Out with the Old, In with the New

adamantinestudio

In just two weeks the new location of the first-ever Adamantine® Yoga Studio will open its doors for business and Guided Self-Practice classes will begin. February 2nd, 2015 will mark the beginning of a new era for the style and usher in some exciting changes for you and your yoga practice. OUT is the old schedule. Beginning February 2nd Guided Self-Practice classes will start as early as 5 am Monday through Friday, and you can practice until 9 am. Saturday morning Guided Self-Practice classes will begin at 7am and you can practice until 10 am. Yoga was designed to be practiced first thing in the morning, and this new schedule creates a greater opportunity for you to access your Adamantine® Yoga community on a consistent basis while receiving the full benefits of your yoga practice throughout the rest of the day. OUT is laminate wood flooring. Surprise! We’re installing a specially designed yoga floor by Zebra Yoga Flooring. Based on the martial art style tatami mats, these yoga floor tiles represent the cutting edge in yoga floor technology. The surface is easy to clean, water proof, and non-slip resistant providing sure footing for optimum safety when holding challenging positions, landing out of handstands, or resting your body weight on sensitive joints. The tiles are also designed to assist in retaining heat and humidity in the studio, helping to preserve the perfect environment to practice. Yes, you will be using your personal yoga mat on top of this flooring, but it’s such a… [Continue Reading]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Wheelpose_Sheree

Every so often when I assist in Guided Self-Practice, I help a student reach a new limit of mobility in a particular pose. This is always an exciting time for them, whether it’s the first time they touch their hands together in Shoulder Roll 1 or the first time they press up into Wheel pose. However, I often find that there is a down side to this breakthrough. It seems that once a student expands their range of motion they automatically adopt a new standard for themselves and create unrealistic expectations for where their practice should always be. Often they feel compelled to reach that new limit each and every time they practice from that moment forward, and they have this idea that their body will always move like this every single time they practice for the rest of their lives, forevermore. I wish this were true. But unfortunately this is not the way the body or the practice evolves. The reality is often that the practice takes one giant step forward, and then sometimes, a few small steps back. To be honest, I have never seen a student display steady, perfectly linear improvement towards the full expression of the Adamantine® Yoga sequence without experiencing some sort of setback.  That’s just the truth. It didn’t work that way for me either. Many practitioners fail to recognize the infinite number of extraneous factors that influence their bodies and their range of motion. So many different things contribute to making the practice… [Continue Reading]

Why People Fail

resolutions

There are times in our lives that hold particular significance and power, and when used correctly they can become the catalysts for great change. This week represents both the ending and the beginning of our calendar year and is an opportunity for resolving to take a giant stride towards your own personal definition of self-betterment. Some of you will succeed in your resolutions. But far more often, people fail to fulfill their own personal promises to be more, to do things differently, and to develop into the person who they truly wish to be. Why does this happen? How can it be that the things that we so clearly recognize as steps towards the life we wish to live prove to be too steep to take? I’m sure there are many possible answers, but in reflecting on my own personal practice of self-development, I find that there are two factors that are most important to me when making a resolution I intend to keep. 1) I Need To Make Bright Line Rules In the book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister, I first learned about a most interesting discovery. They found that the individuals who appeared to live lives with the greatest amount of will and self-discipline actually use the least amount of energy doing it. Through their research they discovered that these individuals lived according to specific rules or guidelines that they had learned to follow automatically, and rarely varied from. Getting up… [Continue Reading]

The Unexamined Practice Isn’t Worth Doing

yogaclass

Let’s face it. Yoga is not what it used to be. And let me be the first to say, I think that’s a very good thing. When the west first encountered the discipline of yoga it was a centuries old tradition based upon the sacred relationship of guru and disciple. The average yoga practitioner in India was a young boy, and the guru (or teacher) was a much older adult. The nature of this relationship demanded respect for authority and an unquestioned acceptance of the teachings that were offered. One of my favorite quotes from the former lineage holder of Ashtanga Vinysasa Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, sums this up quite nicely. When asked by an interviewer the one quality he thought was the most important in a yoga student, he briskly turned to the camera and sternly deadpanned, “Obedience!” Well, western students aren’t so good at that. We question everything. But honestly, when it comes to the practice of modern yoga, I think perhaps we are not asking enough. Here’s some questions worth considering: Is leading a group of people simultaneously through the same sequence of yoga postures really the best way to tailor the practice of yoga to an individual’s needs? Why is a discipline that’s main purpose is to create inner stillness taught in a room full of mirrors, or to popular music, or by a teacher who won’t stop talking? Are the postures that were designed for an eastern body hundreds of years ago really appropriate… [Continue Reading]

Stuck on Front Splits?

front splits

Fronts splits could well be considered one of the most sought after poses in the Adamantine® Yoga sequence. When most people first encounter the practice they long to be able to step gracefully forward from Downward Facing Dog and effortlessly execute this posture. However, few practitioners begin with the range of motion in their hips to do this position correctly, if at all. Adamantine® Yoga devised two modifications, Kneeling Lunge and Kneeling Pyramid, to take a practitioner with even the most remedial level of flexibility deep into the full form of this posture. What most people do not know, however, is that one of these modifications is significantly more important than the other. Over my years as a teacher I have introduced many people to these modifications, and one thing I notice time and time again is the students who can effortlessly arch their spine into a deep backbend in Kneeling Lunge have a much easier time with Front Splits, even if they struggle with Kneeling Pyramid. This might surprise you, but Front Splits has much more to do with the flexibility of your back leg in extension than it does the front leg in flexion. It’s not your hamstring length that matters, but your hip flexors. And nothing works better to target tight hip flexors than Kneeling Lunge. Whether you practice this position daily, feel like you don’t need it, or have never tried it, my hope is to give you a few of my own personal tips and… [Continue Reading]