Comments

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Anastasiya Brazhnykova

Great point about hamstring-strengthening poses....

Mike

Fantastic article. This should be a must read for all instructors.

Melissa Montez

Will,
It's good to pay attention to what the pose looks like, but I'd pay closer attention to what it feels like. For me, reading a detailed explanation of what I should be doing helps keep it clear. Or, if you're lucky, have someone read to you while you're doing it!

Althea

I think Mr. Cole is missing an important possibility on the SI issue--often muscles that contribute to the stability of the pelvis can be strengthened, too, so that the ligaments aren't disproportionately trying to stabilize the pelvic girdle.

Pam

Thank you for this article! I suffered a lotus knee injury 4 months ago and am slowly recovering. These poses should help get me on the path even more.

Becky

Will, Take Maggie's advise. Go to the sensation then make the decision to back out or go deeper into the pose. Work YOUR edge, not someone elses. Yoga is not a competitive sport.

Maggie

Dear Will keep up the good work. I often tell my students Pain is not Yoga...come into a pose until you feel a twinge of discomfort. Then ease back until you are pain free. Then hold as long as you are comfortably able. Incrementally you will build strength confidence and endurace. You will be able to do more each practice, the most important compoenent is your breath... make sure to work on it before during and after your practice : ) a little achey pain after using muscles you haven't used in a long time is normal. But a few classes with a good teacher maybe beneficial to help you learn correct alignment. I was 40% over my ideal body weight when I began. I couldn't tie my shoes. Now 8 years later, I teach! Namaste

Reb

I have a friend who has a history of dislocating her knee and she says she has hper extended joints in her whoe body. As an instructor I would like to give her some postures she can do to assist her with this, especially something beneficial for her knees.

Will

I don't know if anyone still reads this article in particular, but if you do and you see this, I could use some words of wisdom.

I've only been doing yoga for about four or five months now, but I've gotten up to doing it daily most weeks. I pulled a lot of muscles in the beginning and I'd leave my "mat" (read: living room rug) pretty tender and sore; I still come away sometimes feeling a little pain, especially in my shoulders or upper back, but I'm not really forcing myself to do anything I'm not prepared for, and I pay close attention to what the pose looks like as I do it. I'm wondering if it's natural for someone overweight and out of shape to feel some pain as he works his stiff muscles a little? On a scale of 1-10 the pain is about 2-3 if it helps, so i don' think I'm gonna give myself any lasting injuries.

Any assurance that I'm not gonna ruin myself, or warnings that if I don't back off, I will, would be much appreciated. : )

Kat

Thank you so much! As a vinyasa teacher it is so hard to get students to listen to their bodies sometimes! They get competitive with the student on the next mat or with their own egos. I warn about possible injuries and that the student must listen and respect their own body in the present moment and know their limits. I hope this helps bring awareness to students who walk into an "all levels" vinyasa class.

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