Tuesday, September 12, 2017

YogaFit Training: YogaBacks

I am way overdue in posting a workshop review.  It's been a crazy busy summer and fall isn't looking any calmer.

In June of 2017, I was back in Minneapolis for YogaFit's Mind Body Fitness Conference.  I missed 2016, and in the interim they had changed hotels from downtown Minneapolis at the Hilton to the DoubleTree near St. Louis Park.  I really appreciated the change - parking, price, safety and food options all being key factors.  Especially the free parking! 

I picked up another couple sessions, YogaBacks being one of them.  This is a one day workshop that focuses on back health.  This workshop was led by Kim Gray out of Illinois.  The YogaFit instructors are one of the main reasons I keep coming back to these sessions - the quality of teaching and knowledge these folks bring is amazing.

The background for the course (from the YogaFit website):
  • A basic overview of common back issues, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, and sacroiliac instability
  • General guidelines for dealing with common back issues
  • How to recognize levels and type of pain, such as acute vs chronic pain
  • Yoga poses appropriate at different stages of back pain
  • Yoga poses to maintain a healthy back
  • YogaBack protocols and sequences that serve as a starting point for a therapeutically based back-care plan
  • Breathing techniques designed to alleviate or mitigate pain
  • How to modify poses, using props and gentle assists, to ensure a safe and appropriate experience
Yikes!  That sounds like some pretty intense stuff!   It was, but it was very doable and approachable thanks to Kim.

Over the course of the day we covered:
  • Causes of low-back pain 
  • Medical Red Flags - with the warning please don't come to class until you've seen a doctor. We don't want to make a condition worse or cause someone pain. 
  • Guidelines for a back-focused sequence which involved numerous reminders to stay pain free, or if already in pain, don't make the pain worse. 
  • Pain discussion - how the body protects against pain. 
  • Anatomy of the spine
  • Breath 
  • Theraputic Yoga for common back conditions
  • and we did a hour and a half master class that was wonderful
My take-away:  this should be a MUST DO class for anyone teaching yoga.  Back issues are so prevalent in our society and having the knowledge to move a class safely through a regular sequence or a back-specific sequence is a must in my opinion.   Having the ability to say to someone, "I recommend you see a Dr. before continuing," rather than assuming the back pain is muscle related, is a yoga practice in itself.  

I highly recommend this session.  

**These reviews are my own opinions and experiences.  I am NOT compensated in anyway by the YF corporation or other entities.  I attend these and other workshops on my own time and with my own finances for self improvement.  I share my experiences to help others find what might work for them. 


Mighty Isis said...

I took YogaBack a few years ago and LOVED it. I have back issues (like much of the population!), and the master class for this was amazing! We may have had two master classes - I can't remember. I highly recommend this training to anyone who teaches yoga.

I've found that some of the YogaFit trainings for the special populations complement each other: back, seniors, prenatal, and Lean.

As you've mentioned in another post, YogaFit provides you with a printed manual, and although they often have typos in them, the manuals are really helpful. One yoga TT program I considered didn't provide a manual of any kind, and I would have had to rely upon my own notes. Yikes! I don't trust my note taking skills that much. Plus, the manuals have photos.

As I've mentioned in another comment, in my area, we have a lot of yoga studios and teacher training programs, and there's a tendency for the yoga studios to look down their nose at YogaFit, even though they have never attended a YogaFit training, or if they did, it was a long time ago. There are several teachers in my area who are YogaFit trained, with at least two having their 500 through YogaFit, and they are both amazing (and in their 60s). The "senior" teachers always teach a safe class, even when teaching challenging poses.

I have yet to leave a YogaFit training and think, "That was a waste of money." I have learned so much in every training. I've had great instructors for every training, and I've had at least six different YogaFit trainers. The trainers often have backgrounds that complement the trainings they lead (counselor, physical therapist, nurse practitioner, etc.)

YogaFit is more expensive than the other yoga TT programs in my area, but I sigh and try to be grateful for the convenience of the trainings. With some of the other program, a 200 hour program is crammed into two months or something similarly ridiculous. With my YogaFit trainings being so spread out, it gives me time to absorb and apply what I've learned.

I'm so glad you found this training to be useful and that you're continuing to blog about YogaFit! I look forward to reading future posts about your experience with their trainings. :)

Kristin said...

YES! I totally agree on all points!

I have yet to leave a YF training uninspired! The booklets are incredibly helpful and they *are* trying to update them, it's just taking a while to work through all that information.

The knowledge base of the instructors is AMAZING. I think I've had four different instructors (Katie S, Shannon J, Kim G, Sandy C). I've had Katie S for most of my trainings because she lives in Mpls.

While Duluth has numerous yoga studios, and Minneapolis even more, I've found ir almost impossible to findvinyasa/flow technique based sessions. Early on in my yoga path (like 13 years ago), there was one studio in Mpls bringing in Big Names in Ashtanga, but she closed her studio and well, that was that.

So many studios in my corner of the world are going to Theraputic or Somatic based TT and that's not what *I* need at this moment in time.

YogaFit fills that training void for me and it's a great yearly weekend "retreat". :) I'll definitely keep posting about my experiences - too much good information not to share!