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How to Get Flexible Without Injury in Yoga

How to Get Flexible Without Injury in Yoga

Build a new program Pushing and forcing for flexibility isn't likely to work. Maybe for a little while, you've probably noticed that nearly anything new can appear exciting and promising for a little while. But not sustainably, and not without injury that ultimately turns you in the opposite direction from what you want. Does this mean we should just take it easy and never work hard? Not exactly, not even close. As a start, this isn't about "not feeling any stretch." Of course if we just sit on a couch and do nothing, except maybe flop from side to side…
How to Cue Your Way Out of Pain in Yoga

How to Cue Your Way Out of Pain in Yoga

There's a super-common question that comes up with yoga teachers about wrist pain. Basically, how can I help people here?  And there are lots of reasons it comes up so much. 1) Wrist pain is extremely common. Partly from the kinds of work people do, partly because of things that happen in yoga practice. 2) Wrist pain can be incredibly persistent.  Something might work for a moment, but not exactly and only a little bit.  Or nothing works.  Or just when you think something is working back comes the pain, only it moved and now it's worse! If you've had…
Building a Yoga and Tai Chi Practice that Creates Peace

Building a Yoga and Tai Chi Practice that Creates Peace

Learn to choose peace because you want to, not because you have to. For most of human history, we only choose peace when we have to. Governments, companies, communities, people, all the same. All reflecting what's in every one of us. Powerful China was not always so powerful, and peaceful Tibet, not always so peaceful. There was a time when these roles were reversed.   If Bigger Always Wins, Change the Contest There’s this wonderful old Chinese philosophy we practice now in tai chi.  It holds an understanding that bigger always wins in a contest of force, and this is…
Are Bandhas Important for Advanced Yoga Practice?

Are Bandhas Important for Advanced Yoga Practice?

There's a question that comes up quite a lot in yoga teacher trainings.  Usually it's toward the end of a couple weeks of practice in releasing stress, building harmony in your whole body so energy flows freely, creating the conditions for healing, and for challenge to be approached with peace rather than force. What about bandhas? The question is simple, and comes from a straightforward place.  These practices of learning to use your whole body as a whole body in harmony, rather than a collection of disconnected parts, are wonderful.  They make complete sense.  It's what we want, to learn…