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Back Pain

Why Do Teachers Say Don’t Jump Back to Plank?

To Jump Back or Not to Jump Back (to Plank) Jumping back is a exciting and athletic transition in vinyasa yoga. From standing forward fold (uttanasana) at the front of your mat, you have the option to step back to plank then lower to the yoga push-up (chaturanga dandasana) or to jump back. Some teachers or traditions offer the option to jump […]

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Why Bridge Pose is NOT the Best Prep for Deep Backbends

Bridge pose, a.k.a. setu bandasana or setu bandha sarvangasana, can be used in a physical asana practice for a number of distinct purposes. For example, a physical therapist or personal trainer might use it to strengthen gluteal muscles, quads, hamstrings or lower back muscles, just to name a few possible targets (with small tweaks to the exercise […]

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Should Your Spine Be Shaped Like a J?

yoga anatomy workshop lumbar spine, SI joints, and pelvis - sacroiliac stability, alignment

Should we have a J-shaped spine? NPR aired this story back in June: “Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain,”. It went viral (at least in the Facebook feeds of physical therapists, yoga teachers and the like). The piece shares the perspective of Esther Gokhale, an acupuncturist who, after suffering severe back pain […]

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What’s so special about Psoas?

Psoas is a deep lumbo-pelvic muscle that can curl us into the protective fetal position or quickly engage to hurl us forward in a run. There are fascinating articles out there on the emotional role of this muscle, but I’m here to talk about its biomechanics in yoga asana. Psoas is a multi-articulate or multiarticular muscle — one that […]

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