James Sanders Yoga

Welcome the transition – summer becomes fall (Oct. Newsletter)

moon w campfire

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Is it pumpkin spice latte season? Or the beginning of sweater weather? If you’re fancy, maybe it’s Autumn. In any case, welcome to fall!

Ayurveda is often called the sister science to yoga, and in Ayurveda there exist three doshas – Pitta, Vata, & Kapha. Fall is the season of vata which is related to air and space elements. Vata tends towards dry, light, cool, and rough and maybe you can feel it already with the dry windy days and the cool nights.  

In our yoga practice we try to balance ourselves in relation to the forces around us. So, in a time of dry, windy, coolness, we would look for practices which leaves us grounded and stable and which help us retain our moisture. Holding poses supports health fluid in our joints. Long slow exhales contribute to feeling grounded. Slow movements leave us feeling stable in a transitioning environment. Twists move fluids in our tissues from saturated areas to dehydrated ones. So, these are the features we will work with this month (and for the coming months in various ways).  

In addition to Asana, maybe consider other aspects of life which you can bring into balance with the changing season. Consider the Ayurvedic principle that opposites balance, vata season will be less aggravating if you fill it with warmth, oiliness, deep nourishment, loving relationships, and a sense of stability, routine, and groundedness. 

Substantive, oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein, high in fat, brought to life with warming, stimulating spices, and served hot, will go a long way toward maintaining your internal reserves of moisture and keeping you grounded through the vata season. Here’s a recipe for a vata friendly pumpkin bread.

Hope to see you soon!

Anatomy Geek Safe Space

Hip Flexors. What are they, what do they do and why can they be so bedeviling in our yoga practice?  

The hip flexors are a group of muscles located at the front of your hip which move your legs into flexion (think bringing your knee up towards your belly). They include the iliopsoas, rectus femoris, sartorius, and the tensor fasciae latae. Now, why are they so important, you ask?
Flexibility and mobility: Healthy hip flexors ensure your hips can move freely. This flexibility is vital not only for yoga poses like lunges and lotus position but also for basic activities like walking and bending.

Stability: Balanced hip flexors contribute to the stability of your pelvis. In yoga, a stable pelvis is your best friend, enabling you to hold poses with grace and ease. In life, stability keeps us mobile and safe from falling

Posture: Hip flexors play a key role in maintaining good posture. Strong and flexible hip flexors help prevent lower back pain and promote a straight spine, enhancing your yoga practice and overall well-being.

Emotional Release: In some practices, it’s believed that hip-opening poses can release stored emotions. So, by keeping your hip flexors healthy, you might just be freeing yourself emotionally too!

Too much sitting, a common modern-day affliction, can shorten and tighten these muscles, and remember tight muscles are often weak muscles. So, it’s essential to incorporate hip-flexor stretches and strengthening into your routine. Consider poses like the Crescent Lunge and Pigeon Pose in your yoga practice to keep these muscles happy and flexible.

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