Date:

September 16, 2017

Topics:

Anatomy, Asana

Moving from the Core

My Core Integration WS is scheduled for October 14, and here I will lay out some ideas I base my approach on. Integration.  What does it mean to have a pose well integrated? I have been structuring my classes in such a way as to allow gradual  and deep integration of various aspects of the core into one cohesive whole.  I have become really interested in this since I was introduced to Pilates five years ago.  Before Pilates, I could get by in my Yoga practice because I wa...

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Date:

September 2, 2017

Topics:

Opinion, Philosophy

Body as a Sacred Vessel

The soul is sacred.  By inhabiting your body, it makes the body sacred as well.  It helps to see the body as a vessel for the soul - it creates a sense of reverence and a responsibility to maintain the vessel.  Don't cook foul food in your vessel - it will leave unsightly gunk caked on the inside and produce a foul odor.  Instead, put only wholesome food and pure water, and cook over gentle fire of your Ujjayi breath.  As any pot that begins to smell of the food that ha...

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Date:

August 13, 2017

Topics:

Alignment, Anatomy, Asana

Yoga Alignment: Neutral Pelvis

Neutral Pelvis is one of the most important alignment cues in my teaching and personal practice.  In previous posts we talked about the few alignment points one needs to pay attention to have a safer Yoga practice and to be more confident doing Yoga at home. We discussed neck and shoulders, and now we are moving on to the pelvis.  Our daily lives and genetics predispose us to certain deviations from neutral that can contribute to tension and weakness of the postural muscle...

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Date:

August 6, 2017

Topics:

Pancha Mayas, Yoga Theory, Yoga Therapy

The Many Dimensions of a Human Being

The Pancha Mayas or the Five Sheaths Do you agree that there is more to you than meets the eye?  That you are more than just this flesh and bones?  We have feelings, thoughts, memories.  Our awareness of these other dimensions of reality is what makes us different from animals.  It is our unique privilege to have the ability to perceive reality beyond our senses, and by denying ourselves this privilege we violate something sacred – our right to fulfill our full po...

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Date:

July 29, 2017

Topics:

Anatomy, Asana

Open Your Heart

One definition of a Yogi is someone who has space around the heart.  An open, yet well-balanced heart is capable of giving and receiving love freely, with no strings attached, yet has healthy boundaries and knows when to say "no." In our Yoga Asanas a lot of attention is often given to back bends - partly to counteract the "slouchy" posture a lot of us are carrying, partly to give back to the heart some of that open, spacious feeling.  Part of the reason why we are such a slouchy ...

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Date:

July 24, 2017

Topics:

Anatomy

Fascia - The New Frontier

Have you heard of fascia lately?  I have been fascinated by the latest research that is coming out in this exciting new field.  Fascia is connective tissue which wraps around and surrounds every structure of the body: bones, muscles, organs, everything.  Think of it as a saran wrap-type of material - it is not stretchy or flexible, it is very thin, and everything in your body is connected to everything else via fascia.  Some believe that's why reflexology (foot massage) ma...

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Date:

July 14, 2017

Topics:

Alignment, Anatomy, Yoga Practice, Yoga Therapy

When does a muscle need to be "released" and when does it need to be "stretched"?

Because muscles can be in different states, such as locked short or locked long (which means they are usually weak and dehydrated due to poor circulation), stretching a muscle that feels "tight" is not necessarily a wise thing to do as a matter of default. When muscles are out of balance due to postural and movement habits, they pull too much on some bones, not enough on others, preventing better alignment in both Yoga poses and daily life. What we want is a strong muscle, one that can both elo...

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Date:

July 8, 2017

Topics:

Philosophy

Ageless with Yoga

Reading ancient Yogic texts time and again I come across  statements that Yoga adepts can cheat and escape Death itself.  One has to take these kinds of statements as metaphors, of course, but I do believe there is truth in this, as I have begun to feel the rejuvenating effects of my own Yoga practice - I am not afraid of getting old, as a matter of fact I look forward to it with great joy and anticipation.  Being older has many benefits, such as experience, wisdom, and free tim...

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Date:

July 2, 2017

Topics:

Opinion, Philosophy

Spiritualization through Yoga

What makes Yoga different from, say, gymnastics?  That is not to say that a gymnast can't be doing Yoga, but there is a fundamental difference in the goals that a gymnast and a Yogi pursue, even though at times they may appear to be doing the same thing. By infusing every cell of the body with pure awareness, the Yogi fulfills the primordial need of every being, every creature, every plant - to become conscious.  It is the need to become conscious that drives evolution and is the ...

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Date:

June 17, 2017

Topics:

Chakras, Opinion, Philosophy

Balance Yin and Yang

Visualize the human body as a little microcosm, just like the rest of the universe, with its duality of male, female, Yin, Yang, Right and Left, etc.  Visualize the landscape of your bones, the oceans and rivers of your fluids, the winds of your breath, the different climates of warmth and coolness.  It helps to think of the body this way when we use our Asana to bring more balance to the little world that we are. The Chakra system is a great representation, among other things, of...

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About Me

Anna Mikheeva has been practicing Yoga for eighteen years and holds a 700-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Certification.  As a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and a Yoga Alliance Registered teacher at the 500 level, her goal is to help her students discover the joy of every movement and breath.

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