The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga: Rewriting the Story of Our Health and Growth
with Doug Keller
Friday, Mar 9 - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018
at the Chevy Chase Village Hall
Registration opens on Tuesday, Jan 2
This three-day training intensive will introduce yoga teachers and inquiring students to the practical understanding of the ‘Prana Body’ described in yoga texts in terms of contemporary understanding of the role and function of the fascia — especially as relates to pain syndromes.
This will include treatment of patterns of movement linked to pain syndromes that can be 'rewritten' through asana practice, as well as the relatively new concepts of the Fascial Distortion Model, which explains the cause of much of our chronic pain in terms of 'blocks' in the fascial tissue. This understanding will be related to the Marma-centered discipline of Ayurveda as an approach to self-care in yoga practice and applied in practical and user-friendly ways.
The training weekend will be an exploration into the wisdom that the ever-evolving practice of hatha yoga has to offer to us in maintaining health and growing in heart in the face of the many challenges — including pain, injury and dysfunction — that life throws at us.
Certified yoga teachers will be eligible to receive CEUs for the sessions they fully attend.
Hatha yoga was never simply about stretching, or even fitness and strength, though it certainly includes the benefits of flexibility and strength. Hatha yoga focused on the blocks or knots — physical as well as energetic and emotional — that get in the way of the creative flow of thought and movement, and which are often at the root of pain and suffering. The original texts of hatha yoga described it in terms of the flow of prana, or energy, through nadis, or channels, in the body.
This understanding included insights into the relationship between the breath and movement, and we will explore that relationship especially with regard to pain patterns in the sacrum and spine. This will be linked to movement and specifically to better movement patterns and alignments in asana, along with helpful remedial exercises that increase strength and awareness combined with healthy breathing patterns.
The added perspective of the Fascial Distortion Model also will help us recognize the root of 'yoga injuries' and pain caused by imbalances in yoga practice — as well as other disciplines of physical movement and sport — that gives rise to or intensifies distortions in the fascia. The description — and its treatment — of fascial distortions is quite similar to the description given by the yogis as well as the Marma-centered disciplines of Ayurveda. The practice of asana is well suited to overcoming these distortions; and by the same token, we can better understand how to address pain arising from ‘yoga injuries’ from extreme actions or misalignments. Three of the six forms of pain-and-limitation-causing distortions are especially relevant and recognizable to us as yoga teachers and practitioners.
The training will begin with the issue of sacral and core stability and expand from that into the neck and shoulders — and role of the breath. This will include ideas concerning the Fascial Distortion Model to understanding and addressing shoulder injuries — including typical 'yoga injuries' to the shoulders — along fascial lines or what will be described as the fascial 'Sutras.'
This will include an additional focus on working with scoliosis — including both principles for targeted work with scoliosis, as well as insights into how these principles are useful for everyone, since asymmetries that lead to muscular and joint problems are nearly always present, whether one has a scoliosis or not. This will add new dimensions to the practice, including the pairing of intentional breathing to realignment actions in asana.
From there we will expand into a treatment of the health of the whole body in the context of Movement Impairment Syndromes at the root of chronic pain — focusing in particular the low back, sacrum, hips, knees and feet. This approach to pain problems is especially suited to yoga, and will provide teachers and practitioners with a vital toolbox for recognizing and assessing these patterns, and designing an approach through specifically targeted asana practice and remedial exercises aimed at changing them for the better.
The training will include an exploration of the Vayus, weaving in not only elements of pranayama in relation to health, but practical toning exercises for “the core” related to the experience of the Vayus that can be incorporated into asana practice as well as pranayama.
Each day will begin with a practice, which will give participants a chance to experience how the principles being covered might be introduced simply in the class setting of an asana practice.
All program sessions will be held at the Chevy Chase Village Hall, which is located at 5906 Connecticut Ave NW, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 — less than half a mile from Circle Yoga. There are sandwich shops and restaurants within a half mile walk of the Village Hall.
Since this workshop will take place off-site, each student should bring a yoga mat, a blanket (more, if needed for comfort), two blocks, and a strap.
The fee for the full weekend is $375. Registration opens on Tuesday, January 2 for students who wish to register for the full weekend. On February 15, any spaces remaining will be open to students who wish to register for individual sessions.
If you would like to receive a reminder when registration opens, send a request using our contact form.
If you need to cancel your registration, please do so at least one week before the training, and your fee will be refunded as follows:
- If you are registered for the full weekend, your registration fee will be refunded minus a 20% administrative fee.
- If you are registered for single sessions, your registration fee will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee per session.
Sorry, no refunds will be given for cancellations made within less than one week of the training.
Doug Keller’s background reflects a lifelong commitment to the vast field of yoga. After receiving degrees in philosophy from Georgetown and Fordham University and teaching philosophy at a college level, he pursued a practical experience of yoga at the ashram Gurudev Siddha Peeth in India — which in turn also led him to the practice of hatha yoga as part of his overall experience of yoga. From years of study, practice and teaching, he has produced widely used and highly respected books on asana, yoga as therapy, pranayama and yoga philosophy, and he teaches hatha yoga workshops and trainings in both North America and Europe. He has been a regular columnist for Yoga International Magazine, and is also writing on therapeutic topics for Yoga Journal. His popularity as a teacher comes from his ability to deepen people’s experience of yoga through clear, simple and direct instructions that are easy to practice and remember. And he does it with lightness and light.