Doug Keller is one of the worlds foremost authorities on anatomy as it relates to yoga. In this interview we talk about, yoga therapy, fascia, alignment, personal inquiry, working with issues, prana, advanced postures, the importance of variety, and a bit more on top. In fact as much as I could fit within an hour.
As most of us working in the field of yoga anatomy are aware, memorising muscle attachments is not a particularly useful exercise in and of itself. For one thing, muscles as single entities kind of don’t exist anymore. Owing enormous thanks to the ground-breaking work of manual therapists in the last few decades, we are now starting to fully embrace the holistic model of fascial continuities as the great attenuators of force in the body and to feel the impact…
Its that time of year again when David Keil visits Purple Valley in Goa and I get to babble anatomy with someone who really knows his stuff. David is author of the brilliant book Functional Anatomy of Yoga and teaches around the world. In this interview we talk about the emerging interest in fascia, injuries, Ashtanga Yoga and of course a lot more.
Pins and needles, or a burning sensation running down the leg, or just a bit of tingling in the fingers? Many meditators and yogishave had them too: should you be worried? What is causing these sensations, and what should you do about them? Certainly, the way we move and hold our body can cause these uncomfortable sensations, but there may be a more serious problem lurking that you will want to investigate further.
Yoga is a state of being in which we experience ourselves as whole and present. To train ourselves in the state of yoga, we include the practice of physical movements for we are physical beings. We experience and express ourselves through a physical body, therefore, every so called spiritual practice must include the body in one way or another to be truly wholesome.
A common question asked by yoga students is ‘where should I feel this’. This is often harder to answer than it might seem.
Firstly bodies are complicated things! The old model of individual muscles moving or restricting a single joint is now largely thought to be too simplistic. The body has come to be seen as a system of inter-connecting or even continuous lines of muscles.
This was so much fun to do and of course very topical at the moment coming shortly after the Fascial Research Congress. Joanne Avison is a yoga teacher and author of the book entitled Yoga Fascia Anatomy and Movement and I was lucky enough to be able to interview her when I was back in the UK. The interview runs at two and a half hours and we only realized it was time to stop because it was getting dark.
These are my modest and provisional notes on the subject of hypermobility, the issues of flexibility in yoga, being able to sustain a yoga practice and specifically practicing Yin yoga.
When I first taught yoga in 2001, I did not know what hypermobility or being too flexible meant. I remember Richard Freeman saying in June 2005, “the curse of flexibility and the blessing of stiffness”. I didn’t get it at the time.
Many yoga practitioners instinctually know to engage their inner thigh muscles (adductors) in backbends to prevent their knees from falling out to the sides. Let’s examine how we can utilise this action to ignite our core, expand our backward arch and experience simultaneously more stability and spaciousness in backbends. The adductor muscles of the inner thigh are part of our axial core.