One of the problems I often see with new students in my yoga classes is an inability to stabilize the legs. If their hands are on the floor for balance and they try lifting their hands they loose their balance or simply haven't got the leg strength to keep their hands lifted.
A simple technique that creates stability and leg strength is to use friction. I teach them to push one leg forwards and the other back so that they activate their leg muscles and create stability. This same technique can be used in a variety of ways to strengthen both the legs and the arms, and even the mid-section when using an arm against a leg.
With awareness directed in the right place it's also a great way to help learn to feel your body. For example, pressing the feet outwards against the floor while standing is a great way to learn to feel the adductors (the muscles along outside of the hips) activate.
The only trouble with this technique is that it doesn't work if you only have one point of contact with the floor, say while standing and balancing on one leg.
For this reason, I also use pressure as a way of creating stability. This is an excellent technique for learning to feel, say, the knees and hips, and for making them stable.
Conscious Muscle Control Pressure and Friction is a set of videos and/or pdf (ebook) that takes you through a sequence of yoga poses. In each pose, you'll use either friction or pressure to activate muscles and/or joints. You'll learn to feel muscles and joints activating, create stability, and strengthen your legs, arms and, where the arms and legs are used against each other, your midsection.
The first video includes some seated poses with exercises that warm up your shoulders and arms. You can view a partial preview (which is useful even by itself as a warm up) below.
This is one of may different types of warmups that I use to help students practice feeling and controlling their body.
The videos are structured so that you can follow along. Because the instructions for each exercise are short, simple and easy to remember, you could also watch a portion of the video and then try the exercises without the video. Likewise using the pdf. You can read up on an exercise, try it out, check what you have done, and then move on to the next exercise.
One advantage of the videos, that is hard to get from the PDF, unless you have the relevant experience, is moving slowly and smoothly. In the videos, all exercises are demonstrated with a slow and smooth technique ideally making it easy to follow and easier to try to duplicate.
The video is in three parts:
There are some standing forward bends included in the main section and these are demonstrated with props to show how you can do them if you are less flexible.
The only props you require, if your flexibility is limited, are either yoga blocks or a sturdy chair.
Instruction sets for each exercise set are short and simple so that you can also watch a section of video and then do the exercises yourself without the video.
I'd suggest this method so that you can own each of the techniques. You can then work towards doing these exercises without the videos, and so that you can then began to explore variations of these movements, and so that you can try these actions, or variations of them in other poses or exercises, even ones not included in this video.
The pdf includes pictures plus clear and simple instruction sets for each exercise.
You can buy the PDF and videos individually or as a package.
Click the button below to order.
Once you've ordered, you'll be able to download or stream the videos on any of your devices. If ordering the PDF, you'll be able to download it.
The video titles are numbered to indicate viewing order. The videos themselves also contain written tips/title cards before each section.
If you have any problems use the contact form to get in touch with me.
While the final focus in this program is on chaturanga dandasana, the techniques focused on in this program are applicable in a variety of poses. More importantly, you'll get a better feel for your body.
That being said, if you find the exercises or instruction not suitable for you (or it's just not quite what you hoped for or expected) this program comes with a 30 Day money back guarantee.
Also, if you have questions about any of the exercises, or need some help modifying, contact me to let me know.