Bone compression – the reason you may never get into certain yoga poses

 

By @Jennie_Ay

 

Can you get your hips to face forward in Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)? Are you able to place your shin parallel to the top of the mat in Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)? Perhaps you find it difficult to lower your hand down your forward leg in Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) or bring your feet up to the opposite thighs in Lotus (Padmasana)?

 

Trying to obtain “perfect aligment” in an asana can be an exercise in futility because the ability to move the body through a yoga pose is not just about the flexibility of the muscles, tendons and fascia in and around the joint. The ability of a student to perform a yoga pose is also influenced by anatomical factors such as bone structure. For example, the shape of bones and the angles at which they articulate to form a joint.

 

External rotation, bone compression and asana alignment in Lotus (Padmasana) 

 

In addition to flexibility, the ability of a yoga student to sit in full Lotus is also determined by the shapes and angles of their left and right femur (thigh bone) and acetabulum (hip socket). Sitting in full Lotus requires the ball-shaped head of the femur to rotate outward in the hip socket at about 115 degrees.

 

Carli demonstrating the correct knee and foot position in Lotus (Padmasana). Carli is able to perform full lotus because she can externally rotate her hips to 115 degrees due to flexibilty around her hip joint but also due to the bone structure of her thigh and hip bones.

Carli demonstrating the correct knee and foot position in Lotus (Padmasana). Carli is able to perform full Lotus because she can externally rotate her hips to 115 degrees due to flexibilty around her hip joint but also due to the bone structure of her thigh and hip bones.

 


External rotation of the hips halts at the point at which the greater trochanter of the femur comes into contact with the superior rim of the acetabulum. Basically, your thigh bone will stop rotating part way into Lotus when it makes contact with the bone of the hip socket. This bone on bone contact is known as compression and prevents any further progression in that particular direction, regardless of flexibility around the joint. 
Accordingly, you may never be able to go deeper into certain yoga postures due to the shape of your bones. 

 

 

Related Articles by Absolute Yoga (Liverpool)

 

 

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 Information for New Students at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

  • Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
  • You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates 
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Stressed? Try this Simple but Effective Breathing Technique

Here is a very simple breathing and relaxation technique recommended by us at Absolute Yoga (Liverpool).

 

“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady.  But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath”. Hatha Yoga Pradipika

 

 

1. In a quiet space, with the body in a relaxed position and the eyes closed, begin to count silently in your mind how long it takes you to make a full inhalation and a full exhalation.

 

Pranayama2. Repeat the process but this time trying to enhance the breath by expanding the count and slowing down the breath. For example, if at first you inhaled for a count of three or four then try to expand this count to five or six and then repeat again, with each inhalation going further and further until you can go no higher with the count. Repeat the process with the exhalation. 

 

3, The breath will slow down and when the breath is calm, the mind is calm. Do not let the mind wander off, keep your eyes closed and let your mind’s eye focus on a ball of white light.

 

4. As you increase the breath count, keep the mind’s eye focused on the ball of white light but allow the ball to become smaller and smaller. Allow yourself to relax and, with practice and concentration, you may find you move into meditation. 

 

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  • Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
  • You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates 
  • Your first class is free and then you can choose from one of the new member introductory offers: £30 for 30 days or £40 for 40 days

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You don’t “do” yoga: you live it

 

 

It is getting to that time of year again where Christmas is just around the corner and we are all getting busier and busier by the day. Soon we will be finishing work and then heading straight out to do some Christmas shopping, watch Christmas plays and/or catch up with friends for festive drinks and good food.

 

The routine goes out the window and suddenly it is difficult to find your way to the yoga mat. Indeed, it is common at this time of year to hear the yoga students at Absolute Yoga (Liverpool) say “I feel terrible, I haven’t done any yoga for weeks”. However, talking about yoga as something that you “do” is very much construct of Western society.

 

There is a common misconception held that yoga is about being bendy and flexing into some weird and wonderful postures. However, those postures are merely the physical expression of yoga which is known as the “asana” practice: one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga described in the seminal yoga text, “The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali”. Indeed, only three of the book’s 196 sutras actually mention the asanas. Read more about the Eight Limbs of Yoga here.

 

Accordingly, over the next few weeks, when the festive season really kicks in, if you find that you cannot make it to your yoga mat then that just means that you will not be performing the physical aspect of yoga, limb three: the asana practice. However, you can still practise yoga by turning your attention to some of the other limbs and incorporating them into your everyday life. Here are a few examples which you could try:

 

 

Want to try a class at Absolute Yoga (Liverpool)? The first class is free for new students and then choose from…

 

Special Offers

 Information for New Students at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

 

  • Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
  • You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates 
  • Your first class is free and then you can choose from one of the new member introductory offers: £20 for 20 days, £30 for 30 days or £40 for 40 days

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Guest Blogger, Dan: Progress and Results So Far from Pilates and Tri-Dynamic Yoga

 

Forgive me I have sinned, I’ve had a vanity induced week away from the hot room…and in that time I’ve been able to take stock of where I am physically and also a few conversations I’ve had in and around Absolute Yoga.

 

Firstly, this past month has been my longest sustained period of yoga and the physical results are clear…

 

“I am trimmer around the waist and my arms and legs are stronger and more defined.”

 

Moreover I can now sustain through most of the classes and have been attempting to complete the more advanced options of each pose in Pilates along with heavier weights in Tri Dynamic Yoga. There has been some collapsing in a heap, but you don’t get to fly without bumping your ass a few times.

 

This did lead to a slight issue in one Tri Dynamic class while we were doing squats. The instruction was get as close to twenty reps as possible while holding your weights. So off I went at my own pace attempting to get to twenty, at around rep 11 or 12 I noticed in my periphery that someone was matching my pace. I continued, they continued, I slowed, they slowed. With no small effort I got to twenty at the same time as my nemesis, who it turns out was my reflection in a side mirror. Soft lad. Although he did motivate me on.

 

Allied to this, I have upped my protein intake, this was on the back of an overheard conversation between Fairy Yogamother and another student around what they were eating and also the slightly lethargic feeling I was experiencing in the evenings after a class. Salad alone wasn’t cutting it so following a class now I have scrambled eggs on toast and I make sure I get some lean meat in for my evening meal and I feel great for it!

 

“A quick squint at the Absolute Yoga website has shown me Rose’s blog on acid and alkaline foods, I’m going to try to incorporate some of her lessons into my diet too.”

 

I feel like the Tri Dynamic sessions are building my upper body while Pilates is improving my cardio stamina and legs. All classes provide excellent core work in my opinion, due in no small part to a lot of planking and variations on the plank. They complement each other well and to me the benefits are obvious.

 

I’ve missed my time away from the class this week and I’m eager to find out what I have retained in terms of ability and what i’ve lost in a week.

 

As always I’ll report back.

 

Namaste kids.

 

 

Want to try a class at Absolute Yoga (Liverpool)? The first class is free for new students and then choose from…

 

Special Offers

 Information for New Students at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

  • Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
  • You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates 
  • Your first class is free and then you can choose from one of the new member introductory offers: £20 for 20 days, £30 for 30 days or £40 for 40 days

  • See here to book a class

  • For class descriptions, see here

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“The thicker and deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms”

 

By @Jennie_Ay

Most yoga students are aware that “Lotus” (Padmasana) is a seated posture which opens up the hips and strengthens the spine. The posture is often performed during the practice of pranayama techniques and also meditation. Indeed, one of the original purposes of the asana practice, limb three of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, was to strengthen the spine and open up the hips so that the physical body of the yogi (Annamaya Kosha) could be still and silent throughout the journey through limbs five, six, seven and eight: pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and Samadhi.

 

However, in addition to being the name of a well known yoga asana, the flower is also spiritually symbolic in Eastern religion and Indian tradition. The studio logo of Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool) depicts an Eastern Buddha sitting within three open lotus flowers and many Indian deities are portrayed sitting on an open lotus flower or holding a lotus flower. 

 

Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

Lotus FlowerLotus flowers grow from the bottom of muddy, murky ponds and eventually bloom as beautiful flowers above the water surface. When seated in Lotus pose, the open position of the legs represent the petals of an open lotus flower. However, symbolically, the lotus flower itself represents being grounded and connected to the earth whilst growing and aspiring towards the divine. 

 

The lotus is often seen as a sign of enlightenment and divinity and, in Buddhism, the flower represents awakening and spiritual growth. However, it is also symbolic of strength and resolve in times of darkness because, although it lives in muddy water, it continues to grow towards the sunlight and remains unscathed. In fact, it is said that the thicker and deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms.

 

Lotus

 

 

Special Offers

 Information for New Students at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

 

  • Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
  • You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates 
  • Your first class is free and then you can choose from one of the new member introductory offers: £30 for 30 days or £40 for 40 days

  • See here to book a class

  • For class descriptions, see here

 

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Seasonal Timetable at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool) from Monday 24th November 2014

 

Monday Monday (Studio 3)Tuesday WednesdayThursdayFriday Saturday
8.30am
Spin HIIT
30 mins
(Jennie)
9.00am
Hot Yoga Flow
60 Mins
(Michelle)
10.00am
Hot Pilates
60 Mins
(Jennie)
10.00am
Yin Yoga
(Kate)
10.00am
Hot Pilates
60 Mins
(Jennie)
10.00am
Warm Gentle Yoga
60 Mins
(Kate)
10.00am
Hot Pilates
60 Mins
(Jennie)
6.00pm
Spin HIIT
25 mins
(Angela)
6.00pm
Spin HIIT
25 mins
(Angela)
6.00pm
Candlelit Yoga
60 Mins
(Carli)
6.30pm
Hot Yoga Flow
60 Mins
(Carli)
6.45pm
Pilates Flow
60 mins
(Jennie)
6.30pm
Power Yoga
60 Mins
(Jennie)
6.30pm
Hot Yoga Flow
60 mins
(Helen)
6.30pm
Hot Yoga Flow
60 mins
(Jennie)
8.00pm
Candlelit Yoga
60 Mins
(Kate)
8.00pm
Barre
60 mins
(Laura)
8.00pm
Candlelit Yoga
60 Mins
(Helen)
8.00pm
Restorative Yoga
60 Mins
(Jennie/Kate)
6.30pm
Barre
60 mins
(Laura)

 Information for New Students at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

 

  • Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
  • You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates 
  • Your first class is free and then you can choose from one of the new member introductory offers: £20 for 20 days, £30 for 30 days or £40 for 40 days

  • See here to book a class

  • For class descriptions, see here

 

 

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Guest Blogger, Dan: Yoga and Weights???

This week, Dan reviews our Tri-Dynamic Yoga Class…

 

Forgive me for I have sinned , I have been lazy. 

 

Obviously this is hardly a new phenomenon however, I came out of my most recent class, Hot Pilates, and felt that I hadn’t worked hard enough. This was new as I normally stagger down the stairs on unstable thighs, and jump into my car for a couple of minutes rest after the ordeal of said stairs. This time was different though and I found myself unhappy at the thought that I hadn’t pushed myself hard enough. I can’t put my finger on why I hadn’t gone hard enough, maybe it was because it was a Monday or the previous week I’d managed four classes, I don’t know. But I know this, I wouldn’t let it happen again.

 

Anyway, I promised a report on Tri-Dynamic, if my arms still work, and they do, so here it is. It’s Yoga with weights……

 

Want some more? Ok, it’s yoga with weights, and the teacher is the one and only Fairy Yogamother. The Fairy Yogamother who is now a qualified PT mentalist… maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. I had a quick read of the Absolute Yoga, Crosby website and their own words on what Tri-Dynamic was and the reasons behind the class, yoga imparts flexibility and in some cases hyper flexibility in joints but doesn’t always increase the muscle around the joints, over extending the joints can damage them if the  muscles can’t support the extension, like a castle built on sand.

 

So with a rough idea what the class was about I bounded into the room to be greeted by an extensive array of exercise equipment. The weights were to be expected, mostly kettlebells and other such unstable tools of torture. I didn’t expect the medicine balls, big bouncy balls or what can only be described as half a spacehopper and a step plank thingy, can you tell I don’t get to the gym much?

 

The mats are also laid out differently, to allow more room to lift (not swing, never swing) big lumps of iron about without fear of walloping any of your class mates no doubt. So you really do have a full range of motion and can follow the teachers instructions to the letter, this is of particular importance in Sun Salutation which includes in no particular order, jumping, waving, up dogs, down dogs and press ups. These all have yogic names that you will hear throughout your class along with bandas (controlled breathing I think) and the obligatory “use that heavier weight”.

 

And so to the weights, there’s no getting away from them. While you quietly meditate and begin to control your breathing at the beginning of the class, the teacher will distribute weights she feels match or slightly exceed your ability to you, so you awake to them like Christmas morning, but with less wrapping and bucks fizz. Invariably you’ll have two pairs, one for arm work, one for leg work, throughout the class these can be supplemented with the other apparatus to further push you. This is always done in the light and humorous way I’ve come to expect from our Fairy Yogamother, to me it feels like there is a bit more interaction in the class compared to pilates or fusion, this may be down to the size of the class, the teacher or the general approach but I’m quite sure I’d get a different response if I told Paula “no don’t wanna” like a troublesome toddler when presented with a heavier weight.

 

And so I was pushed to my limit, and a bit beyond in all manner of poses and stretches. It was hard but rewarding work and yet again I came out drenched in sweat, it is a serious workout. The class was closed with a period of meditation and when I looked up Fairy Yogamother was floating!!!! Okay once I got the sweat out of my eyes I found that she was perched on top of the space hopper, this was a feat in itself.

 

I also attended a mix of hot and regular pilates and I am feeling the benefits each and every time I go, I *think* we’ve moved away from leg work and onto core now, hopefully I’ll find out in the coming weeks if the classes move in cycles or if its my imagination but my legs feel much stronger than when I began and my core seems to be working harder now than ever before. In the last two weeks I’ve been to four classes each week, this in itself is an achievement for me and I hope I can continue my development.

 

Oh and I did a bakasananamanananabanana pose in my second class. In english its Crow Pose, in Downward Facing Fatboy its drunken crab doing a handstand.

 

Namaste kids.

 

STOP PRESS

 

Hot Pilates, sound.

 

Normal Temperature Pilates, sound.

 

Normal Tri-Dynamic, sound.

 

HOT TRI-DYNAMIC?!?!?!?!! This was unexpected and the hardest thing I’ve done in Crosby, apart from getting a piggy back off an iron man on the beach but that’s a different story. This was next level. I was expecting with the heat that things would be less dynamic than the previous Tri-Dynamic sessions, I think it might have actually been more dynamic, I sweated, I swore, I found a new and interesting way to complete table top while insulting the teacher. IT WAS BRILLIANT. It was yet another way to mix up the classes and work different elements of yourself in a different environment. Sweating has never been so fun, apart from that one time……

 

Extra Namaste kids. Get to class and get mobile

 

Read Dan’s previous blog here.

 

 

Tri-Dynamic Yoga at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)

 

 

The first class is free for new students and then choose from…

 

Special Offers for New Students

 

 

 
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Email: info@absoluteyogacrosby.co.uk
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Acid and Alkaline Eating by Rose Long

Rose Long is a Liverpool based Health Coach and Absolute Yoga practitioner. Rose has very kindly agreed to write a few guest articles for our studio in the area of health, well being and nutrition. Research suggests that the food you eat is approximately 85% responsible for factors such as body weight and overall health. Accordingly, read on: what Rose has to say is very interesting…

 

 

So, what’s the deal with acid and alkaline foods? There’s a growing trend that’s encouraging us to eat an alkaline diet…. is it just another fad? Well I’m sure it won’t be long before it’s eclipsed by the next hot health craze, but before it’s out of fashion it’s worth recognising the value at the heart of the trend. After all, recognising the importance of acid and alkaline foods is nothing new – traditional Chinese medicine was talking about it over two thousand years ago, and the Ayurvedic tradition was passing on this wisdom over 5,000 years ago.

 

As with so many health practices, the teaching at the heart of the acid/alkaline diet is balance. In the West our standard diet is tipped towards the acid end of the scale, as is our lifestyle. The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the toxins we absorb through our skin, the pesticides on our food and the stress we manage in our lives all factor into our body’s pH. The body is constantly striving to find a balance between acidity and alkalinity, measured by a pH.

 

There are acidic elements to our lives that we cannot control – air pollution being one of them. But we can choose what we eat and make a significant difference to the pH balance in our digestive system. Depending on the proportion of meat, dairy, grains (except millet and pseudo grains), sugar, alcohol and coffee you down in a day, will depend on just how acidic your diet is. Some people can happily consume an acidic diet their entire lives with no ill effect. You’ll see them in their late 80s smiling in their arm chairs, a cream cake in one hand, sherry in the other.   The rest of us aren’t so lucky.

 

In my youth I could eat just about anything you put in front of me and as long as tasted good, I didn’t give it a second thought. As I got older, I became aware that at times I was uncomfortably bloated after eating. Other times smelly wind meant it wasn’t just me that was aware something was up. Bloating, wind, indigestion, heartburn, fatigue, ulcers, candida, parasites, headaches and a low immune system can all be caused or aided by an acidic diet.

 

If you’re ready to lean away from acid forming foods, towards alkaline foods, the key to success is small steps. Any dramatic change that has you overhaul your entire diet is likely to work with a while, and then your enthusiasm will wear off, along side your will power, and you’ll be dialling for a pizza while stuffing down a packet of biscuits. Gradual change allows you to get used to one small change, before embarking on another.   Each step becomes a new healthy habit, and before you know it, months have passed and your small steps have accumulated to produce a radical, life changing shift.

 

The easiest way of understanding how to lean into an alkaline diet is to focus on what you are eating now. Take a look at your plate each mealtime. What proportion is grains (bread, pasta, rice etc)? What proportion is animal protein (cheese, meat, fish, eggs)? What proportion is plants (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils)? For most of us vegetables and fruits make up the smallest portion on our plates.   Now look at what you drink and snack on. Coffee, fizzy drinks, biscuits, crisps (don’t count as veggies I’m afraid!)? These will tip your daily intake further into the acidic pH (1-6).

 

If you need to readdress the balance, start taking steps to increase the amount of veggies you eat. Make your portion of grains and animal protein smaller, and fill up on veggies. Not only are they alkaline, they’re also packed full of nutrients. So while you’re making your digestive system smile by soothing it with alkaline foods, you’re also making your body smile, because it has more nutrients to keep you healthy.

 

Although the terms acid and alkaline sound scientific (well they do to me!), the message here is one we all know well – eat more vegetables! It’s that simple. Fruit is healthy, but you don’t want to overload on it, it’s still sugar. Veggies are where it’s at. Try snacking on carrots and celery sticks between meals. Add a scoop of nut butter or tahini if you want to stay fuller for longer. Have some avocado on toast rather than jam. Make a smoothie and add soaked hemp, chia or flax seed instead of yoghurt, add veggies to it instead of fruit. Make your own kale chips. Try using different grains – millet, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon to your water (if you’re worried about the effects of citric acid on your teeth, drink through a straw). Start swapping in a herbal tea for one of your coffees.

 

Over time the proportion of acidic foods in your diet will drop, while the alkaline foods increase. Today my plate is piled high with veggies. I can sound smug about it, but it took a long time to get here, it didn’t come naturally, there was plenty of trial and error. And I still have those days when the veggies are forgotten and all I want is meat, chips and cake! Progress not perfection is the name of the game. Don’t beat yourself up if you take a step backwards, just recommit and keep learning. And remember stress causes acid in the body, so be compassionate with yourself. Making changes can be challenging, for all of us. Keep observing yourself and learning what works for you. You’ll find the veggies you love, and you’ll know the ones that you’re not going to touch, no matter how committed you are to your health. Make choices that work for you.

 

You can find charts on-line that set out the acid/alkaline food spectrum. They tend to have small variations but they’re a good place to start. See here and here to get started:

 

 

And if you need ideas for preparing and cooking tasty veggies the River Cottage, ‘Veg Every Day’ cook book is a good place to begin. Or check out Kris Carr on-line http://kriscarr.com/recipes/ If you’re training and need protein, check out iron-man champ Brendan Brazier’s website for plant based protein recipes http://myvega.com/vega-life/recipe-center/ (sign up for his newsletter and you’ll get regular ideas straight to your in-box). If you’re wanting to experiment with cutting down on dairy and wheat, check out the River Cottage’s new book, ‘Light and Easy’. There are loads of resources out there, so look around and find what tickles your taste buds and inspires you to get into action.

 

Visit Rose’s website here.

 

Rose Long is a Liverpool based Health Coach and Absolute Yoga practitioner. Rose has very kindly agreed to hold a couple of free workshops at Absolute Yoga:

 

Update your relationship with food – Wednesday 19th November 6 – 7.30pm

 

How to fuel a busy life – Wednesday 26th November 6 – 7.30pm

 

Places are free but booking is essential. To reserve a space, please telephone the studio on 0151 928 1029, email info@absoluteyogacrosby.co.uk or book at reception.

 

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