Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Little Extra Umph

Tuesday Anusara Yoga
Theme; talking about the difference between the minimal required vs. adding a little extra umph with your effort.
Antidote: structures. fathers vs. dads. Baby wearing regular vs. reinforced. Regular produce vs. organic
principles of emphasis: outer spiral learning to fire the glutes (after establishing the actions of inner spilt and holding those with muscle energy)
Heart quality: effort


Before you start working with these principles in practice, take some time to get to know your butt muscles:

· Gluteus maximus is the largest butt muscle (in fact, it’s the biggest muscle in your body), spanning from the side of the sacrum and ilium to the femur. It’s primary function is to act as an extensor of the hip, but it also laterally rotates (turns out) the hip in extension. This is one reason the back leg in most poses tends to have too much outer spiral. If your leg is fixed, gluteus maximus serves to scoop the pelvis under (retroversion). To feel its engagement, standing in tadasana holding your buttocks and stretch one leg back behind you, extending the hip. You’ll feel the gluteus maximus fire on that leg. Now try standing in tadasana and scooping your pelvis under. You’ll feel both buttocks engage.

· Gluteus medius is located on the outer hip, running from the outer upper hip down to the greater trochanter of the thigh bone. It’s primary role is in abduction of the hip, moving the leg away from the midline by drawing the greater trochanter toward the top of the hip. It also serves to stabilize the pelvis when you’re balancing on one leg (including when walking). To feel it, try standing in tadasana with both hands on your outer hips. Lift one leg straight out to the side to feel gluteus medius do the lifting. Interestingly, gluteus medius will also fire on the standing leg, to steady the balance by rooting downward into the earth.

· Piriformis and those other lateral rotators: There’s a group of six deep hip muscles that all contribute to lateral/external rotation the hip. The main one to note among these is the piriformis, will contract (and spasm) in an attempt to stabilize the hip when the inner thigh/outer hip team is not doing its job. Piriformis happens to sit right on top of the sciatic nerve, and so when it’s tight it can cause a shooting nerve pain down the leg (also known as piriformis syndrome), and due to its connection to the sacrum, it can also pull on the sacrum to jam the sacro-iliac joint. I have a hard time actually feeling these muscles engage; rather, I feel them best when they’re being stretched in hip openers, like pigeon pose. However, you will only feel them stretch if you get the inner thighs back and wide first, and maintain that while adding Outer Spiral.

Principles of Emphasis:

Muscular Energy For finding optimal alignment in the hips you need to tone the upper inner thighs (adductors) and the outer hips.

Inner Spiral turns the inner thighs in, back and apart (this is achieved by the strength of the adductors) and sets the head of the femur bone into the acetabulum (hip socket). The sitting bones widen, and the buttocks muscles soften their grip in order for these smaller muscles to create the inner spiral rotation. In asymmetrical poses the back leg needs more inner spiral.

Outer Spiral initiates from the action of the tailbone scooping under, and also wraps the outer hip back and toward the midline of the body. This involves the strong lateral hip rotators (piriformis, gluteus maximus, and other smaller rotators). When you engage Outer Spiral, make sure that the action of the butt muscles doesn’t override the alignment action of inner spiral. In fact, you’ll probably feel that the inner thighs have to work even more to keep the energetic flow back as you add the action of Outer Spiral. In asymmetrical poses the front leg needs more outer spiral

Organic Energy creates space in the joints by powerfully extending from the focal point toward the periphery. When the pelvis is the focal point the pelvic bones and tailbone move downward towards the earth, and the lower back and low belly lift up toward the sky. Gluteus medius is one of the key muscles involved in the rooting action of Organic Energy, and it creates enormous space and stability in the hip, especially when you’re balancing on one leg.


The sequence:

Lunge inner spiral
Lunge- short lunge- lunge
AMS leg lifting work balance of is/os
W2- mod. Parsvak- rev. Warrior
W2- mod. - parsvak- rev. Warrior
AMV prep L, AMV L, AMV wall
Bum burning exercises:
Tad - standing pigeon - half moon- tad 3x
Tad- parvrita vira 3- tad 3x
Partner ardha chandrasana (root down top hip)
Spastic pose (Start in uttanasana holding the big toes in yogic toe lock (first two fingers around the toe, thumb pressing into the floor). Engage the legs, especially by hugging the midline, and then widen the inner thighs back and apart. Shift your weight onto one foot as you lift the other leg straight out to the side. Gluteus medius, as an abductor, gets a workout on the lifted leg, while, as a stabilizer, gets a workout on the standing leg.)
Butt massage on floor - Pigeon
Mantra missile

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Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...