The Biomechanics of Wellbeing
A Simple, Evidence-based Approach to Yoga Focused on Wellbeing
This 3-part workshop is designed to provide a simple, effective framework for your yoga practice. This framework is specifically designed to guide your practice towards supporting optimal wellbeing, both physical and mental. As the focus is more on how to practice rather than what to practice, this course is suitable for anyone from complete novice to expert yogi.
This workshop puts into practice findings from recent exercise research. Recent studies indicate that simply exercising as hard as you can does not necessarily confer the greatest health benefits. In fact, pushing as hard as you can may actually limit your ability to create wellbeing in many ways. Instead, this course emphasizes a skill-based, mindful approach to exercise, as well as emphasizing the importance of finding joy in your routines if you want to get the most benefit from them.
In addition, this workshop emphasizes the importance of creating balance between different components of wellbeing. Where this comes to the fore is in the challenges of building strength versus improving range of motion.
If you are strong, but have limited range of motion, the temptation is to muscle your way through your yoga practice because playing to our strengths makes us feel more accomplished. Feeling more accomplished makes us think we are accomplishing more, even when we are actually accomplishing less. Similarly, if you have good range of motion, but limited strength, the temptation is to “take a vacation in your joints” in your practice. This allows a flexible person to play to their strengths to feel more accomplished.
Wellbeing is a place of balance, not extremes
However, in both cases, focusing on the aspect that we are not so good at is actually more important for creating true wellbeing. Wellbeing at its essence is a place of balance, not a place of extremes. If you are already strong, but tight, you will derive more benefits from increasing your range of motion where you are tightest. If you are very flexible, but weak, you will gain more benefits from increasing strength where you are weak, rather than stretching ever farther.
If this sounds complicated, it doesn’t have to be. There is one simple thing we can focus on that increases mindfulness and skill, that increases your enjoyment of your practice, and that ensures that you don’t simply play to your strengths.
The simple emphasis to add is to focus on savoring (or enjoying) each breath. To savor your breath you actually have to be able to breathe freely. To do that, you simply need to focus on creating more neutral spinal alignment. And to create a more neutral spine, you simply need to learn how to stop using your spine to do movements that are actually hip or shoulder movements.
But the key is the breath. If you simply begin to emphasize a free and spacious breath in each movement, in each pose, everything else will fall into place. This workshop will show you how.
Each course segment is a combination of brief lectures and experiential exercises. The course also includes a Practice Guide document that you can download, view on any device, or print out. The Practice Guide has detailed written and photographic instructions for all the exercises covered in the course, so that you can continue practicing them with ease.
Chapter 1: Fine-tune Your Practice to Your Own Individual Needs
Chapter 2: Posture Tune Up: Hips, Core & Lower Back
Chapter 3: Posture Tune Up: Neck, Shoulders & Upper Back
- Learn how playing to your strengths and following the path of least resistance in your movement impedes wellbeing
- Observe how we replicate these detrimental patterns in our yoga practice
- Explore the science behind how we get stuck in unhelpful movement ruts
- Learn to recognize patterns of movement (and thinking) that don’t serve you
- Develop new patterns of movement that disrupt your habitual patterns through a focus on a free and delicious breath
- Practice how not to get stressed out when stressful things are happening
- Create more joy in your practice through prioritizing your breath
This Course Includes
- Over 3 hours of on-demand videos
- Lifetime access
- Lectures and experiential exercises
- Downloadable and printable Practice Guide with detailed written and photographic instructions for all the exercises covered in the course, so that you can continue practicing them with ease
About the course instructor:
Gernot leads the yoga anatomy component of yoga teacher training courses for various noteworthy schools in Asia. Outside of teacher trainings, he offers anatomy and biomechanics-based courses and workshops as continuing education for yoga teachers, as well as practitioners who would like to understand their practice better. While he is based primarily in Chiang Mai, he travels globally to offer his unique approach to movement. Gernot also has taught workshops at the prestigious Feathered Pipe Ranch in the United States, a retreat center that has hosted some of the world’s most notable yoga teachers.
Gernot has developed a teaching style that incorporates techniques from Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, Forrest, and Kripalu yoga. In his teaching he also incorporates insights from yogic and Buddhist philosophy and from anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience. He skillfully integrates down-to-earth discussions of breath, alignment, anatomy, and awareness in his classes and workshops. This integration enables him to convey key yoga philosophy concepts with clarity and humor to practitioners of all levels. Gernot helps his students maximize the benefits of their practice by emphasizing yoga’s mental dimensions as well as the physical, and the intricate connections between both.