Author: Jennifer Skelton

Yoga is a wonderful practice for connecting the mind and body, calming the nervous system and increasing feelings of well-being. That's what got me hooked more than 20 years ago. That high I felt after a yoga practice. And so I practiced and my mind felt clear and my heart felt open. But too much of a good thing lead me to physical imbalances.  No single movement practice contains everything and my body was craving the movements...

If you’ve been to any of my classes or workshops you’ll know that I absolutely love learning about anatomy, alignment, biomechanics and how it all relates to the practice of yoga. Over the years my understanding of the purpose of alignment in yoga or any movement practice has changed. Significantly. I recently taught a workshop on this topic as part of a 200-hr. Yoga Teacher Training program and was inspired to share some insights here. When I...

This year we decided to enter the Northwest Territories Recreation and Parks Association’s (NWTRPA) Walk to Tuk challenge as a family. With two adults and 2 kids (ages 6 and 8) we would need to each walk an average of 7km each day of the 2 months to complete the 1658 km journey (and get our t-shirts!). Less than a century ago walking that distance daily or more would have been normal but in our car-driving,...

I’m not a supporter of New Year’s Resolutions. The start of the New Year can be a great time for self-reflection and evaluating if the direction we’re headed will take us where we want to go and there are many ways to approach the process of self-reflection. Unfortunately New Year’s Resolutions tend to be self-denigrating – we beat ourselves up for how we behaved over the holidays, or maybe even the previous year, and promise...

I find fall a great time of year for self-reflection.  Last week I had the opportunity to study the therapeutic applications of Restorative yoga with Judith Lasater in San Francisco.  Judith doesn't waste words - she has a gift for invoking words for a purpose and in ways that don't offend and often inspire.  I always leave her workshops with nuggets of wisdom to digest and reflect upon.   My friend Robin, a yoga teacher from Maryland,...

In my recent blog posts on tight muscles not needing to be stretched and lengthened and strength-training not shortening your muscles, I mentioned that increases in flexibility or passive range of motion resulting from yoga or passive stretching practices don’t stem from increases in resting muscle length but from the nervous system being able to tolerate the stretch better. This mechanism of the nervous system is known as stretch tolerance. To recap, when you hit your...

We’ve established that a “tight” muscle is not a short or contracted muscle and that “tight” is a subjective sensation of the nervous system. If you missed that blog you can catch up here. So let’s continue and do away with another popular myth that states, “Strength training will contract your muscles and make their resting lengths shorter and therefore should be accompanied by stretching to lengthen them back out.” The previous blog described how stretching doesn’t...

I’m on a mission to bring newer lessons from scientific research into how we practice yoga and movement or fitness. I want these lessons to be understandable and applicable to everyday people, yoga practitioners, and other movers. First up is a series of perpetuated myths about “tight” muscles. There is an idea out there that when you feel that your muscle is “tight” or “stiff” that it means one or more of the following: Your tight...

I recently taught a class called “Foot Gymnastics for Dynamic Aging”. The class was designed to introduce people to the importance of their feet (the foundation of support for the rest of you, major role in balance and agility, etc.), and explain how paying more attention to our feet and giving them some movement inputs daily can help prevent the loss in balance and mobility we have come to expect is a natural part of...