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 ‘Sphinx’

Some Benefits Of Doing Back Bends

Posted by terrepruitt on April 24, 2014

In one of the sessions I taught for the City of San Jose at the Willow Glen Community Center I taught a progression of back bends over the course of the sessions.  We started with a very gentle standing back bend, Upward Salute.  Then in our next meeting our next step in the back bend lesson plan was a back bend on our bellies, it was a Locusts Pose.  With this one it can be a very gentle progression as it can be done in mini forward steps.  It is an easy pose to modify.  It can be broken down into three separate components all which can be modified.  Then we moved onto the Sphinx Pose, which is more of a bend.  Then the next pose we moved on to was the Cobra Pose.  This is a bigger back bend and while it can be modified it is not as obvious in its modifications as the Locusts Pose.  The last one we did in the series was Upward Facing Dog, which is a hanging pose which allows for a big bend in the back.  In my posts regarding each pose I talked about how to do them, but I didn’t really explain the benefits of them.

Here are some of the benefits of each pose:


Upward Salute
(Urdhva Hastasana)

Good for relief from symptoms of:
Fatigue, asthma, congestion, indigestion.  Also, like all of the back bends, it helps relieve back ache.
It helps Improves digestion, relieve mild anxiety and create space in the chest and lungs.


Locust Pose
(Salabhasana)

Is an invigorating pose so it can help alleviate fatigue.  It also helps with relieving flatulence and constipation.  It can assist in relieving indigestion.

Sphinx Pose  (Salamba Bhujangasana)

Helps calms nerves and relieve fatigue and stimulates abdominal organs. It also helps relieve stress.

Some say Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini.  (According to the Yoga Journal’s website.)

Cobra (Bhujangasana)

This pose also helps relieve stress.

Soothes sciatica along with the same as the sphinx (some believe that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini.)

Upward dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Is similar to the other back bends as it stimulates abdominal organs, and helps relieve fatigue and sciatica. It is also therapeutic for asthma. It also helps with mild depression.

 

Many yoga poses separately boast stress relief.  I believe, however that yoga in general helps relieve stress.  I understand though that some poses target stress specifically.  All the back bends open up the chest and bend the back so ailments associated with those areas are often made better by doing back bends.  The benefits stated here are benefits that can be found after engaging in a yoga practice and doing the poses properly.  This page is not to be used to diagnose or treat any issue you may be having.  Please make sure you are seeing a medical professional for your serious health issues.

In addition to know how to do the pose, I always think it is nice to know how poses can help you.  Back bends are a good way to reduce stress.  Please take caution in doing them.

Do you include back bends in your practice?

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Working On My Favorite Yoga Poses

Posted by terrepruitt on March 4, 2014

There are a lot of yoga poses.  Especially since a lot of them I know are the modification of the actual pose.  Some of these modifications seemed to have morphed into their own pose with their own name.  In addition to teaching Nia in San Jose, I am now teaching Gentle Yoga.  And I was thinking.  I wanted to make a list of my favorite poses.  I was thinking I could have a list and do them every day.  But it turns out that I like a lot more than I was thinking.  And some I don’t like at all.  And some I look at the picture and guffaw, saying, “Yeah, right?”  Anyway I came up with about 38 poses that I really like, ones that I would call my favorite.  I have a feeling that I am forgetting a couple too so I bet my list could really be in the 40’s.  I could do over 40 poses a day, but I would rather do less and repeat a handful of poses then just work my way through all of my favorites.  So then I circled ones that I would like to do every day and I ended up with 16.  I was thinking I could do those 16 every day.  But then I realized that while I will probably do that every once in a while I would be better off just picking some from the list everyday.  Whatever strikes my fancy.  I feel that if I pick a group every day I will end up getting the exact practice I need for that day.  It could end up being my favorite 16 of the favorites.

I do feel that my “favorites” for the day will end up being exactly what I need.  I plan to post about some of my favorites.  Working my way through the list.  I have already posted a few of them.  One of my favorites that I have posted about is the Gate Pose.  This is a balance pose but it is done on a knee and an extended leg.  Not all balance poses are done standing.  This is a pose that helps with stabilization, strength and flexibility.

Another favorite with a post is the Locust Pose.  I REALLY like this pose.  This is one that I do extremely modified.  I mean I’ve seen the locust pose where most of the yogi’s body is off the ground and they are resting on just their sternum, upper shoulders, and their chin.  That doesn’t even look comfortable to me.  I prefer the belly-on-the-earth-with-the-head, chest, arms, and legs-lifted-off-the-ground version.  This is a whole body pose.  Not only on my favorite list but on the favorite 16!

I also like the Sphinx.  This is another backbend, but with this one we rest on the forearms and elbows.  Another pose that made my list is another back bend, the Cobra.  This one to me is more of a lift using the back.  And another backbend – the Updog – made the list.  Updog and Cobra sometimes look the same in demonstration – depending on who is demonstrating.  Be sure to check out my posts to see the difference.  I use Patrick Reynolds‘ video to explain the difference.   I think of Up Dog more like a hanging backbend.  The only backbend that made my top 16 was the Locust Pose.

The Garland Pose made my list of favorites and the top 16.  This is a position I try to find myself in every day.  Even if I am not doing yoga or any type of practice, I will put myself in this posture to pick up something.  I think that this pose is a great way to help keeps hips bones healthy and juicy.  Also pushing up from this squat is good for the legs.

So I have already posted about a few of my favorite poses.  So I will continue to explore and share with you.

What is your favorite yoga pose?  Why is it your favorite?

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Moving Into The Back

Posted by terrepruitt on November 9, 2013

In addition to teaching Nia classes for the city of San Jose, I was asked to teach a Gentle Yoga Class.  I have taught three sessions and we have one more before the year is over.  This last session before the holiday break is a short one, it is only four weeks.  In the classes there is a large variety of fitness levels.  Regardless of one’s level of fitness I believe it is very important for the emphasis to be on balance and flexibility.  They also like to practice inner reflection which I believe enables a connection to the body.  The connection is to allow for great stability and ease of movement.  In order to meet the varieties of levels we do a cross between flowing through poses and holding them.  I might have also mentioned before that we include getting up and down as part of our practice.  With this next session we are going to do a progression of backbend poses.  I have not yet decided on the progression of balance poses but I have the backbends progression planned. Since we only have four classes and there are five backbends I would like to progress through we will be doing two in the first class.  As with my Nia classes, my yoga students are continually encouraged to do things in their own bodies way.  Since yoga is a practice they can work into the poses.  For the series of backbends they will be encouraged to stay at the level that is acceptable for their own body.

The first backbend we will do will be the standing backbend.  Then, in the same class, we will progress to the Locust.  The Locust has many modifications some of which can be done with just legs lift or the head and shoulders lifted.

Then in our next class we will move onto the Sphinx.  I’ll probably include the Locust in the routine before moving on to the Sphinx, but the Sphinx will be the next in the progression.  Then the next meeting we will move onto the Cobra.  Excellent for strength, stability, and flexibility.  The last class before the long holiday break will be the Upward Dog.  Even though the idea will be for the students to progress through the backbends the modifications will be presented so each individual can progress only if they are ready.

Some students participate in yoga more than once a week so they are more likely to be able to participate in the progress whereas others will do so to a lesser extent – and modifications meet that need.  This is a great way to work on flexibility.  Everybody is moving in their own natural time through their yoga practice so I am excited to present this progression of backbends.  I will include other flexibility poses and balances poses as in all the classes.  I have been putting the emphasis on one or the other during a class which can still tie into the backbend progressions.

Of course, this is my plan prior to meeting with the class.  It could be that after our first meeting I have to adjust my plan and that will be fine.  I do like to see where the class is at and go from there, but it seems like our group has been pretty consistent.  But I can easily adjust my plan for any new body.

I am very grateful and inspired by the students that come to class every week.  It is very exciting to me to see their progress.  Stay tuned for more on the poses that I have yet to post about.

Do you participate in a yoga class?  How is it structured?  Is it an on-going class or is it a series of classes?

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