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!

Make Your Posture Perfect: Breathe Down Your Spine

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 13th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: breath, breathe, breathing, chest breather, diaphragm, Dr. Kelly Starrett, erectors, exercise, intercostal muscles, Jill Miller, lower back, lungs, massage, muscles, posture, respiratory system, rhomboids, ribs, slouch, slump, spine, tension, trapezius, vertebrae, Yoga, Yoga Tune Up

Are you proud of your posture? Or do you feel a bit slumpy? Did your mom tell you to sit up straight? Does she still cajole you?

I’m on your mom’s side! Most people do not pay enough attention to their daily posture and everyday movement habits, and it can have long-term health consequences if left unimproved. I see postural issues daily in my Yoga Tune Up® classrooms. And as a self-proclaimed “posture princess,” I want to motivate you to make better choices to improve your carriage.

The Most Important Part of a Yoga Pose

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: brain, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, clear the mind, inversion, legs up the wall pose, meditation, muscles, nervous system, pranayama, relax, relaxation, self-massage, stress, tension, thoughts, tissues, Unmani Mudra, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, yoga-practice

Yoga PoseHave you ever wondered what to prioritize when you are doing a yoga pose? What is the most important thing to focus on when doing Triangle? Or Downward Dog? Or Savasana? Ask 15 different yoga teachers from different yoga lineages and you will likely get 15 different answers. Is alignment the most important? Is it the breath? Awareness? Eye gaze? What is it?

I have wrestled with this question myself and have attempted to deconstruct hundreds of poses to figure out what is most important … but after 29 years of practice (yep, I’ve been practicing since I was a kid!) there is one element that I come back to again and again — and it might surprise you!

What My Daily Practice Looks Like

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | March 1st, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: backbends, core, corpse pose, daily yoga practice, dance, handstand, inversions, Leg Stretch #3, longevity, matador circles, meditation, Monk Walks, movement, posture, Psoas, rotator cuff, savasana, self-massage, Shoulder stabilization, Side Bends, squats, twist, Twisted Triangle, uddihyana bandha, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga block, yoga instructor, yoga poses, yoga teacher, yoga therapy balls, Yoga Tune Up, Zobha

Daily Yoga PracticeStudent: Jill, what do you actually do for your personal yoga practice?

Me: I practice what I teach.

Student: You mean you don’t do anything else? Spinning? Or running? Or Zumba? I mean, how do you get your arms to look like that?

Me: I don’t mean to sound cryptic … but I practice what I teach.

It’s true. I have been practicing yoga and multiple movement arts since I was 11 years old, and the yoga practice I teach in the classroom (I began teaching part-time at age 19 at The Omega Institute) has evolved and changed with me through the past two decades. The work I share in my classes, workshops, conferences and videos all resonates with my own discoveries in my personal “jungle gym” of a practice.

How I Lost My Voice — And Found It Again with My Own Two Hands

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | January 26th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: Jill Miller, laryngitis, listen to you body, losing your voice, lost voice, music, Robyn, Saturday Night Live, singing, SNL, speechless, Stockholm, stress, swedish massage, Swedish pop star Robyn, teaching, tongue massage, vocal cords, yoga class, yoga instructor, yoga teacher, Yoga Tune Up, yoga workshop, Yogayama studio

Lost VoiceLast month I spent a week in Stockholm, Sweden, teaching my Yoga Tune Up® Integrated Embodied Anatomy module to a group of future yoga teachers at Yogayama studio. I arrived in icy-cold Stockholm late at night after a 22-hour journey. When I awoke jet-lagged the next morning, I was hoarse — very hoarse. With 20+ hours of teaching ahead of me over the next four days, I was concerned. There was no way to call in a “sub.”

Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape — Open Your Hips!

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | December 19th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Yoga | tags: alignment, disc degeneration, flexibility, hip openers, hips, Jill Miller, leg stretches, mobility, pain, Paris Hilton, posture, spinal discs, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up

Bent out of shapeFew things outrage me more than bad posture. I get really bent out of shape when I see people who are literally bent out of shape. It is so simple to improve your posture, and it is totally free and requires no gym membership.

Here are some Don’ts:

1. Don’t lean into one hip and cock it off to one side.

2. Don’t slump your spine like a willow tree.

3. Don’t emulate the posture of Paris Hilton.

Here are some Do’s:

1. Stand up straight.

2. Point your toes forward.

3. Have some respect for your own structure.

Okay, good, glad I got that off my chest.

Experiencing “Yoga Block”? How to Get Out of That Pose Rut

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 29th, 2011 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: asana, barbara benagh, boredom, change, creativity, cross-training, exercise, Fitness, gabriella giubilaro, imagination, Jill Miller, Kathryn Budig, muscles, plateau, repetitive, repitition, rodney yee, routine, sequence, Triangle Pose, willy wonka, workout, Yoga, yoga block, yoga DVDs, yoga poses, yoga rut, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga videos, yoga-practice

Yoga block

Is your yoga practice getting a little stale? Maybe you’ve been going to the same class at the same time each week for the past year. Or perhaps you use a video — the same video — every day. If you’re finding yourself a tad uninspired to get on your mat, you might be suffering from yoga block. And I don’t mean a yoga block “prop,” although if you’re really in a rut then your practice may need a little propping up!

It’s Time to Take a Bow!

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | December 29th, 2010 | 3 Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: affirmation, asana, back-pain, block, blood pressure, brick, cell phone, circulation, congratulation, economy, forward fold, gratitude, Jill Miller, job security, neck pain, negativity, new year, optimistic, resolutions, strap, stress, take a bow, trapezius pain, water bottle, yoga pose, Yoga Tune Up

Take a Bow yoga pose

2010 has been a tough year for many. People are working harder than ever (if they are lucky enough to have a job) with less pay, fewer benefits and uncertainty about their job security. It has truly been a stressful grind for our minds, bodies and spirits.

When Yoga Hurts Instead of Heals

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | November 4th, 2010 | 12 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: addiction, asanas, back-pain, biomechanics, drop backs, flexibility, forward bend, forward fold, headstand, injuries, joint torque, neck pain, nerve damage, Patricia Sullivan, plow pose, practice, sciatic pain, shoulder stand, theraputic, Veeparita Korani Mudra, Yoga, Yoga Journal, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga-therapy

Woman doing a painful yoga posePain, numbness, tingling? Do any of these describe the feelings you have when you come out of an asana? Please heed these warnings! Not all yoga poses are safe for all people. Just follow expert yoga teacher Patricia Sullivan’s story in the October 2010 issue of Yoga Journal. She painfully details a journey of denial in which her headstand caused (yes, caused) crippling nerve pain that eventually culminated in her falling asleep at the wheel and driving off the road into a lagoon.

Can Yoga Help You Catch Some Zzz’s?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | July 22nd, 2010 | 17 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: breathing, corpse pose, health, insomnia, meditation, savasana, sleep disorders, stress, therapy, yin yoga, Yoga Tune Up

Woman with insomnia

Perhaps you’ve heard the claims from your neighbor, “yoga cured my insomnia.” Or maybe your co-worker boasts, “I practice three times a week and my back pain is gone.” It’s possible that your 11-year-old daughter squeals with delight because she can now touch her toes and no longer gets “homework headaches.”