The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga with Doug Keller
Hatha yoga was never simply about stretching, or even seeking simply ‘fitness’ and strength, though it certainly includes the benefits of flexibility and strength. Hatha yoga focused on the blocks or ‘knots’ - physical as well as energetic and emotional - that get in the way of the creative flow of thought and movement - and which are often at the root of pain and suffering. This was described in terms of the flow of energy - prana - through ‘channels’ or nadis in the body on many levels.
In some of the newest therapeutic insights in contemporary thought, we are coming to understand the cause of much of our chronic pain as arising from ‘distortions’ in the fascia, a specific form of the connective tissue in our body. This description - and its treatment - is amazingly similar to the description given by the yogis as well as the ‘Marma’-centered disciplines of Ayurveda, and the practice of asana is well-suited to overcoming these distortions. We can also recognize the root of ‘yoga injuries’ and pain caused by imbalances in yoga practice - as well as other disciplines of physical movement and sport - that gives rise to or intensifies these distortions.
This perspective is described as the ‘Fascial Distortion Model,’ and it is very practical. There are six types of fascial distortion, a few of which especially appear as the most common causes of pain in yoga and in life, and they are recognized easily by how the person describes or points to the kind of pain he or she is suffering. Three of these forms of pain-and-limitation-causing are especially relevant - and recognizable - to us as yoga practitioners and teachers.
This training will introduce you to the Fascial Distortion Model, relate it to the understanding of Marma as an approach to self-care in yoga practice, and apply this understanding to the themes that we will cover in practical and user-friendly ways.
We’ll begin with the neck and shoulders, focusing on upper body and spinal health, and connect the ideas concerning the Fascial Distortion Model to understanding and addressing shoulder injuries - especially including typical ‘yoga injuries’ to the shoulders.
From there we will expand into a treatment of the health of the whole body in the context of Movement Impairment Syndromes at the root of chronic pain - focusing in particular the low back, sacrum, hips, knees and feet.
This approach to pain problems is especially suited to yoga, and will provide teachers and practitioners with a vital toolbox for recognizing and assessing these patterns, and designing an approach through specifically targeted asana practice and remedial exercises aimed at changing them for the better.
An illustrated workbook will be included with the training, containing both the information from the training and worksheets and exercises for your continued study. You will also have all of the illustrated notes used in the lectures in the form of PDF downloads.
Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for a decade, and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work on ‘Yoga As Therapy‘.
He is also, in addition to his traveling and teaching, a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master’s Degree program in Yoga Therapy. This program is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master’s degree in this field, and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
For more information please also check out Doug’s website www.doyoga.com
Doug Keller will teach this Yoga Therapy course from Thursday, March 1, through Sunday, March 4, 2018 at AIRYOGA, Fabrikstrasse 10 in 8005 Zurich.
Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 9:00am to 11:30am, and from 1:30pm to 5:00pm: Prana Blocks and Fascial Distortions - Their Connection to Our Patterns of Movement in Asana
Doug will introduce the Fascial Distortion Model, presented in yoga- and user-friendly terms, relate it to traditional approaches from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Marma tradition, and will focus on the most relevant forms of recognizable fascial distortions approachable through yoga practice.
This will be coupled with the understanding of Movement Patterns and their Pain Syndromes (from ‘stiff’ to ‘flexible’) associated with these distortions (especially as they appear in yoga practice), and how to address releasing them. This will include a more in-depth look into the fascia itself - what it is, how it works, and how awareness of the nature of fascia can inform our practice.
The practice of poses connected with this theme will be an exploration of ways of entering into, flowing between, and holding poses that brings forth the energetic qualities held within the fascial matrix, the pranic storehouse of the mind-body.
‘The Head is the Foundation’
Traditionally we think of the foundation of the body - in yoga and in our posture in life - in terms of the foundation set by the feet (and how the bones are ‘stacked’ above it). But we can also look at freedom and spaciousness in posture and movement in terms of the placement and movement of the head upon the spine, with the maxim, “as above, so below.” The guiding principle will be the yogic insights behind the ‘bandhas’ - Jalandhara bandha in particular.
Sessions based on this theme will focus on alignment and actions of the head and neck, combined with stabilization of the ‘Core,’ with special emphasis on stabilization in twists and head rotation - and how this attention to strengthening and the release of tension can bring greater freedom and better alignment in the rest of the body, particularly in the low back, sacrum and hips.
Friday, March 2, 2018 from 9:00 to 11:30 am, and from 1:30 to 5:00 pm: The Myofascial ‘Sutras’ of the Arms
The work with the upper body will be carried over into the practice and into a deeper exploration of the myofascial lines or ‘sutras’ that govern the actions of the arms - the lines of larger muscles that govern the movement of the shoulder blades and give the arms their power, as well as the deeper lines of muscles that govern rotations and are crucial for the health of the rotator cuffs, elbows and wrists.
We will cover actions, ‘openings’ and stretches in non-weightbearing poses, as well as the challenges - and benefits - of poses in which the arms bear weight. Additional connections to scoliosis and asymmetries in the shoulders will be made, with suggestions for practice.
Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 8:00 to 10:00 am, and from 2:00 to 5:30 pm: Mobilizing: Getting Stiff Students Moving Through Targeted Strengthening - and The Secrets of the Hamstrings
The problems of ‘stiffness’ - particularly in the hips and hamstrings - that present a challenge in yoga class, as well as being a cause of typical pain problems in the lower back, are actually symptoms of our movement habits and patterns, particularly in forward bending (which is what we do more than anything else in our life of movement).
We will explore the ‘Lumbar Flexion’ pattern of movement in the spine that is a significant cause of stiffness, and how to overcome it - which will strengthen the lower back, help overcome harmful postural habits, and help us make progress in achieving greater flexibility in the hamstrings and hips. Without awareness of these patterns, one can easily spend years doing hamstring stretches and see little progress! We will also cover sequencing for stretches that address hip pain caused by tightness, as well as sequencing for sciatic pain arising from problems in the piriformis.
Sunday, March 4, 2018 from 8:15am to 10:45am, and from 1:30 to 5:00pm: Stabilizing: Helping Flexible Students Avoid Joint Pain and Injury
A problem faced by advancing yoga students as well as people drawn to yoga who are more innately flexible is the problem of hypermobility - which leads to joint pain and (ultimately) joint deterioration and inflammation, as well as pain in the muscles and ligaments that are meant to stabilize the joints.
These problems arise from innate flexibility and even hypermobility, but are also made worse by movement habits and patterns that can be called the ‘Lumbar Extension Syndrome’ pattern of movement, which gives rise to imbalances in the use of muscles in yoga poses and in life.
We will explore this ‘Extension’ pattern of the lumbar spine and how to overcome it - returning to strengthening the ‘Core,’ especially in relation to the psoas and hip flexors, as well as proper actions of the hamstrings and gluteals to help us make progress in balancing a healthy range of movement balanced with joint stability in yoga practice that can make the practice more pain and injury-fee.
Emphasis will especially be on promoting sacral stability, as well as poses and exercises addressing hip pain from a weak piriformis and hip abductors.
The ideas presented in this session can be helpful to moderately flexible students, as well as providing helpful tips for teachers dealing with overly flexible students.
This course is open to all levels of yoga practitioners. It can be booked as an entire 4-day program or for single days.
Doug teaches in English.
The cost is:
Fr. 590.- for the entire course
Fr. 160.- per single day
An illustrated workbook will be included with the training,
Participation is limited.
Please note the reservation and cancelation policy for workshops at AIRYOGA.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org