Pigeon: Most people either love it or hate it. I’ve found, however, that for the people that don’t like the pose, it’s not because they don’t need their hips stretched, or they want to avoid the stretch, it’s usually because the pose causes pain in the inner knee.
It’s this sharp, often crippling pain on the medial (inside) of the knee that keeps people from even attempting the pose. So what can we do about it?
First we want to discover why there is pain in the inner knee.
The pose requires a lot of external rotation of the front leg and hip. This range of motion can be limited because of the shapes of one’s bones, but the tension of the inner thigh muscles can also severely limit one’s range of motion.
So as the leg attempts to externally rotate, the muscles of the inner thigh resist the motion and want to pull the leg back into internal rotation. The problem is that with this pose, the front leg CAN’T internally rotate because the floor is in the way.
So what do most people do? They bring the knee close to the mid line and they take a bigger bend in the knee. If they are limited in their range of external rotation, they’ll also have the leg resting more on the shin and outside edge of the hamstring, instead of the side of the shin and side of the upper leg.
If you want to keep reading, follow this link to the article on the Yoga Blog!
Yoga butt, aka proximal hamstring attachment tears, are one of the most common “in practice” injuries I hear about as a yoga teacher. They also tend to linger for a really long time. Why do they happen so often, why do they linger, and what can we do about it? Before we get into the challenge of hamstring tears, we have to look at the conditions that are causing so many hamstring attachment tears.
“I have tight hamstrings.” I hear it almost every day. And while it may be true, it’s usually only a small part of the truth. In most modern cultures, we tend to be very strong and tight in our hip flexors (in large part because of how much time we spend sitting). Most of the muscles of the body work in an agonist/antagonist relationship, meaning that one muscle group works in contrast to another. Think of a tug of war. Two sides are battling back and forth in attempt to pull all the tension over to their side. And that’s precisely what usually ends up happening. One side “wins” the tug of war. That muscle (or group of muscles) “wins” and ends up tight, short and strong. The muscle (or group of muscles) that “loses” ends up tight, LONG and weak. Generally, when we stretch tight, short muscles it feels good, because they are dying to be stretched. And conversely, generally speaking, when we stretch tight long muscles it can feel a little painful or uncomfortable as those muscles are already being pulled at length.
To continue reading, follow this link to the Yoga Blog:
“Through [life], liberation can be found everywhere.” – Sage Naga, 11th Century, from his 30 Verses on Delighting in Awareness, (translation by Christopher Tompkins)
Another great group of yogis for Sunday Sadhana! I feel so blessed and lucky that yogis keep coming to share in an experience of yoga that goes beyond the physical postural practice that most in the west are so familiar with and used to. Thank you so much for everyone who attended!
If you are looking for more information on the meditation support I talked about at the end of class and offered samples of, check out www.weareyogi.com!
For those who attended, here is a simple reminder of the concentration exercises (Dharanas) we did:
Meditate on the space found on all sides of one’s own body. (VB v. 43)
Meditate on the inner body as enclosed by a physical layer of skin with nothing inside of it. (VB v.48)
Years ago, while traveling India by motorcycle, my friend Octavio played a track for me from his MP3 player. It was the sound of crickets chirping. The audio had two layered tracks, one at normal speed and one at an adjusted speed. Taking into consideration the average lifespan of a cricket, the speed was adjusted to relate to that of a human life span (kinda like how we say one human year is equivalent to seven dog years, well, they did this for crickets). The results were/are absolutely magical. The sound was haunting, and I remember getting back to Thailand after our trip trying to find the track. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I tried all sorts of searchea on Google, and nothing was coming up. Years later, I tried again, but nothing came up.
Well… SUPER happy to say that it has resurfaced. It’s WELL worth a listen 🙂
The track is by composer Jim Wilson. For more information on the track, click here.
There is a song I play often on my playlists during my classes towards the end of class, before savasana. Sometimes, in non-heated classes, I’ve brought in my guitar to play it live during savasana. I’ve had many students over the years ask about it, so I’ve decided to post it here and make it available to everyone.
It’s a song I wrote when I spent half a year traveling around India via motorcycle with my good friend, Octavio Salvado. I recorded this song in my apartment in Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh, India in 2008 with a small hand held recorder. The sounds you hear in the background (the occasional honking horn and the beautiful birds chirping) are the sounds of the jungles (natural and man made) around my apartment. The guitar is a beautiful 3/4 length guitar that I had custom carved from a single block of wood during my time living in Peru (in 2007); a guitar I still love and enjoy today. The song, the guitar, the location and the time of my life all have a very special place in my heart, and I want to share it with all of you.
The name of the song is Wander. I hope you all enjoy the it! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂
I had so much fun at this year’s South Bay Yoga Conference in Redondo Beach. I am so grateful to all the yogis that made it to my lecture and/or asana class, and I’m especially grateful for the group of Yogis that came up from San Diego to show their support! I hope to do it all again next year. Here are some photos from the day!
For more information on the South Bay Yoga Conference, check out their website!