Category Archives: Yoga

Sciatica …. from Curejoy …. very informative

http://www.curejoy.com/content/simple-yoga-stretches-for-relieving-chronic-sciatica-pain/

Link

The Sciatic Nerve:

The sciatic nerve, the largest single nerve in the body, runs from the lower back, down the back of each leg and is composed of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the spine in the lower back and combine to form the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is not a Disease:

Sciatica (sigh-at-ih-kah) in itself is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying medical condition and is referred as one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in the lower back….one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Difficulty in standing up or walking.

Most Common Causes of Sciatica:

  • Lumbar herniated disc: Sometimes referred to as a slipped disc, ruptured disc, bulging disc, protruding disc, or a pinched nerve.
  • Degenerative disc disease: Diagnosed when a weakened disc results in excessive micro-motion at that spinal level, and inflammatory proteins from inside the disc become exposed and irritate the area.
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis: Small stress fracture results in a vertebral body to slip forward on another.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis: Characterized by narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Piriformis syndrome: Caused by the piriformis muscle pinches a nerve root of the sciatic nerve.
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction: Caused by irritation of the sacroiliac joint.
  • Pregnancy: Weight gain, a shift on one’s center of gravity, and hormonal changes, can cause sciatica during pregnancy.
  • Scar tissue: Occurs when a scar tissue compresses the nerve root.
  • Muscle strain: Inflammation from a muscle strain can put pressure on a nerve root.
  • Spinal tumor: Tumors in the lower back can pinch nerve root.

Here are a selection of screen shots from the video Link … this is fine for the non-pregnant woman … a couple of the postures you will recognise … remember we have done adaptations to work gently with the pregnant body

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.36.18 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.36.32 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.37.07 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.37.33 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.37.43 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.39.15 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.39.55 Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 00.40.40

 

 

 

Sacred Geography of the Yoga Body by Sonia Welch

This is a fab article on yoga and ayurveda … written by Sonia Welch … she has a fab e-book that can be purchased via a link to Amazon from her website … feeling inspired.

 

ayurvedaAyurveda and Yoga detail the anatomy and physiology of the body in terms of energy rather than matter. The foundation of Ayurvedic and Yogic practices is that energy comes first, and it is this energy that makes up matter (the physical body). Quite simply put, in Ayurvedic terms, ‘Energy matters’. The relatively new field of Quantum Physics is now seconding that motion. Quantum physicists say that atoms are nothing but vortices of energy, constantly vibrating and spinning. Yoga (and Ayurveda) use the manipulation of Prana/energy within the body to maintain good health and prevent disease via Yoga asana/pranayama /meditation, massage, lifestyle and food. The pathways that Prana move via are called Nadi and the primary places for interruption, disruption and good management of this Prana are called Marma.

Marma means ‘vulnerable point’. Knowledge of marma enlightens us as to the places in the body where stress and tension within the body and the mind may reside and the most important points to focus on to create health. These vulnerable points are places of both power and weakness, depending on which direction our shifts of balance happen. We can invite more strength into the body by encouraging a flow rather than blockage within these powerful points, bringing harmony and balance. On the flip side, an injury, stagnation or lack of care around these points can have far reaching effects.

The practice of asana (posture), one of the eight limbs of Yoga, is one way of ensuring correct flow through the body via these numerous marma areas. Many main marma are located within joints and areas where tendons, muscles and bones meet. In fact, Marma are defined as ‘the junction of veins, tendons, joints, muscle and bone’. A variety of Yoga postures can squeeze and release around these crossroads within the body, ensuring a smooth flow of the traffic of Prana, nutrients and elimination of waste. There are 107 main marma within the body (108 according to some teachings, either including skin or mind as a marma).

There are three ‘Mahamarma’ or ‘Great Marma’ according to Ayurvedic tradition are:

  • Head
  • Heart
  • Bladder

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In simple terms, these three points can be linked to Kapha, Pitta and Vata dosha respectively. These Sanskrit terms denote the way that Prana is reserved in the body, transformed in the body and moved around the body. Knowing the importance of these Mahamarma can greatly enhance your daily Yoga practice.

Techniques such as Mulabandha, Ashwini mudra, Nauli and seated poses (lengthening the spine) can help to ensure a healthy flow through the bladder marma (Basti Marma) encouraging correct quantity, quality and function of Vata dosha which includes the nervous system and mind.

Heart opening poses such as Bhujangasana (Cobra), Matsyasana (Fish) and Dhanurasana (Bow) and twists can release accumulation and tension from the heart marma (Hrdya Marma), benefiting Pitta dosha which includes the Agni (digestive power), intellect and vision.

Many inversions and forward folds insure free flow of Prana to the head, specifically, the area between the eyebrows (Sthapani marma). Using Bhrumadhye Drishti (gaze point between the eyebrows) and poses such as Adho mukha svanasana (downward dog) and Prasarita Podottanasana (wide legged standing forward fold) benefit Kapha dosha, enhancing immunity and strength of body and mind and also creating a stabilizing force, insuring better balance of Vata dosha.

As well as including the suggestions above during your Yoga practice you can try this sequence before or after your next Yoga session or on its own, to release blockage and to create a surge of life giving Prana via important marma areas.

  • Roll out your yoga mat and lie down. Make sure you are warm and comfortable and that you won’t be disturbed.
  • Squeeze all your toes tightly and release 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Flex feet slightly to right, then to left 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Flex feet to the centre 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Lock knees and release 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Lock thighs, lifting the heels very slightly 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Squeeze buttocks, slim the area of the hips 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Squeeze into navel, pulling belly button backwards to the floor 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Make fists and release 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Squeeze arms tight to your sides 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Take Simhasana (lions breath) 3x whilst breathing smoothly and deeply
  • Rub hands together briskly and cover eyes
  • Stroke hands through hair lightly past ears and towards the back of the skull 3x
  • Lie as still as you can with no tension for 10 deep breaths – don’t rush your exhales and note the pause after each exhale

Website link:  http://www.soniawelch.co.uk

Red Tent

Would love to have a space for this …
Photo

She had never been inside a Red Tent Temple and did not know what to expect when she arrived to the round yurt building. On entry she was met by a woman who welcomed her and helped her let go of her long drive, her worries, so she could enter unfettered. She could not believe how beautiful and healing this moment was to enter a woman’s sacred space symbolic to the womb. Women were resting or writing in their journals quietly. One older woman was massaging anothers feet, another telling a story in the chair. It seemed so natural as if this had always been true and yet never in her lifetime had she seen this before though she heard tale of the grassroots movement of women supporting each other in the Red Tent Temples. A well of grief rose from her heart and though she barely knew anyone she began to sob aloud. Immediately women knew what to do and they embraced her and let her cry it out. Together we are dreaming a new world where womanhood is honored.