Postural alignment, functional movement, and bodywork for breath and head-forward posture

It’s coming up on a year since I started doing functional movement classes with Matt Fuhrman at Tao Health & Fitness. I thought I’d report on my progress.

I am way stronger and sturdier than before I started doing this. It wasn’t that I was unfit before, but my body was still twisted and unevenly developed. I couldn’t run without paying for it later, not just feeling soreness in the muscles worked. It felt like structurally, the pounding of running was pounding my compensations into my body. Continue reading

How yoga is connected to Rolfing

Tom Myers on The Century of the Body: Fascia, Yoga and the Medicine of the Future.

Loved this interview with Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains (which I hope to be studying in March at the Lauterstein-Conway School of Massage).

Until I read it, I had no idea that Ida Rolf was an early (1920s) practitioner of yoga, and that she developed Structural Integration (aka Rolfing (TM)) as a way to bring the benefits of yoga to people without the actual practice of yoga, since yoga wasn’t readily available.

Boy, would she be surprised at how popular yoga has become! And, the rise of yoga in America doesn’t seem to have put a dent in the Rolfing business either, perhaps because yoga helps people become more aware that their bodies are bound up, and they seek Rolfing.

My Rolfer, Mary Kimberlin in Dallas, told me that being Rolfed was the equivalent of doing yoga for five years in terms of the freedom of movement. I believe that. I was practicing yoga before I got Rolfed, and it definitely accelerated my flexibility in asana practice.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Fascia—or connective tissue—is what glues us together. So, it’s a broad use of the word fascia. What we’re really talking about is the body-wide extracellular net that holds us together.

So, again, people have been paying a lot of attention to the chemistry and neurology of conditions like depression, and not much attention to shape. But shape is hugely important, and that’s where yoga and bodywork really shine.

We’re really just looking at the very beginning of the potential offered by body work, yoga, Rolfing, osteopathy, and so on—all these body therapies contributing to this realm.. This next century is going to be the century of the body, because this is the century in which we need to learn to change behavior.

We need to learn how to get people to change behavior, because so many of the big diseases are all lifestyle-related. At the heart of big, epidemic conditions like heart disease and diabetes really are behavioral, lifestyle issues. These are conditions where people need to change their habits more than they need to take the medicine.

Yoga was very small until quite recently. Pilates was very small until quite recently. And bodywork was quite limited until very recently. Going forward, I think we will see these unite into a very powerful combination of manual therapy and movement, where everybody is speaking one language.

Sadie Nardini Responds to “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”

Sadie Nardini Responds to “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”. | elephant journal.

Here’s yet another response from a well-known yoga teacher to the controversial recent New York Times article. Sadie Nardini recommends that students concerned about the possibility of injuries choose instructors based on how much anatomy training they’ve had. Very little is required for the RYT-200 credential. I think it’s about 20 hours.

She mentions Leslie Kaminoff as being an expert on anatomy. I took a workshop with him today. Nearly half the class of 70 were yoga teachers. He showed us some of the Anatomy Trains cadaver video and a couple of Gil Hedley’s cadaver videos (I posted his video on “fuzz” previously).

Leslie and Amy Matthews have updated their book, Yoga Anatomy, which Sadie recommends.

She makes some good points, especially noting the contradictions in what Glenn Black said to the New York Times and what he said to the Huffington Post about his own yoga injuries and whether yogis should do headstand.

It’s your body–don’t trust it to just anyone. Ask any prospective yoga teacher what, if any yoga injuries they’ve had, and if, for example, they’re about to go into spinal surgery from years of severely over-expressing themselves in yoga posture, then move on.

In addition, each student has a responsibility to check themselves before they wreck themselves in class. You might not know everything about yoga poses or anatomy, but you do know the feeling when you’re pushing too hard.  So when the urge to go all agro on a pose arises, whether it’s to strain toward strength or flexibility, it’s ultimately up to you to resist the ego’s siren song–something that leads even more experienced yogis to push their limits, then act mystified at the fact that this supposedly ‘healing’ practice hurt them instead.