Monday, August 17, 2015

Leslie Kaminoff Workshop Part 4: Hands on Assisting Lab

I had the opportunity to attend an anatomy workshop lead by Leslie Kaminoff, author of Yoga Anatomy, during the week of Aug 3-6,.   This was one of my first yoga anatomy books and it remains a great resource. This was day four of the workshop.

Lots of moving today as we explored some individual movements in morning practice and later, partner assisted movements.  I will be totally upfront here - I don't like partner work.  I understand it's value in a classroom environment as a teaching tool, but I just don't like doing it.  That's my personality quirk.

Today's tidbit - Practice of yoga is about eliminating obstacles that exist in our lives.

In our partner work, we did:

Roll down and roll up exercises.  This comes back to day one of the workshop, where we learned how to focus on the posterior spine rolling down, and to use the anterior spine coming up.  In partner work, we were too look for areas that move as sections, rather than segments.

Standing Stick Fall.  We "fall" into our partners hands in a chataranga dandasana position, maintaining a strong line of energy and engaged abdominals.

Drishti-driven movementYou are well versed in the doctor asking you to follow his finger at your yearly appointment?  Well, expand this to following your partners finger in a wider range of movement that engages the whole body.

I think this exercise has some potential to help alleviate stiffness in the neck, but I also think there are some limitations (contraindications) to preexisting neck conditions and this should perhaps be used with care.  In my humble opinion.

Movement before breath.  We really did explore breath and movement throughout the week, but here we used bridge pose as a "technique for breath release...exploration of all three bandhas".   This is a variation on uddiyana bandha, and should not be overdone.  A couple three repetitions are adequate.

This was an interesting recommendation:  use a metronome in ratio breathing because we tend to naturally speed up on the inhale.  

Also of note, our heart rate naturally speeds up on the inhale and slows down on the exhale.  A variable heart rate is a healthy heart rate.   Which is interesting because the last time I donated blood the phlebotomist commented on my pulse increasing and decreasing.  

Out of the four workshop sessions, Thursday just flew by.  Out of the four sessions though, this was probably my least liked.

Overall, I think this was worth attending even though this wasn't what I was expecting at all.  Upon reviewing my notes for these posts, I learned (or was reminded of) quite a bit.  This is definitely an approachable anatomy session - good for instructors or someone who wants to deepen their own understanding of how their body moves.   I also this this is a good starting point to move into further, more in-depth, anatomy classes.


Lyle Anderson said...

Hey Kristin!
I am curious to know if throughout the last year that some of the tidbits you took from this training continue to affect your practice or if it changed your approach to any postures and movements?

Kristin said...

Given that I try to take several training's in a given year, it's sometimes hard to say what stays integrated and what doesn't. I figure if I can retain and repeat one thing from a training, then that training was a success.

From a personal practice - the rolling up/down exercises something that I still like to play around with.

From a teaching standpoint, again emphasizing most of Day 4 was partner work and I don't like partner work - I do have to say that I find the overall anatomical awareness is what has stuck with me. That we aren't built the same, so don't expect people to *look* the same, move the same, or even breathe the same. The thing I would like most to bring to class - breathing to a metronome, I haven't yet done.

I did sign-up for Leslie's emails, and I've found the weekly anatomy video clips fascinating. So that's come with me this past year as well.