Progressive overload refers to the deliberate, gradual increase in stress placed on the body in order to facilitate an adaptive process by which your tissues change structurally and functionally to be able to meet the demands of greater and greater loads.
Author Archives: Laurel
The following was a conversation between a Yin yoga teacher and I during a Body of Knowledge™️ biomechanics workshop about soft tissues, hypermobility and stretching. In it, she asked how to reconcile her new understanding of passive stretching and hypermobility with her existing understanding of the aim of Yin yoga.
In this episode of the Body of Knowledge™ video blog I share a wonderfully simple and potent exercise called Monster Walks! All you need is a stretchy band and some space to walk around like the spawn of a land crab and benevolent zombie! Cute!
The sensation of tightness or muscle tension is a sensation that yoga students frequently explore through passive stretching in order to alleviate ‘tightness’ that they feel around their shoulders, hips, or back. Is passive stretching the best solution for tightness?
Joint movement can be described in 2 main ways. Osteokinematic movement is the movement of your body parts and it’s clearly visible to the naked eye. Arthrokinematic movement is movement that happens inside your joint capsules and cannot be seen. (more…)
In this episode, I touch on the biomechanics of stretching and explore some of most important soft tissue properties to know about – rigidity and extensibility. These properties, and their relationship to flexibility and mobility, are extra important to understand if you are interested in a sustainable yoga practice that […]
In this episode we’ll take a look at a common yoga pose, low lunge, or anjaneyasana. We’ll look specifically at two ways that you can practice this pose. One way is more of a passive approach that biases and exploits flexibility, while the other way is more active and seeks […]
A majority of people who try yoga for the first time do so because they want to get more flexible. One of yoga’s benefits is that it is a highly effective practice for increasing range of motion. But why do we want to increase range of motion at our joints and is it as important to our musculoskeletal health as we think it is? This episode explore some of the language used around stretching – namely the terms flexibility, mobility and stability.
Enjoy my latest Body of Knowledge™ video blog – a Chaturanga-Less Sun Salute! Joint centration is the ideal balance between the muscles that mobilize and stabilize as well as the agonists and antagonists of a joint. Centration implies that all the muscles that surround the joint have balanced their tension in order to hold the bony surfaces of the joint together for maximum surface contact. (more…)
In episode 5 of the Body of Knowledge™ video blog, we apply knowledge of bone rhythms (learned in episode 3) by using a belt around the back thigh in order to more clearly sense pelvic and spinal rotation in triangle pose.
Take your body out from between ‘two panes of glass’ and stop squaring your curved pelvis in triangle pose. In part 3 of the Bone Rhythms Trilogy, this Body of Knowledge™ vlog raises your awareness of the action and position of rotation at your hip joints in triangle – specifically […]
I sometimes call triangle pose Bermuda Triangle because proprioception, sense of direction, and the ability to hold oneself up muscularly instead of collapsing into joint tissues all seem to mysteriously disappear in this shape. In this Body of Knowledge™ vlog post, I show a simple self-adjustment to tactilely clarify movement […]
In part 2 of the bone rhythms trilogy, we take a look at triangle pose and how knowledge of coupled movements can clarify what you feel and see happening in this sneakily complex posture. We discuss two different approaches to triangle pose and how to couple or uncouple (that is the question!) movements between the thigh, pelvis and low back.
This is the first Body of Knowledge™ video blog about bone rhythms of the thigh, pelvis and low back. In this video we take a look at a squat and fetal position to understand femoropelvic and lumbopelvic rhythms. Bone rhythms (or coupled movements) are great to know about for anticipating how some patterns of human movement need to be reorganized in scenarios like squats.
In this blog intro, I share my intention for the Body of Knowledge™ video blog. Namely, it is to share with you some of the questions I love to wrestle with as a student of what I teach – movement, anatomy, biomechanics and the courage to remain curious.
I began doing yoga in college when my acting professor suggested I correct my ‘pelvic tilt’ to improve my posture. At the time I had very little perception of my pelvis, let along that it tilted, but decided to sign up for an ashtanga-vinyasa yoga class at my college’s gym […]
¡La primavera finalmente ha brotado! El fin de semana pasado disfruté plantar caléndulas e impatiens en jardineras de ventana con mi esposo, Nathan – fue nuestro primer intento de jardinería al aire libre, urbana. Estoy bastante impresionada con nuestra obra (bien, debo aceptar que él hizo la mayoría de las […]
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders (6/6) | Shoulder Soothing Sequences | Written for the YTU Blog | May 2015
In the previous installments of this series, I discussed the anatomy and mechanics of healthy shoulder movement and how the cues we’ve been passed down (and pass along) do not always do a service to the biomechanics of the shoulder joint. Here is a Yoga Tune Up® video teaching an upper back and shoulder blade self-massage using Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls.
Because a teacher’s practice is the primary resource from which they will draw their movement cues, teachers will often wittingly or unwittingly help their students adopt the teacher’s own postural and movement habits, for better or for worse.
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders (4/6) | Refining Upward Rotation | Written for YTU Blog | May 2015
In my last post, I deconstructed scapuloclaviculohumeral rhythm, the co-movement of the bones of the shoulder (humerus, clavicle and scapula) during movement. To more thoroughly understand scapuloclaviculohumeral rhythm, it’s helpful to understand a big-picture role of the scapula in the overhead position. When the arms move overhead, the scapula guides the arm bone.
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders (3/6): Feel the Beat of Your Shoulder Rhythm | Written for YTU Blog | May 2015
Instead of attempting to draw the shoulders down while simultaneously trying to flex the shoulders, consider ways to work and cue upward rotation of the scapula. A cue such as “Lift your outer shoulder blade up as you move your inner shoulder blade down” will facilitate more ease of movement and a safer position for the soft tissues of the shoulder. Admittedly, this cue is far more nuanced than cues that take the whole shoulder blade in one direction…
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders (2/6): Finding the Beat of Scapuloclaviculohumeral Rhythm | Written for YTU Blog | May 2015
Let’s begin with one of the most important things to know about the shoulder joint complex. It’s not just one joint. It’s four. When you peel back the skin that curtains the shoulder stage, all four of these joints need to work together to allow for the arm’s broad range of 180 degrees of flexion when the arms are alongside the ears.
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders (1/6): Parampara or a Long Game of Telephone? | Written for YTU Blog | May 2015
Originally, yoga postures were practiced to obtain spiritual enlightenment, not for musculoskeletal health. Renunciates used their asana practice to tame their unruly flesh in order to be able to sit for excruciatingly long periods of time in meditation. Ironically, the demands of today’s technology-driven society have resulted in a similar detachment from the body.
Estoy segura que ya han visto o escuchado el reto de gratitud en las redes sociales. Funciona así: cada día por un periodo de tiempo fijo, escribe tres cosas por las que te sientes agradecido/a. Decidí participar en el reto con mi grupo de estudiantes de maestros de yoga en […]
La semana pasada me uní a algunos de los educadores de movimiento más brillantes que conozco en la reunión cumbre de Yoga Tune Up en Ojai California. El tema de la cumbre fue la narración de historias. Durante esta cumbre escalé una cima interna y encontré el valor para compartir […]
I’m sure by now you’ve seen or heard about the gratitude challenge that’s been going around on social media. It works like this: every day for a set period of time, you write down three things that you are grateful for. I decided to take part in this challenge with […]
In the summer of 2011, I left New York for several months and moved back to my childhood home in Wisconsin. I left to take care of my mother, who, after living 66 years of a life dedicated to loving and serving others, had opted for in-home hospice to live out the last few months of her battle with uterine cancer.
It’s true that Serratus Posterior Inferior is not the musclebrity that Serratus Anterior is. If you read up on yoga anatomy, or take yoga from a teacher who does, you’re most likely enamored with your Serratus Anterior (a crucial scapular stabilizer in almost every inversion and arm balance). That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend writing Serratus Posterior Inferior off the A-list of muscles you should know about.