Downward dog

Downward Dog Can Help or Hurt

Downward dog: the foundational yoga pose. The pose that is supposed to “reset everything.” The pose that feels so good to practice when you wake up.

Or does it? Does downward facing dog feel good to your body?

It should feel good: when performed properly it lengthens the spine, activates the shoulder stabilizers and decompresses the neck.

If it doesn’t, let’s figure out why.


Boat pose

Tight hip flexors? Change the way you do this exercise.

This post is for you, my running friends! And anyone else who has short, tight hip flexors…

The exercise above is called boat pose. Many people practice variations of it to strengthen the abdominal muscles. A common variation is double leg lowering, where the legs are lowered and raised. This pose can work to strengthen the abdominals, but when we feel this pose mainly in the muscles on the top of the thighs, the hip flexor muscles are doing the work.

Why might this be the case?


Be careful with these stretches

The Cause of Low Back Pain

Back pain is the result of too much movement in the spine relative to the surrounding areas. It can be from too much flexion (forward bending), too much extension (backward bending), or too much rotation during our everyday lives. Yoga can decrease your back pain if you learn to perform the poses in a way that promotes stability of the spine. Doing the poses the wrong way can contribute to hypermobility and pain.


Flexibility vs Hypermobility

Flexibility vs Hypermobility

Yoga can be used to improve our flexibility, but if we are not practicing carefully, it may cause a hypermobility (the loss of control at a joint). This is what can lead to injury.

In order to bring our bodies into better balance, we need to emphasize stability with our practice. Over the next few posts, I will be mentioning some of the most common hypermobilities seen in yoga class and how to prevent them. If we can activate the small stabilizing muscles close to each joint, we can improve strength and minimize joint wear and tear.


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