Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga –
Keys to a Dynamic and Healthy Practice through Sequencing
24. – 27. September 2020

This year’s training will reinforce fundamental themes for working with yoga therapeutically to overcome pain problems — for oneself and for students — and will add the themes of ‘functional’ myofascial lines for movement, and the role of Marma Therapy in deepening the therapeutic value of yoga.

The training is structured to help teachers understand more deeply the therapeutic rationale behind alignment and action instructions in yoga poses — and to know when these instructions are helpful and appropriate, and when variations or a different emphasis are necessary.

The day will start with an Asana practice, which reflects the theme of the day and helps to anker the experience in the body. Doug not only proves to have a profund knowledge in anatomy, but is also well versed in yoga philosophy. In the afternoon, towards the end of the day (except for the last day), he will give short lectures on certain philosophical themes. Each day will end with a deep yoga nidra practice.

Time schedule:
from 9.00 to 16.30
morning:       09.00 to 12.00
lunchbreak: 12.00 to 13.30
afternoon:   13.30 to 16.30

Filmquartier Wien, Schönbrunner Str. 31, 1050 Wien
Beschilderung folgen zum Grand Loft


Please feel free to inquire in case you can only do certain days.

Thursday, September 24th
Getting the ‘Big Picture’ of Your Own Habits
A key to benefitting from yoga is to know how to use it as a tool for self-knowledge. We’ll cover simple methods for self-assessment (and quick postural assessment of students) and simple exercises for working with both weak and tight muscles to overcome pain problems in your feet, knees, hips, shoulders and neck. This will improve your asana practice as well as your daily life.

Sequencing: Timing is Everything
‘Sequencing’ is how we string poses together into a ‘flow’ or vinyasa that makes sense, makes the body feel good, and takes us deeper into the poses. But it is more than how well poses fit together: the inner wisdom of sequencing has to do with teaching the muscles to work together in the proper order in the body, to best support and protect the spine and joints of the legs and arms.

Pain or injury often results from ‘skipping over’ or not using a key muscle — such as, for example, the gluteals — and relying too much on other muscles.

We will focus on the actions of key muscles and how they work together in forward bends, back bends and twists, and how a sequence of poses strung together can reinforce the learning in the body, and safely take us deeper into our practice.

Friday, September 25th
Our Flexible, Spiraling Core
This will be a practice-oriented session that will explore the experience of the ‘Core’ in asana, and how it empowers our poses.

Though the idea of a strong ‘core’ has been popular for some time now, too often it focuses simply on abdominal and spinal stability (and in yoga, on the ‘bandhas’ alone), in isolation from the role of the arms and legs. In this practice, we will play with asana and vinyasa as functional movement, with the arms and legs incorporated into the integrity of the ‘core.’

Sacrum, Hips, Hamstrings and Psoas: Keys to Movement
Why are hamstrings important, and why (and how) do we ‘open’ our hips? What is the role of the psoas in this, and how do we recognize pain problems stemming from the psoas? In this session we’ll look at the relationship between the health of our sacral joints and low back, the strength and flexibility of our hips and hamstrings, and the central role of the psoas.

Our approach will draw upon the ideas of sequencing and the ‘firing order’ of muscles presented in the Friday session, as applied specifically to the hamstrings and hips. This will include a deep look at the psoas, and its special relationship with the piriformis (a central cause of sciatic pain).

Our main emphasis will be on practical ways to balance strength and flexibility in these muscles in asana, especially for the sake of low back health — and how to recognize imbalances between the two sides of the body — sacrum, hips and hamstrings.

Saturday, September 26th
360o Workout for the Shoulders and Neck — Emphasis on Backbending
This asana practice will focus on getting the neck and shoulders to work together for better range of motion in all types of poses — especially backbends. Not only can neck tightness be a limitation on shoulder movement; it can also be a cause of pain for both! This practice will both challenge you in backbends, and free your neck and shoulders!

Fine-tuning the Shoulders
We’ll start out with a practice covering the main actions of the shoulders in simple terms, and then go on to explore the shoulders in greater depth, fine-tuning their actions.

We will break down the fundamental muscles involved in all ranges of shoulder movement (and relate them to all types of poses), their ‘firing order’ as well as exercises for improving their function and coordination, and applications and variations in poses.

We’ll also look at some of the most common types of injuries and common types of movement patterns that interfere with freedom of movement — and we’ll cover ‘Marma points’ (Ayurvedic massage points) associated with tension release and healing.

Sunday, September 27th
A Complete Practice: All Paths in One Experience
This asana practice will pull together the ideas of the weekend, exploring some challenging poses as well. The practice will not only be asana: there will be pranayama, incorporating the insights into the neck, letting the actions of the neck be guided by the breath — as the breath draws us into meditation and ultimately Yoga Nidra.

Fine-tuning the Neck — and Applications in Pranayama, Meditation and Yoga Nidra
Much of the subtlest and most profound work in yoga — in breath and meditation, as well as in asana — has to do with the neck in connection with all of the actions of the senses: gaze. tongue, breath and so on. We’re only beginning to understand the implications for health and well-being in terms of the effects upon the principle cranial nerves and the vagus nerve in particular.

In simple and accessible ways, we’ll explore these subtleties with the help of simple exercises joining small neck and shoulder exercises that incorporate gaze and breath, which can then be expanded into principles for centered breathing/pranayama, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

Support Materials
Some very important support materials are provided with the training to ensure that you can take in the information and work with it even when the training itself is over. An extensive illustrated manual is provided for you with the training, which includes the teaching points of the training, illustrated and in detail, with space for you to take notes as we go along. This reduces your stress from worrying about taking extensive notes, so that you can be fully present to experience what is being covered in the training.
The PowerPoint presentations used in the lectures, which follow the information in the manual, will also be available to you to download. You will be able to save them to your computer or tablet as high quality color documents for you to review whenever you wish.
High quality recordings of the lectures and practices will also be provided to you as a download upon request for a small additional fee, which you can use to go back and review your notes, as well as doing the asana and relaxation practices.

Each day, beginning on Friday, will begin with an asana practice that incorporates the ideas from the training, so that you will have an experiential example of how you can weave these ideas into your classes for the general benefit of your students — and introduce refreshingly new ideas for practice.

And each day will end with a deep yoga nidra practice — along with some explanation of the value and importance of the practice, as well as the fundamental principles (from early ‘laya’ forms of the practice) for guiding students simply and deeply into yoga nidra.

The course is intended for yoga teachers and inquiring students. It can be booked as an entire 4-day program or for single days.

Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for more than a decade, and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work on ‘Yoga As Therapy.’
He is also, in addition to his traveling and teaching, a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master’s Degree program in Yoga Therapy. This program is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master’s degree in this field, and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
For more information please also check out Doug’s website

24H „Continued Education“ with Yoga Alliance

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