Tag Archives: yoga advice

The Low Down on Pelvic Floor Exercises

In the last post, we discussed mula bandha and the importance of having proper tone in the pelvic floor. As mentioned also in the last post, the pelvic floor, or pelvic diaphragm, is a group of muscles that includes the 3 muscles of your levator ani (pubococcygeus, puborectalis, and iliococcygeus.), the coccygeus and the connective tissue that complete the diaphragm. These muscles form somewhat of a sheet with open spaces for the urethra, the vagina and the anus. Sometimes the muscles can interdigitate with some of these other structures, which is perhaps why in some cases stopping the flow of Read more…

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Why We Rarely Teach Shoulderstand

Many many many yoga traditions consider shoulderstand (salamba sarvangasana) to be the mother of all poses, quintessential to every yoga practice. It has been touted as one of the most beneficial poses and we have even heard teachers claim that a yoga practice is “incomplete” without it. Because of this dogmatic attitude, we are met with strange and (we feel unwarranted) animosity when explaining to other “yogis” that… we rarely teach this pose and when we do, it is SUPER modified. First, let’s talk about some of these “benefits” that are widely listed. Increases thyroid function… There have even been Read more…

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5 Things You Should Consider Before Picking a Yoga Teacher

In our last post we discussed what criteria you should use when hiring a personal trainer. While some of these same points apply to picking a yoga teacher, there are also distinct differences you should consider. As stated before, NOT ALL YOGA TEACHERS ARE THE SAME. Here’s  what you should consider if you are thinking about hiring a private yoga teacher: 1.) Specialty. First and foremost you have to know what it is you want from private sessions in order to get  the right private instructor. Are you doing this to get “fit?” Are you trying to reduce stress? Are Read more…

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3 Reasons Why Your Down Dog Makes You Look Like a Fool in Class

Not that we ever judge people in class… BUT if we WERE to do such a thing (perhaps in the same way all the other type-A competitive students in NYC vinyasa classes are judging you all the time), Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) is one of the easiest poses to criticize. Even in a mirrored class, being upside down can really throw off our proprioception. We may THINK that our bodies are doing something that they, in fact, are not even close to doing (ever see someone in a really crooked headstand? Chances are, they think they are completely Read more…

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How am I supposed to be breathing?!?!

In our last blog “‘Core’ training…are you doing it wrong???” we talked about intra-abdominal pressure as being necessary to “engage” your “core.” We also discussed the diaphragms two functions, breathing and posture, which are interrelated. In most cases, if you have good posture, your breath will come easily and if you have shitty posture, your breathing will suffer.  This applies to the reverse as well; difficulty breathing will affect the shape of the torso. Try slouching (if you aren’t already), take a deep breath. Now, sit up straight and take a deep breath. Astounding, right?  It should be no surprise Read more…

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Get to know Dancer and Aerial Yoga Teacher Sarah Sadie Newett

You know we love to share what our professional network is up to.  Meet another member, Sarah Sadie Newett.  She’s a lovely dancer and yoga teacher who works with aerial silks and makes it look effortless.  Here are the details: Sarah Sadie Newett has devoted her life to studying, creating, performing and teaching movement. She grew up in coastal Maine dancing, acting and performing before moving to Boston to pursue her BFA in Dance/Theater from Emerson College. As a student she performed in numerous rep works including David Dorfman, inFlux Dance, Ego Art inc and Snappy Dance Theater as well as choreographing Read more…

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Yoga Practice Suggestions So You Can Stop Hurting Your Neck (Part 2)

To continue our practice suggestions from our last post about how to not destroy your neck while doing yoga… Increase your awareness of how well you are able to execute spinal flexion and spinal extension, especially in different relationships with gravity. So basically, the more awareness you have of your spine the more likely you have a choice over your ability to manipulate it safely and comfortably.  You can then identify which parts you have a finessed control over and what parts you don’t.  In other words, you can identify what parts of the spine are not integrated in the totality Read more…

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Yoga Practice Suggestions So You Can Stop Hurting Your Neck (Part 1)

Last week we put up a post discussing the different ways in which your yoga practice could be making your already stiff or tight-feeling neck worse.  This week we’d like to follow up with suggestions and modifications for you to try in your practice to avoid this extra hurt and even possibly ameliorate your neck issues. Two items of note: 1) Why the HELL didn’t the last post talk about shoulder stand or headstand?! Here’s why.  Those would be the first-thought-of, most-expected asanas to talk about.  The discussion about these postures is pretty obvious (or at least should be) and Read more…

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Amy Matthews Explains Axial Extension

We wanted to write up a post about an ambiguous term we hear in yoga classes (and other classes) all the time.  “Keep your spine long.”  Well, what does that mean exactly and how does it benefit?  As always, whatever you choose to do it’s all about intention and awareness. Knowing what you want to do and what is actually happening.  Amy Matthews, a teacher of ours that we constantly obsess over, has shared a quick video clip that eloquently illuminates the concept of the “long spine.”  She discusses what exactly it takes to make that happen and the cost/benefit Read more…

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Is Your Yoga Practice Hurting Your Neck?

Yes, it’s true.  Yoga could be hurting your neck.  Well, no…But the way you are doing yoga could be making your stiff neck worse.  Allow us to explain. In many instances when someone complains about a “stiff” neck or “tight” shoulders muscles in both areas (neck and shoulders) it can feel like one solid rock of tension.  And, we hear, that no matter how much people try to relax that area, “stretch” it or “roll the shoulders down” there is no relief.  Ugh! That is frustrating.  But none of these methods works, because none of them is getting to the Read more…

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