Every time we step on our mats it is with a purpose. The purpose or reason may differ from one person to the other but practicing safely is a must. In Yoga, alignment serves the purpose of keeping us safe, now and in the years to come. Alignment is not just about the body, it trains the mind to set goals, eliminate distractions and achieve results through thoughtful work. Put your mind and body to work; starting now, starting here. We are excited to bring alignment into focus this week with our four classes.
5-minutes to the perfect dog
Whether you are a beginner or a practicing yogi, more often than not you will find yourself in Downward-Facing Dog. For many, this pose tends to be a nemesis, especially when the heels don’t make the much-anticipated touchdown. Do you roll your eyes when the instructor asks you to “rest” in a down dog? Your aversions are understandable and curable. Our Alignment guru Kristin Boyle, in a quick 5-minute session addresses the alignment cues related to one of the most recognizable poses – Downward-Facing Dog.
Sacrum, scapula, upper trapezius muscles are words that float around during a Vinyasa, making you wonder whether you signed up for an anatomy class instead of yoga? Understanding anatomy helps turn instructions into action but getting lost in technical translation does not. Jack Cuneo’s session, inspired by Ashtanga, uses digestible alignment cues to prepare the body for Turtle pose. He creates awareness through standing poses, twists, arm balances, hip openers, hamstring stretches and more to create a perfectly aligned flow.
Refine Your Plank
Plank pose, aka the core buster, is another pose where alignment instructions such as engage your core or align your wrists are often heard. Yogis tend to experience wrist pain at some point in their practice. The mat isn’t a battleground and we do not have to fight through pain. That is exactly what Shy Sayar promotes in his Therapeutic Alignment Plank Pose session. The most important lesson to be learnt is to get through your practice safely.
Improve and don’t forget to OM
What are you doing incorrectly? What areas you can improve on? Is there a voice within you that nudges you to build a deeper understanding with your asanas? The beauty of Yoga is to learn and understand the practice in new and deeper ways. And exercising the mind through learning is the ultimate gift. What are you doing incorrectly? What areas you can improve on? Is there a voice within you that nudges you to build a deeper understanding with your asanas? Take a moment to pause and reflect on the authenticity of every pose. It all begins with alignment and alignment begins with awareness. Awareness can be developed when you sign up to perpetually stay a student of Yoga. Celest Pereira in her ‘Going out of Alignment’ session demonstrates how to relate to each pose and shift alignments to progress faster.
Yoga is not about being able to touch your toes or bending over backwards it is about what you learn in the process of doing so. As B. K. S. Iyengar, one of the foremost yoga gurus in the world, rightly expressed, “It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self and intelligence.” With that in mind OM on and remember to breathe. ALWAYS!
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