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August 14, 2017

Yoga Anatomy to the People: a Manifesto

In case you haven’t noticed, yoga is undergoing a revolution.

This revolution is a natural ricochet from dominant paradigms of physical asana practice that have included:

1) overly prescriptive alignment and/or

2) lack of alignment plus excess repetition, but that

3) in nearly all cases discouraged critical thinking, deviation from your teacher, and incorporating modern medical research. 

My own yoga injury (in 2005, after teaching yoga since 2001) led me toward my doctorate in physical therapy. Since then, I’ve been bridging these two worlds by teaching yoga anatomy.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a few trends: The first is when I would tell fellow yoga teachers I will be teaching yoga anatomy over a given weekend, nearly all of them ask if they could sit in for that portion of the training or if I will be offering it to current teachers any time soon.

Second, I frequently receive emails from current yoga teachers who want to pick my brain about becoming a physical therapist and / or ask me questions about their yoga injuries.

There’s a true and deep hunger in the yoga teaching community to give better answers to our students, to understand our students’ bodies more deeply and individually so they can overcome obstacles. We do not want to become a yoga injury statistic or contribute to the existence of such a thing. For those who work with private clients, athletes or anyone who has been on this earth for more than a few decades, we particularly need to know these skills.

If we are paying attention, we are humbled by our students daily.

It’s simply not possible to emerge from a 200 hour training with a deep biomechanical understanding.

Plus, it’s only after teaching for a while — when you can picture the diversity of bodies in your classroom — that nuanced anatomic know-how starts to makes sense in real life, and we can let go of pre-fab teaching cues.

On the student side, there’s also a hunger for more in-depth yoga teaching. The big and growing population of yoga practitioners is aging (ahem: maturing), with the best of us. They deserve our very best skills to allow them to heal, to prevent injury and to create massive breakthroughs in strength and possibility – to keep the magic alive in the relationship.

Learning applicable yoga anatomy

I have worked incredibly hard as a yoga student, a yoga teacher, and especially as an orthopedic manual physical therapist to build my capacity to assist healing. I feel profoundly privileged for the knowledge gained while treating thousands of patients from all walks of life presenting with a vast spectrum of physical challenges. I want to share this in a big way with my beloved yoga community, and in a way that does not cost years of your life within the walls of academia.

It’s time to bring yoga anatomy to the people.

THE YOGA ANATOMY ACADEMY MISSION:

…to contribute to the overall well-being of thousands of yoga-aficionados, to skill-share with yoga teachers who don’t need a doctoral degree to create more well-being in the world, and to provide a joyful experience in learning interesting and immediately applicable anatomy to yoga teachers and dedicated students.

  • Yoga Anatomy Academy aims to uplift yogis (teachers and practitioners) with a thoughtful, whole heart approach to teaching yoga anatomy, optimal health and liberating movement. 
  • We love making complex, scientific information relevant to your body (and to your classes — if you teach).
  • We intend to have fun in the process, and to never miss an opportunity for a pun :). Learning anatomy for yoga should be easeful and exciting. 
  • Yoga Anatomy Academy believes in humor and a stress-free learning environment.
  • We hold the duality that, though there are global cues helpful to many people, every individual is has their own unique needs and distinct physical build. 
  • Yoga Anatomy Academy operates from the premise that everything is connected, and everyone is unique. There is rarely or never one right answer. 
  • We do not believe in banishing poses or yoga styles. Instead we aim to shed light on distinguishing between potentially therapeutic components of a practice from those that might harm.
  • The end result is that you have the tools to decide which are the most medicinal and intelligent poses and movements for you

We believe in Yoga Anatomy to the People.

Yoga Anatomy Academy serves the anatomy-curious in the yoga community with a variety of offerings. We offer an online yoga anatomy mentorship, online and in-person courses, anatomically structured class sequences, study groups, and anatomy-based yoga asana + yoga therapy classes with heart + soul (and more!). 

We bring intelligent yoga anatomy to you wherever you are (and have an internet connection). 

If you’ve ever been daunted by the idea of learning yoga anatomy or if you want more depth than basic articles in magazines, you’ve found your tribe.

Come join us with a big Like on Facebook at facebook.com/YogaAnatomyAcademy, then invite your friends to like us.

Our biggest offering, a 12-week signature mentorship program, runs live twice a year (next session starts Sept 11, 2017). Sign up here to get on the waitlist: http://eepurl.com/bsvgRn

 

(This post is a expansion + re-vision of a previous post created for kiragrace.com and also shared on sacredsourceyoga.com

 

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