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Do You “Need” the Poses You Avoid the Most?

Yoga teacher gently encouraging a student to enter into an arm balance

Is it true that we “need” the yoga poses we avoid the most? Or is that total balony along with being bad advice?

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Malasana: How to Overcome the Struggle in the Deep Yoga Squat

how to get into garland pose deep squat butt to heels

Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting more comfortable in Malasana Plus, if you scroll down far enough, 7 Steps to Better Ankle Mobility We at Yoga Anatomy Academy love malasana and are on a mission to make this deep squat more accessible to more humans. The motivation is this: a large chunk of what we […]

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5 Actions to Get Your Foot Up Between Your Hands

stepping your foot between your hands in yoga, from downward facing dog or down dog

The Instagram is full of fluid movers, yogis who can gracefully place a foot between their hands in slow motion, usually on the way down from a single arm hand balancing feat with a glass of wine between their toes. Not a drop spilled. What is less common: actual instructions in yoga class on how […]

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Do We Serve the Poses or Do the Poses Serve Us? (Science Yoga Sundays episode)

Julie Tran of Science Yoga Sundays graciously invited me to speak on her program. I chose a topic that has been on my mind a LOT lately — Are we serving the yoga or is the yoga serving us? “We are here to enhance our lives, we are not here to bow down to some […]

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Any Yoga Pose Can Harm, Any Yoga Pose Can Heal

yoga injury, harm from yoga, is yoga good for you

One of the first principles of teaching anatomically sound asana is this: Any yoga pose can harm; Any yoga pose can heal. For example, Tadasana (Mountain Pose) can reinforce poor postural habits, or it can build strength. Headstand is likely to cause excess pressure on cervical vertebrae, but may also be a skillful way to […]

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The Hidden Pulling Actions in Chaturanga or The Problem is Never the Pose

Amid the growing awareness that yoga asana is not always an infallible and complete physical workout, has been a tendency to dismiss certain poses (for example: wild thing, sleeping pigeon, chaturanga) as culprits of injury. The real culprit In reality, the culprits of injury — no matter the physical pursuit — are excessive repetition of movement […]

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Three Elements of Intelligent Sequencing

Yoga Anatomy Academy is about to throw down (a.k.a. post) our first yoga sequence on this blog. We thought we’d preface it with a behind the scenes break-down of how we think through creating a sequence. There are as many ways to sequence a yoga class (or personal practice) as there are individuals practicing yoga, and we have so […]

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7 Reasons Your Heels Don’t Touch the Floor in Downward Dog

lengthen achilles yoga

Have you been practicing yoga for a while, and feel frustrated that you can’t get your heels to the floor in downward facing dog pose? There are a few reasons why heels-to-floor may not be happening for you. First let’s remember that Downward Facing Dog demands a ton of joint motion: approximately 45 degrees of ankle dorsiflexion (top of […]

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Should You Keep Your Shoulders Back and Down?

arrow action of scapula in adho mukha svanasana

Check out the Heal Your Shoulders episode of the Yoga Talk Show podcast where Yoga Anatomy Academy founder Dr. Ariele Foster chats with Yoga Body founder Lucas Rockwood in more detail on the subject of the shoulder in yoga. Ever heard the cue “Keep your shoulders back and down”? This action can be helpful during many yoga poses, but […]

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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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