Tag Archives: yoga anatomy

File under “provisional”

The following articles should be read as a point-counterpoint about how we think we know our bodies, our brains, and how they all fit together, and how each individual human being is a unique creation.

NYTimes.com  – The Secrets Inside Us
Vesalius’s wasn’t the first book on anatomy, but it was the first detailed study based entirely on actual dissection of human cadavers — on scientific fact, not supposition. It systematically dismantled the error-filled doctrine of Galenism, which rested in part on animal rather than human anatomy and had held sway for 14 centuries.But in mapping the inner body, Vesalius didn’t get everything right — he didn’t correctly grasp the circulation of the blood, a discovery that the English physician William Harvey made in the 17th century — nor was his work immediately embraced by all. Revered in retrospect, he was not immune to criticism, or skepticism, in his day.

Through neuroscience we are discovering fresh dimensions of how our brain works, but these can easily be blown out of the water by the next round of discoveries.

The Guardian (UK) – Despite what you’ve been told, you aren’t ‘left-brained’ or ‘right-brained
What research has yet to refute is the fact that the brain is remarkably malleable, even into late adulthood. It has an amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells, allowing us to continually learn new things and modify our behavior. Let’s not underestimate our potential by allowing a simplistic myth to obscure the complexity of how our brains really work.

Our understanding of our bodies, brains, minds and souls should always be tagged as provisional, not locked into dogma or sound-bite ready one-liners that give the appearance of insight.

Specialty teaching in yoga school

Photo: a woman places hands on back of a supine yogini to help stretch out the spine.
An intense round of backbends needs to be counteracted with a release of muscular tension.

This is our last week at the Thrive Yoga teacher training July intensive. Actually, only four days. Our final activities are on Thursday and then the six students will go there separate ways after having shared yoga for 26 days.

I wanted to mention two teachers to highlight. who gave a two two-day intensives.  I guess you’d call specialists because no yoga studio is going to have the necessary expertise on staff  to present a well-rounded program. Thrive YTT also provides introductions to other specialties (chanting, pre-natal yoga, restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra), but they tend to be for a couple of hours or part of hands-on practice. We had a three-hour video conference with Zoe Morae on vibrational energy. Continue reading Specialty teaching in yoga school

Enlisting the eyes (and ears) in learning

I bought two videos produced and distributed by Pranamaya: Anatomy of Yoga with Paul Grilley and Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers. I took advantage of a 10% discount when you buy more than one video at a time. These DVDs are more expensive than most demo and instructional videos because they have a huge amount of material in. Both DVD have nearly four hours each of lectures and practice material, plus other instructional aids.

Why these two DVDs? I wanted to explore yang style of yoga with a strong fusion of Buddhadharma. The idea of slowing down the pace of my practice appeals to me. I want to understand the physical limits that the body imposes on yoga practice. I also needed to learn visually, as opposed to my normal use of reading.

Pranamaya has very high production values and seems to pick instructors and themes that dig deep into yoga practice. They don’t produce DVDs for beginners. Gary Kraftsow, who heads the American Yoga Institute, has just released two DVDs on viniyoga therapy for back problems. Andrey Lappa has multiple releases that record his unique vision of yoga practice. Dharma Mittra, the NYC-based teacher who gained renown for a 908-pose chart, has two DVDs.

Leslie Kaminoff starts blog

The Breathing Project‘s Kaminoff already has substantial information on the blog, includingi Interview with T.K.V. Desikachar conducted by Leslie Kaminoff in Madras, October, 1992.. Desikachar is Kaminoff’s teacher (guru?).

Kaminoff’s e-mail list has always had fascinating contributions from many big — and not so big — names in yoga since 1999. He is reposting a lot of material from then so the blog will be an intriguing online resource on yoga.

He will also be starting a site on yoga anatomy since he is writing a book on the topic.