Yoga Tune Up®

The Perfect Posture for a Pain-Free Pregnancy

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | January 10th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Yoga | tags: Aligned and Well, baby bump, back-pain, biomechanics, Clicking Sacroiliac joints, Coregeous, diaphragm vacuum, diastasis recti, Dr. Kelly Starrett, Eden Fromberg, Esther Gokhale, EveryDay Paleo, expecting, Gokhale Method, Katy Bowman, Lila Yoga NYC, Moblitywod, neck pain, post-baby body, postnatal workouts, posture, pregnancy, pregnancy posture, pregnant, prenatal, prenatal yoga, Sarah Fragoso, spinal alignment, standing, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up Therapy Ball, Yoga Tune Up®

posture for pregnancyOver my career I have worked with thousands of postpartum women who are chasing after the body they had pre-pregnancy. After one, two or several kids, a laundry list of body complaints plagues them:

  • Diastasis recti – a soft-tissue split that occurs down the middle of the rectus and does not reconnect
  • Clicking or painful SI (sacro-iliac) joints
  • Peeing while sneezing, aka, “Snissing”
  • Low back pain
  • A feeling of disconnect from the core

This is just a short list of some of the common after-effects of child-bearing. I know from my students’ own stories that my Yoga Tune Up® approach has helped them to awaken their bodies, heal birth traumas and bring a greater sense of body peace than they had pre-pregnancy. I developed my approach through years of experimentation, study and listening to my students and experts.

But I had not yet been through the rite of passage of pregnancy myself. Until now. I am expecting in late February!

Your Breath Is Not a Safety Detector

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 14th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: body, breath, breathe, contortion, deep breathing, fascia, Gary Kraftsow, joints, myofascia, overstretching, proprioception, proprioceptors, sacroiliac joint, tissue, yoga pose, Yoga Tune Up®

Yoga Breath

“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.

Muses and Meaning: An Interview with Yogi Elena Brower (Part Two)

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | January 3rd, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Yoga | tags: Africa Yoga Project, Akasha Project, Art of Attention book, at home yoga, charity, community, desert island, deserted island, Elena Brower, Erica Jago, Every Mother Counts, Indie Go Go, interview, leg stretch, Lineage Project, Oahu, Ojai Yoga Crib, online yoga, raquel welch, self-publish, Somaly Mam, spinal twist, supine stretch, Supta Padagusthasana #3, Virayoga, Women for Women, yoga class, Yoga Gives Back, yoga instructor, yoga pose, yoga teacher, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga videos

Erica Jago

Jill Miller met fellow yogi Elena Brower this past October when they both presented at the Ojai Yoga Crib, and the two immediately struck up a friendship. When Jill found out Elena was about to publish a yoga workbook called Art of Attention (co-authored by Erica Jago), she knew she wanted to have a heart-to-heart interview: teacher-to-teacher, innovator-to-innovator and woman-to-woman. Here is Part Two of her interview. To read Part One, click here.

Shoulder this Mission: Your Range of Motion

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | October 31st, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: Anatomy, ball-and-socket joint, bones, clavicle, collar bone, deltoids, downward dog, humerus, joints, kinesiology, movement, muscles, pectoralis minor, Pranic Bath, range of motion, scapula, shoulder injury, shoulder pain, Steve Martin, trapezius, Yoga Tune Up®

Shoulder painHave you ever had a shoulder injury? If so (or even if not) it’s important to get clear about how your shoulder works so that you don’t re-injure yourself.

Quite often, learning how to locate your body’s tissues and taking the time to learn a bit about anatomy can make all the difference between keeping your body functional and damaging yourself in Downward Dog. A bum shoulder can make all sorts of everyday movements painful and difficult, so it’s vital to keep yours in working condition.

In this post, I’ll give you the tools to do just that!

What Do You Store in Your Core?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | July 24th, 2012 | 13 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: abdominal massage, abdominal pain, abdominal surgery, abdominals, abs, back-pain, bulimia, bulimic, core, Coregeous, eating disorder, emotions, Kelly Starrett, Mobilitywod.com, nauli, nauli kriya, pilates, post-partum, post-partum depression, scar tissue, Yoga, Yoga Tune Up®

Core MassageWhen I was an 18-year-old yogini, I was also an active bulimic. I was in college studying dance, training to be a shiatsu therapist (Japanese pressure point massage), making sandwiches and slicing salami at Jimmy John’s Deli, racing around Chicago learning yoga, and using food to self-medicate.

During that time, I remember never feeling connected to my core, my abdominal muscles. My Pilates teacher was always giving me corrections that I could not embody. In dance class, I was never able to find balance in my turns or jumps, and I would often duck out of class in frustration. Then I would become even angrier with myself because I was a quitter! This would inevitably lead to a binge and purge.

Can Yoga Wreck Your Body? The Dark Side of Yoga (with Shades of Gray)

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | January 13th, 2012 | 13 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: BodyTuning, Glenn Black, How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body, injuries, New York Times, proprioception, shoulderstand, William J. Broad, yoga injury, Yoga Tune Up®

Yoga Pain

On January 5th, the New York Times website ran an article entitled “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” that included excerpts from William J. Broad’s forthcoming book, The Science of Yoga: The Myths & Rewards. Within minutes of it going live, extreme controversy ensued…

Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat? When Inner Voices Aren’t Very Nice

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | November 8th, 2011 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: anorexia, body-image, bulimia, criticism, disordered eating, eating disorders, fat acceptance, Geneen Roth, Gil Hedley, inner voices, kids, mental-health, parenting, parents, teens, weight, Yoga Tune Up®, young women

Eating DisorderHow I became the chubby kid

As a child, I was given free reign to eat whatever I wanted. This meant daily bowls of crushed oreos in milk, after-school snacks of burgers and fries as a “treat” for answering phones at the family business and, in the evening, half a pint of Haagen-Dazs for dessert. Every day I satisfied my “junk-food tooth” on top of my favorite past-times: reading, watching TV or playing with Barbies. Consequently I was that kid. The chubby one.

At the time, I didn’t have a lot of critical self-consciousness about it … I can’t remember inner voices telling me “you’re fat” or “if you eat that you’ll get fatter” (although I did always wear a T-shirt over my bathing suit). I say “inner voices” because there actually were some external voices saying these exact things to me, directly and out loud: my parents and grandparents. They saw my bulging belly, thick thighs and chipmunk cheeks and thought it went beyond cutesy “baby fat.”

Going Deeper Into a Pose? Or Going Off the Deep End?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | October 5th, 2011 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: awareness, be present, exercise, Fitness, Gil Hedley, go deeper into a yoga pose, health and wellness, Jill Miller, mental fatigue, over-exertion, over-stretching, physical fatigue, soft tissue damage, somanaut, Uttanasana, work out, workout, Yoga, yoga injuries, yoga injury, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up®

Jill Miller Standing Forward Fold

Going VERY deep into Uttanasana, a.k.a. Standing Forward Bend

Have you ever wondered what your yoga teacher means when she instructs you to “go deeper into the pose?” What exactly does this cue mean? Let’s say you’ve been holding the pose for a while, and are already shaking and trembling. Then instead of calling out a new pose, your teacher calls out “drop deeper into the pose!” You summon the courage to try it … but you aren’t exactly sure how, or what component of the pose needs further deepening.

As a teacher and a teacher trainer with more than 25 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of confused yoga students interpreting this cue in myriad ways:

Short on Time? Try This All-in-One Yoga Pose!

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 21st, 2011 | 22 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: alignment, benefits of yoga, Jill Miller, Leg Stretch #3, strength, stress, stretches, time out, Yoga, yoga block, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up®

All-In-One Yoga Pose: Leg Stretch #3

I have been teaching yoga for 17 years, and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from students and yogaphobes alike is that they don’t have enough time for practice, so they avoid it altogether.

Avoiding a regular practice of stretching will never get you the healing benefits that come with the work. Even if you only do one pose a day, you will make a huge difference in your body, brain and well-being.

It’s Okay to Say “Namaste”

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | August 4th, 2011 | 9 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: closure, divine, end of yoga class, greetings, honor, Jill Miller, Kundalini Yoga, love, mantras, meditation, namaste, oneness, prayer, respect, sacred, sanskrit, santa fe, the light within me, universal consciousness, Yoga, yoga instructor, yoga teacher, Yoga Tune Up®, Yoga TuneUp, yoga-practice

NamasteThe first time I took a live yoga class, at age 12 or 13, I remember hearing some strange, prayer-like, exotic word come out of my teacher’s mouth. Everyone echoed it back, and it made me uncomfortable. It didn’t stop me from going back, but I did kind of feel “left out,” as I didn’t know what they were saying, what it meant, or if it was the name of a god or other deity. Frankly, it sounded kind of religious, and I was definitely not into god-stuff at that point in my ’tweendom.

When my teacher told me what Namaste meant (“I bow to the god within you”) and how to pronounce it (Nah- Mah-Stay), it didn’t necessarily make the phrase any easier for me to embrace. But the social pressure of  “call and response” soon won me over. I attended very small classes in Santa Fe, and any non-compliant Namaste’ers would be very obvious to the teacher and other students. At first it barely rolled out of my lips, a garbled rumble of vowels with slight hiss in the middle. I had no way of knowing that a decade later, I would be the one at the front of the room offering the same salutation to my classes.