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Yoga Anatomy: Working with What You've Got with Stu Girling


This class is taught by:

Stu Girling

Stuart is well-known for his insightful interviews with internationally recognized yoga teachers, and imparting his deep knowledge of anatomy in a very practical and direct way. He has been teaching yoga anatomy for the last 7 years both on teacher trainings and international workshops. He has been practicing yoga for 15 years, has a BSc Hons in Health Studies and for the last 10 years has been offering Therapeutic Bodywork exclusively for yoga practitioners. The underlying philosophy that guides what he shares is that knowledge is of no value unless we can understand how to use it and have use for it. With this in mind the workshops he offers focus on: what makes us individual, how can we understand our limitations and restrictions and how can we avoid injury and create balance. Stuart endeavours to bring as much fun and practical experimentation into every workshop and emphasises the importance of getting to grips with the concepts rather that getting bogged down in the detail.
Yoga Anatomy: "Working with What You've Got" with Stu Girling
 
Earlybird Discount 10% by July 15th, 2018
 
Stu Girling's weekend workshop is arranged according to the major joints of the body (Ankles, Hips, Shoulders/Wrists and Spine) and associated posture groups (Forward Folds, Hip rotations, Backbends, Shoulders, Twists and Binding). The sessions introduce anatomical concepts in an accessible and fun way and are very practically based with the intention of allowing students to discover those muscles and areas of the body that are restricting them and demonstrating ways that they can work on those areas with more specificity. The idea is that through greater understanding of how different areas of the body influence the finished postures students or teachers can learn release restricted areas, to sequence more efficiently and also reduce the risk of taking stress into vulnerable areas by moving in the right places. The sessions are suitable for all styles of yoga because rather than looking at specific alignment that might relate to one style or the other. Stu takes the route of exploring what might stop you achieving a desired alignment. All levels of student is catered for by providing the information in multiple layers and allowing students to practically explore at their own level. It is recommended to take them all together for a full anatomical journey; however, each one is equally valuable independently should you prefer to focus on a specific area.
 


Session 1: Unravelling the Gatekeepers (Sat, 1:30-3:30pm)

In Ashtanga Yoga,there are particular postures that are often referred to as ‘gatekeepers’ because they frequently halt the progression through the series of even the most enthusiastic and determined student. In other styles as well there would be postures in any given sequence that might be considered peak postures, providing extra challenges for the student. Presupposing that the student has the technical knowledge to perform the particular posture, sometimes the difficulty is a strength thing, sometimes a missing range of motion (ROM) or easily a combination of both, maybe balance or even fear enter into the equation. In this workshop we single out some of the more tricky postures such as Bujipidasana, Marichyasana B & D, Supta Kurmasana and Pasasana as vehicles for understanding how to deconstruct difficult postures into understandable elements that can then be worked on individually or used as the basis for sensible lead in sequencing. If time allows we will also open up the discussion to include postures being worked on by individuals at the workshop. Of course what will be a peak posture for one person might not present much challenge at all for another depending on their individual make up. Exploration of these more difficult postures allows you to better understand where your restrictions and weakness might be as they are less easily accommodated or avoided in these situations.

Session 2: Hip Joint and Related Postures (Sat, 4-6pm)

Looks at the construction of the hip joint and how individuals may differ, the muscles around the joint and how they will influence movements in certain directions. So many yoga postures involve a certain degree of freedom in the hips and sometimes it can be hard to determine what is stopping us reaching our desired position. Practical exploration of groups of postures under the headings of forward folding, hip rotations and hip ab/adductions will allow students to discover where they need to focus their attention and how to effectively work on increasing the ranges of motion. Postures commonly used for exploration include, Baddha Konasana (Butterfly), Upavishta Konasana (wide legged forward fold), Squatting, Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold), Firelog and Virasana variations (Heros pose). We will also consider how many postures may fall unbeknown into the category of forward folding and explain what will be the likely expression of restriction.

Session 3: Shoulder Joint and Related Postures (Sun, 1:30-3:30pm)
Here we examine the shoulder girdle and shoulder joint, issues that influence range of motion and the potential for injury. Quite a few practitioners experience either restricted range of motion at this joint due to postural patterns, or pain during specific movements in yoga. We will consider common restrictions and how to work on them as well as alignment cues to find more comfort and help minimise the risk of repetitive strain issues. There will also be discussion and practical implementation of shoulder related postures such as, arm balances, down dog, chaturanga, binding, reverse prayer.

Session 4: Spine, SI joint, Backbending and Twists (Sun, 4-6pm)
It is not uncommon for students to feel a degree of discomfort when performing backbends or when embarking on taking on some of the more challenging foot behind head postures. By understanding the construction of the spine and the surrounding muscles it becomes evident as to the types of movements that it is designed to perform in certain areas as well as the potential mechanism of injury. We clarify the common spinal injuries such as herniated and bulging discs as well as discuss the possible causes of SI Joint pain. The groups of postures discussed and explored practically are backbends and twists, and the importance of the integration of movements at other major joints of hips and shoulders will be demonstrated. We will endeavour to during the course of the workshop to allow students to determine where their own restrictions are and how to work with them. For those students that feel they are already too mobile we will look at how to build strength and stability.

Each Workshop: $55
Full workshop: $200