Any yoga practice is made up of a sequence of postures. While the time each posture is held generally one moves toward longer holds, and finally to rest, usually in shavasana. While the same postures will not be in every practice, a practice usually will include a variety of postures, chosen to balance direction of movement and areas of stretch and so on. It is the flow and balance between the postures that matters, as much as the postures themselves.
There are hundreds of postures, though many of these are variations on what I would call base postures.
Prelude: On Training versus Calling One of the standard questions any adult asks a young child they first meet is, “What do you want to be when you group up?”. By the time that young person is a teenager the question has usually shifted to, “What do you want to do when you are out of school?” The question is whether this is a shift, or if the being and the doing should or must have some connection.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, look better, or feel better, when searching for a fitness regimen, we are offered a plethora of options.Today's popular fitness programs include Cross Fit, Zumba, Piloxing, boot camps, Pilates, Booty Barre, spinning, boxing, yoga, group personal training, high intensity interval training, functional fitness, core or strength training, and much more as the fitness industry continues to innovate.
If I say the way yoga is understood and practiced today is different in a number of ways from how it was understood and practiced traditionally it is helpful to understand what I mean by traditional. After all yoga has been around for thousands of years, and it was not one thing for most of that time, and then suddenly another thing twenty years ago. The tides of historical change have run throughout human history: it is just easier to see subtle changes to the waves that are closest to us. I am not going to give a scholarly text with dates and citations.
The other day a few students and colleagues were engaged in an online chat about a spin class the gist of which was that the class was difficult and awesome. The end result of the exchange was to make me want to go take the class.
It is widely understood that one of the huge differences in lifestyle between modern people and their ancestors is that we sit a lot more and walk a lot less. This sitting, particularly sitting for long periods in chairs, and particularly in front of desks with our head and shoulders hunched forward, has contributed to a lot of discomfort and injury. And it has only been made worse by being combined with the even more hours of the day peering down at screens of varying sizes and types.
Math, like language was created by man. There have always been things that could be counted and sorted, but we have not always counted and sorted them. There are cultures like the Piraha that have concepts like one and many, but no system of counting a group of things. Systems of counting and math began as a way to keep track of stuff, particularly stuff that belonged to the ruler of a culture large enough to have a lot of stuff to organize. In a larger and more complex society it was practical and useful.
If you go to a doctor you know a few things about their background: they have a college degree, an advanced degree, have passed exams both oral and written to be licensed, have a number of years of training beyond their medical school, (first an internship and then residency... which differ... a surgeon may be a resident seven years, a dermatologist two or three), and that after their training they will be required to re license and take continuing education as long as they practice.
Leg Series is a set of postures I developed as a very gentle way to stretch the legs and hips. I particularly like to use it myself after I have been travelling and sitting a lot, or at the end of a long day. It is gentle enough that it works for most students.