This is the second in a 2-part video series. The first part is available here.
Drawn from decades of teaching experience and her recent collaboration to write Pathways to a Centered Body with coauthor Leila Stuart, this workshop will be an invaluable investment for Yoga students and for teachers of all movement disciplines who wish to offer effective and pain-free strategies for improving body alignment, movement function and healing back pain.
In this second of two courses in the Anatomy of the Centered Body series we focus on the core cylinder and how it can be developed to improve structural integrity.
Everything that we do in our everyday lives is dependent on our posture. Our ability to lie down, sit, stand, and walk in comfort is directly related to the template of centered body posture. Every Yoga posture or athletic activity is an expression of the clarity and refinement of this most basic relationship of our body structure to the ground, gravity, and space. As Yoga teachers, posture is where we begin and what we repeatedly return to, to help students resolve issues such as limitations in movement and spinal discomfort. Yet how many of us have deep, seemingly unchanging structural “snags” in our body that throw us off balance despite years of Yoga practice?
Lecture: Anatomy of the ‘Secondary Core Muscles’
Donna will introduce you in her uniquely engaging way, to the “secondary core muscles” of the body; the thoracic and pelvic diaphragm, multifidus, and transverse abdominis. How do these muscles coordinate with the medium of the psoas to provide core stability?
You’ll learn how engaging thoraco-diaphragmatic breathing is crucial to core stability and how the use of ideokinetic imagery can help to “switch-on” the core body. Drawing on this material, you’ll learn how to safely improve your flexibility in Yoga practices without compromising pelvic and spinal stability.
Video Tutorial: Balancing and Strengthening the Core Body
Almost everyone has slight differences between the two sides of their body. For some people these asymmetries will be the cause of one-sided discomfort, pain, and movement dysfunction. In this tutorial you’ll learn gentle somatic release techniques that specifically address imbalance in quadratus lumborum (psoas major’s neighbor and partner in crime), as well as supported assymetrical spinal traction work. You’ll conclude the session with a self-care osteopathic technique – The Pelvic Reset – that can be used at the beginning or end of any session to realign and stabilize the pelvis. Finally, in preparation for the next tutorial you’ll learn how to kick-start Thoraco-Diaphragmatic breathing as a support for core stabilization and the importance of distinguishing this Abdominal Breathing.
Video Tutorial: Practicing Yoga with Core Awareness
Learning to shift the focus from “how far, how much,” to practicing with a stable core is the beginning of learning the deeper purpose of Yoga practice: to quieten the mind and cultivate physical, mental and emotional steadiness. In this tutorial Donna will begin with a simple core strengthening series, followed by a therapeutic approach to increasing hip mobility while simultaneously securing pelvic stability. Sharing a powerful ideokinetic imagery practice that helps to switch on the deep core muscles, Donna will then lead you through some basic Yoga postures and sequences finishing with a “back-to-center” Savasana.
I came with no expectations – only experience of past workshops with other accomplished teachers who mostly structured the lessons around asana. In contrast, this blitzed all!! Donna is a master presenter and educator. The information given, powerful and instantly useful, delivered in a well measured series for ease of understanding.” ~ Adrienne Lewsam
Donna’s work is of the highest integrity, cohesion and value I have ever found in 37 years of my Yoga path. Simply the best of the best.” ~ Carol Stall
Donna’s teaching has greatly increased my understanding of biomechanics and human movement, taking the concepts far beyond standard health science textbooks. Applying this knowledge to yoga creates a profound awareness of subtle changes and possibilities within the human body and spirit. I am looking forward to integrating this with my studies in yoga, remedial massage and mind-body medicine. Above all, I really appreciated Donna’s grounded, practical approach to yoga and teaching.” ~Kelly Elizabeth Fox, Australia
Donna’s in depth knowledge of the spinal column is outstanding. The intelligence of the information is remarkable. Donna helped me bring my awareness internally to a level that I have not previously experienced.” ~ Lilly Markaic
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