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The 11 Components of a Yoga Pose

I don't want to freak you out, but a yoga pose is way more complex than you think. There are 11 components or systems at work in each yoga pose. I freaked you out, didn't I? Not to worry - you don’t need to be actively working on, or thinking of all 11. If you work on performing your pose to the best of your ability and avoid incorrect positioning, posture, and alignment, the rest will come naturally. This is one of the main reasons I invented the Gurugrid. If we reduce the time spent on the most easily corrected (12th) component – placement on the mat, we will have more time and energy to dedicate to the 11 other,...

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Breathing is an integral and often overlooked part of yoga. Pranayama, Kapalbhati, Ujjaya, Lion’s Breath, and Breath of Fire each have their own purpose and benefits. I would like to share with you, my experience and thoughts on Ujjaya breathing. Ujjaya breathing is the technique most commonly used throughout the entire yoga class. The inhale and exhale (usually to a count of 5) guide the duration and rhythm of each asana and the transitions in between. It lasts throughout the entire class and it is very easy to lose track of. However, if you pay attention to it, Ujjaya breathing has the ability to connect you with transformational energy within you and around you. Remember that yoga is thousands of years...

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Is Your Side Plank Positioned Properly?

Your arm should be positioned directly under your shoulder in Side Plank to get the most out of this pose and to avoid strain on your shoulder joint. How do you know if your arm is placed properly in relation to your shoulder joint and body? 2 ways 1) Measure the distance between your shoulder and heels. You can do this with a measuring tape, or by laying down on your Gurugrid mat. Once you plot these 2 points, you have your placement points for your hand and heel. or  2) Have your yoga teacher check your pose for correct positioning and make any adjustments. You can be sure that you have found your placement points. :) The same thing goes...

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The Most Important Muscle in Yoga....and Every Other Activity in Your Life

What do Mula Bandha, root lock, Kegel muscles, pelvic floor, Transverse Abdominis (TA or TVA), and core all have in common? They are all, essentially, the same thing. While there are several muscles involved, they are all interconnected and result in stabilization the pelvis and by extension, the entire body. By learning how to access the pelvic floor muscles (Mula Bandha, root lock, and Kegels), you will develop the ability to strengthen the Transverse Abdominis / core. I can’t overstate how important it is to develop and use these muscles for balance and stability. At the same time, I can’t overstate how overlooked they are. The purpose of this post is not to give you too much info on how...

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Know Your Hip-Width For These Poses

Hip-width is one of your 5 essential measurements in yoga. It's necessary to know this measurement in poses where legs are placed in parallel as well as extended lengthwise. Placing your feet and knees properly is important for both stability and hip joint safety. Parallel-leg Poses The Gurugrid’s lines and numbers make it easy to plot these two points and return them each time you perform the poses. Examples Uttkatasana, Forward Fold, Camel, Table Top, Cat/Cow, Wheel, Downward Dog, Plank, Reverse Plank, Reverse Table Top, Chaturanga, Hero (slightly wider than hip-width) Extended-leg Poses Hip-width is also important for poses where the legs are extended length-wise. Often these poses are performed by placing the legs in a straight line, but the proper position is...

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