Handstands VS Footstands

shoulders yoga postures Sep 18, 2020
 

This video introduces major differences in structure and support for the shoulder joint compared to the hip joint.

Superficially, this comparison elicits more laughter than serious considerations.

Those of us who have tried, can readily say standing on our hands is more difficult than standing on our feet.
The experience of having spend many years already standing on our feet certainly plays a part in making the foot stand easier.
An other important detail is the size and depth of the hip socket or hip joint. It presents on the one hand a much greater range of support around the top end of the thigh bone, and on the other hand this joint is also firmly build into the pelvis, a major structure of support for the body.
The muscles around the hip joint are large and strong with many years of relative fine-0tuning and strengthening experience.

By contrast, the shoulder joint lacks much of the structural support. The socket is a mere dented small flat area, less than half the size of the end...

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Knee Stability Results from Action

The knee is NOT a hinge. It can twist and slide. 

The shin bone / tibia ends rather flat, while the thigh bone / femur meets this flat top with two convex round bony ends. There is no connection or stability inherent in the joint or skeletal structure of the knee. All restrictions to this joint, making it appear to some as a hinge, are the result of soft tissue structures.

Depending on the density and strength of each person's soft tissue the knee joint might present with more or less of this passive support.

Real knee support requires active engagement of muscles. The resulting forces have a strengthening and supportive effect on the knee joint.

However, because of the open structure of the bony parts of the knee joint, movements in all directions are possible. Trying to support the knee only linearly, as if it was a hinge, leaves it vulnerable to strain in all the other directions.

One of the muscles that can provide an aspect of knee stability is the quadriceps, or...

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The Plantar Fascia Does Not Stretch From Rolling

Anyone who has experimented with rolling the sole of the foot knows the results.
The foot feels more loose and forward bends are less restricted.

The reason for this miraculous trick is often assumed to be lengthening of the fascia tissues under the foot. Namely the Plantar Fascia.
However, this piece of fascia is generally so strong, it won’t respond to rolling with lengthening.
Still we feel and can experience rolling the sole of the foot creates length.
What is going on?

More than creating length, we are aiming for mobility.
The ability of the layers of fascia membranes to glide over one another will provide more mobility than lengthening the tissue. At the same time tissue strength and integrity is preserved.

Now that we know we’re looking to restore  tissue glide, we can ease off the intensity - you’re not going to squeeze the plantar fascia into a longer shape.

Movement is your choice. Know your body and take an AnatomyShow course.

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Keep Your Shoulders Safe When Binding Arms in Yoga Postures

Practicing playfully or with curiosity can lead us to try new movements and postures. One group of interesting posture variations are bound postures.

Many bound poses are twisted poses. Depending on your mobility, practicing these can put strain on on your lower back or parts of your shoulder joint.

When done well, binding the arms in some yoga postures can add stability and depth.
Prerequisite steps need to be in place for arm-binding to have a positive impact on yoga practice development, and ultimately the health of your joints, especially the shoulder.

 Keep the following steps in mind when you practice any bound postures next.

1 Set a foundation

In standing poses the engagement of the feet and legs creates the stability to keep balance. Additionally, force transmissions from the engaged feet and legs have a stabilizing influence on the hip joints, lower back and sacro-iliac joints.

2 Rotate the spine - twist the torso

Support the spine in trikonasana  (triangle pose)...

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Drinking Water During Yoga Practice

 

This video features a short explanation of two perspectives on drinking water during yoga practice.
Drinking water during yoga practice is an at times hotly debated topic. Many people suggest a traditional reason why not to drink water, others cite government health guidelines.
Among the many arguments for and against, I'm sharing here thoughts on an exercise and a yoga perspective.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive exploration of the issue, but I hope it assists in honing in on a direction to esquire further.

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Unkink Your Neck to Relax

alignment yoga postures Jun 03, 2020

Make the most out of your opportunities to rest and restore your nervous system.
Our nervous system deserves a break. Regularly.
We can make an effort to reduce stress, or avoid stress in our lives. But honestly, there is still a build-up, a ‘background noise’ of sorts.
A regular reset of this deeper level of stress can be hugely beneficial and feels really good.

When we take rest, either by catching a nap somewhere, or in savasana after a yoga practice, there is one little trick that can make a big difference to the quality of your relaxation.

When resting in savasana or other restorative postures the neck position is very important.
The relaxation response in your body is directed by a part of your autonomic nervous system called the Parasympathetic Nervous System PSNS.
The main nerves of the PSNS are the vagus nerves, which run through our necks. Our head position clearly depends on our neck positions, and with it we can change the function and influence of the vagus.
A...

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Protect your Hamstrings with this Single Action

yoga postures May 30, 2020
 

Forward bends, especially forward bends in seated positions can become uncomfortable for the lower back of the back of the legs.
This post explains one simple trick to protect hamstrings from being pulled, while at the same time facilitating safe progression of mobility with ongoing practice.

Seated forward bends might not be everybody’s friend. Lack of mobility on the back of the body reduces the ability of the hips to tilt forward relative to the legs. Spinal flexion can also be limited.

With an eagerness to still move into poses, it is unfortunately quite common for hamstrings and lower backs to become sore, if not strained or injured from forward bending practice.

The muscles on the back of the legs, the hamstrings, along with the back portion of the inner leg muscles, the adductors, can resist hip flexion.

When tensioned, as it happens in forward bends, the back of the body needs to lengthen.  From the feet to the head assorted muscles reach along limited areas, while a...

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How to improvise yoga props and mat for online yoga practice at home

alignment yoga postures May 11, 2020
 


Yoga classes have abruptly shifted from the studio to our homes. Not everyone has a yoga mat, block or other props available for home practice with online courses.

Learn how to use household items as props and yoga mat to participate in online yoga classes.
This video explains how to adjust for missing props with general household items and still participate fully in your favourite yoga classes.
Watch the surprise explanation why not having a yoga mat can be good for you.

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Inflammation and the Immune System

health real life Apr 12, 2020
 

The immune system and inflammation are linked.
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to initiate repair and healing.
For example: Inflammation can trigger white blood cells to start chasing and gobbling up viruses and bacteria.

Redness, swelling, heat and pain as well as stiffness and fatigue are all part of the immune response.

Inflammation actually begins on a cellular level. Each cell membrane, or cell surface, can initiate a chemical reaction that cascades over multiple steps to produce the multifaceted inflammatory response.
A cell in inflammation action is not doing its normal job. It’s in an emergency situation trying to save its own life. Now that is stress!
Inflammation creates stress in your tissues. Conversely, stress of most kinds, can create inflammation.
Because inflammation is a cellular response, it can occur throughout the body. Any disease name ending in ‘-itis’ indicates it is an inflammation.

Inflammation can be devided into two...

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Better Immunity with Rest and Sleep

health real life Apr 08, 2020
 

The immune system and our immune response vary greatly with our sleep and rest patterns.
While sleep is easy to define, rest (for our purposes) has two types.
 - rest after physical exertion
 - resting from mental activity: i.e.: meditation
While this sounds quite familiar for most of you, we do need to remember and practice the fundamentals.

The human immune system and sleep both are associated and influenced by each other. Sleep deprivation makes a living body susceptible to many infectious agents.
The current situation requires improved sleep habits to make the immune system efficient for a healthy life. [1]

A lot of information is available to promote this exercise or that workout.
For good health, good immunity and actual longevity, it’s the rest and repair breaks in-between that make the difference. We do too much and slip into depletion territory.

Stress is the background of many illnesses. It depletes important nutrients, increases inflammation and saps your...

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