I'm usually pretty good at arranging things whenever I move homes. If a room doesn't feel right then I'll rearrange things until it does feel right.
And that's what learning a new yoga pose can be like. In a yoga pose the equivalent of furniture or books on a shelf are the bones and how they relate to each other. By shifting relationships slowly and mindfully we can find an arrangement that feels good.
Then every time we do the pose we can enjoy it while making small adjustments so that energy can freely flow.
Two of the primary things that I work on balancing are tension and space, both in my own yoga poses and those of people I am adjusting. These are the two opposites that we can work at feeling and adjusting so that the end result is a yoga pose, a pose that we are present in now.
Grouped Yoga Poses include poses classified according to action or position:
Ideally these groupings of yoga poses make it easier to create a balanced (and reasonably complete) yoga practice.
Improving flexibility is one of the main reasons I got into yoga. Yoga Stretches for flexibility include
Balance, is one of my favorite topics. For an overview of balance read Yoga balance poses.
One of the easiest ways to practice balance is by balancing on one foot.
Slightly more advanced is balancing on one leg while binding or connecting parts of the body.
Arm balances are a fun way to practice balancing. One of the simplest arm balances is crow pose. Inverted yoga poses are near the pinnacle of balancing postures. I generally teach poses like headstand, shoulder stand, forearm balance and handstand using a wall first to get students used to being upside down. Then I work at helping them learn to balance.
My current approach to strength yoga poses is minimal muscular effort.
This lazy approach requires awareness and directed effort.
Yoga anatomy is about the anatomy that you can learn to feel and control while doing a yoga pose.
So that you can direct your awareness intelligently it helps to understand the bones and muscles of the body and how they relate.
My own understanding of anatomy has been helped by practicing drawing anatomy.
This makes it easier to visualize those structures while meditating and doing yoga or tai ji or any other physical activity with a focus on mindfulness.
Spine and Ribcage
Pelvis and Sacral Area
Integrated Anatomy and Energy Anatomy
In general there is a big difference between what we sense and what we perceive.
A large part of my own training (and what I try to teach my students) is how to calibrate sense information and perception so that there is less of a disparity between sense and perception.
Part of the process of improving both awareness and control involves first isolating body parts so that you can improve your ability to feel and control those body parts. (This is also where we calibrate.)
The next steps are to integrate those body parts so that you can shift the focus of your consciousness easily between the different parts of the body.
The end result is a unification of body and mind otherwise known as yoga.
Note that calibration is a repeated process.
Calibration is a repeated Learning to feel your body is like learning the alphabet. Body Awareness has a very big alphabet but learning it bit-by-bit gives you the building blocks for "spelling" any movement or action.
I'm Neil Keleher.