No one thinks about their ankles unless they have pain there. It’s funny that people love working on their abs, their butts, their arms, or whatever else you can show off, but no one really thinks about the ankle at all, much less working it…until it’s been hurt.
As your PSA today, I’m going to tell you that your ankle is critical to the health of the rest of your body. Your ankle supports 1.5 times your body weight when you walk. When you run, your ankle supports eight times your body weight. If your ankle is weak, then you may experience knee, hip and back pain.
Watch the video below to learn one very simple, easy, and quick way to increase mobility to your ankles.
Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation.
Even though I practice yoga mostly at home and strongly support my students to do so, we all need a yoga teacher.
We all tend to get used to a certain habit of doing things that may or may not serve our bodies.
Maybe this way of doing things once served us, but it no longer does, like an old sweater we’ve loved to death and is now coming apart at the seams, too small, and no longer represents our true style.
It takes an outside perspective to challenge us on our habits. For your yoga practice, this is your teacher–someone who watches you with no judgment and only wants you to try another, and perhaps better, way.
Watch the video below to learn what habit I’ve had for the last TWELVE years of my yoga practice that I recently learned to see with new eyes, thanks to a discerning yoga teacher.
ACTION STEPS TO FIND YOUR OWN YOGA BLIND SPOTS :
1. Bring your attention to all parts of your body after you practice. Notice where you may still feel tight or somehow stuck.
2. In your next yoga class, ask your yoga teacher to give you feedback about this part of your practice.
For example, if your wrists hurt, are your hands not aligned every time you come into downward-facing dog?
Your teachers’ outside perspective can help you unlearn habits that don’t serve you (anymore).
Like many other entrepreneurs, we yoga teachers get together to share business and life stories. When I met Erinbell Fanore, a fellow yoga teacher in Berlin teaching hatha and yin yoga, at one of these casual get-togethers, I was most impressed that she made her own yoga DVD on the sunny island of Malta. She talked about it like it was easy to pull off, so I had to ask how how she did it with such ease as one of my Yogis of the Month.
Even if you don’t want to make your own yoga DVD, listening to how simple and easy it is to tackle a big project once you break down into steps and ask for help is helpful for any project. You would imagine that producing a DVD would take months to do, right? But knowing that Erinbell produced hers in just two weeks completely changed my mindset of what’s possible. And expanding possibilities is always a good thing.
Listen to my interview* above with Erinbell (or download it!) to find out about:
her introduction to yoga through…Cindy Crawford in the desert?!
retraining your muscles through two somatics exercises she shares
This video is for the ladies. Not one? Send the following video to one or two of your favorite ladies.
Period time affects every woman differently. Some notice no difference. Others feel tired, cranky, sluggish. Other than avoiding inversions, I’d suggest you listen to your body. When I was younger, I practiced a vigorous active yoga even on my period days. These days I ease myself into restorative poses like the ones in the video below. They’re also good when you just want some yoga postures to help your energy go downwards.
Let me know if these yoga postures help you during your time of the month or if you have any other questions about yoga, meditation, or living well.
At The Joy of Yoga Emma Silverman blogs about yoga, meditation, being a yoga teacher, and–what makes her blog unique–yoga sequences. Of these, she will be publishing 108 in a book.
If you’re an intermediate or advanced yogi, try following one of the sequences at home for a DIY yoga class–like this one to get yoga arms (like tennis arms, but long and lean rather than bulky). They are helpful tools if you are developing a home yoga practice.
What I find most inspiring about Emma’s yoga sequence project is that it’s community-supported : yogis all around the world contribute sequences, so there’s a huge variety of intensity, focus, and effect.
So, get to know Emma and her book project The Joy of Yoga by listening to our interview below. You’ll learn
what karma yoga is
the process behind publishing a book
Emma’s biggest challenges and how she’s moving beyond them
Find out more about Emma and her yoga sequence book on her blog The Joy of Yoga. If you would like to contribute a yoga sequence to Emma, her submission guidelines are here.
So you want to practice simple yoga at home in 3-5 minutes?
Try one or more sun salutation A series, as it is a complete sequence that includes almost all the types of postures in yoga : standing, balancing, forward bending, backward bending, and inverting. Because the sun salute links these different types of postures together in a rhythmic sequence, it gives you almost all the benefits of yoga in a short and sweet package. It only lacks seated and twisting postures, as you can always do corpse pose / shavasana as a reclining posture at the end.
Don’t scoff at practicing yoga for just 3-5 minutes a day. Studies show that practicing 5 minutes of yoga daily is better than 35 minutes once a week.
Besides, you can really squeeze a sun salutation into your day no matter how busy you are. And because there’s minimal touching of the floor, perhaps you can also practice it almost anywhere–like in line at the post office or in a big elevator on your way up to the 80th floor. (If you get yourself on camera throwing down a sun salute in the middle of your day in a public place, let me know–I’ll be sure to feature you on my blog!)
Watch the video below to learn how you can practice yoga at home in three to five minutes:
1. Try the sun salute during your next break at work or at home.
2. If you like it, schedule it into your planning for 2012, just like any other project you want to do.
Any other questions about yoga, meditation, or healthy living keep you up at night?
Let me know and I’ll answer you in next Thursday’s Q and A.