Where Is Your Psoas?: How To Find And Activate Your Deepest Core Muscle!

Psoas oh Psoas, where art thou oh psoas…

I Have been obsessed lately with teaching pulling the knee into the chest as you kick into handstand. This action works because the action of bringing the knee to the chest activates the psoas muscle.

I found this useful article on Yoga Journal and will help you to understand the movement of the psoas and how it works…

Puppet Practice

Source Yoga Journal fab abs with Richard Rosen

I find it useful to imagine that the psoas is a puppet string, originating on my inner thigh (lesser trochanter). The puppeteer (what good are puppet strings without a puppeteer?) is sitting on my lumbar spine and holding the other end. She can pull on or release it, depending on whether she’s raising or lowering my leg.

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor with your heels about a foot away from your buttocks. Focus on your right lesser trochanter. From here, in your imagination, follow the course of your puppet-string psoas through the pelvis and up to the lumbar spine, where your puppeteer is holding its free end.

As she pulls on the string, exhale and watch your right foot lift effortlessly off the floor and your right thigh close in toward your belly. (For now, keep your knee bent.) Pause when the hip is fully flexed, and inhale. As the puppeteer releases the string, exhale and lightly float your foot back toward the floor. But wait! Just as your tippy-toes brush the floor, pause to inhale. On the exhalation, the puppeteer will pull again, and your foot will rise up. Continue this up-and-down swinging for at least a minute. Pause at the conclusion of each movement to inhale; lift or drop your foot only on an exhalation. When finished, return your right foot to the floor and repeat with your left leg.

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Yoga Workshop on Inversions with Angela Kukahn Saturday Febuary 11th from 12:30-3:30pm

Yoga Workshop on Inversions with Angela Kukhahn Saturday February 11th from 12:30-3:30pm
Angela Kukhahn in Handstand. Photo by Jasper Johal
In Advance: $45
Day Of: $55
This is an All Levels Class!
Playing Upside Down: From Fear to Fun!
In this workshop we will explore inversions with a sense of adventure, curiosity and most of all fun! Inversions are for everyone and are extremely beneficial in strengthening the body and focusing the mind. We will work on the strength and flexibility needed for inversions, develop core awareness and discover proper alignement for floating and flying. We will explore headstand, forearm balance, and handstand. In addition we will explore how different variations and the use of props make inversions approachable to just about anyone! Come expecting to sweat, laugh, play and fly!

Yoga Music Playlist No. 18 “Hot and Sweaty”

Music Playlist For Vinyasa Yoga!
Here is a music playlist I used for my “Hot and Sweaty” yoga sequence last Sunday. The yogi in the photo is yoga teacher Marysia Weiss of the HotandHealthy blog. Photo by Jim Knowles.
  1. Initiation (Change) Adam Plack & Johnny (White Ant) Soames
  2. Spiritual Dreams (feat. Chillwalker) Zina Rao
  3. Fiebre Tropical Chucha Santamaria Y Usted
  4. Om Namah Shivaya (Bhakti Brothers MahaDread Omstrumental) MC Yogi
  5. I’m Not Done (R/D Remix) Fever Ray
  6. Trick Pony Charlotte Gainsbourg
  7. Intertwine Beats Antique
  8. Circulation Beats Antique
  9. California Soul Marlena Shaw & Diplo
  10. I Might Be Wrong Radiohead
  11. When I Grow Up Fever Ray
  12. Bullet and A Target Citizen Cope
  13. Watching You Well The National
  14. Crystalised The xx
  15. Everywhere I Go Lissie
  16. Sweet Rain euphoria
  17. Stay Human (Stereo Steambath Remix) Michael Franti & Spearhead
  18. Tiger By My Side Empire of the Sun
  19. Ghost Dance Tulku
  20. Wish You Were Here Wyclef Jean
  21. As If You’ve Never Been Away Ulrich Schnauss
  22. Lay Myself Down Mazzy Star
  23. Metal Heart Cat Power
  24. Hey Ma Durga Krishna Das & Baird Hersey & Prana
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FREE Online Full Length Yoga Class Via Yogis Anonymous With Angela Kukhahn

Yogis Anonymous class with Angela Kukhahn

Hey Yogis!

Here is a 90 min handstand and core-focused vinyasa flow yoga class with me Angela Kukhahn. It is s featured as one of the FREE online yoga classes on the Yogis Anonymous website this week.

Enjoy!

Advanced Yoga: One-Handed Handstand Prep Video With Marysia Weiss

Advanced Yoga: One-Handed Handstand Prep With Los Angeles Yoga Teacher Marysia Weiss

Perhaps you find yourself with enviable boredom with regular handstand and are ready to move onto something a bit more luxurious, the Ferrari if you will of handstanding…the one handed handstand.

Side Note: If you are a yogi who is offended by my reference to such a gas guzzling monster as the Ferrari rest assured that a yogi like myself is only referring to a eco-friendly Ferrari that runs on vegetables, rainbows and good intentions.

Ah, where was I now? Oh yes, the ever so elusive and seductive one-handed handstand…

To do this pose you will want to start small working with one hand on a yoga block on its flattest side. Your goal will be to keep the arm of the hand that is on the block strongly firming to the mid-line of the body as you kick up into your handstand.

Next place the block on its side at middle height and continue. You get the idea. The higher the hand that is not on the floor the more difficult it will become to balance in handstand.

Eventually of course you will get rid of whatever props you are working with and try to balance by shifting your weight onto one hand, coming up onto the fingertips of the opposite hand and then slowly lifting the fingertips and balancing in your one-handed handstand!

Happy One-Handed Handstanding Yogis!