Yoga Therapy Workshop
With Doug Keller
Friday – Tuesday, 24th – 28th of August 2018
***teaching language: englisch***
Yoga practice is not an end in itself, or even simply a means of ‘transcendence.’ It is a tool for being in our bodies and being with ourselves. In a simple way, yoga is about our relationship to our body and mind; this workshop will be about enhancing that relationship in can-do ways. In the bigger sense, Yoga is about our relationship to the Self from whom we came — which grows through our relationship to the self we are coming to be.
5 days Intensive for Yoga Teachers & Yoga students
This will be an all-levels workshop on deepening these inner relationships, which will be informative to yoga teachers and enlightening, encouraging and inspiring to yoga students!
Timetable & focus topics
- Friday, 6-8.30 pm: The Sacrum
- Saturday & Sunday, 10am-1pm & 3-6pm: Lower body
- Monday & Tuesday, 9-12am & 2-5pm: Upper body
- 2 hours lunch break from Saturday till Tuesday
Friday: The Sacrum – key to movement and low back health
At the center of all movement lies the sacrum, the keystone of the pelvis, which regulates the curve of the spine as well as the ‘openness’ and flexibility of the hips. Much of yoga has focused on the suggested actions of the tailbone — even in describing ‘Mula Bandha’ — but has given little attention to the natural actions of the sacrum. This is the opposite of the natural relationship, and it makes the ‘tail’ wag the ‘dog.’
In this session we’ll focus on some simple actions to be incorporated into asana practice that will strengthen the muscles supporting the actions of the sacrum, increasing the stability of the sacroiliac joint as well as the health of the low back and flexibility of the hips. These actions are the key to greater openness in the hips, hamstring flexibility, and a reduction of hamstring attachment injuries, low back and sacral pain.
This will be a practice-oriented asana session, introducing fundamental and simple actions for sacral health that will be explored through the weekend.
Saturday & Sunday: Therapeutic wisdom for the lower body
In these two days we will explore in an experiential and practical way the lines or ‘sutras’ of fascia that govern the health of the lower body, including the low back, sacroiliac joints, hips, knees, ankles and feet. This context for understanding the body will be applied directly to asana practice for the sake of making us more clear, effective and interesting in our instructions, and for joining how we do the practice to its fundamental yogic intentions.
Overall, we will address two main themes that present challenges in yoga practice: inflexibility and hyper mobility, both of which are responsible for pain problems in yoga and in everyday life. 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.
Monday & Tuesday: Therapeutic wisdom for the upper body – rethinking the shoulders
The context of the myofascial matrix of ‘sutras’ that govern movement will be applied to the neck and shoulders, addressing neck and upper back pain as well as the issue of ‘shoulder opening,’ as well as common shoulder injuries and shoulder pain. This will be addressed over the two days in terms of two themes: the head and neck as the foundation for healthy shoulder movement, and the sutras of the arms themselves that govern movement.
‘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. 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.
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.
Each day: Pranayama & Yoga Nidra
Included in each day will be practices of Pranayama and Deep Relaxation/Yoga Nidra in Yoga. We will work with progressing toward seated pranayama (with an understanding of why it is important), with an emphasis upon the features of pranayama that most contribute to our health on every level, and ability to become centered in meditation and experience its power. This will include guided practice of the most fundamental pranayamas.
From there we’ll progress to yoga Nidra, with a consideration of the role of Yoga Nidra in any yogi’s practice in light of contemporary research on sleep. Many of the deeper processes of meditative yoga having to do with reducing the power of ‘samskaras,’ undoing or rewriting emotional patterns often described in terms of ‘working on the chakras’ and so on will be more practically comprehensible when we consider how these functions are handled in sleep.
We’ll consider variations on the approach to Yoga Nidra, and will practice a fundamental form that allows us to go even deeper than seated meditation — and is a helpful aid to addressing sleep problems.
- 520€/ 490€* complete workshop (all 9 sessions, Friday – Tuesday)
- Drop-in options:
- 250€/ 235€* Saturday & Sunday (4 sessions, focus: lower body)
- 250€/ 235€* Monday & Tuesday (4 sessions, focus: upper body)
- 55€/ 45€* Friday (1 session, focus: sacrum)
- *Early bird price available with registration & payment till 01st of July!
- registration by online booking here on the website
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!
- Tel.: 030-53796124
About Doug Keller
Doug 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