Sunday, July 16, 2017

Take a trip to my other blog

Phew, I started this blog when I was living in Sri Lanka teaching from my rooftop.  But I am now in Canberra and not maintaining this blog anymore.

I now put my videos and posts up on:

I still come back to Sri Lanka regularly for retreats and workshops but not enough to keep a consistent and separate blog so hope you won't mind heading to the Canberra blog.

Happy and safe practicing.

Mountain Crow

I have made many videos about bakasana, or crow pose.

Here in the mountains in Sri Lanka I have videoed another way of coming into bakasana that I find helps many people.

Remember, you do not need to actually come into the balance--do not rush to get there.

The balance should come fairly naturally, as a consequence of all of the actions that you have been layering.  If you rush you will probably fall.  If you feel scared, perhaps you are not ready.

A few key actions I am doing:

  • raising heels and firming behind my knees to come into a squat (then keeping those actions);
  • in the squat I start by moving my body through my knees, pressing arms out into knees and squeezing knees into arms and just hanging out in this type of forward bend.  At the same time pushing my hips (bottom) through my legs, which should bring some firmness to your tummy;
  • then taking my arms over the top of my knees--trying to get as far up my upper arms onto the top of my knees as possible.  Then pressing my arms down into my knees and pressing my knees up into my arms.  At the same time trying to push my hips (bottom) through my legs and forward.  You should feel firmness in the tummy and around the armpits;
  • lift heels higher, lean forward to a point where my hands rest comfortably on the ground and I can try to lean forward.  Coming high onto my tiptoes.  I do not try to come into bakasana from flat feet or even on balls of feet.  I am really trying to get to my tip toes.  That forces my tummy to work.;
  • I look forward and lean forward. My fingertips are gipping.  If I lean forward enough my feet just float off the ground because I have reached a state of natural balance.
This is best to practice with a teacher.   We might revisit this method in class soon!

Happy and safe practicing. 

Panoramic Spine and Hips

Up here in the mountains I am taking in 360 degree views.  So I am taking my yoga circular.

Since I don't use a mat I am not confined to a spot or a direction.  It's lovely.

So here is a little sequence that takes you around in a circle, moving spine and hips in different directions as well.

Happy and safe practicing

Standing Balancing Flow

I have been experimenting in the clouds.

Here I have developed a slight twist on my traditional standing balance opening sequence.

What I did was play with the idea of how to come into trikonasana.

So what you see is that I go from vrksasana (tree pose).  I keep my pelvis square, focus on external rotation at the hip (of raised leg), then extend that leg straight while maintaining that external rotation.

When you extend it straight and then go to put the leg down you end up with the foot diagonally in front of you rather than out to the side.  That is ok.

What is does is keep your pelvis in a nice position, your lower back in a nice position, and maintain the external rotation of the reaching leg.  I do a little weight shifting to get the other leg in position (and that is why the ardha chandrasana is there).

Overall, my trikonasana feels so wonderful coming in like this.

Mountain Mandala Flow

I am up at about 5000 ft in the mountains of Haputale, Sri Lanka.  It's pretty spectacular.

Here I created a mountain mandala flow.

We often do this in class but facing the one direction.

But here there are beautiful views from every direction here and so I wanted to move and take them all in.

So here I repeat the same movement pattern but just turning 90 degrees each time.

It also gives you a 360 degree view of the movements so you get a better perspective.

Ok, I realise there are wardrobe malfunctions here but those who know me know my yoga wardrobe is the least of my concerns.  Hopefully no one will be offended.

I particularly wanted to create this for Karen and Dave, my mountain friends in Nepal.  Hope this helps with your practice.

Happy and safe practicing.

Interesting Hips: Standing Flow

It does not rain it pours!  Two videos in about ten minutes.

This is also from our current sequence and is part of the standing practice.  I have also sped it up.  I quite like the flow of the movement at this speed but when you practice try at least a quarter speed.  The real-time practice took about 8 minutes.

I could have equally called this practice interesting spine because it is really about spinal movement.  But I also want to cue you into turning the hips and then the feet when you move from the central posture to the asymmetric ones.

Enjoy!  Happy and safe practicing.

Mandala Namaskar

A very long time between postings!  Yikes.  This one I promised to my students several weeks ago and is from our current practice.

I generally don't recommend practicing something without a teacher and especially not this one if you are not familiar with the hip rotation.

But for those of you who are, here it is! At last.

Remember, keep the ankles off the floor.  Turn the hips and let the feet follow.  Move slowly--there is no rush.  If you are 'looking' for anything it is joy and not an end posture.

I practiced outside on this lovely patch of grass in the winter chill where I had fresh air, a kiss of sun on my skin, and the pleasure of a the earth beneath my feet.  Why not find your own patch of grass?

I have sped up the clip so if you were to practice this it should take at least twice as long.

Happy and safe practicing!