Uncategorized, Yoga

Yoga Adjustments and Exercises for Office Workers

Good morning and Happy Mother’s Day!  I’m sitting at my parents’ kitchen table, listening to their gargantuan fridge make creepy noises, looking out over their grassy lawn, past the farm across the road, and skimming over the undulating fields speckled with farm houses and tree, topped by a blue, lavender, and white sky  It’s a pretty site to see in the morning – better than the row of houses and garages that I see from our house in the morning.  It’s very convenient living in the center of town, but I miss the quiet and the views of the country.  Maybe Tim and I can start following the www.mrmoneymustache.com way of life (save 40%+ of our income) and retire to a cute little country house somewhere before we are 65.  With a massive garden and a solid internet connection, we’d be all set.

Anyway, I digress. I really meant to talk about 2 things this morning. 1.  My experience assisting one of my YTT friends with her Community class yesterday, and 2. Some final notes from Max’s day-long intensive.

My friend, Angela, taught her first Community class at Indigo yesterday, and I offered to be her second – someone to walk around and adjust people and to just generally help out.  As I was doing it, I realized that for me personally, just standing at the front of the class telling people how to do the asanas is easier than walking around and adjusting them!  Adjustments are so much more personal. I really hate conflict, and even though giving adjustments is a beneficial and helpful thing to do, to me it still feels a bit like you are telling the student they are doing something wrong.  CONFLICT.  It’s hard for me to do!  Also, I find that it’s hard to clearly communicate how you want the student to alter their behavior.  I think that comes primarily from talking quietly, so as to not disturb the whole class with the one-on-one instruction.  I am kind of whispering, and the student is kind of whispering, and neither one of us is really understanding each other.

After the class ended, one of the students asked me for some help with her downward dog.  Now THAT – just having one student who you could fully explain things to – was more my cup of tea.  So far, I do not like giving adjustments in a class setting, but I do like giving them one-one-one, where I can more clearly communicate with the student.

As with all things that make me uncomfortable, it was a good learning experience though. I am sure that the more times I do adjustments, the more comfortable I will feel with them.  We only have 3 YTT weekends left, and it sounds as if we are going to be doing A LOT of practice adjustments during that timeframe.  At first I was kind of disappointed because, honestly, giving adjustments is my least favorite part of the training.  I would rather be DOING yoga, learning about the philosophy, learning about anatomy, or learning about sequencing. But after Wednesday night, I realize that I really do need more experience in this area.

Hmm.  This is already kind of a long post. Let me just tie this up with a few more quick tidbits from Max’s class.  There are still a ton of points to cover, but I want to focus on the tips he gave us for office works, since that’s a pool of folks I’m interested in teaching.

If you have an office job, I’m sure you are already familiar with the effects on your neck, back, and shoulders of staring at a computer all day.  Everything gets tight and weak, and the whole front of your chest starts to collapse.  Max taught us a few asanas that are good for stretching and strengthening these areas.

  1. Cow face arms.  Here is a really good tutorial.  Max says to do this exercise for 60 seconds on each side twice.  If you work at an office, buy a strap and do this 3 times a day (while you are sitting in on yet another boring conference call, perhaps 🙂 ).  I need to talk to my fellow Wellness Team committee members at work about getting some of these straps for our employees!
  2. Reverse Tabletop.  The arms and shins should both be vertical – you may need to step your feet out farther than you think to get the correct alignment in this pose.  Point your fingers out to the side, then back towards the head, and finally towards the feet. Make sure knees don’t splay out or in.  If you have wrist issues, you can sit cross-legged and put your hands behind you, testing out the different hand positions.
  3. Downdog.  Max had some good suggestions for people (like me) who cannot get their heels to the mat.  Bring your feet wider (as wide as your mat, even), and elevate the hands using a stair step or a block.  Practicing this way will help you eventually get your heels to the floor.

And that’s it for today!  I hope you enjoy your Sunday!