Reimagining Yoga Anatomy: The Emerging Science of Biotensegrity, Myofascia and Breath-Based Movement
Those of you who’ve taken one of my Yoga As Medicine Seminars know that for years I’ve been teaching a more holistic way of looking at yoga anatomy. Rather than memorizing muscle origins and attachments, what we’ll discuss and experience in this 10-hour training is how to view and feel the yoga body more globally. This approach allows you to go deeply into alignment without being fixated on anatomical minutia (though where relevant we’ll discuss that too)!
Together, we’ll explore the evolving science of biotensegrity, myofascial chaining, and breath-based movement (don’t worry if you’re not clear on the meaning of some of these terms — all will be explained). My belief is that in order for yoga poses (asana) to be maximally safe and therapeutic, they need to be supple, lightly-held and deeply grounded in the breath. Tensegrity is a word popularized by Buckminster Fuller, the inventor of the geodesic dome. Rather than being rigidly held, tensegrity structures like domes, bicycle wheels and suspension bridges allow subtle movements (give) that render them more stable, and better able to withstand outside forces.
Tensegrity, or as it’s sometimes called in relationship to living beings, biotensegrity, offers an alternative way to understand yoga anatomy. This model explains better than the simple physics of levers and pulleys, the densely interconnected beings we are, in which forces act not just locally but often across the entire body. The fascia or myofascia, also known as the connective tissue, forms a web that connects everything in the body — from large muscles and organs right down to the level of the DNA inside cell nuclei. Adding to the subtlety of human biotensegrity structures are the elements of breath and awareness — and where breath and awareness go, yoga teaches, prana (life force energy) follows.
We’ll engage in lecture/discussions, practice mostly gentle, breath-centered yoga, observe each other in poses and try various experiential exercises to deepen our understanding and heighten our awareness. Recommended for yoga teachers, yoga therapists as well as serious students, as well as health care professionals, bodyworkers, dancers and anyone else with an interest in this topic.
April 25 – 26, 2020
Saturday schedule: 1:00 – 6:30pm, with break from 3-3:30pm
Sunday schedule: 12:00 – 5:30pm, with break from 2:30-3pm
Cost: $250 (Early Bird price of $199 at check-out when you register by December 31)
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Timothy McCall, MD is a board-certified internist, Yoga Journal’s medical editor since 2002 and the author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing. He practiced medicine in the Boston area for a dozen years before devoting himself full-time in the late 1990s to yoga therapy. He has studied with many of the world’s leading yoga teachers including BKS Iyengar and TKV Desikachar, as well as Patricia Walden, Rod Stryker and Donald Moyer. In 2005, Timothy began his studies with a traditional Ayurvedic doctor, Chandukutty Vaidyar, and spent more than a year at his clinic in Kerala, India. He serves on the editorial board of The International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and co-edited and contributed to the 2016 medical textbook, The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. He regularly posts videos on his “Ask the Yoga Doctor” channel on YouTube. His latest book is Saving My Neck: A Doctor’s East/West Journey through Cancer. DrMcCall.com