“As long as you can take a deep breath in the pose, you’re safe.”
How many times have you heard this phrase from a yoga teacher? You may have even heard it from me…
Deep breathing has always been the fail-safe awareness detector for pose safety. The prevailing myth is that your breath is the best way to gauge whether or not you have traveled too deeply beyond your edge in a pose.
Raise your hand if you’re sitting down. Now raise your hand if you’re wearing shoes that have a heel height of an inch or more (running shoes and men’s dress shoes count).
Hand still in the air? Chances are, your hamstrings are tight. Really tight. Which means you’re more prone to damage in the knee and hip joints, pelvic floor disorders and low back pain.
What do these two seemingly unrelated things (your shoe choice and the likelihood you’ll be sitting most of the day) have to do with your hammies? Here are a couple basic things you need to know to connect the dots:
A few months ago I wrote a blog on the perils of overstretching that seemed to strike a chord with many of my students and readers. But for every overstretched yogi or yogini out there, there are four times as many folks who are bound up and moving like the tin man! Most folks I meet want to know how they can become more flexible, not less flexible. So I dedicate this blog to all of you who wish to become more supple and mobile. Let the bending begin!
I began practicing yoga at age 11. My mom brought home the Jane Fonda workout and Raquel Welch Yoga videos and I became obsessed … especially with the yoga. At first I wasn’t very flexible, couldn’t touch my toes, and was extremely weak in my shoulders and core.