Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘bolsters’

Socks Could Help You With The Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on May 23, 2016

I have written and posted about shavasana (savasana) before.  This asana can be used to start a class or be done anywhere in the sequence that you see fit to use it.  It is used in many yoga classes as the final pose.  I think of it as a Challenging Easy Pose.  It is a challenge because many of us have busy lives and things to do all the time.  Many of us have a lot to think about.  Many of us are challenged with quieting the mind.  Not necessarily having no thoughts because I am not sure that is even possible, but not having a lot of chatter in the mind.  Having focused thoughts.  The thoughts focusing on breath, body, and the practice just experienced.  Some people are further challenged with just being still.  So in addition to the busy, moving mind, there is the busy, moving body.  For some just relaxing and not fidgeting is a challenge.  I find that being comfortable really helps.  When doing shavasana as the final pose, I instruct my students to put on their jackets, if they want.  I encourage them bring blankets.  I almost plead with them to bring sock, nice, comfy, fluffy socks — and use them during shavasana.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI think this one simple thing will change your shavasana.  It doesn’t matter what the temperature is.  The room could be hot and the last thing you would think to do is put on socks, but I invite you to try it.  I reserve at least 7 minutes for shavasana.  I shoot for 10 minutes but sometimes that doesn’t work.  But we do at least 7 minutes.  So there is plenty of time to sink into relaxation.  It could be that in my classes, with all of that time the feet have a chance to cool off so socks are great.  When the feet are chilled it might keep you from completely relaxing.  You might not even realize they are chilled.  So socks can help.

Also air moving around your more than 7000 nerve endings (in each foot) might distract you.  With many yoga classes there are some standing poses, so you’ve activated the nerves in the feet.  Perhaps sensitized the feet during the class.  So nice socks could help keep the distraction to a minimum. COMFY socks might help bring some calm back to those nerves.  So if possible use warm and comfortable socks.  Not dress socks, because those do not help with warmth.

I am not sure the ancient yogis would endorse or even agree with such a recommendation, but I think of socks as a prop to help me achieve the purpose of the pose.  If props are used and recommended for other poses why not shavasana.  I do know that some people use bolsters when they are available, so why not use socks?

For me, once I started using socks, my shavasana changed.  I hadn’t even really thought about my feet affecting the pose until one day I decided to put on socks.  The few students of mine that have decided to use socks during their shavasana mentioned how it made a difference.  We all marvel at how it did!

So . . . whether you love shavasana or not . . . whether you are challenged by it or not . . . I suggest trying it with socks on.  See what you think.  Then let me know.

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Icky Name, Great Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2013

I really like the locust pose itself, I don’t care for the name.  I think this pose is really nice because it is so easily modified so it fits well into the Gentle Yoga class I am teaching.  Everyone can do it because there are so many versions of it.  Since every body is so different and in different states of health and flexibility most yoga poses can be modified to accommodate.  Some poses require props; straps, bolsters, blocks, etc.  This one is really nice because of its simplicity.  It is a prone posture, where you lie on your stomach, and it is considered a back bend.  Locust pose or Salabhasana is the pose in which you lift your legs and chest up off the ground.

To do the Locust pose you lie on your stomach.  Your arms are at your side, hands near your hips with the palms facing the ceiling.  Forehead is on the floor allowing the back of your neck to lengthen.  Your legs are hip joint width apart.  Reach with your toes toward the opposite wall.  Firm your thighs.  Exhale as you lift your thighs off of the ground using your hamstrings and glutes.  Your legs remain straight.  There is no bend at the knees.  Your pelvis and lower ribs are pressing into the earth.

At the same time you lift your legs you lift your head and chest off of the ground.  Either looking down or up, with your chin parallel to the ground.  Wherever it is comfortable for your gaze to rest be sure to keep the neck lengthened so as not to crush the back of the neck.  Lift your arms off of the ground, keeping your palms toward the ceiling.  Throughout the lift of your upper body and while you are lifted, you are keeping your shoulders back with your shoulder blades down – toward your hips.  There is space between your shoulders and your ears.

While up in this back bend you can turn your big toes toward each other, this will rotate the front of your thighs inward.  The back of your legs are firm, muscles squeezing but not clenched, so that the back of the body is active but not cramping.

Breathing into the active muscles will help keep them active yet relaxed.  As you breathe imagine the oxygen traveling to the tense areas.

This pose is meant to be held.  So hold the pose for as long as is comfortable.  Then repeat as your routine allows.

There are many ways to modify this.  You could just lift one leg at a time, keeping your forehead and arms on the ground.  Or you could lift both of your legs, with your arms and forehead down.  Or you could lift your chest, and let your arms and legs stay on the ground.  Or you could lift just your arms.  Or you could lift one arm and one leg, or you could, lift your legs and your chest and keep your arms on the ground.  You probably see all the different ways it can be modified.  The key is to find the area of your body that is the most difficult to lift and focus on learning to lift that area.  Then once you master the difficult area you will be able to add it to the easiest one and progress from there into the back bend.

Another way to modify this which can be in addition to the aforementioned modifications is to place a folded towel or blanket under your pelvis and/or ribs.

Remember whether you do the full pose (as described here) or any modification of it, your spine is lengthening and you are keeping your shoulders back and down towards your hips throughout the entire pose.  To help with keeping your shoulders back and down, imagine opening your chest as you lift it off of the earth.

This pose helps strengthen the muscles along the backside of the body including the triceps, lats, glutes, and hamstrings.

Do you like this pose?  Do you include this pose in your practice?

Some Benefits Of Doing Back Bends

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