Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Correcting Your Yoga Form

I came across the Instagram account ActionJacquelyn that showcases comparisons of proper and improper form of many of the staple yoga poses. I absolutely love what Jacquelyn is doing with her Instagram and just had to share for all my readers.  I think back as a beginner yoga student and remember being very conscientious of how I was engaging for proper alignment in poses.  I've taken a lot of classes in yoga and have found that not every instructor is able to communicate the intended form of particular poses.  Depending on the class, you may move through each pose at a quick pace and find yourself overwhelmed with trying to master each and every movement.  This can be a normal part of learning yoga. Unfortunately, it can also leave the student frustrated and more willing to give up. That's why I think it's important that there is the level of educational information out there for the ordinary yoga student such as myself.  The student that is not a professional yoga instructor but one that takes a class on occasion or once a week.  So enjoy the following snippets by ActionJacquelyn below and be sure to check out her account further for more similar form comparisons. 

✨Half Forward Fold✨Ardha Uttanasana✨ We flow through this move dozens of times in yoga and rarely stop to break it down. This is one of my favorite poses, because I love opening my chest and front body as I get Stretchy in my legs. - Correct ✅: 1️⃣There should be a little baby back bend happening when you are doing this pose. The upper spine bones compress and the front body opens. You can place the hands where you need to - on the floor, on the shins, knees, blocks - whatever works for you. 2️⃣Shoulders open externally and roll down the back. There's even a slight compression of the shoulders into the lats and side body. This allows for the chest to open. 3️⃣Chest and sternum lifts up and out and radiates like a ray of sun ☀️. 4️⃣Lower abs pull up and in. Ribs soften. 5️⃣Weight stays Forward over the toes. To behonest my weight could be a bit more forward now that I'm looking at this pic 🙄 this will help fire 🔥 up the use of the hamstrings - Incorrect ❌: 1️⃣Hunching the back like this is usually caused from inflexibility, so instead raise the level of your arms up to something higher like your knees, and even bend your knees slightly to help lengthen the spine. 2️⃣Since the back is hunched, the shoulders are rolling forward, and the back is being stretched, not the front of the body. 3️⃣Chest and sternum is not radiating like the sun ☁️ and not being stretched or energized 4️⃣Abs are pushing out and slack 5️⃣Weight is back on the heels, meaning the hamstrings are not firing. - Outfit @aloyoga #aloyoga | @getstretchy #getstretchy

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✨FIGURE FOUR✨ This is the best stretch for opening your hips, and lower back. If you are right though then you can do more harm than good sometimes. So I'm showing you how you can use a strap if you are really tight and find yourself looking like the bottom picture. - Correct ✅: 1️⃣ Before getting into the stretch, start lying on your back, place your hands on your knees and pull both knees into your chest. Feel the lower spine on the floor, and feel your tailbone on the floor. 2️⃣ Then grab a strap, place your left foot (flexed) over the right knee, and loop the strap around your right foot. Pull the strap in towards you to wherever is comfortable. 3️⃣ Lengthen the back of the neck. It should feel as though someone has their hands under your head and is gently pulling your head away from your shoulders, stretching the back of your neck. - Incorrect ❌: 1️⃣ Tightness in hips is causing the entire body to strain, especially underneath the neck and spine. The energy should be lengthening, not shortening. 2️⃣ Grabbing over the knee is not an ideal place to grab for this stretch. Instead thread the left hand through the left knee, and the right hand goes around the right leg, and grab either over the knee/shin of the right knee, or grab under the right knee. - To Modify even more ⚠️: Do this stretch against a wall, so that you're facing a wall and your right foot is placed on the wall. It provides similar support as a yoga strap looped around the right foot, but you might find it more relaxing because the wall will do the work for you instead. - Outfit @aloyoga #aloyoga | @getstretchy #getstretchy

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✨HOW TO DO PIGEON POSE✨This is one of my favorite poses because it is one of the most effective hip openers. 🙌🏽 It also stretches the front body, abdomen, groin, and psoas. - Correct ✅😁: • Arch of foot is flat on the floor (not to the side). • Hips are square and level. This starts with your back foot. You can tuck your back toes under to help spiral your thigh down. • Thigh spirals down. This will position your hips to the correct level. Your knee should facing the floor, not the side. • Shoulders are level, because the hips are level. - Incorrect ❌😝: • Back foot is laying on it's side. This will throw off the entire pose. • Hips are not square or level. Since the back foot is laying on it's side, it is rolling the entire leg in the wrong direction. • Thigh is spiraling outwards, causing the knee to facing sideways, and this is also putting your knee at risk. • Shoulders are not level, because the hips are not level. - More on ActionJacquelyn.com ✨ Outfit @aloyoga #aloyoga @getstretchy #getstretchy #pigeonpose #hipopener

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