I loved this conversation with Brooklyn Yoga teacher and teacher trainer, Markella Los. She shared her story, overcoming fear of public speaking, how martial arts led to yoga, and injury led to deepening her studies of anatomy, mobility and strength training, and how psychology informs her work building community and holding space.
This is a fun and thought-provoking conversation with a young man who can't help but synthesize his learning and teaching journey as a yogi and a chiropractor. We talked about yoga, chiropractic, anatomy and the importance of asking "why?"
I first became aware of Garrett because of his really well made short video tutorials on Instagram that explore yoga postures and sequences from clever and therapeutic anatomical angles. follow him there, and check out his website, its great: https://mindfulmvmnt.org/
Cecily Milne is the fascinating and innovative creator of Yoga Detour. I caught up with her this week to hear about her journey through being a dedicated ashtanga student and teacher who struggled with debilitating injuries, to come to the point now of offering teachers continuing education in a science and research informed approach to the moving body. I am delighted to be getting to know this hew voice on the #yogarenaissance landscape!
I caught up again with the lovely Brea Johnson on everything she's been up to with creating her online studio, traveling the world offering workshops, the Move With Love challenge, and how her teaching keeps evolving as the #yogarenaissance rolls along..
She's such a generous communicator; open, non-dogmatic, curious, relaxed and humorous. We touched on the process of integrating new information, expanding our understanding and way of practicing, and appreciating the journey as it is...
This is a great listen for everyone, especially yoga teachers seeking to find their way and express their authentic vision.
I wanted to start off this years #YogaRenaissance interviews on Freedom Becomes You with a new friend I have been aware of via that hashtag and the #randomtalkingvideo community on Instagram.
Nazareth is funny, frank, and intelligent in her online presence, and is asking interesting questions about how we approach yoga practice and teaching today. How she has shared her journey of ongoing education and healing around pelvic floor pain has been inspirational to me.
I think Nazareth is embodying the essence of the yoga renaissance movement toward transparency, evolving based on new information, and cross-disciplinary curiosity in a beautiful and accessible way.
Please enjoy my conversation with her!
She teaches in Ephrata, Pennsylvania and you can find her on IG here: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_withnazareth/
I had so much fun doing this inspired teacher Interview with Brea Johnson of Heart and Bones Yoga! She is SUCH a kindred spirit, and was so generous sharing 3 powerful and practical workshop moments for new or struggling teachers on how to really dig into your purpose, passion and self love on the path to finding success and fulfillment....
You can choose to watch http://wp.me/p4BDId-Bv or listen podcast style —Don't miss this one!
Oh, and go to http://www.yogateachergradschool.com/ to grab your FREE Guide To Getting Started!
In the latest episode in the Yoga Renaissance, I checked in with Jules Mitchell in the midst of a demanding teaching tour. She had just submitted the manuscript for her book (out in October) Yoga Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined, and was putting the finishing touches to a long form article due later that day.
As she reflected on her current experience in teacher training workshops, Jules emphasized the value of embracing uncertainty as part of being really open to a scientific approach to how we practice and teach yoga. I asked her about how she frames this uncertainty for teachers who find it really disorienting, and even threatening in terms of what they have learned in the past from authority figures.
We talk about evolving model of how we think about yoga postures, movement, injury, through the lens of biomechanics and anatomy —but also how this is influenced by genetics, environment, psychology; the biopsychosocial context, and the truly puzzling questions in pain science.
I also asked Jules to weigh in on the topic I have been everyone about —the concept of "alignment" in yoga... is it a complete fabrication, or is it based on something substantial?! This led to discussion of Serena Williams, Olympic power lifters, Iyengar, Krishnamacharya, and whether or not our bodies know Euclidian geometry...
In a surprising twist, she calls into question the catchphrase that "all movement is good," and also offers an illuminating critique on the current available research data about specific yoga postures, and the underlying (and unproven) assumptions still based in an outdated model that are often evident on closer inspection.
Great to get some thought-provoking notes from the field!
In this enthusiastic and fun discussion Brea and I explore the "questions beneath the questions" and our shared affinity for opening up into the uncertainties required of growing in new ways by tolerating tension and vulnerability —the friction of growth..
Topics of anatomy, injury, science, and the ongoing evolution of how we think about, teach and practice continue in this FBY Series: The Yoga Renaissance.
She shares about her "existential crisis" around practicing and teaching yoga that pushed her toward deepening her own education about the body.
Questions of how to integrate and balance the relationships between the deeply experiential, interior side of yoga practice (which for Brea is the Heart aspect of Heart and Bones) with a scientific approach to anatomy and biomechanics (the Bones aspect) are central to our discussion, which explores:
Problems with the "you are not your body" belief.
The loss of inner work that can happen if we are overly focused on scientific data to the exclusion of honoring the value of experiential immersion.
Authoritarian dogma in the yoga world.
How a healthy scientific attitude is always one of inquiry, uncertainty, and being open to where the evidence leads us.
The courage required to take the "harder path" of not settling on thinking we have found the one true way, teacher, belief system, or perfect set of asana cues and techniques.
Awareness practice as a way to move through our reflexive need to protect ourselves psychologically by buying into dogma or idealizing authority figures.
Epistemological curiosity and rigor around how we know what we know in different domains of inquiry.
In this interview for YogaTeacherGradSchool.com Nianna shares her journey and what she has learned teaching yoga for a living around the world —as well as her recent experience with a very severe injury to her lower leg, and what she is learning from it..
Lots of insight, wisdom and sincerity in this great conversation for my YTGS friends!
Arielle Foster's YogaTeacherGradSchool.com teacher interview gives generous advice to new or struggling teachers. She urges us to say yes to as many opportunities to teach as possible, so as to build confidence and relationships, and also shares a "mini-workshop" toward the end of our conversation on her '"0 Principles of Anatomy Informed Yoga."
Ariele Foster is a yoga teacher and Doctor of Physical Therapy. In this continuing FreedomBecomesYou.com exploration of what we have started calling the Yoga Renaissance series —Ariele shares with us her journey through injury into studying physical therapy as a way to more deeply understand yoga anatomy. She is passionate about both the deep relationships between these fields and the boundaries that should define scope of practice for teachers...
Yoga Teacher Grad School teacher interview with Trina Altman.
In this wide ranging conversation with insightful and warm yoga innovator, Trina Altman traces her journey from fashion design to Goldman Sachs, to teaching yoga, learning from a devastating shoulder injury, and embracing life-long learning in her pursuit of understanding anatomy and biomechanics —which led to her forthcoming book Yoga Deconstructed®: Transitioning from Rehabilitation Back into the Yoga Studio
In this insightful conversation, Trina Altman, yoga and pilates teacher, and author of the forthcoming book, Yoga Deconstructed shares with us her journey that in some ways begins with a shoulder injury deepening her interest in anatomy, biomechanics and movement.
We talk about hyper-mobility, stability, strength, tissue types —and the value of a multi-disciplinary approach to continuing to evolve how we think about and practice yoga today.
This is part of a new series for YogaTeacherGradSchool.com in which I am interviewing established teachers about how they have found their way into living their dream of teaching yoga professionally in ways that are fulfilling, successful, and sustainable.
Kathryn Bruni-Young started teaching as a teenager, and has gradually built a career in which her interest in all forms of movement, strength, and knowledge of the body led to the work she now shares called "Mindful Strength."
Listen for inspiration on how to find your nice, share your authentic offerings, and be a life time student, who teaches from that place of ongoing education and exploration.
Kathryn Bruni-Young Mindful Strength: Evolving Yoga Practice by Julian Walker
In this shorter excerpt from our longer interview, movement teacher Michael Skelton talks bout his journey through Gabrielle Roth's 5 Rhythms in the 90's and into Vinn Arjuna Marti's Soul Motion, as well as his orientation toward being a student for life —and not getting narrowly identified with any one method or philosophy...
My full length interview with Michael Skelton —dance/movement teacher, on his journey through 5Rhythms, SoulMotion, and now to OpenFloor…
Michael has been a huge influence on me as a friend and teacher, and honored me with the invitation to take over his long-running Tuesday night dance event when he moved away from LA, which led to the creation of Dance Tribe!
Laurel and I talked about a lot in a short period of time. Here are some of the topics she observed that we covered:
"My process from the beginning of my teaching until now - imitation to innovation.
Why I continuously change and evolve how I teach.
The importance of cross-training your yoga practice by doing more than asana.
A teacher’s willingness to be self-critical and willfully step into the discomfort of asking why we teach what we teach.
Why claims about yoga pose benefits are often epistemologically dubious because they lack specificity - who are we talking about when we say this pose will help with this particular body ailment or limitation and how do we know if that’s true if we lack mechanisms to measure these benefits?
The difference between mobility and flexibility, active and passive range of motion.
The difference between functional movement and aesthetically pleasing movement - is movement either/or? Or do we need to ask a better question?
Conflict (or opportunity?) that can arise when we externalize or perform movement for someone who is ‘watching’ when that movement is meant to foster internalization and greater felt sensitivity."
In Part Two of my fascinating interview with Matthew, we discuss older vs more contemporary ways of understanding mind-body psychology as experienced in yoga practice.
Matthew shares about being a younger yogi who valued the altered state of being on the mat as somehow “more real” and valid than the unglamorous struggles and anxieties of everyday life. He tells us about idealizing his teacher who could do full front-splits walking in out of the Chicago wintry cold at the beginning of class, as an exemplar of complete open-ness and ease in life, as contrasted with his own discomfort in the world of adult responsibilities.
In response I talk about seeking escape in yoga from my own sense of helplessness as a kid from Apartheid South Africa.
We finish up talking about Matthew’s fascinating book Threads of Yoga, a “remix” of Patanjali —critical reactions, and our own nerdy fascination with how to understand and keep evolving yoga philosophy.
Theme music used by permission of http://www.jesseblakemusic.com/
Interviews, articles and more at https://www.freedombecomesyou.com
The Light and Shadow of Yoga: Cultish power dynamics, injuries and attitudes toward the body, and entrenched beliefs that are deemed taboo to question.
I want to introduce those of you who don’t know him to Matthew Remski —you can read his bio here.
In Part One of our discussion, Matthew talks about the tension between being a teacher and author who has also been moving more and more into doing research and journalism around certain key issues in the yoga community.
He shares about his fascination with questions of healing, abuse, and distinctions between justice and revenge, transparency and punishment, and how to serve the goal of creating a healthier yoga community without being on a personal psychologically-driven crusade.
We discuss his current book and research project WAWADIA (What Are We Actually Doing In Asana?) —a deep exploration of the topic of injuries, abuse, and how we think about our bodies in yoga.
We touch on some of the history of corporal punishment and intimidation in the yoga tradition, as played out via a kind of adoptive father-son guru relationship.
We also discuss our own journeys around how we think about the relationships between psychological or spiritual “open-ness” and idealizing extreme (and sometimes unsustainable) flexibility in yoga —and the ancient mythic and philosophical roots of seeking “dismemberment” of the material body in the name of spiritual attainment.
Theme music used by permission of http://www.jesseblakemusic.com/
Interviews, articles and more at https://www.freedombecomesyou.com