A blog inspired by nature living in movement
Join me for some straightforward and approachable micromovement that will not only help you prepare for the Bujapidasana (shoulder pressure) posture but is worthwhile in its own right as a mobility flow.
The prerequisite for Bujapidasana is Malasana (squat, aka Garland pose) with heels on the ground.
FYI, the sound on this video gets a little crackly toward the end.
Hi everyone! Here's a quick reference to my current schedule through 2020.
Low Flow 09:00 - 10:30 (not for beginners) &
Wednesdays: Essence of Core 10:00 - 10:30 (all levels)
Thursdays: Ashtanga 09:00 - 10:00 (all levels)
Sundays: Audio-only Yoga Nidra 20:00 - 20:45 (all levels)
03/10/2020 Anatomy of Adjustments: The Limbs
07/11/2020 Anatomy of Pregnancy & Birth
02/01/2021 Anatomy of Adjustments: Restorative...
To my readers and friends in yoga who are new to anatomy: please take heart. The conversation is loaded with jargon, and it gets especially slippery where fascia is concerned. To sort out the extensive controversies in nomenclature, the Fascia Research Society established a Fascia Nomenclature Committee (FNC) in mid‐2014.1 Take a look at the website with the most recent updates to the FNC paper to get a longer read on just how confusing and fractious the topic of fascia has become in recent decades!
The present post is a kind of "phrasebook of fascia" to establish commonality for how I use the term in my work. To be honest, I don't even like using the term 'fascia' because it is so divisive. But what is it? Here I am simplifying the nomenclature to guide you into the conversation at ground level with resources to get you conversing comfortably in the wild.
The above is pretty much all anyone...
Warning: this post is not for you if you haven’t accepted systemic racism as fact. If you are white and haven’t acknowledged your racism, then my ideas here won’t make sense to you. For us all to get the memo, I’ve included links out to two influencers of many in the BLM conversation that have helped me level up my understanding from basically zero to where I’m at now (which is still beginner level).
My training is in yoga, art, and anatomy. I did not study social justice or feminist theory or any related fields at a scholarly level sufficient to inform my views on systemic racism. This kind of reflexivity is important at a time when everyone with a blog feels compelled to project their inner journey of accepting racism for what it is.
It is now just over one month since the brutal murder of George Floyd. We have never been so dead to rights confronted by our complicity in systemic racism. For my own part, I have never in my...
Are you starting to suspect that this anatomy blog is more concerned with the potential “space” of body materials than with the actual muscles and bones themselves? But wait – didn’t we learn in anatomy basics that muscles pull on the bones to make the movement happen? What about all those attachments and insertions we spent years trying to memorise?
It turns out that things in the body aren’t so easily pinned down. As you might have noticed already, the story of anatomy involves much more than the discrete actions of muscles pulling on bones, vessels, and even more than the [more recently] venerated fasciae. It is really more about becoming tuned into the tube.
This “tubification” isn’t something I’m just making up, nor is it anything particularly woo-woo or novel. All we have to do is keep going back to the development, a process that reveals just how similar we are to every other species (and the conservation of...
The Five Flows approach is a practical way of learning postural anatomy. It brings together key concepts from embryology together with rotational rhythms to support an evolving body intelligence from the inside out. As a codification of rotational patterns, each of the Five Flows is a convergence of medial and lateral rotation:
Taking into account the evolutionary development of human morphology, embryology, and the spirality inherent in all living things, this method of movement is quite simply all about going with the flow. In the Five Flows, you will learn how opposing directionalities of flow coordinate movement as rotation throughout the body.
In the Five Flows, you'll learn how to optimise these directionalities and use them to harness power by moving along loading patterns that support joint congruence. Like a sailor catching the wind in your sails, movement...
padma garbhaya dheemahi
tanno Shankha prachodayaat
Oṁ Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ
Let us contemplate Pañcajanya,
He/she who is installed in a lotus,
May that Shankha (sound of Shankha: Om) inspire us and awaken our Consciousness.
Anatomy-wise, most of us start with the gross, and my story is certainly rooted in that.
So who am I?
I’m a superfluously educated, cisgender, white American ex-pat mother of two young children living in Scotland, currently experiencing the accelerating erosion of what little edge I once had. I remember spontaneously acknowledging this privilege in my twenties, begrudgingly, despite having worked tooth and nail for everything I had.
Then I realized, of course, that privilege resides in the opportunity to have work in the first instance, and the opportunity to carry it out without the constant threat of bodily harm. Indeed, the nature of most bodily harm I’ve experienced has been inherently privileged, that is to say, I seemed to seek it out. Speaking of which, I’m also a self-diagnosed recovering Ashtangi trying to make sense of yoga in a post-#MeToo and post lineage, quite possibly post-yoga yoga world changed forever by a pandemic.
But this is a blog about...
Talking about spirals in asana is nothing new. Many hatha yoga educators (past and present) instruct movement using verb forms related to the spiral.
Across movement disciplines, what unites us is a zeitgeist of yearning for a greater understanding, not only of the anatomy, but how it moves. Why? From where I’m standing, it looks like we’re all really tired of suffering. Since moving in harmony with the lay of the land feels good, it follows that our literature base is building a core of new ideas for how and why our bodies might move the way they do.
Can it really be that simple? Objectively, simply feeling good, by which I mean empowered and sustainably pain-free, is a sound justification for guiding how we practice movement. But does feeling good now equate to feeling good in ten years’ time? What about in twenty-five years? Just because something feels good doesn’t mean more is better. Research is showing that connective tissue takes time to reveal...