Help Your Students Rebuild Their Backs From the Inside-OutRelease, Relax and Re-balance the Psoas
Knowing how to modify practices for each person is the hallmark of great teaching.
Many people arriving at your Yoga classes have preexisting lower back problems and back pain. How confident are you that your Yoga class is not only “spinal safe” but is helping your students find long-term solutions to lower back discomfort? Most Yoga practices over-emphasize flexibility to the detriment of stability, especially in the lower back and sacroiliac joints. And unfortunately, “core fitness” programs rarely address the fundamental imbalances in the primary core muscles: the psoas. When you have a deeper understanding of how the psoas functions you can incorporate simple, effective, and pain-free practices into your classes that build strength, mobility and restore ease of movement. The download you’ve just been sent introduces you to a deceptively simple practice that can have remarkable results.11 Red Flags that Signal Trouble: Become a Teacher who Sees and Understands the Body#4 of 11: Knees BentThere are many tell-tale signs that a student is experiencing discomfort. How many times have you asked a group of students to lie down for relaxation with the legs extended straight and after 30 seconds, without being asked to, many people bend their knees?The need to bend the knees is a red flag that excessive tension is being placed on the deep psoas muscles. When these muscles are already under tension straightening the legs can cause immediate discomfort, which can be felt as:
Pain is the body’s way of saying: try another way. Intuitively, people know that bending their knees will help to relieve this discomfort. While bending the knees helps a little, positioning the legs with precision into Constructive Rest Position optimizes the release of the psoas, often with remarkable results.Through using very gentle and accessible practices like Constructive Rest Position you can help your students literally rebuild their backs, improving overall body posture and movement function.Unraveling the Psoas Can Sort Out Many Other Issues . . . Sometimes Phenomenally QuicklyI’ve struggled with hyperlordosis (an accentuated curvature of the lower back) for most of my life, and tried to release my back through forceful and often very painful yoga “stretches”. These strategies often made my back pain worse and gradually eroded my spinal stability. Newer research was revealing that targeted work with the psoas muscles could effectively shift the position of the pelvis and spine. Through integrating these gentle pain-free techniques into my own practice I now have relatively few episodes of lower back pain. Often called “the hidden prankster”, the psoas has multiple functions but its key role is to provide central body support and to act as a lumbar stabilizer.Together with my co-author we’ve done the hard research, and made the complex anatomy of the core body accessible through newly commissioned anatomical illustrations. Are You Looking to Build Your Tool Kit to Work More Effectively with Yourself and Your Students?
Book extract: Sequence D. Click to enlarge.
The Pathways Book and Ball PackageI am on a mission to heal lower back pain, so I am offering two great bonuses to make it easier to implement the practices in the book.Buy the book at the standard rate of $34.95 plus shipping of $11.80 and you’ll get these two bonuses for free (USA mainland only):
Bonus OneThe Muscle Release Ball
Bonus TwoPathways to a Centered Body – Companion Video
Buy Now $70.65 $46.75What Others Are Saying
This beautifully and succinctly written book will change the way we think about Yoga practice. The authors present a sound anatomical case for rethinking one of Yoga’s most misunderstood concepts, the “core.” They provide common sense practices to engage, stabilize, and integrate the core to create a ground for sensible and graceful movement. Simultaneously radical and down-to-earth, Pathways to a Centered Body will help readers create a sustainable Yoga practice—both on and off the mat
Charlotte Bell – Author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life and Yoga for Meditators Image
A unique contribution to a deeper understanding of core stability, back pain, and easeful movement. With a focus upon the role of the psoas, this book provides clear, step-by-step guidelines for a somatic self-inquiry that will lead to structural and functional balance and deep healing. This book should form an important part of the required reading for Yoga therapists, physical therapists, Pilates, Somatics and other movement teachers, and sports trainers.
Leigh Blashki – C-IAYT, Past President Yoga Australia, IAYT Certification Committee, Associate Director Integrative Restoration Institute Australasia
If you want to go deeper into your understanding of how your body works, to find blind spots and start working with the core buy this book! I now approach my personal Asana practice and teaching with much more confidence. Several long-standing issues in my body have been addressed and improved.
Fifteen years of strong Asana practice left me in a lot of pain (sacroiliac joints, lumbar, dorsal, meniscus and cervical spine). My science background led me to look outside my lineage for answers. I return again and again to this book, re-read and re-experiment. Now the core is central to my work. My favourite new insight is that “Mobility of the periphery depends on the stability of the core”. It is NOT strong abdominals that give stability, but the sense of the central cylinder.
I now understand my own imbalances (scoliosis, QL, psoas) and have found new ways to balance them. Daily, I can help my students find new ways to move with ease, some of these students have been with me for a decade.
Martina Marre – Practising since 1994, full time Yoga teacher since 2002, 1:1 teacher trainer and mentor.
Personally, I have L4, L5 disc issues and many, many clients with back pain.
I turn to this book weekly as I really like how the sequence pages are clear and easy to follow. My Students keep coming back saying it’s the only class where they can learn simple poses that they can do at home that really work!
Joan Miller, Australia
Donna Farhi is a Yoga teacher who has been practicing for over 40 years and teaching since 1982. As a post-lineage pioneer, Donna has been at the forefront of generating a new model for teaching and practice that fosters self-inquiry through the cultivation of each person’s inner reference system. Going beyond the archaic pedagogic model that is characterised by “Simon Says” mimicry and rigid formulaic methodology, her approach is to create a safe learning environment where her students can investigate, adapt and evolve their practice to honor their individual needs.Incorporating the rigorous backing of anatomical principles for safe and sustainable practice, Donna offers progressive levels of engagement that allow people of all levels of experience and from all traditions to build their own authentic Yoga practice.Considered the “teacher of teachers” students return to Donna’s intensives year after year to be a part of the inspiring evolution of Donna’s own practice and teaching. Donna is the author of four contemporary classics: The Breathing Book, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness, Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living, and Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship which is a curricular text for teaching trainings worldwide. Pathways to a Centered Body: Gentle Yoga Therapy for Core Stability, Healing Back Pain and Moving with Ease her fifth and most recent book, co-authored with Leila Stuart, is fast becoming the go-to text for Yoga teachers, therapists and somatic practitioners.Buy Now $70.65 $46.75
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