Yoga With A Brain was born out of questioning much of what I'd been taught and been teaching around the decade mark of my career. At that time, four years ago and after the birth of my son I branched out into other disciplines and became increasingly interested in functional movement, movement ecology, biomechanics and neuroscience. When I discovered an applied-neurology approach to movement education/rehabilitation and health a little over a year ago, dots began connecting and clarity forming in a way I'd been searching for in earnest. Over the course of the past nine months of filming and posting time lapse videos exploring these concepts, I've coalesced what I'm chiefly focused on and what have been the biggest game-changers for me into: 10 Brain-based Concepts You Can Apply to Practicing, Teaching and Training.
This is the first installment in such offerings, and even though I feel far more equipped to understand the complexities of the body and mind now that I'm on this track and have far more tools with which to offer help, this is only the beginning! I'll spend the rest of my life researching and teaching elements of neuroscience.
This is part 1.
Brain-based concepts you can apply to practicing, teaching and training.
2. SEE (TO MOVE)
BONUS ~ 11. COORDINATE
Yoga With A Brain was born out of questioning much of what I'd been taught and was teaching around the decade mark of my career, four years ago. At that time, directly after the birth of my son, I felt restless, stale, left on autopilot and needing to branch out into active exploration of other disciplines, increasingly interested in functional movement, movement ecology, biomechanics and neuroscience. When I discovered an applied-neurology approach to movement education/rehabilitation and health a little over a year ago, dots began connecting and clarity forming in a way I'd been searching for in earnest.
I have fallen in and out of love with yoga many times over this period of dismantling, but have come to realize that I'm most at home in the context of what I believe to be at the heart of contemporary yoga- a virtual space for kindness, connection, relentless self-reflection for the sake of evolution, intellectual curiosity, collaboration, devotion, hubris. We need to move the practice forward and I intend on being an intrepid leader along with all of the others asking scrutinizing questions of its history, rhetoric, mythology and underpinnings. To hold it up to the lens of contemporary discovery and adjust focus accordingly.
Working as a massage therapist and yoga instructor for the past thirteen years to a wide range of ages and abilities, from infants and moms, to folks with Alzheimer’s, intellectually disabled, people with injuries and illnesses and teen athletes, has contributed to my ability to empathize, adapt, invent, and continually seek education in order to draw from a generous tool box.
Since May of 2017 I’ve been studying an applied neuroscience approach to movement education through Zhealth Performance and AMN (Applied Movement Neurology) Academy. In addition to taking courses, I’m always reading, learning and trying to stay apprised of the latest research around motor learning, mobility, pain and movement science. Other influences include Katy Bowman, Erwan LeCorre, Ido Portal, Igor Burdenko, Moshe Feldenkrais, Tara Brach, Pema Chodron, Don Miguel Ruiz, Thich Naht Hanh as well as too many writers to list. I'm inspired by dancers, artists, poets, musicians and consider creativity to be one of the most redeeming qualities of the human race. I'm also a forest explorer, secular Buddhist, mother to a four year old son and overall curious person who derives immense value from the natural world, varietal movement, supportive community, creativity, and examined living.
I believe that we do in practice should translate to functional skills applicable to every day life so that we may remain and become strong, mobile, present, balanced and confident to participate in all of the activities we enjoy. Play, joy and discovery are massively important.
It's vital to assess and improve the way our nervous system functions because movement output hinges upon how well we absorb information. We do this by way of the inner ear (vestibular system) visual system (coordination and strength of eyes/brain/vestibular) and proprioception (sense of body in space) and then our brains interpret and determine output. My classes incorporate mindfulness, breathing, deliberate rest and yoga postures as well as joint mobilization, dynamic balance, foot mobility, active stretching and strengthening, stabilization, coordination, floor work and use of resistance bands and therapy balls.
Our neuroplastic brains thrive on novel movement and learning opportunities.
Above all, I encourage listening to one’s wise and unique mind and body, being curious and open-minded and voicing concerns/questions whenever they come up. Equally important: laughter, fun, healthy skepticism and not taking ourselves too seriously.
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