The primary focus for yoga teachers and students alike in any yoga practice is to avoid injury. This information I’m about to share is what I’ve learned from my yoga teacher trainings and what I use during my personal practice, private, and public classes. This is essential information for students who are learning from home or are new to the practice.
There are three areas in our body that are most likely to get injured:
1. The knee
2. The Lumbar area (low back)
3. The neck
To prevent injuries in these areas are pay attention to:
1. Foot/Ankle – To protect the knee
2. Pelvis – To protect the lumbar area
3. Shoulder Girdle – To protect the neck and cervical spine
What is the first thing to build when we are constructing a building? The Foundation.
We start to build a strong foundation. I often say “We are as strong as our foundation”
I often see myself and my student’s bodies as buildings and our awareness as the architect. With our attention we align our body parts to create a stable balanced structure.
So when you get into a pose, start to pay attention to your body from the ground up. Start with what’s touching the ground. Whether you are in cat/cow, down dog, or Warrior 1, allow your attention to go to what’s touching the ground and then you shift your attention to the body part above that, and part by part you begin to balance, align, and connect body and mind all from your strong foundation. You begin to transform from the ground up.
Let's explore this concept in Tadasana - Mountain pose.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Root dowb through all part sof the foot - toes, heels, edges, and arches. Feel supported by the earth and you abaility to stand tall and balance yourself.
From now on keep these tips in mind:
1. Always correct the foundation first before you move up the rest of the body.
2. Maintain equal balance, alignment, and connection in every posture.
3. Ensure all points of the base/foundation are in firm contact with the ground.
4. The wider the base, the more stability you’ll have. And the more narrow the base, the less stability you’ll have.
5. When your teacher says “ground” your feet, or find a “grounding” sensation that means to find a stable and steady foundation.
Let’s take this concept off the mat!
Where in your life do you feel you may have a shaky foundation not allowing you to build from it? Relationships? Career? Health? Spirituality? How can you make this foundation a little stronger? What do you need to pay attention to?
Remember! We are as strong as our foundation!
With so much love and gratitude,