Yoga for Beginners: Shiva, Shoulders, Muscle Control and Active Stretching
Yoga for Beginners: Shiva, Shoulders, Muscle Control and Active Stretching
About the Bundle
For anyone just getting into yoga it helps to have a framework for understanding how to break things down, and how to re-integrate them. Dance of Shiva is actually an exercise for the shoulders and arms that can improve arm coordination, flexibility and balance between the two arms.
It also helps your brain to practice breaking things down into smaller "meaningful" components and reassemble them into meaningful systems of movements.
And the possible combinations are virtually limitless. However, the idea of this exercise isn't to learn all possible combinations of movements but to get a sense of how to create "infinite possibility" in anything that you do for unlimited potential and unlimted creativity.
This is at the basis of how I come up with different ways to teach and do yoga, all with the goal of helping myself and my students better understand their body and how to use it.
It teaches you that there is no single "right way" to do a pose, instead there are options and that can be an important thing for a beginner to understand. Because once they have learned one way of doing something, then perhaps it's time to learn other ways.
And rather than changing what you do, one of the ways that the dance of shiva mindset can be used is to change the way that you do the same thing.
And that's why I tend to teach the same poses in different ways.
This bundle includes the dance of shiva ebook as well as the shoulder exercises, active stretching and muscle control ebook.
Improving Muscle Control for Better Proprioception, Strength and Flexibility
I've played with active stretching in the past. It felt like it gave my stretching a little extra boost to help me break past my usual sticking points. As a result I didn't feel like I had to use this technique all the time. And so I played with other stretching and body awareness techniques.
I came back to active stretching because I lead most of my classes by example and when I injured my knee I had to figure out some way of continuing to teach while leading from the front. (I could have just talked my students through the poses but since we speak different languages, doing the class with them seems to be the more effective option.)
In many of the standing poses that I teach I found that active stretching made it possible to do most things without hurting my knee. If anything the actions actually helped it.
(That's no promise that the same will happen for you. I also went to the Chinese Equivalent of a chiropractor who "shook" my knee back into place. Plus I spent a lot of time playing with different muscle activations to help keep my knee joint in place.)
And so I went back to exploring active stretching with my students, finding different ways to effectively teach the active stretching actions. I found that the same instructions don't work with all groups and I also found out where some instructions were superfluous. I was able to make my teaching more effective which also gave me more time to include extra poses which gave a break from active stretching.
The active stretching exercises in this course focus on a few simple actions that are repeated in a number of different positions so that you have the greatest chance of understanding and experiencing them for yourself.
In all of the exercises the focus includes moving slowly and smoothly so that you have the chance to feel your body operating. This makes it easier to recognize and recreate the sensations that you need for active stretching. And it also means that you can learn to use your body with minimal effort.
The ebook includes lots of photos so that it is easy to see what you are trying to do and I've broken down instructions into parts and steps so that it is easy to work on each exercise well within your limits of understanding and ability.
The goal isn't to get straight to the position as I show you, but to be able to control your body within your current limitations so that you can then work at expanding beyond those limits.
This ebook is covered by the Leanpub Guarantee (if you buy it from Leanpub).If you aren't satisfied you have 45 days to ask for your money back. Refunds are handled manually but all it takes from you is a couple of mouse clicks and you are there.
Personally I think you won't be dissapointed. In my classes I work at making the concepts I teach easy to learn and easy to understand and you'll get the benefits of that experience in this book. And if you haven't experienced any of my work before then I invite you to check out my website, sensational-yoga-poses.com.
Muscle Control for Better Flexibility
My first introduction to effective stretching was via meridian yoga. The simple idea was to relax the muscle being stretched. This isn't always as easy as it sounds. But luckily I'd worked with Andrey Lappa and so had a fairly good idea of how to use gravity assisted positions to make relaxed stretching easier.
One of the things I learned to do with relaxed stretching was to create a stable foundation. That meant stabilizing some part of the body, e.g. if stretching the hips I'd stabilize the leg and move the torso relative to the leg to create a stretch or vice versa (move the leg relative to the torso.)
Later on I played with resisting a stretch and then relaxing. Part of the reason for this was that it helped me to recognize when a muscle was active and when it was relaxed. And I learned how to keep a muscle relaxed even while stretching.
Later on I played with active stretching, using opposing muscles to stretch the target muscle. And another type of active stetching where the muscle being stretched is active, but gradually lengthens while staying active.
Whether relaxing a muscle, or whether activating and shortening or activating and lengthening a muscle, all of these are elements of muscle control. And that is the focus on this book. The goal of the muscle control exercises in this ebook and optional videos is to improve flexiblity, but the side benefit is that you improve body awareness at the same time.
This program includes both a book (pdf, mobi and epub formats) and videos (mp4 files)
The book is dowloadable in PDF, Epub and Mobi format (all for one price.) The book is laid out with a description of each exercise and photographs clearly showing the different steps of each exercise. Where appropriate, targeted muscles are circled or highlighted so that you can easily understand where to focus your awareness while doing the exercises.
The instructions are designed to be simple and easy to follow so that you can focus on feeling and controlling particular muscles and then on using that control when stretching.
The main focus is on forward bending and back bending muscle control and flexibility.
The program includes 4 videos.
Video 1 covers standing hip extension and flexion (bending hip forwards and backwards.20min.
Video 2 covers lateral standing poses.25min.
Video 3 covers supine back bending for the spine and hips (including wheel pose).19min.
Video 4 covers seated forward bends and resting.17min.
Videos follow the same order as poses in the book. The explanation in the videos is slightly different than from the book. Ideally using both will give you a better understanding of muscle control and how to use it to get better flexibility.
The videos are designed so that you can watch the instruction then pause the video and do the exercise yourself. Then watch the next section (or replay a section if you need to.)
A slightly different edit of video 3 is on youtube.
Yoga For Your Shoulders
Simple Exercises For Stabilizing, Stretching and Strengthening Your Shoulders
When stretching and improving awareness, one of the most important considerations is Tensegrity which is a contraction of the terms Tension and Integrity. Tension is what allows us to feel our body in general. While it is pretty easy to learn to feel muscular activity and the tension generated within the belly of a muscle when it is active, connective tissue tension is something we can learn to feel when muscles are relaxed.
If we learn to feel this tension, then we can not only improve body awareness, but also our ability to control our body and respond quickly, even instantaneously. One of the keys to learning to feel this tension is to move slowly and smoothly. But another key is to focus on isolated elements.
After awareness (and control) is developed in isolation it can then be used in integrated "whole body" movements or postures.
The exercises start with unweighted exercises since in those it is easier to develop both awareness and control. It then progresses to weighted scapular awareness exercises.
It includes shoulder stretches and different stretching techniques for improving shoulder flexibility as well as improving awareness and control of the shoulder girdle.
The Dance of Shiva
A Guide to Learning, Creativity and Balance
Learning all basic movements of the dance of shiva is a difficult (and long) task.
The intent of this guide is to make learning those movements as easy and as straightforward as possible.
The movements with similiar characteristics are grouped together to make learning easier.
Because movements in the same group have a similiar feel, and move through the positions in similiar ways they can be easier to learn.
Also, instead of having to constantly remember different starting positions, movements in the same group all have the same starting positions (there are exceptions, but these are in a group by themselves.)
Starting from the most basic building blocks, the starting point is learning all positions, and then the movements, one arm at a time.
From there the movements where both arms are used are a combination (or recombination) of these basic movements.
The positions and movemens with one arm constitute an alphabet. However, there is no real grammar. All you are learning is all possible combinations of these movements using both arms.
(For sequences of movements, and an introduction to the idea of flow check out the forthcoming "Think, Learn, Flow".)
So that learning the positions and movements are easier, movement maps show the positions each movement connects.
In addition, for faster reference, movement tables are also included that show all possible variations of each movement.
This guide makes it easier for you to choose what movements to work on so that you can get on with doing them.
It's designed for anyone who wants to teach themselves the dance of shiva, teachers, and also for anyone who has been watching my dance of shiva videos on youtube.
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