Joyce Savitz Weblog

{July 28, 2009}   Wrist Pain from Yoga?

Pain in the wrist while doing yoga can be s symptom of  a misalignment in your shoulders.

My teacher, John Friend, taught me about this when I had a ganglion cyst on my wrist which

was causing me alot of pain in handstand, sun salutation, backbends and any arm balance.

So here is the key:  top of the arm bones back/lowertips of the shouldblades in!

Usually we all bend forward to read, type on the computor, take care of children and loved ones.

The very top of the arm bone (at the shoulder) usually goes forward from the above activities.

Try facing a wall and take your right arm out to the side, palm up, and press the little finger part

of the hand into the wall.  Take the top of the arm bone back as you turn your body away from the wall.  Feel the lower tip of your shoulder blade moving into your back. Then when you are

doing backbends, etc. see if you can keep this action.  Hopefully, this will help to heal your

pain in the wrist!

{July 13, 2009}   Chair yoga-yoga in a chair

One of the best ways to enjoy yoga is to use a chair as a prop.

While sitting in a chair you can really learn to find your center.

Using a chair allows for you to stay in the pose longer; thus, having

more time to explore your body in that pose.  Beginners love the

chair in that it gives them more confidence with knowing they will

not overextend and can also use the chair for balance.  Men who say

“I’m just not that flexible to do yoga” also find that the chair helps

them find their flexibility.  Even more advanced students find

that using a chair will help them find a way to get deeper in a

pose.  The benefit of doing yoga with a chair will also give

you ideas to help stay flexible during a long trip, or sitting in an

office or even being a student and having to sit for long periods

of time in class or studying.  We all can benefit with this wonderful

prop:  a chair.  Try it!  You might be surprised!

Tis the season to be jolly!

However, it can be rather stressful as we all know!

Here are a few quick fixes to help you this year:

Breath deep!  While you are in traffic, at the Mall, dealing with family gatherings just stop and

take a deep breath.  Try breathing in the nose and out the mouth.  See if you can breath in to

the count of just 3 at first.  From there move it up to 5 or 8 counts.  Feel the way your body

and your mind with just release with this simple technique.

Check out a yoga class that is close by your home or office.

Having a qualified teacher guide you and help you thru breathwork and poses make all the difference.

When you sign up for a class, you will probably get more yoga done during an hour than you would

on your own.  There will be no distractions that normally get in your way.

At my studio, we are doing a 4-week series just to focus on yoga poses that will help with stress.

One of those poses is legs up the wall (as we call it).  All you do is sit sideways against a wall. turn and put your legs up the wall and straighten out your upper body.  Your body will be in the shape of a L.

Put an eyebag or a washcloth on your eyes to tune out the light.  If you are comfortable, stay there

for 3 to 5 minutes (15 minutes is the best!).  It is a wonderful way to “decompress”.

So it IS the season to be jolly!  Enjoy your holiday season STRESSFREE!

Learning Yoga in a progressive week to week manner improves your understanding of the poses

and helps you feel the opening of the body and the life force or spiritual energy.  Learning

in this manner helps to build  security for yourself as you do the poses as well as feeling

of security as you go throughout your day.  It is a wonderful way to see the building blocks

of a pose.  Each week there is a new understanding that enhances your practice.  When you

feel more confident on a physical level, you can really appreciate the spiritual energy that

is always there.  Yoga is just another way to union with God.

At, we offer ten week series.  Students love the understanding that they

get not only in the poses but in how their body works.  Students learn how to heal themselves

with the alignment priciples that was established by John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga.

Join us, or check out our website and see the DVD section where you can order and enjoy

the benefits that yoga has to offer on a physical, mental and spiritual basis!

Many women that are in menopause have had problems with gaining weight that they cannot lose.

Manuso, a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, taught this at one of his seminars I attended years ago.

There were many women in the class that said it had helped them tremendously.  So I pass this information

on to you!

Supported backbends:    You will need a folding chair, wall, stickymat and blanket.

A trained yoga teacher (you can find a wonderful list of certified Anusara Yoga Teachers at and click on the teachers list for your state) can also assist so that you keep proper alignment.

Sit in the chair backwards and put your feet to the wall.  Hold on to the back of the chair and slide

your hips thru the backside of chair then with your feet on the wall push the chair away so that your

legs can be straight and feet are on the wall.  Then holding on to the back of the chair, walk your

hands down the side of the chair and let the lower tips of your shoulderblades rest on the front

side of the chair seat.  If your neck does not feel comfortable come out immediately and put a rolled

sticky mat along your spine and back of your head and try again.  Start with short durations of time

and work up to five minutes!  Come out by walking your hands back up the sides of the chair and

put your feet on the ground.  Sit quietly for a moment.

As long as you are pain free, try doing this daily for about a month and see if you not only feel better

but look better too!

We are having our backbends with ease workshop on Sunday, May 18 from 10 am to noon!

{April 7, 2008}   Backbends…….EASY??

Most people think that backbends are BAD for their back and very DIFFICULT to do.

HOWEVER, when doing a backbend (with good instruction, of course) the spine will move more deeply

into the body verses being out (sitting at the computor, ect. and bending forward creates the spine to

move out). People with bulging disks, rounded shoulders, neck and back pain can find the solution

to these problems when backbends are done correctly. There have been many articles written in

Yoga Journal about how to do backbends. One of the most recent was written by Desiree Rumbaugh,

certified Anusara Teacher. Learning to do backbends with using the back plane of the body

can make back bends easier, fun, and safe. Joyce Savitz, certified Anusara Teacher in Jacksonville Beach,

Florida will be teaching a seminar on backbends (Trusting with Security) in May, 2008.

Come and experience how fun it is to bend backwards!

About 20 years ago, I was starting to feel the negative aspects of teaching aerobics

and running. I also had scoliosis which was causing pain in my neck and shoulders as well as the lower back (sacroiliac joint).

I went to a week-long Yoga seminar. Immediately, the pain went away!! I also started feeling more grounded and secure!

Because there was no one in the area teaching Yoga, I started teaching a yoga-

stretch class at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. The members loved it so much they

asked me to make a video so they could do it more at home. So now you can have

the opportunity to learn some of the best yoga stretches in your home and get relief

from back pain. Many people have done this video so many times that they have

memorized it.

It starts with a standing side stretch which will stretch your whole

side body. Then you go to a wall and open up the chest and upper back as well as

the back of the legs (hamstrings) and the lower back. Then you move to the floor and

stretch the psoas (great relief for lower-back pain) and also the outer hips with stretches

that resemble a lunge pose. Then lying on your back and using a belt you will learn

a stretch that opens the hamstrings, inner groins, illiotibial band (outer thigh) in less

than five minutes. This video ends with a seated twist.

You will end up feeling open and free. Doing this video on a regular basis will help you feel

younger and more agile. It is a great way to start your day and even end your day. Some

people use it as a way to give them more energy in the middle of the day. You can even do

15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Regardless of how you schedule

your session, it can be at your convenience and you get to have relief of back pain!

It also makes for a great gift for your friends and family.  To order, just go to and click on DVD’s on the right side.  The cost is only $25 plus shipping.

After a short while, people started requesting a more difficult and

challanging session.  I would hear more problems with tight hips from people

who had an active lifestyle.  Running, biking, blading all can tighten the hips

thus creating lowerback pain.   I am active too and therefore, have tight hips.

Going to many seminars all over  the world, I would “collect hip openers”.

The best that I have found are on this video as well as some really nice

hamstring stretches, upper thigh stretches and a really nice relaxation at the end

where the legs are up the wall.

et cetera