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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tip of the Week: Switch Up Your Grip

Do you switch up your grip in the second set? This means placing your other thumb on top in the second set of postures.  It provides a more balanced stretch to your arms, shoulders and back, and builds more equal grip strength in your hands.  It also gives a shot of discipline and focus in your practice, as you have to decide which thumb to put on top first and remember to switch it up for the next set. You get an extra mental workout as you settle your mind when your brain is telling you the grip feels uncomfortable or awkward with your non-dominant thumb on top. 

In half moon, the grip switch can be particularly helpful in getting a much stronger stretch in your  hip when the thumb on top is the same as the side to which you are bending.  It makes sense, as the thumb is the strongest digit and its iron grip on the stretching arm allows for greater reach.  In half tortoise it focuses the stretch on alternate sides of your back and hips in the two sets.  Switching which arm is on top in wind removing pose and fixed firm pose helps to get a more equal stretch in the shoulders.

By switching your grip in the second set of postures, you’ll create balance not only in your practice, but also in your daily life. At first switching your grip might feel super awkward, but before you know it you won’t even remember which grip was dominant. Life is all about balance, and if we can learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable in class, we can deal with it off the mat as well. 

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