The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga – A 4-Day Training with Doug Keller
This intensive training will reinforce fundamental themes for working with yoga therapeutically to overcome pain problems - for oneself and for students - and will add the themes of ‘functional’ myofascial lines for movement, and the role of Marma Therapy in deepening the therapeutic value of yoga.
The ‘Functional’ Myofascial Lines introduced by Tom Myers coordinate the actions of the arms and legs through the ‘Core’ of the body, and are very helpful and illuminating for understanding the value of traditional asanas - and for refining our actions to deepen our experience of the asanas. These myofascial ‘Sutras’ also complete a picture for movement in practice that forms a solid basis for understanding the role of Marma in the practices of yoga aimed at therapeutic benefits.
Marma is defined as a ‘vital’ point of energy in the body, where prana flows and is distributed through the body. And sometimes the energy gets ‘stuck’ in these areas, from tightness, distortion or constriction in fascial tissues, or blocks in awareness, including emotional blocks, previous injury, breath patterns or a number of other causes. This can be the cause of pain, or a lack of energy, or even numbness.
The blocks are often released through massage of these points, and can also be opened up by the dynamics of yoga asanas joined with the breath. The fascial lines provide a basis for a firmer understanding of marma as well as an approach to the practical application of marma through asana, as well as for identifying ‘hot spots’ in the body that signal causes of pain from fascial distortion. In addition, we’ll look at cues from the ‘Fascial Distortion Model’ of pain therapy for guidance as to appropriate forms of marma care.
Overall, awareness of the marma points can be helpful for understanding pain that arises in the body, as well as a lack of vitality, irritation, or a whole number of disturbances. Moreover, marma has also - at least since the 10th or 12th century - provided points of focus for deep relaxation or Yoga Nidra, the ‘sleep of the yogi’ which is regarded as a deep state of samadhi. The relationship of Marma to the ‘Sadanga’ tradition of tantric yoga that was the early basis of Yoga Nidra practice will be explained with the Yoga Nidra practice at the end of each day.
The training is structured to help teachers understand more deeply the therapeutic rationale behind alignment and action instructions in yoga poses - and to know when these instructions are helpful and appropriate, and when variations or a different emphasis are necessary. The instructions are clear, specific and user-friendly, and backed up by knowledge of the anatomy involved in the movements as well as an understanding of the common therapeutic problems that bring students to yoga seeking help.
The training has a high return rate for teachers seeking to reinforce what they have learned, and looking for new insights to add to what they know. Likewise, the training always proves to be very accessible to teachers and advancing students coming for the first time, seeking deeper insight into yoga, its rationale, and its benefits.
Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for more than 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 lead this Yoga Therapy Training from Thursday, February 13, through
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at AIRYOGA, Fabrikstrasse 10 in 8005 Zurich.
Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., and from 1:30 to 5:15 p.m.:
Functional Lines of Movement: Understanding their Role in Asana Practice and their Importance for Working with Low Back and Sciatic Pain - and an Introduction to Marma
The key to understanding healthy movement as well as the root of much chronic pelvic and low back pain lies in understanding the rhythmic movement of the sacrum and the muscles which support it. When these muscles are not functioning properly, chronic low back and pelvic pain are often the result, and are tied to specific movement patterns that can be corrected through asana combined with specific exercises.
Asana practice can be of great benefit for supporting stable movement of the sacroiliac joint - asanas can also cause problems when we don’t properly stabilize the low back using the functional lines and core. Special attention will be given to twisting, and the value of twists for the low back.
Pain problems around the low back, hips and sacrum also have corresponding marma points; basic exercises concentrating on these points as a warm-up for practice or relief from pain will be introduced as a simple program to be integrated into yoga practice.
Principles for self-assessment and corrective exercises will also be introduced on the first day, and continued through each day of the training.
Friday, February 14, 2020 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., and from 1:30 to 5:15 p.m.:
The Lower Body: Sciatic Pain and Special Focus on the Knees
Both Sciatic pain and knee problems are major therapeutic concerns that can be addressed through asana practice and stretches.
Our treatment of sciatic pain will build upon what we learned of the sacrum on the first day, and as we go through the different sources of sciatic pain - and how to assess and address each top - we will naturally be led to address knee problems.
Knee health usually includes all of the major considerations of the lower body: the feet and health of the arches, including challenges such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, hamstring and quadriceps tightness or imbalances, the role of the IT band and imbalances in the many muscles surrounding the hips, including the gluteals.
We will include assessment principles for the knees and knee problems, awareness of the most common kinds of knee problems and injuries, and principles for safe and helpful practice in yoga poses that will improve the condition of not only the knees, but the feet and hips as well.
This will also include further self-care techniques relating the traditional marma system of Ayurveda with contemporary fascial understanding - which can be incorporated simply into practice, especially for people experiencing joint issues, neuropathy (numbness) and other common problems - for the knees, as well as for the hips and feet.
Saturday, February 15, 2020 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m., and from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.:
The Upper Body: Special Focus on Hand, Wrist and Elbow Problems, and their Relation to Shoulder Health
It is beneficial for the core of the body as well as for the health of the shoulders to practice weight-bearing on the arms. The problem is that hand, wrist and elbow problems can make this painful or difficult.
We’ll look closely at the structure of the hand and wrist - and at the special role of the thumb, which, when it is not working properly, contributes to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, arthritic conditions and atrophy, and elbow and even shoulder problems.
We will work with remedial exercises as well as ways to progressively work with the hand as weight-bearing - and insights from Marma points of the hands and arms are especially helpful for maintaining a good self-care routine.
From the work that we do starting with the hands and elbows, we’ll be able to work effectively with the shoulders - both with regard to common shoulder problems, including rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder recovery and AC joint pain, and in relationship to breath problems and neck pain. Some key marma points are especially helpful in making the connection from shoulder to neck.
Sunday, February 16, 2020 from 8:15 to 10:45 a.m., and from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m.:
Problems of the Head, Jaw and Neck, and their Relation to the Shoulders
A host of pain problems arise from our use of our neck, as well as from problems of the jaw and breath. These have a great deal of impact upon the health of our upper back and shoulders, and are the root of a great deal of our upper body pain.
Yoga has plenty of principles for the head and neck, including bandha and mudra, that are related to the breath as well as asana, and which can be applied simply and effectively to address upper body pain problems.
Marma adds additional insights for self-care - particularly with regard to myofascial tightness at the root of neck pain and headaches, as well as breathing disorders that often affect sleep.
The principles covered for working with the head and neck in asana and pranayama will naturally be connected with what we learned so far of working with the shoulders. The principles of the neck will help us to complete the picture of working with the shoulders in asana, and help us to more deeply understand the roots of shoulder and neck pain.
Some very important support materials are provided with the training to ensure that you can take in the information and work with it even when the training itself is over. An extensive illustrated manual is provided for you with the training, which includes the teaching points of the training, illustrated and in detail, with space for you to take notes as we go along. This reduces your stress from worrying about taking extensive notes, so that you can be fully present to experience what is being covered in the training.
The PowerPoint presentations used in the lectures, which follow the information in the manual, will also be available to you to download. You will be able to save them to your computer or tablet as high quality color documents for you to review whenever you wish.
High quality recordings of the lectures and practices will also be provided to you as a download upon request for a small additional fee, which you can use to go back and review your notes, as well as doing the asana and relaxation practices.
Each day will begin with an asana practice that introduces or incorporates the ideas at the heart of the training, so that you will have an experiential example of how you can weave these ideas into your classes for the general benefit of your students - and introduce refreshingly new ideas for practice.
And each day will end with a deep yoga nidra practice - along with some explanation of the value and importance of the practice, as well as the fundamental principles (from early ‘laya’ forms of the practice) for guiding students simply and deeply into yoga nidra.
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 (4 days)
Fr. 160.- per single day
Extensive support materials are included.
Participation is limited.