Workshop report: The art of yoga practice, November 2017

We covered a lot of ground in the workshop. We did some body-mapping games to get head / spine connection and then to play around with different ways of pelvises relate to legs.

Then we started a very leisurely sun salutation, using some of the movements to do further mapping of how legs and arms worked. I modified the forward bend to include a mini squat (called monkey in the Alexander technique) as a way of practicing an important life movement. It’s a movement that really helps our spine when we need to change levels but most people over use their spines and under use their legs.

We played around with putting weight through our hands. One of the participants had usually experienced pain in her wrist when she did downward dog. I used this an opportunity to see how wrist bones worked, how force and energy are transmitted through our hands, into our wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms, shoulder girdles, ribs and then spine.

We did some work with upward dog / cobra. In particular, the under-valued role of pelvis and legs in this pose in support our heads to lead the movement. We looked at the real shape of a spine in back bends as opposed to a fantasy spine shape (it’s not an even curve, your lower spine and neck curve more than your upper spine)

After a long restorative Savasana, we did some individual work where the participants brought their own issues to the class and asked how to do some work with them. A sample of this included a person who wanted to work on spinal rotation within lunges as a yoga pose. Another wanted to work on rising to her feet after she had been sitting on the floor.

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© Kevin Saunders, Yogaground 2017

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