Home Practice – Core Values

David Nelson in BakasanaNot news, but this photo sequence and article that were published in Yoga Journal earlier this year are now available on line. I was the model for the photo shoot, which was an interesting experience.  And John Schumacher’s sequence and instructions are great to follow.  I really liked this sequence, because I think spinal flexion is often overlooked in our practice, and it feels really good in these poses. – djn

Take a playful approach to building strength and flexibility in your torso.

By Diane Anderson with John Schumacher

Arm balances require more than Popeyes strength. Just ask senior Iyengar teacher John Schumacher. “Hardly anyone can muscle their way into arm balances,” he says. Schumacher describes some of his students as men who are strong enough to do 100 Sun Salutations but who can’t do an arm balance because they lack the flexibility to get their arms and legs into position. He also teaches a lot of flexible people who need to develop more strength. Schumacher came up with the sequence on the following pages to help you increase both strength and flexibility. The sequence will definitely work your abdominal muscles and build core strength, even in your spinal muscles. Once you’ve toned your core, you’ll put it to the test in the arm balances. Youll need to use your strength and flexibility for a key action you’ll do in the last four poses: tucking your abdominals up and in toward your spine. Yoga students are often instructed to lengthen the spine, but here Schumacher wants you to move your sacrum away from your lumbar spine and “tuck” inward as you round or curl. Visualize wrapping yourself around a beachball, he advises.

more via Yoga Journal – Yoga Home Practice – Core Values.