Is Teaching Yoga Your Path? 8 Qualities of Excellent Teachers

Is Teaching Yoga Your Path? 8 Qualities of Excellent Teachers

Considering yoga teacher training? 90 Monkeys co-founder Amy Ippoliti suggests you start by asking yourself some tough questions.
Amy Ippoliti YJLive 2011

Considering yoga teacher training? 90 Monkeys co-founder Amy Ippoliti suggests you start by asking yourself some tough questions.

Google “yoga teacher training” and pages upon pages of results will leave you not only scrolling for hours but likely overwhelmed and confused. It seems every studio and experienced teacher out there is offering a YTT now. In this weekly series, YJ LIVE! presenters answer your questions.

Passionate about the professional development of yoga teachers, Amy Ippoliti, co-founder of 90 Monkeys, an online school and resource center for teachers, believes you should begin exploring YTT opportunities by asking yourself two questions:

  1. Am I ready to learn to teach yoga?
  2. Will I be a natural at teaching well?

Tough questions. To help you answer them, Amy compiled the following list of qualities she believes are key to teaching yoga well.

Do You Have These 8 Qualities of Excellent Yoga Teachers?

Be honest with yourself as you ask whether these are qualities you possess. Then go back to carefully consider the questions above.

Do you____

  1. Identify as a student of yoga in all areas of your life—not just on the mat?
  2. Embrace an attitude of being continually open to learning and being able to admit when you don’t know something?
  3. Possess a fundamental understanding of your own energy and a sensitivity to other people’s boundaries?
  4. Have a daily practice?
  5. Work to cultivate a vibrant body, sharp mind, and soft heart?
  6. Consider yourself psychologically minded with a certain level of emotional stability?
  7. Have a spiritual practice, even if that’s simply an appreciation of nature, art, or anything beautiful?
  8. Not worry about being too physically adept at the practice?

Check weekly for more tips on how to find the YTT program best suited to you. Next up:Kathryn Budig explains how to know when the time is right for YTT.

See also Is Yoga Teacher Training for You?


Amy Ippoliti is known for bringing yoga to modern-day life in a genuine way through her intelligent sequencing, clear instruction, and engaging sense of humor. She is a pioneer of advanced yoga education, co-founding 90 Monkeys, an online school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 44 countries. Learn more at


6 Steps for Teaching Headstand Safely

6 Steps for Teaching Headstand Safely

Follow these steps and learn how to ensure the proper safety protocol when teaching this energizing inversion.

Rick Cummings

Often referred to as the king of yoga postures, Sirsasana I (Headstand) can be a refreshing and energizing inversion that, when practiced consistently, builds strength in the upper body and core. For years, the posture has been praised for providing physical benefits—but it’s also been criticized for exposing the head and neck to weight that could cause injury. In fact, in some yoga communities, Headstand has completely lost its place at the throne, and it has even been banned in some studios.

In traditional yoga practices, Headstand is an inverted posture taught in seven different forms. In the variation we’ll look at here, the base of support is the top of the skull. To get into the pose, come to your knees, place your forearms on the floor, and clasp your hands, positioning your elbows shoulder-width apart (creating an inverted V from clasped hands to your elbows). Find the floor with the crown of your head, and cradle the back of your head with your clasped hands. Engage your upper body as you press your elbows and wrists into the floor, and lift your shoulders. Once you establish this stable base, lift your legs off the floor until your body is inverted and erect, balancing on your head and forearms.

These are standard cues for teaching Headstand. Where things get inconsistent, however, is when it comes to the cues that help students figure out how to distribute their weight between the head and the forearms. Some say there should be little to no weight on the head, whereas others apply an iteration of the Pareto principle (i.e. the 80/20 rule) and recommend more weight on the forearms than the head.

Insightful teachers understand an “ideal” distribution cannot be taught, as it will depend somewhat on individual anthropometrics (the science of measuring the size and proportions of the human body). For example, if the length of a practitioner’s upper arm bones is longer than the length of her head and neck, that yogi’s head may never reach the floor; if the practitioner’s head-and-neck length are longer than her upper arm bones, she may struggle to reach the floor with her forearms. These examples are extremes, but they do serve to explain why we can’t cue an individual into proper weight distribution, as the proportions between the top of the head and the forearms depend on an individual’s specific anatomy.

In hopes of providing data for better understanding how safe (or unsafe) Headstand might be, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin studied 45 experienced, adult yoga practitioners who were skilled enough to hold the pose for five steady breaths. The study resulted in a 2014 paper published in the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies that helps shed some light on the ongoing Headstand debate.

See also 7 Myths About Yoga Alignment

Study: 3 Variations of Headstand

In a lab, 45 experienced yogis completed a 10-minute warm-up. Then, reflective markers were attached to their chins; foreheads; earlobes; cervical (C3 and C7), thoracic (T9), and lumbar vertebrae (L5); femurs; and toes. This allowed the researchers to measure the practitioners’ movements with a motion-capture camera system. Force plates (think high-tech bathroom scales that measure how much force is being generated by the bodies they come in contact with) were used to measure how much force acted on their heads and necks throughout the exercise.

The yogis were then split into three groups based on how they typically enter and exit the pose. (There were 15 yogis studied in each group: 13 women and two men.) They were asked to enter the pose, hold the full inversion for five breaths, and then exit the pose. Data were collected during these three distinct phases of each variation—entry, stability, and exit:


Rick Cummings

• Split-leg entry and exit: Knees bend and pull into the chest; one leg straightens and the other follows until both legs are stacked above the hips and shoulders. Reverse to exit.

• Curl-up and curl-down entry and exit: Knees bend and pull into the chest; both knees straighten simultaneously until both legs are stacked above the hips and shoulders. Reverse to exit.

• Pike-up and pike-down entry and exit: Straight legs lift together until ankles, knees, hips and shoulders are stacked. Reverse to exit.

See also Anatomy 101: Understand Your Quadratus Lumborums (QLs)

Results Offer New Insight Into Headstand

This research assessed force, neck angle, loading rate, and center of pressure:

Force: Among all 45 study participants, the maximum force applied to the crown of the head during entry, exit, and stability in all three variations of entry and exit was between 40 and 48 percent of participants’ body weight. For a woman weighing 150 pounds, that equals somewhere between 60 and 72 pounds. The threshold for neck failures is unclear; the authors cited an estimate ranging from 67 and 3,821 pounds, noting that men tend to have a greater threshold for weight-bearing on their necks. This suggests women should be especially cautious when practicing Headstand.

The stability phase, where practitioners held Headstand for five breaths, exhibited the greatest force on the head. Exiting the pose contributed the least force on the head. It is important to note that anthropometric data were not collected.

Loading rate: To understand loading rate, it’s crucial to understand “strain rate.” Strain refers to the change in shape of the tissue when a load is applied, and rate refers to the speed at which a load is applied. In the human body, resistance associated with faster loading rates can lead to increased load failure. With this in mind, it is important to appreciate the benefits of entering Headstand slowly. The study found that loading rate was fastest as the yogis entered Headstand (no matter which version of entry), followed closely by coming out of the pose (again, no matter which version of exiting). The group of yogis piking into the pose had slower loading rates than those kicking up, suggesting that piking up into Headstand may be best for reducing the loading rate.

Neck angle: Loading the neck during flexion has long been thought to increase risk for injury; therefore, neck angle was examined across all techniques. The data showed the neck angle during the peak force was not significantly different across phases or technique. Overall, the neck was in extension during entry, and in neutral or flexion during stability and exit across all techniques. The bottom line: There is potential for loaded neck flexion when practicing Headstand, which may deter you from including this posture in your practice.

Center of pressure: The center of pressure at the crown of the head was measured to determine how much shifting takes place during the three phases of Headstand. Regardless of technique, all the practitioners’ center of pressure shifted around their heads somewhat, mostly as they entered and exited the pose. This ability to shift and adjust during the pose might be beneficial by reducing the maximum force applied to the crown of the head (because ground reaction force decreases as the body veers off its vertical axis). But swaying side to side in Headstand may expose the neck to lateral (side) force, which may cause injury.

See also A Yoga Practice for High Blood Pressure

How to Teach Headstand Safely

So, is Headstand safe? While this research doesn’t give us definitive answers, it is the first study to quantify loads on the neck during Headstand and can help us move forward in the safety debate. Keep in mind, however, that other versions of Headstand (like Tripod Headstand) were not examined, and we don’t have data on beginners.

I believe it’s most likely that a certain amount of weight on the neck and head is safe when met with a slow, controlled entry technique. On the flip side, an uncontrolled or high-momentum kick-up and kick-down could put the neck and supporting structures at risk for strains, fractures, and neurological complications.

For optimal safety, I’d recommend practicing the most difficult entry and exit: the pike-up and pike-down, which was shown to impose the least amount of force on the crown of the head, as well as the lowest weight-loading rates.

See also Yoga to Improve Posture: Self-Assess Your Spine + Learn How to Protect It

6 Tips for Teaching Headstand

Long ago, I stopped teaching Sirsasana I in public yoga classes because of the uncertainty around its safety. I do, however, practice the pose regularly in my own practice and teach it in my yoga teacher trainings. This study validated my safety concerns and further emphasized the importance of developing skill over achieving the aesthetics of the pose. Here are the steps and tips that may help keep you safe when practicing this pose:

• When appropriate, accommodate your anatomy by using a blanket to add height to either your arms or your head and neck.

• Press the lengths of your inner and outer forearms into the mat, while trying to lift them off the mat (they won’t actually go anywhere). This co-contraction helps to build strength in the shoulder complex.

• Build this co-contraction endurance for a minimum of eight breaths before attempting to lift your feet off the floor. (Eight breaths should account for entering, holding for five breaths, and exiting the pose).

• Repeat the above endurance exercise with your feet elevated on a block, then a chair, working the pelvis over the shoulders.

• Gradually and progressively learn to pike up into the pose.

• Avoid the pose when your stress levels are high, sleep is compromised, you are fatigued, other psychosocial factors are affecting your well-being, or you have a contraindicated medical condition.

See also What You Need to Know About Your Thoracic Spine

About Our Pros
Author Jules Mitchell MS, CMT, RYT is a yoga teacher, educator, and massage therapist in San Francisco. She contributes to yoga teacher training programs and leads workshops worldwide. Her upcoming book, Yoga Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined, will be published this year. Learn more at

Model Robyn Capobianco, PhD, is a biomechanics expert and researcher. Learn more at


Ease Lower Back + Shoulder Tension with Fascial Work

Ease Lower Back + Shoulder Tension with Fascial Work

Release tension and pain by working with your tissue. Bo Forbes shows you how to target hotspots in the shoulders and lower back.

Work with your tissue to release acute and chronic tension and pain. Learn how to target hotspots in your shoulders and lower back.

Want to practice or study with Bo Forbes in person? Join Bo 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: Anatomy, Alignment, & Sequencing; Health & Wellness; and Philosophy & Mindfulness. See what else is new and sign up now.


How Cupcake Hands Saved My Vinyasa

How Cupcake Hands Saved My Vinyasa

Think you know Sun Salutes? Annie Carpenter’s tips could transform them.
annie carpenter cupcake hands

I’m seriously questioning why I signed up for a Sun Salutation Lab at Yoga Journal LIVE! in San Diego. I’ve hardly practiced Surya Namaskar since I injured my rotator cuff in those very poses. And, as exhilarated as I used to feel after flowing, my wrists just plain hurt. I blamed it on thin bones, maybe age, and switched to Iyengar.

Here comes Annie Carpenter, a master vinyasa teacher with a personality as bright as the sun and a stature slender like a flamingo. There goes my theory. She asks the class if we have sensitive wrists, elbows or shoulders. Hands fly into the air.

“Perhaps even after four or five days of vinyasa in a row there’s fatigue or strong sensation in some of these joints,” says Carpenter, the creator of SmartFLOW Yoga. “Once you pass, let’s be general and say 30, I think that’s true. I don’t mean to imply you should stop doing vinyasa. I’m only 56 and I do it most days of the week!”

I’m in the right place. The key, she says, starts with cupcake hands. Really, straight from the mouth of Annie Carpenter who’s instructing us to do Child’s Pose on our fingertips like we have two giant cupcakes in our palms.

“It’s a tall cupcake!” she says to a chorus of muffled laughs. “Oh no! There’s smashing of cupcakes.”

Who wants to smash a cupcake? Carpenter says she borrowed the tantalizing term from another teacher because it highlights an important reality; if we don’t have the ability to do a vinyasa on cupcake hands, we’re not getting proper lift of the forearms, armpits and core. If the front body doesn’t have that support we’re dumping on our wrists and shoulders. Check. We venture into Downward-Facing Dog—cradling those cupcakes. (Try it—it’s fun!) Then we move on to a more sustainable hand lock.

Hasta Bandha: While I’d previously been trying to press my palms flat on the mat, in Hasta Banda we suction up from the center palm so it’s no longer touching the mat. (Insert Carpenter’s suctioning sound effects here, closely related to the slurp.) Fingers are still pressing down and forward. Now we bring the mouth of the thumb and the mouth of the pinky in a tad to create a little canal between the two mounds of the hand. (The carpal tunnel to be exact.) Okay, keeping the canal open, stretch through the index finger. Feel the tendons in your forearms come online? If so, you’re having the lightbulb moment I did as my wrists become buoyant.

Not that it’s easy. “We’re tired already!” one student says before we’ve started flowing. Carpenter’s strategy is to get the foundation down before the weightier poses.

So next up is the shoulder girdle. She says it doesn’t change one iota between Standing Forward Bend and Upward-Facing Dog in your Sun Salutation. As Carpenter guides us through a round, a new horizon opens for my wrists and shoulders. Here are some tips that helped.

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Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Half Forward Bend): Carpenter says if she could fix one Sun Salutation pose, this would be it! The main thing I was doing wrong is putting my fingertips on the earth, with a rounded back. Carpenter told those of us with rounded backs to bend our knees and place our hands on the side of the shins so the back flattens. (Putting hands on the fronts of the shins encourages legs to hyperextend.) Now, widen across the collarbones, extend through the heart, and pull the shoulder blades down so the neck lengthens. As those shoulder blades push into the chest, lift from the bottom of the sternum, and extend the top of the sternum forward. Keep the shoulders on the back where they belong.

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Plank Pose: Bend your knees enough to place your hands on the floor and step into plank without changing your shoulders. At this point, Carpenter adjusts me by lifting my bottom sternum up so my torso rises. I’m out of my wrists and into my core power! (Shaking and all.)

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Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose): Shift slightly forward into Chaturanga keeping the same shoulderactions: widen across collarbones, lift bottom ribs and bottom sternum up and back, slide shoulder blades down back. I’m doing a pose I’d avoided for the past year—pain-free! My hand lock is on and my core is solid.

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Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog): Flowing into Upward Dog, Carpenter instructs us to move our feet back to keep the shoulders over the wrists, not in front of them. Reach back through the legs, she says, which both stacks the arms and keeps us out of the lower back. Now, pull the chest forward and push the floor away. Carpenter is tugging back on the feet of one yogi now sporting perfect Upward Dog form and a bright red face. Like I said, this is work—but it feels good.

“That’s why we do workshops like this, because you have old hawk eyes catching every little thing,” Carpenter says. “It’s nitpicky but if you get this, flowing is fun for many years to come.”

Carpenter is a shining example. I leave feeling a new dawn of Sun Salutations and gratitude for the sweetness of cupcake hands.


13 Major Yoga Mantras to Memorize

13 Major Yoga Mantras to Memorize

Ever bumble through chants in class? Here’s your chance to learn the words to classic Sanskrit and Gurmukhi mantras you’ll likely encounter again and again.


Ever bumble your way through chants in class? Here’s your chance to learn the words—and pick up a new practice. These Sanskrit and Gurmukhi mantras are classics you’ll likely encounter again and again.

Reading mantras in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, can certainly be intimidating. (How exactly do you pronounce śāntiḥ again?) Gurmukhi, a sacred script used in Kundalini Yoga, is more straightforward than Sanskrit but can also sound like a mouthful, at first. The good news: you don’t have to memorize a sonnet-length mantra to achieve positive results. Even single-word mantras—like Om—can be pretty powerful.

Think of a mantra as a mental instrument that fine-tunes your yoga practice. “Incorporating mantras into practice can help to make it sacred and take it out of the realm of the physical and into a higher state of awareness,” says Zoë Slatoff-Ponté, author of Yogavataranam: The Translation of Yoga.

Cultivating a sonic presence can be liberating in a way, as you experience the numinous nature of the sound. It is said that each chakra has a particular vibration and certain mantras can resonate and harmonize that energy. “A mantra is a much more complex concept than a mere chant,” adds Risha Lee, curator of Exhibitions at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. “It unites sound, body, and mind in a deeply philosophical experience.”

While reciting a mantra before or after you step on the mat can enhance your practice, you don’t have to be in yoga mode to chant. Mantras are a yoga tool you can use to calm your mind anywhere, anytime. Feeling stressed, lonely, anxious, excited? Pick a word, phrase, or invocation and chant it in a way that works for you: loudly, softly, or even internally. To reap the most benefits, shorter mantras should be chanted 108 times (mala beads can help with that) and longer mantras can be repeated up to three times. In any case, allocate a few minutes to focus your attention on the sound.

“The pronunciation of mantras is very important,” Slatoff-Ponté says. “Ideally, one learns the correct pronunciation from a teacher, who can also recommend a specific mantra for you.”

If you don’t have a teacher to tell you what you need, you’ll surely find it this list of 12 essential mantras—whatever your mood may be.

13 Essential Yoga Mantras + Chants


Get to Know Your Hamstrings: Why Both Strength & Length Are Essential

Get to Know Your Hamstrings: Why Both Strength & Length Are Essential

Flexible and strong, hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice. Here’s what you need to know in order to lengthen and strengthen these muscles.
hamstring anatomy

When I was in my early 20s, I had a vigorous Ashtanga Yoga practice, and I loved that my hypermobile body could easily contort into even the most advanced postures. Yet my drive to feel a deep stretch, particularly in all of the forward folds in the Ashtanga series, caused microtears in my hamstrings, which led to knee and hip pain—plus so much soreness that when I got out of bed each morning, I wasn’t able to straighten my legs for at least an hour.

Like me, many yoga practitioners learn lessons about their hamstrings the hard way. After all, having the ability to achieve all kinds of complex yoga poses due to hypermobile hamstrings is a common, if unspoken, goal. On the flip side, a lack of flexibility is often associated with not being able to practice yoga at all. How many times have you heard someone say, “Yoga isn’t for me; I can’t even touch my toes!”?

In fact, optimal hamstring health lies somewhere between the two ends of this spectrum. If your hamstrings don’t have a lot of motion, gaining flexibility can help keep your knees, hips, and legs healthy. If your hamstrings are hyperlax, controlling their range of motion will also help you stay injury free. It took me two solid years of avoiding forward bends in order to heal my hamstrings and learn the importance of both stretching and strengthening this muscle group. Here’s how you can create strong, pliable hamstrings, wherever your starting point.

See also Anatomy 101: Understand + Prevent Hamstring Injury

Strengthen to lengthen

It seems paradoxical that if your hamstrings are tight, you should strengthen them. However, hamstrings are healthiest when all of their fibers are able to fully lengthen and contract, which is what prevents muscle tears and promotes optimal muscle health. The following exercise is like medicine for both hypermobile and restricted hamstrings. It’s a concentric exercise (read: it shortens the hamstrings). If you dislike this move as much as I do, take it as a sign that you’ve got some hamstring-strengthening work to do.

The Move: Hamstring Slides

Why Touching Your Toes Is Overrated

Remember the toe-touch test in grade school, where your teacher gauged your flexibility based on how far you could reach your fingers toward your feet? This “test” has been used as a measure of musculoskeletal health for decades. However, hamstring limberness without strength shouldn’t be anyone’s goal. Placing too much focus on stretching your hamstrings can shorten your hip flexors, creating a muscle imbalance that can contribute to an anterior (forward) pelvic tilt—and back pain as a result.

Body of Knowledge: Anatomy of the Hamstrings

Your hamstrings are a collection of four muscle bellies (with only three names) on the posterior (back) thigh. They originate (attach) on the ischial tuberosities (sit bones) and run down the backs of your thighs. There are two hamstrings in each medial thigh (the inner back side) and one in each lateral (outer) thigh. All three attach by long tendons crossing the back of the knee to the lower leg—and they’re all bi-articular, meaning they connect and affect the function of two joints: the hip and knee. Your hamstrings work to flex (bend) your knees, extend (straighten) your hips, and posteriorly tilt your pelvis.

Biceps Femoris

This two-headed muscle is in the outer portion of your thigh. The long head begins on the ischial tuberosity (bottom of the pelvis), and the short head is nestled against the lower half of your femur. Both converge at a tendon on your outer knee (at your fibula). This muscle externally rotates your hip. It also externally rotates your bent (flexed) knee.


This muscle begins as a thick membranous tendon (hence its name) on your ischial tuberosity (sit bone) and attaches just behind your inner knee. It also serves as
a fascial anchor for the largest of your inner thigh muscles: the adductor magnus.
The semimembranosus muscle internally rotates your hip. It also internally rotates your lower leg at the flexed knee.


This muscle begins on your ischial tuberosity and tapers into a long tendon that attaches on the innermost portion of the front of your knee. This muscle internally rotates your hip, and when your knee is bent, it internally rotates your lower leg.

See also Not ALL Hips Need Opening: 3 Moves for Hip Stability

3 Poses to Keep Your Hamstrings Healthy

About Our Pros
Writer Jill Miller is the creator of Yoga Tune Up and The Roll Model Method, and author of The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and the International Association of Yoga Therapists Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research, and she teaches at yoga conferences worldwide. Learn more at

Model Colleen Saidman Yee is a yoga instructor with more than 30 years of practicing experience. She is the owner of Yoga Shanti studios in New York City and author of Yoga for Life.


《 Norman Brown – Celebration (52:55) 》

《 Norman Brown – Celebration (52:55) 》

Llano Retreat by Michael Hsu and Laura Roberts Design

Llano Retreat by Michael Hsu and Laura Roberts Design

Architects: Michael Hsu
Designers: Laura Roberts Design
Location: LlanoTexasUnited States
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: Casey Dunn

Thank you for reading this article!


《 Norman Brown – Sending My Love (43:41) 》

《 Norman Brown – Sending My Love (43:41) 》

台灣交通事故死亡率高 道安會報應有外部評鑑


#交通安全 #交通事故

台灣交通事故死亡率高 道安會報應有外部評鑑



據日本警察廳(National Police Agency)發表的交通事故死亡人數統計[1],2017年度總共3,694人喪生,創下二戰後最低紀錄,日本與台灣兩國人口差了約5.3倍,如對比兩國的每千萬人口交通事故死亡率[2],得到驚人的數字,台灣每千萬人有1,250人因交通事故死亡,日本每千萬人則有290人身亡,台灣與日本交通事故死亡率的差異比例為4.4倍。


從鳥取縣鳥取市的鳥取車站到岡山縣津山市東津山車站的因美線(圖片來源:By Mitsuki-2368, CC 3.0)








[1] 資料來源:日本警察廳,不區分A1類與24小時內死亡, is external)

[2] 台灣方面因無2017年交通事故30天內死亡人數資料,僅採用2016年資料做對比。


《 Norman Brown – That’s The Way Love Goes (04:38) 》

《 Norman Brown – That’s The Way Love Goes (04:38) 》

Restorative Yoga 101: How to Release Chronic Psoas Tension for Deeper Relaxation

Restorative Yoga 101: How to Release Chronic Psoas Tension for Deeper Relaxation

One of the most powerful ways to feel more OK mentally and emotionally is to learn how to relax the body. Here, Jillian Pransky breaks down how to release one of the most chronically tense muscles: the psoas.
Jillian Pransky legs up the wall chair deep listening restorative

Mitch Mandel/Rodale, Jillian Pransky Deep Listening.

In YJ’s newest course, Restorative Yoga 101, Jillian Pransky, director of Restorative Therapeutic Yoga teacher training for YogaWorks and author of Deep Listening, will have you rethinking rest one deep breath at a time. This four-week program offers students an in-depth look at eight essential poses that will help you elicit the relaxation response, simple prop setups that will help encourage deep mind-body release and healing, guided meditative sequences and breathing exercises, mind-body alignment lectures, and personal inquiry. Eager to learn more? Sign up now.

Since one of the most powerful ways to feel more OK mentally and emotionally is to learn how to relax the body, we begin by learning how to release one of the most chronically tense muscles in everyone: the psoas.

How Your Psoas Protects You

The psoas is a long muscle that connects the legs to the spine. When you feel unsafe, this muscle contracts. In fact, it’s said to be the very first muscle that’s activated if you need to fight, flee, or freeze. All day long, the nervous system is communicating with the psoas, and the psoas is sending information back to the nervous system. Imagine walking down the street and unexpectedly a car honks at you from behind. Most people would be startled, and the fear center would immediately fire up the psoas to move the body to safety. Similarly, if you’re walking down an uneven hill and it’s hard to keep your footing, that experience of being off balance is perceived by the psoas, and it not only engages to stabilize you, it’s also part of the communication loop that gives your brain the signal that you’re on unsafe ground.

How Modern Life Creates a Chronically Tense Psoas

This mind-body communication system gets complicated when your daily habits affect messages to and from your psoas. In fact, this muscle becomes constricted not only when you feel threatened, but from things most people do every single day. For instance, it tightens when you sit for too long, when you drive, and when you walk on concrete. Because it attaches in the midsection, a tight psoas can cause back pain, hip pain, and even hamper digestion. As extreme as it sounds, this muscle can affect so many of the body’s systems that when it’s chronically constricted, it can leave you physically uncomfortable and even feeling unsettled and anxious. Since the top of the psoas attaches to the spine right around the diaphragm, when the psoas contracts it pulls on the spine, limiting spinal movement, which in turn restricts the movement of the diaphragm. The less freely the diaphragm moves, the less easily you breathe and the more anxious you feel.

How to Release Tension in the Psoas

When the psoas is constricted, it’s simply hard to sense yourself truly landing on the ground. But when the psoas is supple and pliable, it allows you to feel grounded—like you belong on the earth. However, because the psoas is activated by your fear circuitry and the stress response, it holds a lot of “tension" (rigidity from the psycho-emotional response) rather than more straightforward “tightness" (shortening of the muscle from exercise or overuse). Tension can’t be stretched—it needs time, care, and safety to unravel.

Restorative Legs-Elevated Pose is a perfect resting position to release a constricted psoas. This pose can also help relieve excess tension and holding in the pelvis, belly, and back. It is known to help quiet and calm the mind as well. When you are propped well, and have time to let go little by little into the safety of your support, the breath begins to expand and flow more naturally and fully, which elicits the relaxation response and nourishes your body and mind.

Restorative Legs-Elevated Pose

YOU WILL NEED A chair, couch, or ottoman. Two small towels for head and neck support. And if you wish, a blanket for warmth or for extra comfort under the body.

Set Up

  1. Sit with your left hip facing the front of your chair.
  2. Slowly lower down onto your right side, keeping your knees bent.
  3. Roll onto your back as you bring your legs up on the chair. Rest your legs on the chair’s seat, making sure they are supported from the backs of the knees to the heels.
  4. If you need head support, place a rolled towel under your neck and a folded towel under your head.
  5. Rest your arms by your sides or rest your hands on your belly, elbows on the floor.
  6. Make any adjustments you need to ensure you are comfortable.

Settle In

  1. Take several long breaths as you progressively release all of your body weight down onto the ground.
  2. Rest here for 5 to 15 minutes.
  3. To come out of the pose, bring your knees in toward your belly and roll to your side, making a pillow with the arm under your head.
  4. Take your time to come to a comfortable seat and close your practice.

Pransky offers a Supple Psoas Sequence in her upcoming book Deep Listening, Rodale Books. Deep Listening is available 10/10/17 where all books are sold. 

Ready to learn more? Sign up for Restorative Yoga 101: Journey Into Stillness With the Tools and Practice to Heal, Restore, and Rejuvenate.


《 Norman Brown – For The Love Of You (05:23) 》

《 Norman Brown – For The Love Of You (05:23) 》

2 story brick structure has the archetypal form of a gable roofed house with an unusual twist by HYLA Architects

2 story brick structure has the archetypal form of a gable roofed house with an unusual twist by HYLA Architects

Architects: HYLA Architects

Location: Singapore
Year: 2017
Area: 7.750 ft²/ 720 m²
Photo courtesy: Derek Swalwell

“This 2 story brick structure has the archetypal form of a gable roofed house with an unusual twist – part of this form is actually an external courtyard that contains the swimming pool. This “room without a roof”, becomes the central focus of the house and blurs the distinction between inside and outside. It also gives the house privacy by controlling the views both from and to the house.

The house is cladded in a dark grey and textured face brick, which is modulated in a variety of ways – either with brick sized openings or protruding bricks. On the second level is a precast concrete screen which is both for visual as well as sun screening. The last element in the external palette is a timber grid screen which gives a warm contrast to the brick and concrete.

Internally, smaller pockets of green extend the inside-outside theme throughout. The staircase is a cantilevered structure with a triangular section facing a tiered landscape wall. The attic lounge has its own planting strip and is a continuation of the courtyard space vertically.”

Thank you for reading this article!


《 Norman Brown – Just Between Us (05:16) 》

《 Norman Brown – Just Between Us (05:16) 》


#刊登公告 #債權 #不動產











《 Norman Brown – Better Days Ahead (05:46) 》

《 Norman Brown – Better Days Ahead (05:46) 》

內用一次性塑膠吸管 環保署正式預告 2019年7月起四大場所禁用

內用一次性塑膠吸管 環保署正式預告 2019年7月起四大場所禁用

環境資訊中心記者 彭瑞祥整理報導

在民間關注海洋塑膠污染、禁塑民意推動下,環保署今天正式預告限用一次性塑膠吸管的政策草案,明訂自2019年7月起,包含公部門、公私立學校、百貨公司及購物中心、連鎖速食店等4大類共8000家業者不得提供內用者一次用塑膠吸管。若吸管材質屬於使用「生物可分解塑膠」 ,或以紙類等植物纖維為主體、塑膠成分低於10%且可用物理方式分離,則不在此限。吸管為商品出廠時就附上的,公開陳列供選購的,也不在此限。

2019年7月起,四大類場所的內用飲料,將禁用一次性塑膠吸管。emad faied攝(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


因此,環保署參考美國與英國部分城市對一次用塑膠吸管採取限制使用的管理經驗,依廢棄物清理法第21條授權,草擬「一次用塑膠吸管限制使用對象、實施方式及實施日期」 草案。




1.經認定符合行環保標章規格標準項目「生物可分解塑膠」 ,並取得環保標章使用證書者。









《 Norman Brown – Lydian (06:32) 》

《 Norman Brown – Lydian (06:32) 》



環境資訊中心記者 張淑貞報導


輔導期避免一延再延 中央這次要正視問題




違章工廠繼續新增 環團紛要求落實即報即拆






違章工廠污染大 清查不罰惹爭議









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