Topic: Yoga Practice

Date:

February 27, 2018

Topics:

Yoga Practice, Yoga Therapy

Sensations as nutrition

This is a concept that I have been developing in my practice and teaching for the last few years, and my Liberated Yoga approach is based on the new research about the nervous system. As a teacher I sometimes hear from my students, as they are doing a pose, that they feel something in their back, hip, etc. "Should I be concerned?" they ask me. "I feel something!" The reason for their uncertainty is that many people live such cerebral lives, that they notice sensations from the body only w...

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Date:

January 10, 2018

Topics:

Opinion, Philosophy, Yoga Practice

Matless Yoga

It has been a few years now that I've stopped using a Yoga mat for my practice. I still use a mat at the Studio where I teach just for appearances sake, but I prefer to step off it while doing standing poses, and I usually cover it with a blanket if I am lying or sitting down. At home I have a carpeted floor for Yoga, and I hardly ever use the mat there anymore. I understand that a mat can become a kind of security blanket for some, or an ego enhancer for others, but if you've never even consi...

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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:

May 21, 2016

Topics:

Asana, Yoga Practice

Yoga Sequencing: Function over Form

Have you ever wondered what certain Yoga poses are meant to do for you? Have you heard claims that twists detoxify and "wring out" the internal organs, that some poses "open" our hips and shoulders, that some poses help with depression, anxiety, or... fill in the blank. Sometimes it seems like there is a Yoga pose for every affliction of humanity. I am not going to debate some of these claims here, although I encourage you to approach with a grain of salt any claims that seem a bit too far-f...

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1 Comments

Date:

May 4, 2016

Topics:

Asana, Yoga Practice

Yoga Sequencing: The Basic Rules

I hear this a lot: I don't know what to do, in what order should the poses be, so I am not comfortable designing my own Yoga class. This post is aimed at teachers and practitioners both, because I have been to so many Yoga classes where it was obvious to me the teacher had not the vaguest idea of what the goal of the class was, how to get there, what the effect of each  poses is meant to be, as well as the cumulative effect of the entire practice. And compensation? What's that? T...

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Date:

February 13, 2016

Topics:

Alignment, Anatomy, Yoga Practice

Yoga Alignment: Neck

A special installment on this subject, because it is probably the single most important alignment technique that will keep you safe in your poses and allow you to reap the most benefit from them. Jalandhara Bandha, or chin lock, is one of the very few alignment instructions passed down to us from the ancient Yogis. There are no instructions on where to put your feet, how to line up your knee with the second toe, etc. But neck alignment and Jalandhara Bandha get a lot of attention, and for goo...

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1 Comments

Date:

February 3, 2016

Topics:

Alignment, Anatomy, Yoga Practice

Yoga Alignment: Eight Tips You Need to Know

I often hear from my Yoga students that they are reluctant to practice at home by themselves because they are afraid they'd do something wrong or in poor alignment. With this blog I aim to dispel some of the mysteries of alignment and to help those of you, who are willing, to relax with Yoga at home. First and foremost, what is alignment? When we place our limbs just so, arranging our body into shapes, we want to get the most benefit from the pose, yet minimize the risks, while at the same ...

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Date:

January 16, 2016

Topics:

Asana, Yoga Practice

Yoga Skills: Playing with the Edge

I have been talking in the previous posts about several skills that we can hone in our Yoga practice, such as body awareness , breath/movement coordination , and selective engagement/relaxation , left/right side coordination and mirroring . The skill of "playing with the edge" is one that allows our nervous system to gradually be trained to accept greater range of movement, increasing our tolerance for stretch over time. Recently science has made great progress in understanding the role of ...

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2 Comments

Date:

January 12, 2016

Topics:

Yoga Practice

Yoga Skills: Selective Engagement and Relaxation

With a bit of body awareness we can begin to hone a skill that can be extremely useful in our Yoga practice. Being able to selectively engage some muscles while at the same time relaxing others can save energy, help with proper alignment, and allow the practitioner to achieve progress towards mastering complex, multidimensional poses. Plus, exercising this level of control over one's body and experiences delivers unsurpassed satisfaction: studies show that what makes us happy is not how mu...

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Date:

January 5, 2016

Topics:

Yoga Practice

Yoga Skills: Breath/Movement Coordination

This is probably the most essential Yoga skill that will allow you to get so much more out of your practice. Breath is such an important component of Yoga - it helps to calm and focus the mind, relax the nervous system, reduce inflammation. Combined with movement in specific ways, breath can intensify or soften the effects.This is where it matters not so much what you do, but how you do it. There are several rules one needs to remember: Since every inhale is a micro extensi...

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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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