Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bent Arms, Weak Arms

I worked with several students this weekend, preparing to do handstands, adho mukha vrksasana (tree pose with the mouth facing down).

To get ready for adho mukha vrksasana, we practiced adho mukha svanasana, dog pose with the mouth facing down.

In both poses, the arms are along side the ears. In this arm position you can't see your arms. Go ahead and try it. Bring your arms up along your ears. Now ask yourself, "are my arms bent or straight?"

Many were surprised when I told them their arms were bent in downward facing dog pose.

If you want to be able to stay in downward-facing dog pose longer and with more ease, make sure your arms are straight. Draw your elbows towards each other and extend the arms long. You can even put a strap around your elbows so they can't bend. (Please get help from an experienced teacher for this.) You'll be amazed at how easy the pose is!

When you take the bends out of your elbows, the bone in the upper arm aligns with the bones in the lower arm. You instantly become structurally stronger. Without getting stronger muscles, you're immediately able to bear more weight for a longer time.

But this seemingly simple instruction is easier said than done.

Many of the same students were surprised when I asked them to take their hands wider apart on the mat, before they came into the pose.

You see, the wrist joint, elbow joint and shoulder joint all work together as one system. When your shoulders are stiff and your hands are too close together, it's almost impossible to straigthen your arms.

When you're elbows are bent, you're weak.

So widen your hand position. Take them apart, so your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders.

Your downward-facing dog pose will get easier, and you might surprise yourself by doing a hand stand that you previously thought you weren't strong enough to do.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., The Sanskrit word of the day from my last Daily Yoga Tip was garuda. Garuda means eagle, as in garudasana, eagle pose.

There's the picture to the left of students doing garudasana.

p.p.s., Today's Sanskrit word of the day is svana. I'll tell you what it means next time.

p.p.p.s, Don't miss the Experience Sanskrit workshop coming up in Downers Grove, IL on Saturday, April 8. You can register here.

If you're interested, please don't delay. Our Annapolis workshop sold out. And many who wanted to come were turned away.

Our Experience Sanskrit workshop in St. Charles (March 18) is also sold out. We're telling people who really wanted to come that they can't!

So don't delay. Also, the price for the Downers Grove Experience Sanskrit workshop goes up to $75 on March 18.

The Experience Sanskrit workshop is the fun and unforgettble way to learn and remember the Sanskrit names of the yoga poses you already do! It's four hours of energetic fun. And you get a 120-page course manual to keep and use when you go back home. Find out more at www.ExperienceYoga.org.

Copyright 2006.
All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.
Kevin Perry
Mo Yoga LLC
905 Eastland Plaza Suite B, #106
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 680-6737


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