Flip and see things up-side-down… Yang to Yin


Last week evening, a student asked if I knew – about some Instagram sensation, a famous yogini (only on Instagram – not from teaching BTW) and what happened to her – according to this student’s story, this 40 year old Instragram yoga rock star? had a stroke. Prompted by such an inquiry, I decided to look her up.  So this Instrgram yoga star suffered a stroke from posing a type of handstand called “hollowback.” The position requires extending the neck, dropping the hips back, and arching the spine all while in a handstand.  Isn’t this gymnastics? What’s “yoga” again?

What are the benefits in such a pose that you can’t get from any other much safer pose or poses sequenced intelligently or customized to where you are at with props? Props meets you where you are at and what is wrong with that – to honor where we are at? It’s a beautiful practice. To really honor where we are.  To wholeheartedly practice acceptance and self-love.

Other than striking that pose that looks super-human cool  – inspiring for some; foolish for others – for some, an endorphin rush we get from nailing a challenging pose – if done over much preparations and warm-ups – not just for the photo shoot  – then I see the progressions in clearing the challenges and for some, it’s a really feel good moment – BUT for those looking to yoga for healing or simple tweaking, so many other wiser deeds we can challenge ourselves with   – can’t we be more selective – personalized – customized – if one’s intention is about self-care, self-preservation aka, longevity, self-growth – a transformation into a better version of Self.  Having empathized with loved ones with knee surgeries, hip replacement surgeries, shoulder/back problems, it’s crazy that we don’t take better care of ourselves.  There’s nothing to gain from extreme poses no matter how photogenic – unless of course you are training for Cirque Du Soleil.

There are so many benefits to yoga and if challenge is what you are after, that is afforded with wide variety of poses that pose no harm – or in flowing movements that links the breath with each extension or flexion or release.  I would humbly choose that path taught in yoga therapy as all over-riding “do no harm” while doing great good:) One of the ways I re-discovered recently is YOGA WALL 🙂 Plus Somatic Movements after a moderate cardio-workouts that’s more about weight bearing, loading (this can be done kindly in Yin kind of yoga too) of the joints for that renewal … Here for reference.  Picked up this book in Japan I wish I could translate as it’s fascinating.  Title would translate to something like “Muscle Training Over-Rated”, the focus being the importance of skeletal alignment, strength and growth.  It’s one extreme to the other … I guess that’s why I love Yoga practice so much as it’s about “BALANCE” even though now we have to deal with some misunderstandings out there that Stroke can be caused by yoga as this student told me – now I’m a little scared – PLEASE, find a good teacher.

Some Ideas for All Inviting Accessible Yoga – Yoga Wall !!!  It’s safe – you’ve got the inversion with no neck passage/artery impingement.  Find a Yoga Wall certified teacher who knows about safety and also about challenging your concept of what is truly challenging yet staying in the safe zone, taking humble baby steps towards progress to reconnect with the best version of Self – to rediscover that core essence that’s undeniably uniquely yours through discipline of regular practice.

Jason Cull, C-IAYT Yoga Wall Teacher Training @ Yoga Health Center

Just hanging out for wholesome health:)  Seeing the world up-side-down so if you are Yang-dominant, FLIP it – See the Yin benefits:)  Flip things and see things from another perspective – it also does a body good, besides the positive affect on your mind.

And … No cause for alarm – no stroke from inversions ! No joke:)

Chronological age is not indicative; it’s the age of your blood vessels is what they say in Japan … One can be 70 years old with blood vessels of a 35 year old; one can be 35 years old and with blood vessels of a 70 year old …

Yoga Helps Relieve Chronic Pain

This is something I found so comforting during the Chronic Pain Module from Yoga Therapy Teacher Training course I completed.  Yes, studies have shown that practice of gentle but consistent yoga practice can actually help one manage chronic pain.

Here is an excellent article explaining HOW.  Here’s a Harvard study that recommends yoga – standing, seated, reclining and meditation – for arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, to mention some conditions prone to light, dull to debilitating pain.  Not all yoga would do – some yoga styles may actually aggravate the condition unless the practice is modified or customized for that student’s particular needs.

Please refer to this article …Here 🙂

Come breathe and practice a therapeutic yoga with me – standing; seated and reclining poses are all sequenced to melt away the stiffness and bring about lightness of being.

Bridge Pose to Upward Bow pose really uses the back muscles and not for everyone especially if one suffers from pain in the shoulders and lower back … when done therapeutically, props are introduced to best support and individualize the pose – meeting the practitioner where they are at; never straining; never pushing – would be our motto of “non-harming”.  (btw, this me on a fallen tree trunk in Tahoe … Urdhva Dhanurasana “Bow” on a Log:)  We can affect the same benefits of this particular HUGE chest opener pose when you insert pyramid of yoga bolsters we may rest our back onto – it’s heavenly when you can just let the arms and legs go … floaty)  Let me know if you’d like to try that version rather than this one pictured here.

Playlist ? Love “Golden State of Mind” !

Sometimes people ask about the playlist I share  …what is that song or what was that I get asked … So here to preempt –  here’s the latest release by our local hip-hop artist ! MC Yogi, our very own Bay Area native musician is so Golden, this song is going into mine; how about yours? Make it part of your practice playlist – to cultivate that Golden Mind, Living in this Golden State of California …watching the fog roll in past that Golden Bridge.  There’s this Golden hue glowing all over us … honey colored nectar drizzled over our asanas as our mind fills up with Golden light …

Practicing yoga to cultivate that state of mind that’s ultimately … Golden.

Thank  you MC Yogi for this beautiful message !

We are so recharged, mind filing up with golden light with each breath we take, energized by the vibe you create:)

It’s Golden !