Yoga Journal Estes: Tias Little’s “Right Effort.” ~ Robyn Lawrence

Via on Oct 5, 2012


Nothing at this conference is going to be what I thought.

Yesterday Ana Forrest had us move the crap out of our bellies before we opened our hearts, and in Tias Little’s session today, “Practice for the Core,” we worked our quadriceps and inner groin because they’re the gateway to strengthening the inner psoas.

“It’s fashionable these days to talk about the core,” Tias said before we practiced, and he made reference to yoga enterprises that are making bank by emphasizing core strength.

Little said that while core strength is crucial because the core sheath contains a bundle of nerves connected to the chakras, it pays to be intelligent in cultivating that.

Everyone holds tension in the gut, Tias said, and negative vibration in particular settles in the core sheath. Holding all that stress in the gut affects menstruation, digestion and hormonal rhythms. But “muscularizing your way through that is not your best way to strengthen,” he said. “You have to be very delicate, like you’re approaching an animal in the wild.”

It turns out that all the core work I’ve pushed myself to do in the past decade might actually be harming more than helping me. This will change my practice.

Tias suggested that we learn to soften our “pusher side” and instead start working more intelligently with the core sheath by strengthening the upper legs and inner arches of our feet. He called it “right effort.”

It’s fine with me that “right effort” doesn’t include bicycle sit-ups.

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4 Responses to “Yoga Journal Estes: Tias Little’s “Right Effort.” ~ Robyn Lawrence”

  1. [...] Tias Little directed, “Unwinding the Low Back” to a large audience, of which only one person raised their hand as having never had any low back pain in the past. With modern society constantly encouraging shitty posture I found it uncanny that somebody had such delightful fortune. The experience of lower back pain is also quite easily brought forth through irresponsible yoga practices. And by irresponsible I primarily mean unaware of several areas that Tias focused his class upon: alignment of the sacrum, including positioning of the sacroiliac joints and pelvic floor. [...]

  2. greateacher says:

    ok, but what exercises did she say to do to strengthen the feet and upper legs??

    • We did some basics: downward dogs with focus on the quads, warrior 2 and triangle, bridge with a strap around the thighs and boat with a strap around our backs and the back of our thighs (this one's my new favorite…feels amazing!).

  3. greateacher says:

    thank you, I disagree a bit but we are all learning and that is helpful.

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