- Body of Knowledge™ Episode 13: Monster Walks for Hip and SI Joint Stability November 28, 2017
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!
In an effort to strengthen the muscles of the lateral hip compartment, the benefits of adding external resistance are numerous. Especially if you suspect you’ve overdone passive hip stretching, or in general you are on the hyper-mobile side of the spectrum, and need to build strength to stabilize your SI joints and hips.
Monster Walks strengthens the gluteus medius muscle primarily – a super important muscle for hip and knee stability. It also helps to strengthen the piriformis muscle, one of a few muscles that crosses the sacroilliac joint in a horizontal orientation and whose relative strength contributes to force closure of the SI joint. Force closure is a biomechanics term that refers to the different forces, like muscle force, that contribute to holding your SI joints together.
If you have a loosey goosey SI joint or overstretched ligaments and a general feeling of discomfort in the buttock and lower back region, this exercise may bolster your strength ... Learn more
- Body of Knowledge™ Episode 12: Gain 360° Hip Strength and Coordination with Static Circumduction! October 7, 2017
Instead of doing passive stretching to alleviate your ‘hip tightness’ try doing exercises that stabilize your hips. Static Circumduction is one of my signature moves that I love teaching to help prep the hips for better reflexive strength and coordination. Additionally, this exercise enhances hip joint centration by helping to balance the stabilizing tension all around the hip joint so that the muscles of the hip are better capable of holding the the head of the femur bone in a more centered and stable place within the hip socket. If you have groin pain, an unstable sacroilliac joint or constantly clicking hips, you might benefit from less passive hip stretching and more active hip strengthening like Static Circumduction. For more WHY behind the benefits of strengthening the hips over passively stretching them, check out Body of Knowledge™ episode 11 which touches on the concept of ‘tightness’ – namely, what it is and what it isn’t.
- Body of Knowledge™: Episode 11: What to Do about ‘Tightness’? October 7, 2017
The sensation of tightness or muscle tension is a sensation that yoga students frequently explore in practice. Many yoga poses stretch the tissues of the body and many go to yoga in order to alleviate ‘tightness’ that they feel around their shoulders, hips, or back. The activity of stretching has many benefits, but one way students often use stretching – particularly, passive stretching – is the alleviate this feeling of ‘tightness.’ In this video, I explain a little bit more about this feeling – what it is and what it isn’t and introduce a shift in perspective on what to do about chronic feelings of muscle tension. In episode 12 of the Body of Knowledge™ Video Blog, I introduce a challenging hip-stabilizing exercise that I call Static Circumduction, an exercise that presents one possible strategy for working with hip ‘tightness.’
- Body of Knowledge™ Episode 10: Osteokinematics vs. Arthokinematics August 22, 2017
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. Your joint surfaces slide, spin and roll across each other. This permits your bones to move through space. Impediments to healthy arthrokinematic movement limits osteokinematic movement. That, or movement happens at the expense of soft tissues and results in wear and tear.
- Body of Knowledge™: Stretching | Rigidity vs. Extensibility | Episode 9 May 29, 2017
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 keeps your body functionally healthy for years to come.
- Body of Knowledge™: Stretching | Sliding Lunge | Episode 8 May 29, 2017
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 to increase strength and coordination within the deeper ranges of motion it dynamically explores.
- Body of Knowledge™: Stretching | Mobility vs. Flexibility | Episode 7 May 29, 2017
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. This video introduces some common features of the ‘abilities’ to get you thinking about the functional goals of increasing your joints’ range of motion. This video inquires into how increased flexibility might help you move with more ease and less pain, and when flexibility without a commensurate amount of stability, might actually hinder your musculoskeletal health.
- Body of Knowledge | Chaturanga-Less Sun Salute | A Silent Tutorial | Episode 6 January 19, 2017
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. Winging of the scapula is when one particular side of the scapula angles toward the rib cage while the other angles away. This natural movement of the shoulder blades becomes problematic in loaded positions and it is notoriously difficult to avoid in chaturanga. Over-time poorly executed (or perfectly executed but excessively practiced) chaturangas can lead to imbalance and injury. There are so many ways to craft a ‘moving meditation’ without chaturanga. Here is one idea. Enjoy and go make up some more! P.S. if you watch closely, you’ll see me fight to avoid scapular winging in some of these transitions.
- Body of Knowledge™: Bone Rhythms | Self-Adjust Back Leg | Episode 5 January 19, 2017
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.
- Body of Knowledge™: Bone Rhythms, Part 3 | Episode 4 September 6, 2016
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 how pelvic position is important for avoiding repetitive stress injuries to the connective tissues of your front hip and knee.
- Body of Knowledge™: Bone Rhythms | Self-Adjust in Triangle | Episode 3 August 10, 2016
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 from the hip joints & work more core stability in the pose. I learned this many years ago and it still proves very useful!
- Body of Knowledge™: Bone Rhythms, Part 2 | Episode 2 August 1, 2016
This is part 2 of the bone rhythms trilogy. In this post, we take a look at triangle pose and how knowledge of bone rhythms 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 movements between the thigh, pelvis and low back. The ability to choose between the two approaches – to couple or uncouple (that is the question!) – can add variety to the way you practice and teach the pose.
- Body of Knowledge™: Bone Rhythms, Part 1 | Episode 1 July 6, 2016
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 the squat as well as many of the forward bends practiced in yoga. Learn when and why it’s best to uncouple femorpelvic and lumbopelvic rhythms – specifically when the low back would benefit from greater support from the muscles of the hips.
- Body of Knowledge™: Introduction July 5, 2016
In this blog intro, I share my intention for the Body of Knowledge™ video blog.
- Asana as Intention May 3, 2016
Asana as Intention Learn more
- Put Your Back Into It May 2, 2016
Put Your Back Into It Learn more
- Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 6: Shoulder Soothing Sequences May 22, 2015
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 6: Shoulder Soothing Sequences Learn more
- Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 5: The Trapezius Trap May 20, 2015
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 5: The Trapezius Trap Learn more
- Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 4: Refining Upward Rotation May 15, 2015
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 4: Refining Upward Rotation Learn more
- Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 3: Feel the Beat of Your Shoulder Rhythm May 13, 2015
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 3: Feel the Beat of Your Shoulder Rhythm Learn more
- Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 2: Finding the Beat of Scapuloclaviculohumeral Rhythm May 8, 2015
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 2: Finding the Beat of Scapuloclaviculohumeral Rhythm Learn more
- Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 1: Parampara or a Long Game of Telephone? May 6, 2015
Uplifting News for Depressed Shoulders Part 1: Parampara or a Long Game of Telephone? Learn more
- Serratus Posterior Inferior Is A Pretty Superior Muscle October 24, 2012
Serratus Posterior Inferior Is A Pretty Superior Muscle Learn more