Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 6 - Loves and Hates

Like every Yogini I have yoga asana that I love and yoga asana that I hate.

My personal nemisis are backbends. Strong backbends such as chakrasana and full unmodified utrasana are big no-nos for me because of my scoliosis. These asana put too much pressure on my thoracic spine and end up doing more harm than good.

However, I do need backbends within my practice to open up my chest -- one of the problems with thoracic scoliosis is a tendency to slouch into the chest so chest openers rather than strong backbends are the way forward. Whilst I really do have to persuade myself into them I do find a gentle Setu Bhandasana or Salambhasana very helpful. Some days I'm even up for a modified utrasana (with my hands on my lower back rather than my heels).

Working through modifications for back problems such as scoliosis and fatigue problems such as CFS and Fibromyalgia has been one of the highlights of my career thus far as a yoga teacher - I cannot tell you how liberating it is to find a way of modifying a posture to gain the benefits without putting the body under strain.

But what are my loves when it comes to yoga asana? Well I love anything that works on elongating the spine and sides of the waist and works on lifting out of the hips whilst grounding through the feet:- balances such as vrkasana for example, or vertical standing poses such as virabhadrasana 1 (although personally I would say the stance in that picture is way too wide!)

But my all time favourite yoga pose has to be Downward Dog. I am happy to hang there for breath after breath, releasing and releasing and releasing into my crooked spine :)

Sometimes it's good to think about those poses we dread - very often the body needs what it least wants.


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