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Question Challenge: Jan ’18

Question Challenge: Jan ’18

Here is an opportunity to raise those long-lost or new inquiries about everything yoga…

Human life is about progress, growth, and expanding our psychic horizons. To that end, we usher in the New Year with the Question Challenge.

Here is how it will work:
(a) Pose any question, new or old, by contacting me, or simply leaving it below in the comment section. Note: Anonymous questions are welcomed.
(b) The scope of yoga is vast and includes: human health, yoga postures, meditation, philosophy of mind, action-reaction theory, mystics & sages, spirituality, economics, epistemology, ontology, food & nutrition, fasting, social issues, psychology, and so much more including ho-hum, everyday life happenings.
(c) So you have the opportunity to ask essentially any question on any spectrum of life, and I will aim to provide the yogic response with logic and reasoning. All replies will be grounded in yogic thought and if I do not know the yogic response, I will simply write, “I am not sure”, or “Hold on, I am further researching this or consulting with others” etc.
(d) Remember, every question is a worthy query. If you have a question, odds are that someone else has that same question. In posing the question, you are doing a service to others.
(e) There is an entire aspect of yogic scripture formulated on questions and answers known as nigama & ágama. Also, in yoga, raising a query with an ardent desire to know the answer is known as pariprashna.
(f) So what we are undertaking is chartered territory, and well within the bounds of yoga.
(g) It will be interesting to hear your questions, and hopefully you will find the answers meaningful.
(h) All questions and answers will be aggregated and posted to this blogsite, unless you specifically state you wish your query to remain private.
(i) Ok, so here we go, let those mental juices flow and let’s hear those questions…anyone is welcome to pose a query.

Note: Here is a compilation of questions & answers.


  1. We are consistently amazed about how you are able to face the class and say (for example): “raise your right hand” while, of course you raise your left hand so as not to confuse the mirror image of what you are asking us to do.

    Q: Is this right-left direction that you give difficult for you and, if so, how have you trained yourself to do it?

    If I had to lead a class like this (which I could never do) I’d have to face in the same direction as the class (thus turning my back on the class which would be awful) and then would be able to say: raise right leg, left leg etc. and do the same with the class.

  2. Thanks Al & Liz for your query!!

    Mirror imaging is a helpful technique for leading a class. If one can become comfortable with it, there are distinct advantages – the main one being class cohesion. When I visit my mom in NC then I often attend some of the local yoga classes. Some of those teachers do not use mirror imaging, and very quickly, the entire class seems to all be doing one side or the other, i.e. “mish-mash”. That’s how it seems to me anyway! But you know, folks get through the class and come back again & again. I have no idea if it bothers them or not. My preference is to keep everyone moving in the same direction, as far as possible, and mirror imaging is generally essential for achieving this.

    That said, when I am at NECC (Ches Bch) I put my mat in the middle of the room and folks are on either side of me, facing my side. In that case I am not using mirror imaging. So there are ways to teach without using it. I suppose students will have their own preference.

    To your query, it is not difficult to do. But it does take some getting used to. The best way to learn and get comfortable with it is to jump right in and force oneself. It seems to be one of those things where there is no substitute for “on-the-job” experience. I am sure if you tried it a few times, you’d quickly adjust and adapt accordingly.

    Thanks for your question….

  3. I seem to be out of balance literally. Ha, ha “physically” when laying flat on my back one leg just flops to the side. I believe it is a hip issue. Are there any yoga exercises that would help get me balanced? Thanks!!

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    Very sorry to hear of your hip / leg problem. Generally, this type of issue is best handled onsite where I can see the problem first-hand, ask you questions, gauge your range of motion, and get a sense of how painful the condition is….but let’s see what we can do here.

    #1: If you are experiencing some type of critical pain I would recommend a professional evaluation by a doctor or physical therapist.

    #2: If you are comfortable moving, and it is more of a range of motion issue, there are a few poses you can try and see if they help. Again, usually for any kind of therapy related issue, I would want to lay eyes on the problem. But you can ease into these following poses / practices and see if they help at all:

    (a) Happy Baby Pose:

    (b) Here is a gentle hip opener video (7 min):

    (c) For a more sustained practice you can try my (40 min) podcast:

    In all of the above practices, I would suggest starting slowly, making sure you are pain-free, and evaluating it on a day-to-day basis.

    Hope that some of the above helps in your regaining your balance and curing your hip issue.

    All the very best,

  5. Greetings,

    You are still welcome to leave queries in this comment section. At the same time, kindly know that…



  6. I sometimes struggle with slipping which really ruins the moment. Yoga socks help somewhat. I tried a yoga towel at home and discovered that spraying it with water gets rid of the problem, but I can’t imagine stopping in the middle of practice to spray the towel. What are all the ways to deal with this problem? I was amazed at the difference in my balance when I wasn’t slipping.

    • Hi Lynn,

      Indeed, slippage is problematic and infringes on one’s practice. The root cause is moisture on the feet. Here are a few dos and don’ts and hopefully some solutions:

      (1) Avoid using foot (& hand) cream before your practice.
      (2) Yes, for some, yoga socks work well.
      (3) As you have discovered, yoga towels also work. And yes generally they should be wet. You can try wetting it at the beginning of your practice and then seeing if the moisture / perspiration generated from your feet is enough to keep the towel moist & “sticky.”
      (4) Alternatively, you can use a yoga mat towel that has rubber beads on the underside. I do carry those and have some in stock. They help keep the towel from shifting around even when dry.

      Those are some of the key points that come to mind…hopefully one of those offers a viable solution for you.

      I understand how distracting and intrusive it is to be slipping on your mat during your practice. Feeling safe and secure on the mat does make a big difference.

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