Paul Grilley

Paul Grilley

Paul Grilley

Paul Grilley has been teaching Yoga since 1980 and his special interest is the teaching of anatomy.

Assessing Range of Motion in Downward Dog

Students who struggle with Downward Dog may have limited range of motion (ROM) in one or more of four important joints. Learn how to assess your students’ ROM and help them modify their poses. Long Dogs and Short Dogs There are many subtle variations of Downward Dog but they can be approximately divided into two standard variations: Long Dogs and Short Dogs. Long Dogs are done by stepping further back with the feet. The arms and shoulders bear more weight…

0
Read More

Assessing Range of Motion in Squatting Poses

Students who struggle with squatting poses may have limited range of motion (ROM) in one or more of three important joints. Learn how to assess your students’ ROM and help them modify their poses. There are three major joints to consider when teaching a Squat: the hip, the knee, and the ankle. If any one of these three joints is limited in its range of motion (ROM), then any of the squatting poses will be awkward and uncomfortable. You can…

0
Read More

Cracking and Popping Joints

There are many myths and rumors about joint cracking. The two most common being our knuckles will get bigger if we crack them or we will get arthritis. Neither of these is likely but there is some truth to the idea that some forms of cracking are undesirable. Two types of cracking There are two reasons why our joints crack and creak. 1. Bones are rubbing together. 2. The bones of a joint are fixated. We will examine these one…

5
Read More

Stretching Ligaments: A Yogi’s Apology

A stretch by any other name Sometimes health professionals gnash their teeth when they hear a yogi say they are “stretching” their ligaments. They scream loudly that ligaments don’t stretch. We could quibble and say all biological tissues stretch but that would be avoiding their legitimate concern. Compared to muscles ligaments don’t stretch. But to keep ligaments healthy they must be subjected to stress by pulling on them. So what word might be better than stretch? A more appropriate word…

1
Read More

Shoulderstand

Help your students get the most out of Shoulderstand—even if that means achieving a pose that’s not textbook-perfect. Shoulderstand, or Sarvangasana, is a wonderful pose that stretches and strengthens different sections of the spine. But many people struggle with this pose—either to get vertical or to clasp their hands behind their back. Some simple tests can determine whether either of these goals is possible for a given student. These tests involve three different body segments. Counterbalance Our very first step…

0
Read More

Let the Lumbar Curve Be

Some yoga instructors insist that students avoid curvature of the spine  by insisting on tucking the pelvis. But any healthy movement can be  overdone. Rather than insist on always having the pelvis tucked encourage your students to utilize the full range of pelvic motion in their practice.

0
Read More

Stretching the Spine

Paschimattanasana

When working a joint the first thing a yogi or yogini must decide is whether she intends to work muscle or bone. She must decide if she wishes to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the joint or stretch the ligaments to increase range of motion. In this article we explore the second option: stretching the joints of the spine.

0
Read More

The Hand: Tension and Compression

hands

The purpose of some Yoga postures is to stress the joints in a beneficial manner. This article explores the different forms of stress that can be placed on a joint so that a Yogi can make the appropriate choices when practicing.

0
Read More

Taoist Analysis: The Three Tissues of the Body

The first article in this series asked the question “How does my body move?” Before we could examine this question in any depth we took the time to review the Taoist ideas of Yin and Yang. We are now going to return to the original question or rather the question most relevant to Hatha Yoga practitioners: “Why does my body not move the way I want it to?” To answer this question we will look at our joints. There are…

1
Read More

Exercising the Joints

Incense sticks

Exercise is now common place in our culture. So common in fact that it might shock people to remember that people who ran marathons in the first part of the 20th Century were considered of questionable sanity. In the 1950s and 1960s it was common for athletes to be cautioned against lifting weights as such practice would diminish their physical skills by making them “muscle bound” and “slow”.

0
Read More
Join our Newsletter: