dimanche 17 février 2019

Not All Adjustments Are Equal

Good Adjustments Serve the Mechanics & Alignment of the Body

As you learn adjustments, it’s important to understand that some adjustments are more effective than others. Every adjustment is not a good adjustment, and so you are allowed to be cautious and discerning when choosing which adjustments make in the studio. 
As a practitioner you’ve likely had a stellar adjustment that changed your life or the life of your practice and you’ve also likely experienced adjustments that have turned you off physically or emotionally. Adjustments can make or break a student’s experience, so you must exercise extra care in your delivery and technique.

 The Fundamentals of a Good Adjustment 
A good adjustment starts with an understanding of the fundamentals of a pose and then serves to further these fundamentals. This means:
 1. The adjustment serves the mechanics of the pose 
In every pose the body channels dynamic forces that help sustain what appears to be a static shape. For example, in order to execute strong standing postures, it is helpful to draw energy up the standing leg to support the pose. Thus we can think of the “mechanics of the pose” as the tension of opposites (also known as tensegrity) within the body that help to support the structure of each shape. The job of an adjustment is to assist and enhance these natural mechanics rather than work against them. This includes the pose itself as well as how  students enter and exit the pose and move through vinyasa sequences.
 2. The adjustment serves the alignment of the pose 
Simply giving verbal cues on alignment often doesn’t inform the student’s body and actions as well as an adjustment can. When we physically show students how to do a posture properly in a way that is safe and effective, they gain an internal imprint of the alignment of the posture, and can more readily replicate it in the future. The benefits of proper alignment are not just safety, but also to fine tune proprioceptive awareness in students and help them access subtler nuances of alignment as they move more deeply into the postures.
 3. The adjustment serves the anatomy of the body 
The body’s anatomy is largely fixed, and when we have a good grasp of how the joints, muscles and structures move and support one another, we can better understand how to adjust bodies in a way that compliments the body’s natural structures and places no undue force on joints or tissues.
 4. The adjustment serves the highest mental and emotional well-being of the student
 Not everyone is ready or interested in being touched physically. That’s okay! Many students have various reasons for not wanting to be touched, and space must be given to still engage the student in a way that is not physical. There are many ways to connect to students: through the breath, with a smile, by pointing to the mat to show them where to go, or even by demonstrating on your own body the adjustment that would create freedom in theirs. Be open to all the ways to connect with students.
 Ideally we strive to make every adjustment fit these basic parameters, helping to ensure safety and a good experience for every student we interact with. Our common sense, knowledge of anatomy and even personal experience will help us determine which adjustments to add to our repertoire. As we hone our adjustment techniques and develop a variety of adjustments for our teaching tool kit, we must keep in mind the importance of always being ready to learn new ideas, shelve old ideas that no longer work, and maintain one of the yogi’s best qualities – flexibility.

Basic Hand Positions

Mindful Mechanics and Appropriateness

The way we lay our hands on a student’s body as we’re giving an adjustment conveys an enormous amount about our intentions, confidence and mastery. For the vast majority of adjustments, there are three hand positions that are effective and clear. 
The Flat Hand: The Flat Hand is a great hand position anytime we place our hands flat on someone’s body. It avoids the intrusiveness of “poky fingers” and prevents us from grazing sensitive areas (in the case of Uttanasana and Downward Dog, for example) by extending the fingers back away from the palm.

The Barbie Hand: The Barbie Hand, with straight, angled fingers and tucked in thumb, is effective for moving major body parts (generally the hips). In Utkatasana, for example, the Barbie Hand allows us to apply firm, solid pressure while again avoiding gripping with the fingers.


The Barbie-Holds-the-Microphone Hand: This hand position is useful when grabbing extremities in a much more guiding and compassionate fashion than using a full grip. A gripping hand conveys force while the flat fingers and extended thumb of the Barbie-Holds-the-Microphone Hand conveys guidance and strength 

A Note About Appropriateness
In all of these adjustment techniques you do not find any instance where I recommend that hands slide from one part of a student’s body to another. This kind of “petting” leaves too much room for misinterpretation and ambiguity and is not particularly effective.

When we offer clear, concise adjustments we do our job in the highest way possible. Petting leaves room for students to wonder about their social status with a teacher, whereas firm, stationary hands reinforce the critical student/teacher relationship and create a safe space. Our students are there to be guided and receptive and proper hand positioning and technique builds this relationship of trust

To that end, we must always consider the highest integrity possible when using adjustments. Remember, adjustments come in all varieties! Sometimes the most powerful adjustment is simply to breathe with someone to encourage their breath. Sometimes all a student needs is for us to point to where their foot should be placed. Under no circumstances do we ever cross boundaries sexually or otherwise inappropriately. We never use force that is painful or inappropriate, and we always employ the utmost care possible with every student. We are there to serve their highest good in all ways, and if we do this with our adjustments, their experience is enhanced in the most positive ways.

Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries

This basic book teaches you the fundamentals of adjustment techniques. Given, however, that there are rumored to be 840,000 yoga postures (according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika), this book does not show you every adjustment for every pose. Rather, I give you the tools, competence and confidence to extrapolate what you learn about basic postures and their adjustments to postures that have similar mechanics and alignment.
 For a thorough understanding of adjustments, a comprehensive teacher training program is the best course of learning. The Kaivalya Yoga Method Online Teacher Training with facenoot.com contains a full module with video instruction, testing, and mentor feedback on this topic and can be found here
The Learning and Testing Process 
When first learning any adjustment, there are a few rules to follow to make sure you maintain the integrity of your adjustment practice and the student/teacher relationship. Here are the guidelines to follow:
 First, find someone (ideally an experienced teacher) who can do the adjustment on you. This will allow you to feel in your own body if the adjustment indeed serves the mechanics, anatomy and alignment of the pose. Be discerning! Direct experience always informs you more accurately and powerfully than mere suggestion or second-hand learning.
 Second, practice on willing people who are not your students. For example, practice on a friend, partner or fellow yoga teacher – someone who is not afraid to tell you what you might do differently, such as hand placement or pressure. Students never give you the concise and honest feedback you need, nor is it their job to do this. Your students come to your classes having every confidence in you and your knowledge. You must ensure you rise to their expectations by becoming experts at the elements you bring to class, whether it be dharma talks, alignment, clever playlists, or adjustments. Students see us as the guides, and just as a professor wouldn’t ask his students whether he is teaching them calculus accurately,  as a yoga teacher, you are there to impart the knowledge you’ve gathered to your students compassionately and confidently.
 When you feel 100% confident with a particular adjustment, it is then appropriate to bring it into the studio. This complete level of confidence is important because students feel it subconsciously, and your confidence will allow them to be more receptive to the adjustment given. If for any reason and at any point you are not 100% confident, move on and either adjust a different student or go back to steps one and two. Students are best served by confident adjustments.
Thinking Outside the Box 
As you learn the fundamentals of adjusting, you can begin to extrapolate your knowledge to different poses and new situations. Many poses look similar, with similar body alignment and mechanics. Many poses have pieces and parts that we can find in others. We can take what we know about how to adjust certain elements of the postures (alignment, mechanics, anatomy) and apply these elements to poses with related shapes.
 Here are three examples of this “inter-applicability” of adjustments: 
There are a couple of adjustments that are excellent for tadasana that are highly applicable in a multitude of situations.
 Faucet-Shoulders: This adjustment broadens the front of the chest and sets the shoulders into good alignment. This adjustment can literally be done in almost every posture where this would be helpful. For example, in cobra pose and in warrior 2. 
To do this adjustment, place the hands on the top outer edge of the shoulders. The thumbs are placed on the shoulder blade, and the fingers wrap over the top of the shoulders. Just as you turn on a faucet, press the thumbs in and forward, and pull the fingers out and back. Perform this “faucet” turning at the same time to ensure equal and opposite force is placed on the shoulder to open and broaden the chest.
 Head Lift: This adjustment aligns and creates length in the spine. It is fantastic for many standing balance poses including tree and utthitha padanghusthasana.
 To do this adjustment, place the thumbs gently beneath the occipital ridge of the head. This is just below the skull on either side of the spine. Place the fingertips of the first two fingers just behind the temples near the hairline. With gentle, even pressure, simply lift straight up. This creates an awareness to lengthen the spine, and helps with balance and posture.
 External Rotation / Upward-Reaching Arms 
Any time the arms reach up, they are externally rotated and can always be adjusted in the same general way, even when the body is turned upside down! We adjust the upper arms in the same way whether a person is in downward facing dog or in urdhva hastasana.
 To do this adjustment, place the hands on the upper arm with the thumbs toward the inner arm, and the fingers wrapping around the outer arm. Gently and firmly rotate the upper arm toward the fingers (external rotation). This helps the scapula to widen and allows the upper trapezius muscles to release.
 Forward Folds 

The mechanics and alignment of standing forward folds are generally the same across the board. Once we understand how to adjust uttanasana, for example, we can do that same adjustment on a student in prasarita padottanasana (wide-legged forward fold).
 To adjust uttanasana, place one flat adjusting hand on the sacrum, directly above the heels. Press straight down to ensure balance and stability. Place the other hand firmly on the back with the fingertips toward the head. Without sliding or moving the hand, press down and toward the legs to deepen the stretch. The pressure does not need to be great for the student to benefit from the adjustment. This adjustment helps to stabilize the student in the posture, and offer direction and insight into the experience of the posture.

Discovering Worthwhile Adjustments
When practicing with another teacher, they may do a new adjustment on a student next to you that looks intriguing. In this case, you have a stellar opportunity to learn something new for your repertoire! Everyone in yoga is always learning from one another – just make sure to follow the steps in learning and testing process to ensure that any new adjustments you learn are learned properly and that you are fully prepared to perform these adjustments on your students.
And also remember, while this manual doesn’t give you an adjustment for every single pose, it lays down some fundamental concepts. This is just the beginning of the journey in learning adjustments, and getting comfortable with a hands-on connection to students when it is appropriate. For now, practice the basic mindfulness described here and infuse it into your own practice, or as you teach. 

Clarifying Your Intention

Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries

Everything we think can be transmitted and felt through touch. Thus as we place our hands on students, our intention and focus are critical factors in delivering an excellent adjustment. The power of an adjustment stems not just from the physical movement, but also from our ability to connect deeply with our students and offer them what they need most.
 Just as you might set an intention for a yoga practice, so we also set an intention when giving hands-on adjustments. Before we place our hands on any students, we must be sure our intention is only to serve their “highest good.” We can interpret the meaning of that phrase any way we like as long as our focus is on what is best for the student. 
Sometimes we harbor judgments about students. We may know this person outside of class, or we may think the student is cute or creepy, or we may have heard a rumor about this person. If we think the student is cute, they feels that in our touch, which might cross boundaries and elicit potentially inappropriate feelings from the student. If we think the student is creepy, the student senses that, too, and might feel hurt and judged. Many people attend yoga class to be free of any kind of expectations or judgments and if we muddy the waters with an unclear touch, we might break the student’s faith in the yogic process. 

When in Doubt: Don’t touch 
As teachers (and humans), we are not perfect. Judgments creeps in. This is an opportunity for us to notice where we are having difficulty shedding our judgments and do some of our own inner work on these feelings. In the meantime, we wait until we can clear our minds before touching these students. Once the mind is clear and we are ready to serve, then the adjustments we give will be all the more powerful.
 Remember, the correct intention is simply to serve the highest good. There is no specific desire or wish for what that means. If we approach the student thinking he or she should do this or that (she should be able to bind here, he should not go up into handstand) then we are also on dangerous ground.
 In general, it’s a good idea to remove “should” and “shouldn’t” from the yoga room lexicon. We want to free students from the boundaries and limitations these words create. And students are often capable of so much more than both we and they initially think, which leaves room for exciting 

In the quest to serve the student’s highest good in the yoga class, this does not always mean bringing the student more deeply into a pose or pushing them beyond their current state, but simply looking for ways to create more freedom and relieve tension. Sometimes this can manifest in making a posture more easeful or modified for the student so they feel a freer expression of the pose. It can be in supportive ways like giving a student a block or a strap. Or, it can be to bring students beyond what they thought was possible and help them realize their full potential.
When we, as teachers, are unfettered by expectations or judgments, then our students are free to be whatever their hearts most desire. And, best of all, we become receptive to that.

The Importance of Touch

Connect with Students

The Power of Connection 
We are not a touch culture. When we greet someone we nod and smile or, at our most affectionate, shake hands.  And that’s the extent of physical contact we tend to get from the outside world. How many people do you really get to hug on a daily basis? How often are you touched with intention and caring? Genuine intimacy is a rare gem these days. 
Let me share a story: 
I had a student who came to a Monday night class of mine every week for years. One day she stayed after class and asked if she could talk with me. In this quiet moment she finally revealed why she attended my class so often. I was the only person who touched her, sometimes for weeks on end.
 I was stunned. I had never even considered this possibility. But then I really looked at her. I saw a forty-year-old woman who – while vibrant and busy and with a thriving career – was also single with no pets or children and little time for socializing. Her family lived a thousand miles away and even when she got together with friends, a cursory hug was not enough to satisfy her need for human contact.

 And we need human contact. 
Touching others is an essential part of our health and well-being, and save for those with severe personality disorders, every person on this planet must connect. Without it, we suffer greatly, and studies have shown that a lack of human contact can result in a host of physical and mental issues. But where can we find this connection?
 American culture is somewhat touch-phobic. Sure, if you have a loving partner you may share physical intimacy... but also, maybe not. And for those who are single, where can their weary hearts find such affection? In South America, a big kiss and a hug are waiting for you, no matter who you meet. In China, women and men regularly walk down the street holding hands in friendship. It all serves an incredibly important purpose – to show we are not alone.

Give the Gift of Hands-On Adjustments
Enter yoga adjustments. Adjustments are a form of physical contact that allow student and teacher to create a relationship of touch that is safe and nurturing. Romantic emotions do not enter into this. Rather, this is a safe, trusting connection that provides the support system for a student to practice surrender and move beyond the boundaries of what they thought they could do on their own.
Adjustments do not disempower the student. Through hands-on adjustments we can show students what is possible, and once we’ve shown them, they then have the tools to return to this new place on their own. Ultimately, our adjustments are not meant to hinder the student, or keep them coming back for the same help over and over, but to facilitate independence and the evolution of their practice. By giving students the support and trust they need to be able to move past their current boundaries, we open up new worlds of possibility for them.
This can be as simple as breathing calmly with them during an intense pose, or by physically supporting and guiding them through a moment of fear. However, turning a student inside out and upside down in a Wheel Pose, for example, can only happen when the student has full faith and trust in us as a teacher. We must do our part through diligent study of adjustments to warrant and earn that trust. Only then do we have the opportunity to lead students to places they may otherwise never venture without the support of another human being.
Address YOUR Doubts
These days, adjusting students can seem like scary business. For many reasons – from lack of confidence to fear of injury or lawsuit – teachers sometimes shy away from giving adjustments altogether. While verbal adjustments and even light adjustments have their place in a successful yoga class, any student who has had a transformational adjustment knows how important it is for this technique to be a part of a teacher’s skill set.
Just as a picture can take the place of a thousand words, a confident adjustment can sometimes unlock a pose far more effectively than verbal cues. By reaching outside our own comfort zone as teachers and becoming adept at adjustments, we have the opportunity to deepen our students’ experience of yoga physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Hands-on adjustments provide connection: between the teacher and student, between the students and their poses, and between the student, the teacher and what is possible.

lundi 17 décembre 2018

Fight Stress With Three Kundalini Yoga Breathing Exercises

If you are stressed from juggling the combined responsibilities of home and work, perhaps it is about time that you learn Kundalini Yoga. You can do these breathing exercises practically anywhere and anytime, taking only a few minutes of your time.

The breathing techniques from Kundalini Yoga are very effective in fighting stress and purifying the blood. As you do the breathing exercises, you are also detoxifying your body in the process – you can feel the heat from the energy that your body gives off every time you exhale.

Although they sound very simple, these breathing exercises require proper instructions and execution to gain from it. A certain way should be followed and it takes time to execute them well. These breathing exercises are used in many Eastern countries to treat depression and other heart conditions.

Three Kundalini Yoga Breathing Exercises

Long Deep Breathing
A lot of people forget to breathe properly. Instead of taking long and deep breaths, people often take short and shallow breaths. Taking long and deep breaths help people be more energized to last through the day. Long and deep breathing is included in the breathing exercises of Kundalini Yoga. This breathing exercise aims to fill the lungs through the chest area. This helps energize all the nerve endings and the entire body as a whole.

Breath of Fire
This exercise focuses on pushing the air out, opposite to taking long deep breaths. By taking breaths of fire, you are pushing the air out of your body. When you do this, you should be able to hear your breath making a “whoosh” sound. This breathing exercise helps your glands to secret, which helps purify the blood.

Breathing Through One Nostril at a Time
Like the name implies, this breathing exercise is done by breathing through one nostril only. This will help you gain better concentration and let you energize your body more. In order to be more effective, it is recommended that you focus on the silence and the stillness while holding your breath, then release the air slowly. This breathing exercise will help clear your mind and give you better concentration and focus. Breathing alternately through one nostril will give you a clear mind and better concentration and focus.

To know more about Kundalini Yoga check out the KUNDALINI YOGA TRAINING PROGRAM starting in NYC this October!! Join internationally renowned yoga teacher Hari Kaur Khalsa, author of A Woman’s Book of Yoga (Penguin), for a nine-month intensive program that will transform your life, deepen your practice, and open up new career paths. This is an amazing opportunity to study with a master! For more info

How to survive Christmas without gaining weight

Christmas is around the corner and you know how easy it is to gain weight between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. It is so easy to gain, but not very easy to lose those extra pounds.You do not have to put on those 2 pounds during this time and you do not have to deprive yourself of your favorite treats either. Just be smart about it with these simple tips and tricks and you will be set.

Eat Smart Before You Go To The Party

Eat before you go to parties or events with lots of snacks or sweets, even if it is something like holiday cookie decorating. Never go to an event famished. Smart snacks before hand include fresh fruit and yogurt, cheese and crackers or Chicken Soup to protect against cold holiday weather! This will help control eating and loading up a plate with sugary or fatty snacks.

I actually like to drink a protein shake about an hour before the event. It reduces hunger cravings by suppressing the hunger signals that come from my stomach and my brain. I prefer shakes that have slightly more proteins than carbs.

Look at All the Food At The Party First

Upon arrival at a party have a glass of water and quickly take a look at all the options, such as buffet tables, hor d’oeuvre plates and snacks. Fill up a plate with healthier choices first so by the time the plate is empty, hunger pains have gone away. Avoid bowls of mixed nuts, chips and dip or Chex mix.

Exercise A Just Little More

Increase the usual exercise routine in order to burn off extra calories from the excess of holiday eating and treats. Do this by waking up a little earlier, or increasing the exercise routine by one or two more sessions per week.

Limit Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol can be a big problem. Not only do alcoholic beverages have an obscene amount of calories and/or sugar, but after a couple it can cause one to not care what they eat! With mixed drinks, use club soda, tonic or low-calorie diet sodas. Choose light beer and remember that five ounces of wine is a serving (white is a better option then red).

Talk To Someone Who Knows This Stuff

If you feel that you would like to talk to a certified Fitness Trainer simply join our FREE Community and we will set up a 30 min. complimentary phone call for you. We know that each person has differnet needs and so we want to make our advice as personal as possible.

Make this Christmas a fun time filled with family, friends and good food. Don’t stress about limiting your food options, just be smart about it. It is that simple. Check out our FREE Community where you can learn even more about staying fit and other topics related to weight loss.

What’s so good about Pilates?

Pilates is really a bodily health program that focuses on using the thoughts to manage the muscle tissues. This distinctive health program centers around the core postural muscle tissues that help in keeping the physique in stability and are essential in providing support to the spine. There are a number of methods to carry out the exercises on this program and numerous types of Pilates gear is obtainable within the marketplace.

What is so good about Pilates? Well the program introduces you to a distinctive model of exercises that focus around the core of your body and help in enhancing your flexibility. The people who train around the Pilates bodily health program are likely to experience a increase in daily functionality with the physique. The program continues to be improvement to cater for different requirements of anybody looking for bodily health. Pilates can have effects just like yoga which also offers the physique with more flexibility.

What is so good about Pilates? It has the same effect on your muscle tissues as weightlifting without adding as well much bulk. It tones and lengthens all of the muscle tissues of your body. In addition to all of this, Pilates helps in relieving the pains and aches of your body. A session of Pilates leaves you relaxed at the end and boosts your power instead of draining it.

Focus and consideration is essential for the 1 performing the Pilates health exercises. This is a feature of yoga, nevertheless Pilates has many other advantages which makes it your comprehensive physical exercise strategy. You will find several types of Pilates gear obtainable on which 1 can carry out countless different exercises that have a fantastic impact on all of the muscle tissues of your body.

Generally summarizing all of it, Pilates is really a well-liked health program as it gives the mixed impact of numerous exercises such as yoga, weightlifting and swimming, refreshing the physique and thoughts at the same time.

For more information on treadmills for sale and discount treadmills please visit our website.

Things You Should Know About Gluten Free Diet

Gluten is actually a protein within the majority of grains specifically in rye, barley and wheat. Numerous people can’t absorb gluten but that doesn’t mean you can’t consume something delicious just like pastries. It really means that the cookies, pies and bread you do consume needs to be created from ingredients other than wheat, rye or barley. The people with Coeliac disease (a disease that affects the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food) needed a free gluten food for their Gluten Free Diet so this means a diet completely free of gluten.

Gluten free diet

The sufferers of celiac disease can consume plain meat, fish, rice, fruits, and vegetables as they just do not contain gluten as much as they just like and you are able to consume a well-balanced diet without gluten. People are able to use potato flour, rice flour, soy flour, or bean flour instead of wheat flour or they also can purchase gluten-free bread, pasta, and other products from special food companies. So all food ingredients should be read carefully to make sure the food does not contain gluten.

Listed here are items to eliminate the gluten to reduce your symptoms!

Make sure you looked over labels of food!
Think about making your own private yogurt from your home as yogurt is really a vital part of a healthy diet for Coeliac disease patients but you must avoid yogurts with fruit as they can be contain gluten.
Decrease as many processed foods as it can be because gluten is hidden in several products that we utilize everyday for instance lunch meats, salad dressing, ketchup, and canned soups.
Distilled white vinegar, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, malt flavoring, modified food starch, monogylcerides and diglycerides, red or yellow food dyes are products you should know which could result in critical dietary discomfort for celiac disease patients.
By restricting the foods you eat you’ll be able to live a healthy life with celiac disease as long as you understand what your food enemies are and ways to replace the nutrients you will be losing.
When you’re not so sure how to consume appropriately then you have to consult to a nutritionist.
Here are a few suggestions for Gluten Free Diet


Sunday–Seriously Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes
Monday–Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal
Tuesday–Gluten-Free Granola with Walnuts and Mulberries
Wednesday–Eggs in Tomato Cases
Thursday–Potato Parsley Pancakes
Friday–Custom Fruit Salad
Saturday–Spanish Omelet

Sunday — Gluten-Free Pizza
Monday — Sushi
Tuesday — Mediterranean Dolmas
Wednesday — Risotto
Thursday — Tuna Pasta Salad
Friday — Grass-fed burger
Saturday — Black bean burritos

Sunday — Roast Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Zucchini and Squash
Monday — Szechuan Peanut Noodles with Broccoli
Tuesday — Ricotta Stuffed Chicken, Rutabaga and Carrot Puree, Salad
Wednesday — Beef Stew
Thursday — Stuffed Green Peppers
Friday — Barbecue Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Spinach
Saturday — Thai Chicken Curry