In the days before covid closed most gyms and yoga studios, I taught yoga wall ropes classes at The Yoga Room Berkeley. Wall ropes were first developed by BKS Iyengar, who used them as a prop to support and intensify his asana practice. In my exploration, I’ve found both strengthening and therapeutic uses for them, depending on what I’m needing in the moment. Since these days I leave my house so infrequently, I’ve been lacking regular access to a ropes wall, so I was delighted to be reminded of this option for getting some traction at home. Elise Browning Miller, a Bay Area yoga teacher and scoliosis specialist, walks us through an enhanced Downward Dog pose, attaching a strap to inner and outer doorknobs on a sturdy door, then taking it around the upper thighs, at the fold, or hip crease. Moving into a Right Angle, then a Supported Dog pose on a chair, and finally a full Downward Dog pose with hands on the floor, she shows how you too can use this pose to fix your back (or just give it a good stretch). Take a look at her clear, precise instructions here:
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Elise Miller, M.A. in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of North Carolina, is a Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher from Palo Alto who has been teaching yoga throughout the United States and internationally since 1976. As a founding director of the California Yoga Center in Mountain View and Palo Alto, CA, Elise teaches classes and workshops specializing in back and sports-related injuries and is a faculty member at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. Elise has successfully used yoga to minimize the effects of her own scoliosis and sees clients privately with scoliosis and other back related problems. She has published numerous articles on scoliosis and other yoga related subjects in Yoga Journal and other national magazines. Elise has studied on numerous occasions with B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar in India. She has produced the Yoga for Scoliosis DVD and booklet, the Yoga for Backcare booklet, Intermediate Yoga in Fiji DVD, and a new edition of her book Yoga, Anytime, Anywhere. Elise’s joyous personality and ease of communication endear her to students with a teaching style that is down-to-earth, precise, and nurturing.