Sensational Yoga Poses

Yoga for smart People?
by: Neil Keleher

When it comes to physical movement and yoga poses, you can become a smart yogi by noticing sensations generated by your muscles and responding to them intelligently. You can use this sensitivity and responsiveness in anything that you do.

This is how you can experience your body. This is how you learn to understand it.

With an understanding based on the direct experience of your body, you can learn to fix problems, improve strength, flexibility, coordination, or simply find it easier to "be present" in your own body.

For more detailed instruction for becoming a smarter yogi visit the smart yogi store.

For a detailed look at being present, check out my latest book Know to Flow

To find out about personalized sessions via skype or facetime, use this private session contact form.

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Proprioception and flow

Proprioception is the ability to feel how the parts of your body relate. It's the ability to feel your body while you move it and while you work at keeping it still. It can even allow you to feel your body while relaxed. The key engines of proprioception are the same engines that allow you to move your body. Those engines of proprioception are your muscles.

Flow is a mind-state where you notice change as it occurs. If you imagine time as a wave that travels through space, then being in the flow is when you are riding the wave of time. Instead of watching it pass you by, it carries you, and as a result time seems to slow down or stop.

To find out more about both proprioception and flow, visit the proprioception and flow page.

Breath and posture

As part of the reorganization of sensational yoga poses, breath and posture has its own (their own) category. I often teach breath and posture separately from each other. However, the same basic exercises and awareness can apply to both. Additionally, to make different breathing methods easier to learn it can sometimes help to vary your posture. Meanwhile, to make good posture easier to learn, the exercises I use are actually very similar to breathing exercises in that they have a rhythmic nature.

Find out more in breath and posture or use the links below to go to a specific subsection of breath and posture.

Keeping knees healthy

As a further part of my reorganization efforts, the knees have their own section also. I've had a lot of experience working with my own knee pain, and fixing it. What you see below and in keeping knees healthy is, in large part, a result of that experience.

Keeping hip joints lubricated

Probably the best thing you can do to keep your hip joints healthy is to keep them lubricated. How do you do that? It's all covered in Keeping hip joints lubricated.

Lower back

I've been doing some re-organizing. Now the lower back has its own section. So that its a bit more useful for dealing with low back pain, as well as for learning how to use your low back effectively, I've defined, or re-defined the low back to include the sacrum, hip bones, SI joints and ribs. There's obviously going to be some overlap with other structures (mainly the ribs and the hips) but if it leads to a better understanding of the lower back, then I feel that's okay.

Shoulders and arms

When working on your shoulders, one of the best things that you can do is to stabilize your ribcage. Prior to that it can help to first differentiate the two. The better you can feel and control your shoulders and ribcage in isolation, the easier it is to use them effectively together. When you have a stable ribcage, you give shoulder and arm muscles a firm foundation from which to work. For more on the shoulders and arms visit the shoulders and arms page

Yoga Poses

For specific yoga poses check out the yoga poses page. You can link to it directly using the menu bar above.

It includes general tips and principles for doing yoga poses as well as yoga poses divided into different categories as you can see below.

Learning how to balance

This is the index for learning how to balance. These are pages that focus on balance in general (the "idea" of balance) and how to turn it into a general skill (versus an activity specific one). These pages also include specific balance poses and exercises.

Yoga for Flexibility

This is the index for yoga for flexibility.

These pages focus on stretches (and in some cases, poses), to help you improve flexibility. In most cases, if not all, the focus is on what to do with your muscles and how to clearly specify a direction of stretch.

Yoga for Strength

This is the index for yoga for strength

Here the focus is on getting stronger. This isn't brute ignorant strength, but strength based on body awareness and getting the parts of your body to work well together. So it's strength from guided effort.

Sensational Yoga Anatomy

The focus here is on the anatomy of movement and proprioception, so muscles, bones and joints. And it's focused on feeling, or proprioceiving, your own body.

This is the index for Sensational Yoga Anatomy

Yoga for De-stressing

This is the main index for Yoga for De-stressing

The main idea for de-stressing is to become present or in other words, stop thinking. And so here are an array of tools to help you focus on being present, above and beyond those presented in the previous sections.