by Megan McDonough You know this to be true: Yoga improves your emotional state. That’s obvious to anyone who has stepped onto the mat, or taught others and noticed the shift in the room as the class progresses. What is it about the Breath of Joy that actually makes us feel joyful? Or the strength […]
There’s not much I enjoy more than going to a yoga class. The energy created from being in a roomful of like-minded people practicing together can’t compare to much else. Seeing the monumental shifts yoga can create in people’s lives is important to witness as a community. For most of us life is very busy […]
On Monday, December 16, 2012—exactly two days after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary—I stood outside the doors of Pittsfield High School (PHS) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As I waited for the receptionist to buzz me in, I wondered what to expect in my high school yoga class that morning. I was still reeling. My niece […]
by Rebekah L. Fraser “Your psoas might be singing,” says Devarshi Steven Hartman, the Kripalu Yoga teacher trainer. He stands on a platform in the middle of the room, leading a posture clinic. We, his students, have put our yoga mats around the platform, like rays of the sun, facing him. We stand in Virabhadrasana […]
There are many benefits to forward bends, both standing and sitting. They create length and space in the spine, counteracting compression, and their inward nature can promote introspection. Yet forward bands can also be a challenge to many people, especially those with tight hamstrings. Common physical patterns, such as overstretched back muscles and rounded shoulders (mostly likely from sitting in front of a computer for hours) are often exacerbated in forward bending poses.
But as senior Kripalu Yoga teacher Cristie Newhart says in her R&R retreat workshop Forward Bends, yoga can help us dissolve patterns so we can uncover fresh ways of looking and experiencing ourselves. This multifaceted awareness about how we move can help us cultivate a deeper, richer yoga practice, allowing us to discover new ease in our forward bends.
In the workshop, Cristie shares these tips for getting the most out of your forward folds: