One of the common themes of yoga is balance (physical, mental, spiritual). One of the common themes of my teaching when I am thinking about our connection downward to the earth, and the way we lift upward with control is the strong triangle. Shavasana is one of the major postures chosen for rest because it requires little muscular tension to maintain. Cat position may be hard if one's knees are compromised, but try lifting one limb and you can feel how you begin to tighten to hold the position. Lift two and this is more difficult.
The holiday season is upon us. You’re feeling thankful that you’ve survived this year’s Thanksgiving, and all those commercials with smiling friends and families are saying, “ ’tis the season to be a smiling bundle of joy.” ’Tis also the season when numerous holiday parties, time with friends and family, sales and shopping, driving and decorating, laughter and games all take their toll on your energy reserves and soon to be, oh-so-fragile psyche.
Sunday- Running or 30 minutes of cardioMonday- Yoga (60 minutes)Tuesday- Zumba or 45 minutes of cardioWednesday- Pilates (30 minutes)Thursday- Zumba or 45 minutes of cardioFriday- Yoga (60 minutes)Saturday- Rest!
Why do I have muscle tension? How can I get this to go away? Can you just massage it out? How many sessions will it take to get that out? What exercises can I do? What foods should I eat? What oils would help out with this pain?
The idea of using pressure and friction on the human body for health and relaxation is not new. Massage was prevalant in the time of the Roman empire: if you went to the baths it would be common to have a body rub in addition to the hot and cold tubs. The Greeks as well had it, and before them the Egyptians and the Chinese, and the Indians. There are even some European cave paintings that suggest massage may date back thousands of years earlier. So the practices and the understanding of their benefits predate a lot of our modern medical science.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how I think about and use shavasana (http://blog.ideafit.com/blogs/ariadne-greenberg/shavasana-and-meditation ). Since then I find myself thinking about, and talking to my classes about the beginning of the class. If in part Shavasana is the transitional pathway out of the physical practice, into the meditative practice, and then out into our lives, it is balanced by what we do at the beginning of practice, when we step on the mat.
Austin athletes are dropping out of yoga and switching to Tai Chi.Thousands of yoga drop outs don't regret studying yoga. It's relaxing. It increases flexibility, strength, balance and mental focus. It creates a healing environment through new friendships and spiritual experiences. Smart Austinites, however, are taking the yoga they learned and elegantly charming their skills into Tai Chi classes because: