42: Know Your Knee Anatomy Part 1

The knee is a very important part of your body, connecting almost all of your body weight into your ankles and feet! In this episode, we give the knee the respect it deserves, breaking down the basic anatomy and structures that we as yoga teachers should be aware of. We start with the bones, then the cartilage, then ligaments and finally many of the muscles involved in moving the knee. We tease out a bit Read more…

41: Pose Breakdown: Upward Facing Dog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward facing dog is an integral pose for any vinyasa practice. It’s a challenging backbend that requires whole-body strength. And because this pose is rarely held for more than one breath, the cueing into and out of the shape can lack the details that are necessary to keep our wrists and ankles feeling strong. It also requires a whole heck of a lot of core strength to not ‘dump’ into the lower back. Shoulder, chest, Read more…

40: Wesley Lai, Physiotherapist – Trigger Points and Yoga

Have you ever had a “knotted” muscle? Well, this episode is for you. We invited physiotherapist Wesley Lai to get into the physiology of trigger points, nerve referral pain and how stretching and yoga can impact the knots in our muscles. Wesley lays out the current theories about trigger points and fascia, release techniques and the surprising limitations and advantages of yoga when it comes to deeply knotted tension. As always, we intersperse personal anecdotes Read more…

39: Using Yoga to Build Power

Power athletes are sprinters, jumpers, throwers, etc.; basically any sport or activity that requires a large amount of work per unit of time. While yoga isn’t a ‘power’ful endeavour, per se, there are many carryover benefits. In this episode, we talk about how the core and transversus abdominis muscle helps us “brace” the middle in order to move the limbs more efficiently. We explain our favourite transitions for training stability and discuss the benefits of Read more…

38: How Pec Tension limits Asanas

Do you sit at a desk? Do upper body workouts? Most likely, your pecs are affected! The pectoralis major is the major muscle of the chest and contributes to many arm movements. It is a contributor to forward head and shoulder posture and can create instability in the shoulder if dysfunction is present. In yoga, we can spot pec tightness in a number of different poses, like side plank and Downward Facing Dog. In this Read more…

37: Imogen North: Teaching Yoga in Conflict Zones

In this interview, Sandy catches up with her friend and fellow yoga teacher Imogen, who is living and working in Yangon, Myanmar. Imogen brings yoga to sensitive areas in Myanmar, braving forests, rivers and police checkpoints to be of service to those communities. In this discussion, we dive deep into what it’s like being a yoga teacher in a developing country, how her work has affected her and what legacy she wants to leave behind. Read more…

36: The SI Joint – Part 2

In this episode, we continue our discussion of the sacroiliac joint (SI joint), touching on the hip flexor group of muscles and the transversus abdominis. We explain why these muscles are important in the healthy function of the joint and how we can draw more awareness into creating balance in them. Finally, we finish off by discussing twists and how twists may positively or negatively affect the SI joint. In This Episode Quick overview of Read more…

35: The SI Joint – Part 1

The sacroiliac joint is a tough workhorse when it comes to load transfer, repetitive motion and weight bearing. In yoga, it’s often mixed with low back or hip issues and yoga teachers often give blanket statements to cover SI joint “safe” modifications. In this first part of our SI joint discussion, we explain why the SI joint is so important in our movement and health, and what movements have an impact on the joint. We Read more…

34: Meghan Johnston – Your Brain and Nervous System on Restorative Yoga

In this episode, we interview Meghan Johnston about the power of restorative yoga. Meghan talks about her experience with burnout and how it led her to find restorative yoga for a personal healing practice and also how she sought out several trainings in restorative yoga, the nervous system, and brain health. We discuss how restorative yoga and the relaxation response is the gateway to recovery with respect to all our body’s systems. If you are Read more…

33: Pose Breakdown: Warrior 1 / Virabhadrasana A

Today we dive deep into another pose breakdown: Warrior 1, or Virabhadrasana A. Considered by many a foundation pose, we explain why we can consider it a peak pose and discuss all the limitations that might surround it. Nat goes on a rant about the way poses look vs. how they feel, and shares her personal experience with Warrior 1 in her calves. Finally, we discuss ways we would sequence or discuss Warrior 1 within Read more…

32: Teaching Hypermobile Students

Hypermobility is the ability for joints to move past an expected range. For many people, certain joints can move well past their range with no pain, however, that is not always the case. In this episode, we dig into all sorts of hypermobility you might encounter in the yoga studio. Sandy shares her history with a more mobile body, and we discuss teaching techniques and language that might help a hypermobile person find more stability. Read more…

31: Tensegrity: What is it, why does it matter?

Tensegrity. A term that gets tossed around in the yoga and movement worlds, but what does it mean? In this episode, we discuss the origin of this word and how the idea of tensegrity in the body, or biotensegrity, helps us understand the tension system of the body. We talk about the distribution of stress within the tensegrity system and how an imbalance of tension results in potential injury, and how to bring our bodies Read more…