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Ben Gaffney

In the Chinese Internal Martial and Healing Art of Tai Chi, the emphasis is on creating a long straight spine with minimal tension in the erector spinae. This requires considerable knee bend and inwardly rotated legs. The idea of intentionally creating tension in the erector spinae or any muscles in between the shoulder blades or in the mid back is considered counter productive in these disciplines. It would create tension and blockage of internal energy (or blood and lymph flow) right where most humans are already to tense. Regarding postural yoga, the vinyasa component of Astanga vinyasa yoga involves repeatedly bending the spine into marked thoracic and lumbar flexion with strong scapular protraction. I have not found it leaves me feeling like I'm slumping afterwards. Rather my whole back and body feels particularly good afterwords. Ben


This is not correct: "ankylosing spondylitis, a painful form of rheumatoid arthritis that attacks the spine"

Spondylitis is not a form of RA. It is a disease entity of its own. More info at


it may not be good to stretch the front of the body with excessive kyphosis, because many people will express pinched shoulders and excessive lordosis. the best stuff to do is strengthening.

Abdulazeez Nurudeen

For learner's shake can those yanger's terms be supported with more illustrations


you really inspired me and taught me about my seriouse condition of kyphosis. yoga is so incredible. thank you...


thank you for metioning ankylosing spondylitis. It doesn't get mentioned often, and reular arthritis advice often doesn't apply. I have informally and sporadically been practicing yoga for the last 20 years (mostly with TV or DVD), and even just the limited amount that I've done has helped tremendously. My rheumatologist is always surprised by my flexibility, because Ido deal with quite a bit of inflammation. I'm very grateful for the yoga, but tend to get outof the habit when I go through a period of fatigue. (Even though I realize that's probably the most important time to keep it up) Is there any way to find out if there are local teachers with experience dealing with spondylitis in the bay area? I live about 45 miles inland from San Francisco


are there pictures of these poses

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