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In Yoga classes and especially Vinyasa Yoga class, we often do poses that require holding weight on the wrists. Fantastic Four: Chaturanga, Plank, Up Dog, Down Dog can be exhausting to our wrists after a while. I have the same problems, even when my wrists are pretty strong and stable. Halfway through a hardcore Vinyasa Yoga class, I can still move on but my wrists start feeling unsure.


I guess you have the same problems too? Especially, nowadays if you work in modern jobs that don't require pushing up or climbing trees, then the wrists become weak. Carpa tunnel syndrome has become more common and weakening our wrists.


However, I have some ways to still do Yoga without torturing your wrists. If you have wrists pain or wrists problems, these modifications can help. But still, come and see a doctor to know what's going on.


I suggest using styrofoam Yoga blocks that exist in every single Yoga studio I have attended. They are very easy, basic and they are much beneficial to practicing Yoga poses.


1. GRAB THE BLOCKS

Instead of pressing your hands flat on the floor, you can grab on styrofoam blocks. I like this modification and I do it myself in a Vinyasa class with lots of Vinyasa when my wrists are tired. This is helpful when you don't really have serious problems with the wrists. Make sure the blocks are hard enough to support your wrists. Some blocks could be so soft that your wrists start sinking into the block - not so good for the wrist joints. Be careful and check out if the blocks will slide before you do easy-to-slide poses like Downward Facing Dog.


2. MAKE A FIST

If bending your wrist (joint movement term: wrist extension) and put weight on it is painful, then don't do that. Keep your wrists straight and bear weight with fists. It can hurt pressing your knuckles on the hard floor, styrofoam blocks are softer.


3. USE YOUR FOREARMS INSTEAD

If your wrists say absolutely NO to anything, then you can bear weight with your forearm. Try doing it on styrofoam blocks too, your elbows will not hit the hard floor and your wrists are totally free. Moreover, the blocks will give some height that you may need in poses like Downward Facing Dog - you are still on your forearms but it's still almost as high up as a Down Dog and not as a Dolphin pose when your elbows are on the floor.

Now I'm not having blocks in my Yoga classes for reasons, however, I really hope to equip blocks in the near future because they are awesome tools in doing the Asana.


Photos from a book I'm writing: PROP UP! How to make every Yoga pose doable. I'm writing in Vietnamese first because ideas flow smoothly in my mother tongue. English edition will come, after very much editing.

In Malmö, and maybe also in all over Sweden.


I like affordable stuff and I love to find out how to do things at the lowest price and highest standard possible. If you pay attention, you will see that many things in life are actually not so important that you have to pay a lot for it. Of course, if you have a lot of money, you can buy anything you like. However, to me, a Yoga mat is the least important thing in practicing Yoga. It really plays such a tiny roll. The reason why I need a Yoga mat when I do Yoga is so that my knees and elbows and bones won't hurt pressing into the hard ground. If you are like me, then a basic piece of Yoga mat is what you need.


I'm going to present 3 places you can get a cheap Yoga mat in order of price:

Bobo the cat on Casall the mat

3. STADIUM Outlet

I'm a big fan of STADIUM. Right now STADIUM Outlet offers basic Yoga mats from brands Casall, Benefit or Refit for 120kr. Refit Yoga mat at this price is 8mm thick- that's quite thick! Generally, STADIUM Outlet offers out-of-fashioned products, or low-cost brands, or special offers, so you can always find economical sportswear here.

Have a look: https://bit.ly/2m5QGQk


2. RUSTA

Surprise! It's not even a sports store. However, RUSTA offers the cheapest Yoga mat I have seen, for only 40kr 😲. Of course, it's a very basic mat, only 3,5mm thick. They do have other thicker mats at 100kr, 159kr and cork mat 199kr.

Link to RUSTA: https://bit.ly/2m4unKT


1. FREE Yoga mat

How?! Well, I have noticed that many people own a Yoga mat at home but never use it, maybe because they don't train at home, and they train at a place that offers mats already.

Or they have a mat but they upgrade into a beautiful, expensive mat.

If you happen to know them just when you need a whatever Yoga mat, such coincident!! (he-he-he 😉)


Anyway, some personal experience, I don't use Yoga mat when I teach Yoga at all.

In my precious time training and teaching Yoga at OM Factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, I was trained to NOT use ¨the Yoga teacher space¨ in the class. We avoid sitting in a fixed mat and perform poses like such a performer, we as Yoga teachers, stand up and walk around the class to check everybody, give options or support, or adjustments when needed.


But I still bring my mat to my Yoga classes because if you don't have a mat, or you forget it somewhere, you can use mine!

Hello Yogi friends, I start my Yoga blog with a question, a very big, vague question:


What is Yoga?

Many of us do Yoga but do we ever wonder what are we doing?

As a Yoga teacher, this question is vital to my Yoga teaching. Through time, the answers have changed a lot. Like any other ideas in our mind, they always change.


But let me try to put together the idea of Yoga:


Yoga is a system of health care from India.


There are different practices of Yoga, according to the Ashtanga - 8 Limbs of Yoga:


- Yamas & Niyamas are the Abstinences and Self Observations, simply know as what you should not and should do to other people and yourself.


- Then it comes to the Asana practice, or Physical Poses, which is the most popular practice of Yoga nowadays, but it was not at all, until let's say more than 100 years recently.


- Pranayama is the Control of Energy (Prana), in the form of breaths.


- Pratyahara is the Withdrawal of the Senses. From this step on, we practice Yoga to our higher self. This is when you stop paying attention to the outside using your senses, and rather turning inside.


- Dharana is Concentration. One step before Meditation. When we practice this step, we often have a Focus Point: it can be your breaths, your body feeling, candlelight, a bindi or the middle point of a mala painting, or your thoughts, etc.


- Dhyana is Meditation. This is when you can focus and bring Concentration into any situation without having to use a Focus Point.


- Samadhi is Enlightenment. I can't explain this state. Sorry friends.



Knowing this, now we can come to the next question, that lingered on my mind ever since I started teaching Yoga:


Why do we mostly do Physical Yoga - the Asanas nowadays?

Let's not talk about how this question went around in my head, and how I attempted to introduce other practices of Yoga into my Yoga class. Because I have found an answer that feels solid and logical to me. Let's imagine:


Thousands of years ago, Yoga was mostly Spiritual, a lot of Meditation, probably in a cave. People got enlightened and left words of wisdom to us. In the old texts of Yoga, the Asana was not mentioned.


However, let's imagine more about life back then: no TV, no Internet, no phone, very few people, a lot of nature, very little distractions. It would be easier, if not nature, for humans to concentrate and be highly aware of what they were doing.


Nowadays, life has changed so much and we humans have evolved away from who we were. Our brain has changed. Our attention span is much shorter, due to technology and endless entertainments created around us. We can't just sit down and do nothing so easily, let alone meditate.


Moreover, we have given up the active lifestyle of our ancestors: running, walking, climbing, working with their hands all the time. Now, our life is stuck in a routine that restricts our movements and postures to mostly sitting and rounding forward.


The physical practice of Yoga, Asana, is excellence to bring our body back to healthy and stable movements so that we are physically healthy.


Through the Asana, we can also learn to Concentrate, with the Focus Point is our body in the poses.


And that is also the goal of my Yoga classes.


Do you have any idea or meaning of Yoga? Please share with me.


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Ha-My Le, RYT500 Vinyasa Yoga teacher

Tel. +46 76 401 46 26

Email to hamyyoga@gmail.com

Add 1: Torpgatan 21

Add 2: Ribevägen 17

Malmö, Sweden

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