YD recently had a chat with Yoga Tune Up® creator and YogaDork Ed faculty expert, Jill Miller, on her favorite and not-so-favorite poses, post-yoga snacks and after 25 years of practice what makes her a yogadork. Read on!
YD: What was one pose you were originally not so fond of but have now grown to love? And vice versa?
JM: Ugh. There were soooo many poses that completely stymied me. Sometimes it was a lack of flexibility in a certain joint that created an obstacle to the “aesthetic” of the pose. Other times it was strength…other times it was an inability to perceive a certain tissue in a pose. Other times it was a proportion issue…my leg bone is too short, or my arm bone is too long…yada yada. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, “Twisted Side Angle Pose” was one of those poses that I was sloppy in. I would just sort of crowbar myself into it, and hope that my teacher would not demand more “consciousness” from me.
After telling me it was “pathetic” one too many times ( in his most loving way!), I decided to give myself one year to master that pose. I disassembled all the components of the pose, the way you’d break down a car, and greased every maneuver that the pose requires. Joint-by-joint and tissue-by-tissue until that pose fit me like a glove, and I learned what it required of me to embody it. My whole Yoga Tune Up® methodology is built on that approach. Quite often the COMPONENTS of a pose are more valuable to master than the whole pose enchilada. I used to LOVE Salamba Sarvangasana, “shoulderstand,” but grew to dislike it because of the terrible things it can do to a person’s body who does not have the joint mechanics, strength, proportion or proprioceptive ability to do it safely. It is not a pose I teach to new students. But I adore it in my own practice.
YD: What’s one yoga book you couldn’t live without?
JM: There are 2:
1) A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya by Swami Satyanada Saraswati – His teachings walk off the page and slip into your body in the richest way possible. I slept next to it for 5 years…could not travel without it (the book is 900 pages long, and weighs about 5 pounds). It is my yogic “security blanket.” That particular edition is now out of print. The Bihar School of Yoga has now shortened the title, and shortened the book a bit. I have it too!
2) Kinesiology by Joseph Muscolino – This book answers nearly every question my students have about human movement. It is a great resource that infuses my Yoga Tune Up® Integrated Embodied Anatomy Courses. All the facts are there, the new science, and great “discussion boxes.” I really appreciate that he details the complexity of anatomy in a way that a non-clinician can absorb. Whenever any of my YTU Anatomy team is stumped on an anatomical conundrum, we refer to “Uncle Joe’s Bible.”
YD: What’s your favorite post yoga snack?
JM: Dark Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar and a can of Solixir “Restore.” You said “snack” not meal…
YD: Who’s one celebrity you’d love to see start practicing yoga?
JM: Jonah Hill. I think I could really help him tune up his back, neck and core…I’ve noticed a few postural issues with him when he’s walking around on-screen. He is one of my favorite young comedians, and I’d like to see him live a long and healthy life so he can keep us laughing longer!
YD: What gives you inspiration?
JM: My mother would never call herself a yogini, but she actually took classes in college in New Orleans. The reason I started practicing was her fault. She brought home the Jane Fonda Workout and Raquel Welch Yoga videos when I was 11 years old. We practiced together until she grew bored while I grew OBSESSED. Last year, I made my newest video for her after she had her entire knee joint replaced, it’s called Yoga Tune Up® KneeHab. And she currently takes YTU lessons with our New Orleans based YTU Teacher, Claiborne Davis!
Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up® is our first expert in the YogaDork Ed Dept. Read more about her here.
Another reason why I love this blog. I’d never heard of this Jill Miller but now I’m interested. Good job Yogadork. Keeping me in the loop as always.
always like reading up more on jill miller; she has great short videos too on her site; gonna have to look up that anatomy book, looks impressive! thanks!