Welcome! I'm on Sabbatical at the moment, likely until January 2018. I'll be focussing on my own practice, and exploring what the future of Yoga and Buddhism look like from my perspective. It's exciting stuff, and I'll be ready to share in just a little while. So please stay tuned by either signing up for my mailing list below, or by following me on Instagram.
If you’ve been doing Vinyasa-style practices that include repeated movements from plank to Down Dog (Ashtanga Sun Salutations, for example), and you experience pain at the front of your shoulder, it could be due to rotator cuff impingement, bursitis, or a tear in your rotator cuff. And these may have originated from poor scapulo-humeral rhythm encouraged by typical yoga alignment and movement cues. The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the body, and that flexibility comes at a price: stability. This complex mechanism of muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons needs to move in a very specific way in order to achieve movements that are strong and stable, and prevent repetitive stress injuries. Without getting into too many details, pushing up to plank pose places the shoulder blades in a protracted position (wide apart and wrapping around the ribcage) at the top of the movement, and if the core is properly engaged it also places the pelvis in a retroverted (posteriorly tilted) position. But in Down Dog, we want to give our shoulder blades the opportunity to upwardly rotate, the humerus (upper arm) bone to externally rotate, while placing the arms in closed-chain, weight-bearing flexion along with the spine, requiring the pelvis to anteriorly tilt. Moving between these two vastly different can be the source of a lot of frustration and/or injury. . . Try this. From plank, retract your shoulder blades (bring them in towards your spine) while you bend and lower your knees towards the floor to encourage an anterior tilt of your pelvis. Your lumbar spine will find its natural curve, and more of your body weight will move over your feet. This will free up your arms and shoulders to move while bearing less weight as you push your sits bones over your heels while externally rotating your upper arm bones. In completing that movement mindfully, your shoulder blades will upwardly rotate at the same time, placing them in the correct position for an impingement-free Down Dog once you lift your hips up by straightening your knees. And as always, remember that Down Dog never requires fully straight legs. If you don’t believe me, look at a ?! :)
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Welcome and Namaste...
I hope this can be a place where you get to know me a little bit, perhaps read some of my thoughts on Yoga, and hopefully be inspired to cultivate your own practice. I look forward to seeing you sometime, maybe on the mat or at a Kirtan, maybe on the streets of Victoria, or just skipping stones on the ocean at our doorstep.
To paraphrase Jon Kabat-Zinn, wherever I am, there I’ll be. Hope you’ll be there too…