Tag Archives: yoga technique

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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WTF is Mūla Bandha: Let’s Talk Pelvic Floor, Baby!

If you have taken more than a handful of yoga classes, the chances are that you’ve heard the term, “Mula Bandha,” also known as the “root lock.” Teachers will sometimes instruct you to  pretend to “stop the flow of urine” in order to help you perform Mula Bandha. But what is MB really? Wikipedia quotes Iyengar for an explanation: “A posture where the body from the anus to the navel is contracted and lifted up and towards the spine.” It seems that Iyengar is using a language that attempts to describe an experience, but unfortunately his anatomical reference is incorrect. Read more…

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Kim Talks About Your Knee In Pigeon Pose

What does it really take to keep your knees safe when doing Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, (Pigeon Pose)?  A key element to a pain and injury free pigeon is finding external rotation in the hip.  This is a video I caught of Kim in the midst of a rant while we just chillin’ and talking about the body, so that’s why the footage looks a little raw. We’ll be adding more vlogs about the body, yoga and healthy movement to our YouTube channel that will be much more refined.

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The Book of Yoga Contraindications: Good? Bad?

There is a new e-book on the yoga scene called, The Contraindication Index for Yoga Asanas.  The synopsis goes like this: The Contraindication Index for Yoga Asanas is an essential reference guide to injuries, ailments, and medical conditions that can be exacerbated by certain yoga postures. It’s organized according to the medical condition, rather than the posture and provides guidance as to whether a position should be avoided altogether, or can be modified and practiced with increased safety. It cross-references extensive research on 35 common medical conditions, injuries and ailments and 112 fundamental yoga poses, explaining which ones should be Read more…

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Music to Move You: Sometimes Doing Yoga Means Dropping it like it’s Hot

As feminists we can’t agree or support the whole “slapping bitches and hoes (or is it ‘ho’s’…whatever)” thing that happens too often in popular music.  There is always the eternal conflict of hating the marginalization of women that is all too common in these genres while being pulled in by the irresistible beats and hooks that have allowed such behavior to become somewhat acceptable.  Women have often struggled to find equality and respect in the music that was born of social revolt and became the voice against oppression and racism both personal and institutionalized. Despite the contention that has often surrounded the Read more…

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Yoga is for Everybody and Every Body

A new student of Melissa’s, Valentina, recently shared this photo.  She said, “Look! Yoga is for everybody.”  Love that!  It’s a beautiful thing when people begin to see and feel their yoga practices in all aspects of their lives.  This observant and sweet woman asked a fantastic question after class, “Why do we do yoga?  What is it about really?”  Oh how we love to have those conversations; as you remember from the posts we wrote about yoga and the state of it in the U.S.. Regardless of the polemics that surround the current yoga debate we want for everyone Read more…

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Take a Harder Yoga Class!

Students often demand “harder” classes.  That’s fair.  Most people want to be confronted by a real challenge.  The feeling of moving towards a higher bar than what they usually meet is important and can be a fun and rewarding experience.  That being said, it would be nice if we were all better at contextualizing what a “harder,” “more advanced,” or “difficult” class is.  For example, a class that explores primal movement patterns can be really difficult for someone who doesn’t have a strong connection to some of these more basic patterns.  A class that is full of plyometrics (jumping) can Read more…

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When it Feels Impossible Dance Anyways

So many times we are disappointed with how our physical bodies perform or look.  Discouragement and frustration can ruin a great work out.  Defeat can be the poison one suffers from in a yoga practice.  We’re human and these moments are normal.  So it can be helpful to draw inspiration from seeing others triumph over their physical challenges.  It’s in that spirit that we present this video.  The final production is quite stunning and beautiful to see.  But what you should really take away from this piece is that these are performers who suffer from extreme phyiscial handicaps. Yet, they have Read more…

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What the Hell is a Yoga Counterpose?

In most yoga classes you’ll hear teachers call out for a counter pose in the middle of a sequence.  For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralize” the spine, or in some schools, a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.  Here are a variety of explanations and examples of how they are used:

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Use Your Other Foot!

We found an article that helps explain the importance of balance, a concept we have been trying to impress upon our students for years.  Not just balance, meaning doing the same muscular activity on both sides of the body, but also by creating balanced neuro-muscular patterns and balanced sensory perception. By the way, symmetry does not equal balance (more on that in another post soon to come).  But it is important to create balance in the body. Repetitive muscular activity creates a neuro-muscular pattern.  In other words, when you practice a particular movement over and over you establish a communication between the brain and muscles responsible for Read more…

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