Movement with a Brain Sample Vinyasa Flow

Biomechanics, applied and functional neurology, movement science, pain science, psychology, trauma-informed training, body positivity, accessible teaching and practices. Yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais, Restorative Exercise, Personal Training, FRC.

So many fields of study. So many systems of movement. So many concepts for any one person to try to take in and integrate. We try to absorb as much as we can, to learn and practice and embody--and then, somehow, teach?

How to fit it all in is one of our primary focuses in this membership program. Erin and I will be sharing theory and concepts from movement science, pain science, visual and vestibular training, and applied neurology, but then offering examples of how to take those concepts and incorporate them into a class or movement practice. Digestible tidbit lectures, and then short applied flows. Plus! Peer support and mentoring.

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This is 15 minute real-time flow is an example of how to integrate a little bit of mobility work and applied neurology into your yoga flow classes without losing students or making them wonder about what happened to the yoga. It integrates:

  • applied neuro's sensory before motor principle by tapping the body as part of a seated warm-up.
  • takes wrist work and neck stretching I include in a typical yoga class and turns them into neural flossing for the wrists
  • moves through FRC-like controlled shoulder and spinal mobility work in child's pose and down dog (Yep, down dog's still there!)
  • adds in some visual and vestibular work through low lunge twists that intentionally work with the gaze and head movement
  • all while ending in a vinyasa before repeating on the second side.

When I practiced this flow on my own, it took 8 minutes in real life. I included it in a series of classes I taught focused on shoulder mobility in low lunges, standing warriors, and prone in shalabasana (locust) variations. When I teach this flow with cueing to a group that knows a little bit of the flow already (familiar with the FRC shoulder mobility swim, for example), it takes about 10 minutes in real time. To cue everything for a group totally new to the mobility and neuro work, it is more like the 15 minutes in this video shown here.

Also, note: depending on your group, I offer more or less modifications! You can sit to a block rather than sitting back to heels with toes tucked under. All three-legged dog work can be done as three-legged table top, or side-lying, or from a chair. Vinyasas can be challenging as shown here (three-legged dog to three-legged plank to three-legged chaturanga), typical, or taken out altogether!

I don't typically teach vinyasas anymore, but in their place offer that the class can move in any way they'd like to integrate what has just happened in their bodies, or to rest, and then offer child's pose, cat-cow, down dog, or a vinyasa as a few good ways to do so. It makes me so proud when I can see the people taking stock of what their bodies really need and choosing to truly listen to those needs, so that the whole room can be filled with different ways of resting and integrating, before we all come together to move again.

-Daniella

(Yoga with Dani, Yoga with Daniella Wittern Bush)


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