The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga: Foundations, Skills and Applications
with Doug Keller
A Four Day Immersion for Yoga Teachers and Interested Students
Presented Virtually ~ May 13-16, 2021
~ The training takes place from Thursday May 13 through Sunday May 16, with live and pre-recorded sessions — 26 hours in total.
~ It is for everyone seeking a firm grounding in skills and principles for assessing and addressing therapeutic or pain problems through the practice of yoga — and through asana to address structural and musculoskeletal pain problems in particular.
~ The online training carries special advantages because of its format — not only your ability to re-watch the lectures in high quality video with the course notes in hand; but also additional content videos including asana and yoga nidra practices which you can practice at a time that works for you, and additional lectures on the Vagus Nerve, and the history of Modern Yoga Practice, Sequencing, and Therapeutic Applications of Yoga.
~ This gives you even more content and learning than is normally possible in a live training, and in a way that is practical and not overwhelming — or exhausting!
Live Sessions (will be available on video if you can’t make the live session)
Eastern Standard Time (Boston, USA)
Thursday, May 13, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Friday, May 14, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Saturday, May 15, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Sunday, May 16, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
• The live session will be in a lecture format, including demonstration of assessment and asana principles with ongoing opportunities for questions and interaction with the instructor.
• The lecture materials will be in the form of illustrated slides with text, which can be downloaded as pdf files.
• You will also have access to high quality video recordings of the lectures and demonstrations, with the slides included in the video — so you will be able to review the lectures to become fully confident in your grasp of the materials and their applications.
• You will be able to either view the video recordings online for several months after the training, or download them to your computer to keep permanently.
Schedule For Each Day
Before The Session
• Each day offers a pre-recorded asana practice that introduces or incorporates ideas at the heart of the training, so that you will have an experiential example of how you can weave these ideas into your classes for the general benefit of your students — and introduce refreshingly new ideas for practice. The asana practices will be made available to you through links to Vimeo before the live stream session each day — and you have the freedom to either do the practice in the morning before the session, or at another time that is more convenient to you. And you can repeat or download the practices.
• We will meet for our live session via zoom to dive deeper into our training topic introduced in our asana practice. Questions can be asked through the chat function during the lecture, and there will also be time for live question and answer at the end of each session.
• You have the opportunity to end the day will end with a pre-recorded yoga nidra . There is a different video for each day, and each video will include explanation of a particular aspect of yoga nidra — drawn from its early roots in the tantric or ‘laya’ form of the practice — that is being highlighted in the practice. The advantage of the pre-recorded video is that the sound quality is guaranteed to be of excellent quality — especially if you download the video — and you also have the freedom to take a break and do the practice whenever you want. The yoga nidra practices will be made available to you through a link to Vimeo before each day’s session.
Additional Included Learning Materials
• A pre-recorded 2½ hour video lecture on the history of how modern yoga practice, ideas about sequencing, and the therapeutic applications of yoga developed from the early 20th century onward in India.
• A pre-recorded 2½ hour video lecture on the most recent insights into the role of the Vagus nerve in our health, and its function in regulating our nervous system. This includes its relationship to breath and physical alignment, as well as relationship between ideas about the influence of the Vagus nerve and traditional yoga terminology (prana, gunas, granthis and so on). This will include practical techniques for ‘resetting’ our nervous system, having to do with releasing neck tension and simple practices of breath.
• These will be made available for viewing prior to the start of the training, as well as at any time that works for you.
Course Themes and Content
Thursday: Pain, Body Maps and the Role of the Psoas in Low Back and Hip Pain
We’ll start with an understanding of pain syndromes, and how pain works in the nervous system — and the ways in which yoga specifically helps with pain problems.
This will lead to exploring fundamental ‘Body Maps’ that help us to envision pain-causing imbalances that can be addressed through yoga, as well as Foundational Principles in Myofascial Lines and Movement Patterns that help us to fine-tune our yoga practice to address these imbalances. An understanding of ‘kinetic chains’ will also help us to come up with modifications for making asanas more effective, as well as for understanding how different kinds of asanas fit into our sequencing
The role of the iliopsoas muscle at the center of problems of back and sacral pain will also be introduced and explained, and will be carried forward in the next session. The practice video will center around release of the psoas through asanas, and how principles of practice can address the topics raised in the first session.
Friday: a ‘body map’ for ‘zig-zag’ pains that ricochet through the two lateral sides of the body, and the Common ‘Short Leg Pattern’
This session adds more dimensionality and scope we look at the ways in which related aches and pains can ‘zig-zag’ crosswise through the body, from one foot and knee to the opposite hip, to the opposite shoulder and neck.
A special emphasis will be on the ‘Shorter Leg Pattern,’ which is a surprisingly common pattern in which one leg functions ‘as if’ it were shorter than the other — giving rise to some typical pain complaints throughout the body.
The second ‘body map’ involved in this looks at lateral shifts and rotations, in a way that guides us in our lateral poses (think Triangle), more complex poses such as Warrior 1, and twists.
We’ll spend time with principles for improving the health of the sacroiliac joint, and for understanding sacroiliac pain — as well as principles of practice, with specific examples in poses that will further be illustrated in the practice video.
Saturday: Shoulders and Neck
This session will look at the ‘Upper Crossed Syndrome’ for understanding upper back, neck and shoulder pain — whether you have developed a ‘computer neck,’ or are a ‘chin-tucker’ with a flat neck.
This will start with specific work with the shoulder girdle — the muscles controlling the movements of these three key bones of the shoulder girdle: how to warm them up and improve their function, to increase shoulder mobility and stability, and reduce pain problems. This will be expressed through simple principles of action that can be applied in your yoga practice. There will be plenty of ‘light bulb’ moments for working better with your shoulders in yoga poses — and in life.
Sunday: Going Deeper in Specific Areas of the Body
This session presents the opportunity to go further and more deeply into specific areas of the body — especially the joints of the arms — wrists, elbows, shoulders as well as more on the neck in the upper body — as a continuation of what we covered on Saturday.
Some other common therapeutic problems that draw people to yoga will also be addressed, especially sciatica and knee problems.
After the course, you will be able to:
• Recognize and assess imbalances in postural and movement patterns that are linked to common pain patterns in joints, muscles and fascia, with a firm grasp of helpful ‘body maps’ such as Janda’s ‘Crossed Syndromes,’ as well as the key myofascial meridians or ‘sutras’ governing posture and movement, as your guide in your observations;
• You’ll be able to take in the ‘big picture’ of the body as a whole, as well as having the tools to focus on specific areas — feet, knees, hips, sacroiliac joint and low back, shoulders, elbows and wrists, and the neck and head — and have a foundation for knowing what poses, alignments, and actions are most beneficial for addressing these areas when there are pain problems.
• You’ll have a grasp of sequencing principles rooted in this knowledge, which you can apply to sequencing general classes, and also shorter remedial routines for working with individuals or small groups, focused on particular therapeutic problems.
• You’ll have a deeper understanding of yoga terminology as informed by contemporary understanding of the nervous system, breath, and fascial systems, and will be able to relate these terms to practice in common-sense language.
• You’ll have a grasp of the inner workings and logic of the asanas, and know how to explain them and their health value in a way that students can appreciate;
• You’ll have a significant toolbox of remedial exercises and asana variations to address common complaints and devise simple protocols for students to work with.
The training will carry the added value of CEU credit for both Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapy (IAYT)
• 4 days of 3 hour presentations: 12 hours
• 4 days of asana practice videos of 1¼ hours: 5 hours
• 4 days of yoga nidra lecture and practice of 1 hour: 4 hours
• 2 videos of extra lecture content of 2½ hours each: 5 hours
• 26 total hours
Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for two decades, and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work on ‘Yoga As Therapy.
He is also, in addition to his traveling and teaching, a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master’s Degree program in Yoga Therapy. This program is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master’s degree in this field, and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Visit Doug at www.doyoga.com