Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Forward bend’

Mr. Bones Helps Demonstrate Compression

Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueRecently I watched a DVD that wonderfully demonstrated why not everyone can do the poses exactly like the person pictured in Yoga Journal or on a trendy yoga website.  The DVD was from Paul Greeley and it addressed compression.  While Paul focuses on compression of bone, you will be able to easily conclude there are other types of compression.  Compression in mechanics according to Wiki is:  “the application of balanced inward (“pushing”) forces to different points on a material or structure . . . .”  We are going to say compression occurs when movement of material or structure is to a point where it can no longer move.  The movement is stopped because of compression.  The DVD’s main point was bones.  A bone can only move so far before it contacts another bone.  Compression will stop something from moving.

One of the most obvious points of compression is the shoulder.  The acromion or acromion process is the bony ridge that is part of the scapula.  It extends up and out over the top of the humerus.  Or it does on Mr. Bones.  You can see the acromion process sticking out and stopping almost halfway over the upper arm bone.  But it is not that way in everyone.  In some people it could be shorter.  In some people it could be longer . . . perhaps extending PAST the humerus.  Mr. Bones’ acromion is straight, in some people it could point up or point down.  Some people might have an acromion process that twists.  Whatever the case may be, the size, length, and projection point of this bony ridge can affect your movement.

SDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Techniqueee how when Mr. Bones’ arm is lifted his humerus comes in contact with his acromion process?  That is the compression we are talking about.  If the acromion process on Mr. Bones’ was shorter or perhaps pointing upward, his arm could probably be lifted higher up.  If the process was longer or pointing down, his humerus would hit it sooner.

To put this into a pose example let’s talk downward facing dog.  Arms are straight up from the shoulders and hands are above the head.  If the acromion were, as in our examples long or pointing down, one would not be able to place their arms above their head while keeping their elbows straight.  They might need to bend their elbows to allow the humerus to go around the acromion process so that the arms can be placed above the head.

Another point of compression that is easy to see on Mr. Bones is in his hip area.  See how his femur can contact the lower portion of his pelvic girdle?  If his femur were set differently the compression would happen at a different angle.  The way the long leg bone is set and connected to the hip affects the bend that can be done.  The angle of a bend depends on that connection.

ADance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Techniquelso, don’t forget, Mr. Bones is JUST bones.  He has no muscles, fat, skin, tendons, or anything to get in the way.  All that other stuff can add to the compression.  Any one of those things that is in the way of the closing an angle would be considered compression.

Compression is always going to stop the movement, but sometimes compression can be pushed a little.  Let’s say there is fat or muscles that is keeping you from going further, sometimes, if it feels right to you, it can be squished a bit.  But something like a baby bump should not be squished.  Bones might benefit from a little compression, but caution should be used.  Sometimes the floor could even play a role in compression.  Say you were in a Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend) /and you are able to get your head all the way to the floor, but you can’t go any further because of the floor, that could be considered compression.

Paul Greeley’s DVD can be purchased through his site or through Amazon.  It really is one of those things that you know, you understand, but sometimes it helps solidify it to see examples.  He goes through several poses with his students.  The average seemed to be three students per pose so it was very clear as to the different body types and body structures.  With the different body types demonstrating, it was clear that not being able to do a pose was not always a case of lacking . . . it wasn’t that they were not strong enough or flexible enough, it could be that their structure affected a pose because of compression.  I would highly recommend this DVD to my students.

Does this make sense to you?  Did I explain it so that you could understand?  When you are practicing yoga are you aware of compression in some poses?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sun Salutation – My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2013

The Sun Salutation is a sequence of asanas.  I have not yet included it in any of my Nia classes, but I am thinking about doing so.  In general modern day usage “asana” is what people call a yoga pose.  So the Sun Salutation is a sequence of yoga poses.  Now, if you look up Sun Salutation on the internet you will find a lot of variations.  There are certain asanas that you will consistently find in all of them, but then not all of the Sun Salutations will include the same EXACT ones.  I’ve seen anywhere from 9 to 13 poses in a single salutation.  Since yoga is considered a practice associated with religion, a meditation, a prayer, a movement form, and/or a straight out exercise it makes sense that there are so many difference ways to do the Sun Salutation.  If you are chosing to do the movement as a form of worship it might have different movements than if you are doing it to get a specific physical benefit.  Most of the instructions on how to do it agree that the movements are based on breath.  Inhale here, exhale there.  I have decided on a combination of what I have been trained with, what I have practiced in classes, what I practice at home, several applications, and things I have learned along the way.  I have decided on thirteen movements.  I move using the right leg through 11 asanas, then through them again using the left leg.  Two of the poses making the sequence 13 are only used only in very beginning and the end.

I start in Anjali mudra then go to the
Mountain Pose, then arms move out and up into an
Upward Salute, then I swan dive into a
Forward Bend, up into a
Standing Half Forward Bend, then I place the left leg back into a
lunge then the right leg back into a
plank then I move down onto knees into
knees, chest, chin/Ashtanga Namaskara or chaturanga up into
cobra, then I push back into
downward dog, I stay here longer than any other pose.  I breath.  Then I bring my right leg forward, so I am in a
lunge, then I bring my left leg forward then I
forward bend, then I come up a little into
Standing Half Forward Bend then lift my arms out and up as I rise into an
Upward Salute which I consider the start of the right sun salutation.  I go through the sequences again this time place my right leg back into the lunge.  When it is time to lunge again, I bring my left leg forward.

I find that as I move through the salutation, I like to change my Upward Salutes into more of a little back bend.  Only bending back as I warm up and it feels good.

Since this is my Sun Salutation, and I am not worshiping the sun . . . in fact I don’t even think of the sun at all, I just do it my way.  I do it in the way I feel like doing it that day.  Sometimes I time it with my breath inhaling on this move and exhaling on that move, sometimes I stay in each pose longer and while I am aware of my breath my movements are not dictated by it.  I do somewhat feel that is WAAAAAY contrary to the way it is “supposed” to be done, but then again it is MY movement.  It is MY practice.  It is MY meditation.  So I do it the way MY body feels like doing it that day.  I don’t usually decide how I am going to do it when I begin, I just begin and however I seem to move is how I do it that day at that time.  Sometimes I even time it to the music I am listening too.  Sometimes, unfortunately, I am in a hurry and I just want to get a few in so I do them.  It all depends.  That is why I think it is nice because YOU can do it how you want to do it to match the reason you are doing it.  After doing at least six, I end with the Mountain Post and the Anjali mudra.

Do you do a version of the Sun Salutation?  What asanas do you include in your salute?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »