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Recent Articles by Barbara Benagh

Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)
I love arm balances. They have an invigorating electricity despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that they are such demanding asanas. Arm balances are also marvelous equalizers. They come easily for almost no one. Most yogis shine at something:
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Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
One of my first yoga teachers, a wonderful Englishwoman named Penny Nield-Smith, was a real stickler for standing poses; we practiced them endlessly. I would look at yoga books and see pictures of headstands, backbends, arm balances, exotic stuff, but when I went to class it was, you guessed it, more standing poses. 
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Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana
I fall into my yoga practice with relish akin to getting into bed at the end of a long day. Many people start their practice with a series of asanas such as Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) to warm the body up, but I usually start by lying over a bolster that I've placed under my back.
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As yogis, we have learned that a disciplined practice yields positive results. We've also learned that we can usually produce specific results by doing certain poses or practicing a particular method. Some asanas will help an aching back, others relieve depression; one method builds strength, another is meditative; and so on.
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Downward-Facing Dog to Upward Bow
Earlier this year while watching Jazz, filmmaker Ken Burns's documentary series, I was struck by a comment from Chicago jazz great Eddie Condon. A leader in the desegregation of jazz, Condon observed that when white musicians first came on the scene they were eager to play jazz but "stiff with education."
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Salamba Sarvangasana
I have great sympathy for students who struggle with Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand). Because of an old neck injury, Salamba Sarvangasana used to be quite difficult for me. My neck and upper back ached in the pose and throbbed for several minutes after I came out of it. About twice a year I would strain muscles in my upper back while practicing Shoulderstand.
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Crick Fixes
Master these gentle moves to create lasting ease. Even if you have a history of injuries or have suffered from chronic tension for years, the approach I've developed can help you learn to soften your neck and shoulder muscles and restore ease and freedom. This article was published in the December 2005 issue of Yoga Journal.
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Asthma Answers
Following an emergency visit to the intensive care unit, yoga teacher Barbara Benagh pledge to beat her asthma. After extensive research, she discovered the key to overcoming asthma is retraining the breath.
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Yoga Journal Cover
Barbara Benagh is a frequent contributor to the Yoga Journal and a regular presenter at Yoga Journal Conferences. She wrote the Asana column in 2001 and appeared on the April 2002 cover.