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Open Hips, Neutral Spine

Beginner II
In this playful beginners class, Ron helps you discover and maintain your spine’s neutral position while exploring some basic postures including table, downward-facing dog, and a reclining hip-opening sequence.


Existing Comments

June 19, 2021

Thank you Ron. I've really been struggling with posture and how to maintain integrity in poses but also reach my edge. This was a wonderful instruction on how to do this. It is finally starting to click for me. Thank you.

January 28, 2021

A lovely, lovely class. I'm finding your classes, Ron, helpful for mind and body.

January 3, 2021

Some of this class was helpful. However, it gave me the, "I'm not flexible enough for yoga" feeling. The strap pull produced such an intense hamstring stretch, even lifting my leg just 30 degrees off the floor, that I couldn't hold it very long. The extensions and twists to the side were completely inaccessible. I've been working on hamstring flexibility several times a week for more than two years, but I'm still a very long way from being able to tolerate the strap pulls. Is there a version of this class for people who are less flexible, or should I just skip over the strap segment?

Ron Stewart
January 3, 2021

Hi PianoWire
Hmm, with your leg 30 degrees off the floor, can you refrain from "pulling" and start by letting the leg be supported by the strap? Find a place where the muscles relax. Back off from the "intense Hamstring stretch" and let it be a stretch that you feel nourished by. Extensions and twists to the side you can bend the knee, making the stretch more manageable, the extension becomes more of a reclining cobblers pose and the twist is the classic bent knee crossing the body. You are not focusing on the hamstring aspect of these postures but you are getting a healthy hip opener and a good 'ol twist!
Hope this is helpful.

January 4, 2021

Thanks Ron. The reclining cobblers pose and bent-knee twists work well. But the straight-leg strap pull is problematic. If I could get my leg directly above my hip as you do in the video, it wouldn't take much pull on the strap to hold it there. Because I can't raise my leg very high, the angle of pull on the strap is acute, and anything less than a hard pull won't hold my leg off the floor. The only way I can reduce the intensity of the stretch to a "nourishing" level is to flex my foot and use my ab muscles to lift my leg without using the strap at all. That's a great ab and quad exercise, but I suspect it's not what this class is aiming for. Would I get the intended benefit if I supported a flexed foot on a sofa arm instead of using the strap?

Ron Stewart
January 4, 2021

Yes, using the sofa or other support for the leg, would be beneficial.
If You "flex my foot and use my ab muscles to lift my leg without using the strap at all." you will be creating more strain in your hip flexors, and no release in your hamstrings.

December 15, 2020

This is an awesome class! I feel so grounded. I saw comments about you talking too much and it may not be a beginner class. I do feel if it were to be the first class I have taken, I would have been overwhelmed. So, I am a RYT, seen lots of training. This really showed me more about how to respect my spine, and all of its beautiful curves! Feel like I'm sitting and walking more loosely acknowledging those spina curves. Feeling so much more in touch and accepting of my body. Thank you!!

Ron Stewart
December 16, 2020

Cfblossom, thank you so much for this feedback and framing of my "talking too much"! I don't think I have considered the measure of a class's difficulty by the amount of verbal cueing. Rather, I tend to measure by the difficulty of the postures and/or sequencing. Your feedback is so valuable to me. When I am "teaching while doing" I tend to just spill the information and ideas as they are experienced in my body, generously (LOL) and yes(!), how overwhelming (crazy making) that could be for some who are new to yoga and embodiment, or who just want a quieter ride. So many ways to make these offerings, so much to learn. Gratitude to you and all those who post their thoughts and experiences here. R
October 25, 2020

I must say I read the comments below and disagree with Ron talking too much! I LOVE it when Ron talks-directs-explains-because it is a 'mental' practice and Fijis classes are packed with talking because its SO good & informative! This stops me going into 'blank' mode and makes me engage-so please continue with talking (though I prefer to call it guiding and instructing) because Ron your classes are excellent, like Tracys and Fiji's so keep the brilliant, awakening, liberating classes going! Thanks so much ! Catherine

June 15, 2021

I totally agree with Catherine! One of the reasons that I love Ron's classes is because of how he talks you through the poses and it helps me connect with him instead of just listening to a robot. It reminds us that we are all human and it is ok not to be perfect.

July 15, 2020

The drift wood analogy whilst breathing like the sea sounds just works perfect during shavasana initiation. Thanks a lot.

Joy Michelle
June 15, 2020

Ron, loving your positive energy and good vibes! Great lesson for lengthening the spine and letting go of tension in the hips. Namaste.

June 6, 2020

Wonderful practice. I really enjoy the analogies, visuals and unique names for everything that Ron offers, like, "rainbow bridge" for the cervical curve and the driftwood being like the "bones of the Earth". I loved working with the hip and hamstring openers from a neutral spine and the lower, bent leg opening opposite as a counter balance to keep everything in the center very stable. Ron, you are amazing! Thank you. Namaste.

April 11, 2020

Ron seems to be really enjoying himself with this class and that made me enjoy it all the more too. I feel like it did my spine a lot of good to move like this. Thank you!

January 17, 2020

I have a deep appreciation for this class. When I started doing yoga many moons ago, I used to always try to keep my whole back on the mat. It wasn’t until a yoga teacher corrected me it. It changed my practice and reduced my back pain. Alway great to reconnect with your neutral spine! Thanks Ron!

January 16, 2020

My body thanks you!! I have a tendency to go go go, and this class made me slow down and truly feel my body! Thanks, Ron, for another wonderful class!!

January 14, 2020

I usually love Rons classes but a couple of issues here, first of all the sound is too low and then I do not see this as a beginners set since it requires a lot of body awareness. If I did this set as a beginner I might not continue with yoga at all. Also Ron talked too much, especially in the beginning .

j rrr
November 18, 2019

Your classes always bring a smile to my face. Thank you Ron for your light heart.

November 10, 2019

Thank you Ron, that was amazing. Your voice is calming and you give good direction.

November 2, 2019

Thank you so very much, I enjoyed your class and guidance.

October 25, 2019

I can get the picture but no play button! Have tried on a few different days with no luck,
Can you look not this?

Kathy Couture
October 19, 2019

When you say have quiet time....please be quiet. You talk a lot.

October 18, 2019

My first practice with Ron - I loved it! The concept of feeling the skin of your back touching the floor, but your bones curving naturally into neutral spine really helped me feel and solidify this better in my body. I also loved north/ south elbows, will use these visualizations again. Thank you!

Melanie Lichtinger
October 12, 2019

Great spine / bones awareness class.
Loved the release sounds and the overall relaxed grounding quality.
Thanks Ron!

Elsa Avila
October 11, 2019

Another Ron's amazing class. He always has something to share., Release tension through sounds, the importance of a neutral spine without compromising our poses. Thanks