Back Pain during yoga. Can you suggest anything to help me?

I have been asked the following question about back pain doing postures. Here is my short general answer: QUESTION: I have difficulty breathing in when I drop back to a back arch (urdhva dhanurasana) from standing with my arms in the air (urdhva hastasana) as it aggravates my back pain. Can you suggest anything to help me? MY ANSWER: It …

The Risks and Benefits of Chest Breathing

Chest breathing can be extremely beneficially if done correctly but can also cause problems if done in a way that overstimulates the nervous system. Many people teach and practice to inhale into the chest, and to exhale from the lower abdomen, but clinical research using Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) has shown that about 90% of the average adult population cannot really breathe …

Ten things to do that can improve your life

Here are ten great reminders for the day that have been shown to have a positive effect on your life. This is inspired by an article by Eric Barker but I have adapted it to be more inclusive of Yoga practitioners. 1. Get out in nature – bare feet on the earth if best and in the water if you …

The Best Side Stretches for Energising You and Relieving Back Pain

  by Simon Borg-Olivier In every day life many people do not get enough sideways movement and freedom. Sideways ‘stretches’ (spinal lateral flexion) are really important movements and postures, and are often understated and not practiced in many exercise, stretching and yoga classes. In this post we demonstrate a simple side stretch (Figure 1 and Figure 2) that can be simply …

Mallakhamb: What I learnt from Practicing Yoga Postures on Poles and Ropes in India

by Simon Borg-Olivier Many people in Australia and around the world are now practicing postures and movements, similar to those seen in hatha yoga, on poles in ‘Pole dance’ studios and on hanging circus silks and rope inversion swings. I was fortunate enough to learn how to do yoga on poles and ropes two decades ago in India in the …

Kundalini, Chakras, Prana and Two Real Intertwining Snakes

by Simon Borg-Olivier In this blog I want to discuss some points about Kundalini energy and Chakras. Much of the information available on the subject of Kundalini is esoteric and so not easy to justify with rational conventional science. I think the best explanation of the science of kundalini comes from Jana Dixon and her excellent book ‘The Biology of Kundalini”. …

yoga synergy back pain

Accessible Spinal Movements for Internal Health, External Energy and a Pain Free Back

Basic Spinal Movements In this blog I will be examining a sequence of postures done from a simple standing posture that in its simplest form involves moving the trunk and spine into its 8 main ‘pure’ positions. This is one of the most effective and accessible practices for anyone and can give tremendous release of back and other pain as …

Yoga Synergy how to breathe part1

Breathing (Part 1): How to breathe to help your spine, internal organs and energy levels

In this blog I will be discussing the the physical and physiological effects of breathing. There are two main reasons we breathe. The main reason is the physiological reason of getting oxygen into our cells. Perhaps surprisingly to many people the best way to achieve this is to safely breathe as little as possible (hypoventilation) to stimulate the Bohr effect …

exhaling for pleasure

Exhale for Pleasure, Strength and Freedom

  In this short video below I discuss the seven main ways you can exhale and how by understanding and mastering these ways of exhalation you can stimulate the pleasure centres of your brain, improve core strength, save energy, reduce stress, make your spine more mobile and flexible, and massage your internal organs to improve the function of your digestive …

How to Nourish and Strengthen your Hips with Intelligent Postures and Movements

Hip problems, arthritis and osteoporosis are very prevalent in later life. It is very important to strengthen your hips by carefully applying specifically chosen muscle activations in an intelligent combination of postures and movements. As exercise-based physiotherapists and long standing yoga teachers and practitioners Bianca Machliss and I (Simon Borg-Olivier) have seen over and over again the need to not …