• Ashtanga Home Practice Challenge

    New Yoga Challenge coming to Omstars September 1st!  With this challenge, you’ll get access to an amazing new course that’s designed to help you explore the Ashtanga Yoga practice from the comfort of your own home! There are 16 classes that serve to break the Ashtanga Yoga Primary and Second Series into more digestible segments so you can experience both practices in their entirety in a way that’s manageable and approachable. Join the Challenge

     

    The Ashtanga Yoga Home Practice challenge is hosted by Kino MacGregor features a special guest teacher, Shanna Small. Use these classes to work through your sticking points at your own pace and learn to honor your body’s abilities as you explore your practice each day of the challenge. Wait, that’s not all, Shanna Small (@wellness_yogini) will be teaching 5 live classes that breakdown a variety of postures and movements and she’ll be giving you tips on how to use props and variations to support you in your practice.

    Ready to Get Started?

    Sign up

    If you’re already a member click the link get yourself signed up today. Not an Omstars member? No problem! All you have to do is register as a participant and we’ll send you a special code prior to the challenge start date. Your special code will give you a one-month, all access pass to Omstars.com so you can join the challenge and explore our entire library of on-demand videos and live classes! Sound good? We’ll be kicking off our very first practice on Sunday, September 1st; here’s what you need to do to sign up:

    Follow

    Follow our hosts and sponsors on Instagram for your chance to win some incredible prizes including outfits from Omstars by Liquido and Kino’s new collection Off The Mat beach wear clothing, books and DVDs by Kino, and some beautiful gift sets of handmade, vegan friendly, soaps by Smithmade Essentials.

    @kinoyoga
    @wellness_yogini
    @omstarsofficial
    @liquidoactive
    @smithmade_essentials

    Share

    Repost the challenge graphic and help spread the word, and tag three friends to join you in this challenge! Practice with us every day, for 16 days, and share your journey and daily poses on Instagram! Be sure to use our challenge hashtag #ashtangahomepracticechallenge and tag us in your daily posts.

    Daily Poses:

    1. Chaturanga
    2. Trikonasana
    3. Prasarita C
    4. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
    5. Warrior One
    6. Janu A
    7. Mari  A & B (both)
    8. Mari C & D (both)
    9. Bujapidasana
    10. Pasasana
    11. Krounchasana
    12. Dhanurasana
    13. Ustrasana
    14. Eka Pada Sirsasana
    15. Pinchamayurasana
    16. Padmâsana

    Engage

    Have fun within the community by liking and commenting on each other’s posts!

     

    Get Started HERE!

     

  • Easing in to Chaturanga Dandasana

    In our last post we focused on the hip abductors and adductors and how they can be used to stabilize the pelvis and synergize flexing the hips in forward bends. In this post we zoom out and look at a technique that can be learned with Chaturanga Dandasana and then transported to other poses to improve benefits and safety. I call this technique “ease in, ease out” and it relates to how one approaches the end point of a pose.

    Figure 1

    For this cue, I take a yoga block and place it at the level of my sternum, then lower down to lightly touch it from plank position. I then straighten my arms to return to plank. The image that body weight practitioners use for this is “kissing the baby” because one touches the block as gently as kissing a baby on the forehead. Working in this manner teaches muscle control and sensitivity.

    Figure 2

    Those who avoid full Chaturanga due to weakness of the muscles involved can develop the strength for the full pose by starting at a wall as shown in figure 2. Here instead of the chest touching the block, bend the arms to lower towards the wall and gently touch the forehead, hold for a moment and then straighten the arms. Work in this manner until you can comfortably do ten repetitions. As strength builds, transition to a plank with the knees on the mat, lowering down to touch the block as in the final version. (Figure 3).

    Figure 3

    Visualizing the muscles involved is a powerful adjunct to this technique. Use a mental image of the triceps, pectoralis major and serratus anterior muscles engaging to stabilize the arms, shoulders and chest as shown in figure 4. The triceps straightens the elbows and is a secondary stabilizer of the shoulder joint. The pectoralis major draws the upper arm towards the midline (adduction) and helps to expand the chest (when the shoulders are held in place). The serratus anterior extends from the upper nine ribs to inner (anterior) medial surface of the scapula. It acts in concert with the rhomboids to stabilize the shoulder blades and thus preventing “winging” of the scapula in this pose. (Figure 4).

    Take a moment to review our post on “co-activating the glutes and abs in Chaturanga” and integrate these muscles into this technique. Also, feel free to browse through the Yoga Mat Companion series. The illustrations in these books are designed to aid in visualizing the muscles in action in a variety of poses.  Slowing the movement as one approaches the endpoint of the pose also sets up a cadence or rhythm, especially when working with a Vinyasa Flow based practice. It can be applied to any pose and also to inhalation and exhalation, thus smoothing the breath. It also aids to protect the joints, which have smooth curved surfaces that adapt best to gradual transitions during movement.

    An excerpt from “Yoga Mat Companion 4 – Anatomy for Arm Balances and Inversions”.

     

    An excerpt from “Yoga Mat Companion 4 – Anatomy for Arm Balances and Inversions”.

    Check in next week for Part Three of this series on preventative strategies for lower back strains in yoga. Also, be sure to visit us on Facebook for your free Chakra poster and e-book.

    Namaste’

    By Ray & Chris of The Daily Bandha

    Ray Long MD FRCSC is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and the founder of Bandha Yoga.

    Chris Macivor is a 3D Graphic Dessigner and illustrator who has been involved in the field of digital content creation for well over ten years.

    This article was originally posted on www.dailybandha.com. If you would like more practice with Chaturanga Dandasana, check out the tutorials below on Omstars.com.

    Adrian Molina’s Chaturanga Tutorial on Omstars

    Laruga Glaser’s Chaturanga Tutorial on Omstars