Yoga Journal

learn from teacher Annie Carpenter

The sequencing of yoga asana is both a science and an art. It is much more than linking together a series of poses to build toward a physical goal; it involves an openness to exploration and inquiry, and a commitment to living in the now. Because of this, we don’t teach poses in SmartFLOW; we teach Movement Principles that ask us to seek balance in various shapes and sensations. Each Movement Principle describes a continuum of motion that has an extreme expression at one end (the effort) and an intelligent means for backing out of that effort (the return to center).

Each pose can be seen runs—where (vital subtle energy) flows. Every pose we practice is designed to throw the body off, so that we learn how to stabilize the spine and, in turn, enhance the flow of prana. In this case, increasing hip flexion demands that we find active spinal extension to keep the spine in its natural, optimal shape. In other words: Can you find a little backbend in your forward fold?

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