「技術已經ready。」光洋科董事長馬堅勇表示,目前聯盟成員已經掌握電路版有效率的拆解、貴金屬無污染回收等技術,目前已有六家業者參與,上下游涉及的業者達20多家,包括國際大廠蘋果、戴爾都已經接軌,馬堅勇尤其點名國內ASUS、ACER、英業達、緯創的參與,將能使電子廢棄物的再利用達到產業化。

馬堅勇認為,台灣是3C半導體生產大國,做好手機、電腦的回收,減少廢棄物、再利用資源,將有助於產業提升競爭力。

塑膠中心總經理蕭耀貴展出從漁網等塑膠海洋廢棄物重製而成的眼鏡、衣服、包包等,但也表示目前還沒有量產,仍屬推廣階段,盼將來能成有規模的產業。

蕭耀貴期待,未來能與漁業署配合,請漁民直接從源頭將廢漁網等海廢集中起來,一來降低對環境的污染,再者當海廢的收集穩定後,業者便能較有規模與效率的處理。

目前營建廢棄物、焚化爐底渣已獲政府大力推動在公共工程中使用,但再生粒料如何保障安定、無害而更獲得廣泛利用?混凝土學會副理事長詹穎雯表示,目前全台每年平均耗用8000萬噸土石,使用再生粒料將減少對天然資源的耗用。

詹穎雯指出,煤電廠飛灰、爐石等進入混凝土,其實可以讓強度更高、耐久性更高,是優質的混凝土,公共工程接觸後多得到接受好評,台電飛灰目前再利用狀況良好,中鋼爐石再利用率也正在成長中。

不過,詹穎雯也直言,政府法規可以再做整合與修正,例如環保標章的認證本是美事一樁,不過反而造成產品流通的障礙,因為目前政府的採購法不能特別要求採購有環保標章的混凝土,反成為限制性的招標。而營建署對綠建築規範中,與綠色材料的整合也還不佳,影響了再生建材的去處。再者,地方自治的法令上,有時也因為地方政府的本位主義,讓資源流通困難。

李應元回應說,業者建議中央修法配合的,將來可以藉著綠色協議的平台做互動與討論,2016年環保署也已大修《廢清法》,重新定義廢棄物與再利用,未來不排除再調整,以落實循環經濟。李應元重申2050年達到齡廢棄的目標,表示「現在就採取行動!」

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作者

賴品瑀

新店溪下游人,曾在成大中文與南藝紀錄所練功打怪撿裝備,留下《我們迷獅子》、《我是阿布》兩部紀錄片作品。現為人類觀察員,並每日鍛鍊肌肉與腦內啡,同時為環境資訊電子報專任記者,為大家搭起友誼的橋樑。

 

《 Sade – Is It A Crime (06:16) 》


《 Sade – Is It A Crime (06:16) 》

仁者樂「杉」 善用疏伐材 台灣杉工藝品綻放異彩


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仁者樂「杉」 善用疏伐材 台灣杉工藝品綻放異彩

2018年06月01日
環境資訊中心特約記者 廖靜蕙報導

台灣杉Taiwania cryptomerioides)是台灣珍貴的原生樹種,不但是魯凱族口中「撞到月亮的樹」,也是東亞最高的樹種,又因以台灣為名,而充滿傳奇,連國網中心新造的超級電腦也以台灣杉命名。此外,富含色彩的肌理紋路,更是林業人心中「五木」。

1980年代林試所六龜試驗所種下的台灣杉,歷經37年進行疏伐。為了示範、創造疏伐木的價值,林試所邀請國內知名的木藝專家,以這批台灣杉疏伐木製成木藝精品,並於台北植物園欽差行台展出,即日起至7月15日邀請民眾見識台灣杉之美。

2017年底,林試所針對37年生的台灣杉人工林,進行中層疏伐作業,利用疏伐木做為本次成果展的素材。

此次特展邀請屏東科技大學木材科學與設計系教授黃俊傑、嘉義大學木質材料與設計學系教授李安勝、台北科技大學工業設計系教授陳殿禮、拙園創意木工坊主曾省三等4位國內知名木藝家,以居家用品為主題創作。

黃俊傑利用台灣杉做成桌椅,呈顯台灣杉軟硬兼施的能耐。攝影:廖靜蕙
曾省三作品。圖片來源:林業試驗所
陳殿禮作品。圖片來源:林業試驗所

注入設計魂  感受台灣杉生命力

在六龜試驗站主任陳文修帶領下,黃俊傑看台灣杉林的感受是,「只有37年,一定很多『節』,因此思考著怎麼將缺點變成不可替代的特色。」結果,由他設計並和學生共同完工的「彬彬有禮」,桌面呈現出的對花,有如一幅畫。

台灣杉材質比柳杉還軟,製作成桌子,原本凹凸不平的桌面,透過獨特的技術撫平,平坦得可以在上面書寫。

除了增加台灣杉硬度,也可以保留良好的彈性。台灣杉椅,椅子上面放上禢禢米,既柔軟舒適又透氣,百分百適合台灣社會燠熱的天候;椅背則保留台灣杉獨特的紋路,經過兼顧人體工學及人因工程的設計,讓人一坐下去就放鬆。

黃俊傑說,這項合作計畫的初衷,是以簡單的設計和製作方法,使台灣杉容易處理,以便能推到業界,目前為止,整體呈現的效果很不錯。

「不要當作木材看,而是感受其生命力。」他提到,各種木材有其不可取代的美感,台灣杉就是有其肌理的走向,這是其他如柳杉、桃花心木所無法取代的。

7位學生花了4個月的時間使用台灣杉風倒木製作完成。黃俊傑十分重視學生動手做、不斷練習,傳承技藝,因此從大一入學就開始訓練,直到研究所,讓每位學生都能動手、獨當一面。

團隊成員之一,邱俊壬說,內縮的桌緣,四個角落利用卡榫,不使用釘子而顯得輕巧,設計意象是以「林」字造型簡化;對花則是木材對剖後,利用木工師傅嫌棄的節點,拼出獨特的花紋。桌子是30、40歲年輕人從中間就搬得動的重量。

屏科大教授黃俊傑團隊作品。圖片來源:林業試驗所

化身高價名琴  前景看好

現場由製琴名師黃聖彥作成的大提琴、小提琴,演奏古典音樂,琴聲悠揚。全球以雲杉製琴歷史悠久,因為雲杉的纖維細緻,相較之下,台灣杉的纖維較大,台灣杉做成的小提琴音質又如何?黃聖彥認為不分軒輊,只要乾燥做得好,做出來的弦樂器毫不遜色。

陳文修表示,台灣杉成長速度比較快,要能做成小提琴,必須使用成長後期,年輪較細的部分。他指著台灣杉紋路解釋,越接近核心的年輪,因為是成長前幾年、成長速度快、年輪越粗;但外圍因每年成長速度慢、年輪較細。

台灣杉做成的小提琴,具競爭性。攝影:廖靜蕙

林聰賢:新林業結合里山倡議 三生共構

1日開幕記者會上,農委會主委林聰賢以「過與不及都不好」起頭,形容早期台灣以林木賺取外匯,大量砍伐,直到2000年全面禁伐(天然林),卻使得整個林業進入休眠期。而人工林需撫育經營,則並非百分百不能砍伐,例如此次以「撞到月亮的樹」台灣杉為主角,又是利用疏伐材,非常具有特色。

台灣眾多家具、建材,都仰賴進口,但是國際氛圍,各國越來越保護自身自然資產,同時有很多國際公約,慢慢限縮台灣使用進口材的條件,也促使國內林業發展的契機。林聰賢強調,未來的訴求是推動國產木材的認證,並與兼顧永續利用,讓三生共構透過里山倡議達成與自然和諧共生的關係。

林試所:疏伐木全材利用 讓業者、消費者認識支持

林業試驗所自1950年代起即投入台灣杉育苗、造林等工作,最早的人工造林地位於六龜試驗林。時至今日,高大通直的台灣杉已蔚然成林,需持續管理。林試所長張彬表示,台灣杉輪伐期大約60年左右,撫育過程進行「中程疏伐」,是在人工種植30、40年後選擇未來可以長得好的「未來木」保留下來,其他林木就會適度疏伐。

經過幾次中程疏伐後,底下的植被也長出來;未來木輪伐後,原地仍維持地表植被,不會是光禿裸露;可見中程疏伐的作法,不但增加透光性,也能維護生態。

張彬指出,林試所的角色是提供業者國產材利用的方法,疏伐下來的木材全材皆可利用,舉凡家具、衣架、床、桌椅、收納、立燈、壁燈等,毫不遜色;小徑木則可做成手機音箱、小型家具,即使刨下來的木材還可以創作成花朵當裝飾品。

此外,台灣杉族群雖然面臨龐大的生存壓力,藉由台灣杉人工林的營造與利用,可大量保留優良種源,是以人工復育減輕伐採壓力的重要策略。

「國產材的穩定供銷不但能減少國人對於進口材的過度依賴,並降低木材製品的碳足跡,還能避免用到國外非法開採與交易的木材,已是當前林業部門與經貿部門的重要課題。」張彬解釋,資源保育與利用是並行不悖的,透過這次特展,將有助於國人培養永續利用的概念。

成果展海報。圖片來源:林業試驗所
仁者樂「杉」特展啟動記者會。林試所提供。

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作者

廖靜蕙

環境記者/自由撰稿人。從事社工10餘年,認知到畢竟是人的社會,再弱勢的人都可以為自己發言,決定轉投生態保育,為無法以人類語言發聲的生命與土地寫報導。現居台北市,與貓先生、龜小姐,微曦中閱讀,斗室中寫作。個人粉專「小麻通訊」。

 

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