Posts tagged pose
Headstand How To with Pilar and Ellie

Stemming from a discussion the other day about what part of the head you use for a headstand, Pilar and Ellie decided to make a few videos.  Below you will find Sirsasana A with Pilar and Sirsasana B with Ellie.  These videos are of course in addition to learning in class with your teacher present. Headstand is wonderful inversion that can stimulate the brain, energise the body and mind, and help you feeling strong.  It requires strength, flexibility, and practice.  So don't get discouraged if you don't come right up the first time you try.  When the body and mind are ready, the pose comes.

Typically we learn Sirsana A, before moving on to a tripod headstand.  Here it is:

Here in Sirsasana B, Ellie answers the question of what part of the head rests on the floor, and how to find it. In pressure point terms it is Du 20, the top of the head just up from the ears. Check out tripod below!

Ellie Coats is our Yoga for Athletes expert starting your day right on Tuesday mornings at 7:30.  Pilar teaches headstands and more inversions in her 2/3 classes.  Come along and have fun!

If you have just tuned in to the blog, check the many other videos we have made here at Camyoga under the video blog section of the site, and Subscribe on youtube.

Hands up for Hanumanasana!

We sometimes avoid the poses that we think we just can't do, the poses that maybe our bodies weren't "built" for.  Hanumanasana is just one of those poses. Full splits are something we feel we either can or can't do.  But even the naturally unflexible have hope in this pose.

Warming up the body and the key muscles is important as is the consistency of practicing.  The way to get better at hanumanasana is to do hanumanasana.  Sounds simple, right?  But then why do so many of us just avoid the pose altogether? Check out the following video for full split prep poses...

Take inspiration from Hanuman, the monkey god for whom the pose is named before you take this leap of faith.  Hanuman leaped across an ocean in order to help a friend he loved.  And so this massive leap represents the expansion of his heart, the love that allowed him to take this step. In the full version of the pose we add in the expression of the heart opening. Take a look...and give hanumanasana another chance.

Handy Handstand Wall Tricks

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (downward facing tree) is most often known to us as handstand. There are some clues for us in this image of the tree to bring us into handstand. Imagine growing strong roots down into the ground and lengthening up through the body with a strong core. Handstand in the middle of a room can be a bit daunting.  Find your footing first at the wall. Going upside down can be an empowering experience as you build strength and confidence.  In order to move your Handstand away from the wall, practice engaging the core and taking the sway out of the low back.  With all things yoga...practice, practice, practice.

Take a look at the video below for some tips on kicking to the wall and then building strength once you are there.  Enjoy and have fun!!

Get to Know Camyoga Member, Stephen Green

Name:  Steve Green

Age: 54

Occupation: Accountant for 30 years up to February this year.  Currently using a rather generous redundancy package to have a year (or two) of yoga.


What brought you to yoga?

The after effects of surgery to remove a prolapsed disc from my lower back.  I pretty much tried everything and Alexander Technique started me on a long term fascination with all forms of somatics – Feldenkrais, and Chi Gung in particular.

I stumbled across Camyoga on the internet a month after being made redundant having just been accepted to do a Chi Gung teacher training course in London.   My chiropractor had advised that my scoliosis would become more debilitating if I persisted with office work and I was totally disenchanted with corporate life.  Since April, I have been to over fifty classes as Camyoga.  I cannot remember my back feeling as free as it does now.  It is not always a pleasant process releasing chronic tensions – ‘stuff comes up’, but the rewards are enormous.    The teachers at Camyoga, and I think I have tried most of them, are all excellent and I feel very fortunate to have found such an inspiring school of yoga so close to home.

What do you do when you are not doing yoga?

Cycling, canoeing, and walking, mostly in the company of my two daughters, Zoe and Eleni.


What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

Turtle / tortoise – it’s hugely calming and keeps you really closely connected to the breath.  Iyengar says it’s a sacred pose and I am beginning to understand why.


What is your least favorite yoga pose and why?

Any form of handstand, so far I cannot remotely do it.


What is one quality you have taken off the mat and incorporated into your daily life?

Being happy for no particular reason.


An interesting fact about Stephen that you may not know is that he was born in the Solomon Islands.



Chaturanga, Updog, Downdog

In previous posts and videos, Louise Lloyd has shown us some modifications to safely transition through parts of the sun salutation.  You were warned about the dreaded cobra dog and how it is to be avoided.  You were shown exercises to condition and strengthen the body by lowering slowly to floor. Now, as you can tell from the title of this post, we go the distance.

In part of 4 of Louise's Sun Salutation video series we take a closer look at lowering into chaturanga, inhaling into upward facing dog, and exhaling into downward facing dog.  Since we haven't covered jumping back, the video starts by lowering from a plank position.  When jumping back, it is advisable to land in chaturanga (rather than plank) to keep your shoulders safe and injury free.

The strength required to safely transition through your sun salutation requires regular yoga practice.  Be sure to look back at the previous videos in this series for tips on modifying and building strength.

Happy practicing!