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No Class Ausstralia Day 26 Jan 2017
26-01-2017 



27-03-2016 
I am now teaching at "Fresh Holistic Health" 330 Mons Road, Forest Glen on Friday mornings from 6:30 - 7:30 am. 
The 9:30 - 10:45 am class at Buddina has been cancelled for the time being.


Archive
 

The Very Best of the Taoist Healing Arts Taught by a Master Teacher: Servicing the Internal Organs and Cleansing the Blood. Is it Yoga?

Recently a friend from the local Tai Chi community commented that based on what he had seen on the internet he thought Zhen Hua Yang's approach looked like a really interesting fusion between Tai Chi and Yoga. I also had a physiotherapy client have a look at Zhen Hua Yang's upcoming workshop poster and ask so what is it, some kind of Yoga? So I thought I would make a few observations and comments that might clear up any confusion and flesh out a few important ideas.

First of all regarding any fusion of Yoga and Tai Chi, a primary thrust of Zhen Hua Yang's approach is to get those who practice Yoga asana to get better internal organ servicing, better blood cleansing, and better blood circulation during their poses as well as to get their poses safer from a musculoskeletal perspective. This is transposing the Taoist health and vitality techniques he is so familiar with into Yoga poses. The emphasis here is on the Taoist health and vitality techniques and certainly not on attaining difficult Yoga poses.

It could be said that there is also a fusion between ancient Taoist internal alchemical techniques and modern physiology. This is done primarily with the clearest explanation I've heard as to how these techniques can positively influence human health. Some of these techniques have some similarity with those found in the Indian and Hatha Yoga traditions as well, if you really search for them.

Regarding Zhen Hua Yangs training, he was not trained by Indian or Western Yoga teachers. While the location of his family lineage, Mianyang, borders the Tibetan plateau, his teachers have all been from China. His first formal teacher was the senior teacher from the Buddhist temple at Shaolin. The Shaolin temple is one of the most well known martial arts centres in the world. Zhen Hua Yang started training with this teacher when he was seven years old and the teacher had to regularly travel over a thousand kilometers to Mianyang to do the teaching. To me this suggests that Zhen Hua Yang’s family is highly regarded by the Shaolin Buddhist tradition.

Curiously Zhen Hua Yang confided to me that the Shaolin training involved a lot of stretching and that when he was a few years older and ready to learn his own family's tradition, his grandfather took him aside and suggested he better not do all the stretching his Shaolin teacher suggested or he would end up hurting himself and that it was time for him to learn the “internal way”. Zhen Hua Yang's Grandfather is still alive at 107 years old at last count!

Zhen Hua Yang also had a Taoist teacher from a young age he speaks fondly of. Another observation that Zhen Hua Yang confided to us was that Taoist monks look young for their age and Buddhist monks don't. When asked why he replied with words to the effect that Taoist monks look after themselves, while Buddhists monks try to look after everyone else.

To me is a reflection of Taoist philosophy valuing harmony with nature and personal health and lies in contrast with Buddhist institutional philosophies which tend to value personal sacrifice for the well-being of others, which can include sacrificing one's own personal health. For a discussion of authoritarian hierarchy in Buddhist institutions see The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power by Kramer & Alstad (1983).

From what I have gathered from Zhen Hua Yang, and a handful of authors such as Mantak Chia, Bruce Frantzis, and Daniel Reid Taoists have been researching, experimenting, and refining practices for enhancing health and longevity for millennia unfettered by notions of self sacrifice.

From my perspective most Western Yoga devotees have an enormous amount to learn from the Taoist vitality and longevity traditions and that such learning would help them to understand what was truly valuable in the Indian and Hatha Yoga traditions as well. In particular it would help Yoga teachers and practitioners understand some of the assumptions that at first seem to be O.K., but that in time prove to give rise to a practise that is risky at best and downright insidiously harmful at worst. In other words learning about the Taoist vitality and longevity traditions would help sort out the “wheat from the chaff” in Yoga.

To give an example of a Westerner who I think has made some valuable contributions to the field of Yoga, but has expressed some assumptions about Yoga that I think fall into the camp of risky at best and downright harmful at worst, I will consider some of the contributions of Tom Myers (http://www.anatomytrains.com/at/whos-who/tom-myers/). He has contributed valuable insights into the field of Anatomy as it applies to Yoga, Massage, and Physiotherapy. He was instrumental in elucidating the importance of the actions of the fascia in the body rather than just the muscles and the bones. This has led to massage techniques that emphasize decreasing the tension in the fascia, rather than just the muscles. This approach has proved to be extremely beneficial in my own practice as a Physiotherapist.

Nevertheless when Tom Myers discussed Yoga in an interview with the online Yoga education websight in 2011 he made what I believe is the mistake most modern postural Yoga traditions make, both Indian and Western, and the mistake Zhen Hua Yang’s Grandfather was referring to regarding the Shaolin temple teacher, that is, an overemphasis on stretching and strengthening.

In the Tom Myer interview he suggests that:

“…injury occurs when there is no give”.
(http://yogauonline.com/yogatherapy/tom-myers)


Furthermore,

“And so the idea of Yoga is … to make it possible for that little bit of give to happen…so when you go into Yoga poses, when you go to the extreme of a movement and then extend your extreme by stretching, you are increasing the amount of resilience in your tissues so that all the tissues give a little”.
(http://yogauonline.com/yogatherapy/tom-myers)


Regarding strengthening and lengthening:

“It's important for yoga teachers to be able to see when their students are doing … and then take steps to either strengthen or lengthen, depending on whats needed.”
(http://yogauonline.com/yogatherapy/tom-myers)


The trouble with strengthening muscles is that this can create a high resting tone that in certain muscles can both decrease blood flow and mechanically irritate nerves leading to pain. This is especially so in some of the muscles in the lower back, hips, abdomen, upper back, and neck. Learning the most advantageous muscles with which to hold up the body to avoid collapsing is the art of Tai Chi and can be of Yoga too once understood.

Regarding the idea that extending “… your extreme by stretching…” is a primary goal or method in Yoga, I believe this is a primary cause of pain in Yoga practitioners. This pain often develops so insidiously a person does not know it is occurring or what is causing it until it is severe, sometimes severe enough to require major surgery.

To provide some evidence of this from a surgeon who performs hip surgery on women who practice Yoga consider the following excerpt from an article published in the New York Times in November 2013 titled “Is Women's Flexibility a Liability (in Yoga)” by William J. Broad:

“It's a relatively high incidence of injury,” Jon Hyman, an orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta, told me. “People don't come in often saying I was doing Zumba or tai chi” when they experienced serious hip pain, he said. “But yoga is common.”

(http://www.nytimes.com/…/womens-flexibility-is-a-liability-…)

For the most in depth and I believe open minded discussion on the issue of injuries in Yoga see Mathew Remski's websight (http://matthewremski.com/).

Not only does the stretching and strengthening approach carry with it a relatively high risk of pain, injury, and dysfunction, but it also does not adequately embrace some the “gold” that is in the Indian and Hatha Yoga traditions.

Krishnamacharya, a seminal figure in the development of modern postural Yoga, travelled a great distance from his home in Southern India to seek out a Hatha Yogi living in Tibet from whom he learned for over seven years. Presumably he went to Tibet because he could find no one suitable to teach him in Southern India. He then moved back to Southern India and taught Yoga initially to school children. Two of his students were B.K.S Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga) and Pathabhi Jois (Asthanga Vinyassa Yoga). These two brought modern postural Yoga to the West arguably more than anyone else.

In his first book, Yoga Makaranda (1934) Krishnamacharya states that:

“Asana practice renders correct blood circulation.” (p. 9)

And

“If the blood is not clean, then the nadi cakras will not function (rotate) properly.” (p. 10)


“Nadi cakras” are what Western Yogis call “Chakras”. Indeed there are many references to the blood, twenty four in all including sixteen references to “Blood circulation” or “blood flow” and seven references to “Clean blood circulation” or “purifies the blood”. This suggest that clean blood and it's circulation was quite a high priority to Krishnamacharya. Just how this was accomplished I think can be found in instructions of what to do with the abdomen during downward facing dog:

“After pulling the abdomen in and pushing it out, exhale the breath out.” (p. 68)


Of course it is difficult to understand exactly what Krishnamacharya meant as he is no longer around to ask having died in 1989 at the age 101 years old.

This emphasis on cleaning and circulating the blood seems to have largely not made it through to modern postural Yoga. Possibly this is because the blood is something internal that cannot be easily seen.

Zhen Hua Yang also emphasizes the importance of cleaning and circulating the blood and points out that doing so successfully can be seen, especially in the eyes. The eyes have a large number of small capillaries that Zhen Hua Yang says won't get an ideal blood supply if a high proportion of the blood's cells are clumped together as occurs with aged blood cells. The clumped cells literally won't fit through the small capillaries. This tends to clog up the capillary beds and impede the free flow of blood.

Zhen Hua Yang points out that this process of poor circulation will worsen with age and occur in all body’s tissues including the very organs whose job it is to filter and clean the blood, especially the liver, spleen, and kidneys. This creates a “vicious cycle” where poor blood flow to these organs means they cannot filter the blood of aging clumped cells, which results in poorer blood flow in the capillary beds of these organs and so on leading to poor health (and dull eyes).

This is why one of the first points Zhen Hua Yang makes in his workshops is that learning how to “service” the internal organs is first thing to do in practise. This begins the process of cleaning the blood. Learning how to improve the function of the bone marrow by improving it’s circulation comes next because it is the bone marrow that produces new blood cells. According to Zhen Hua Yang and in my own experience these techniques lead to greater health, vitality, longevity, and enhanced physical function. They are largely responsible for his own and his family's martial arts ability and longevity.

None of these techniques requires deep or prolonged stretching, but they tend to be challenging, not because they are painful or uncomfortable, but because in some ways they oppose the postural tendencies all human learn from a young age. For example, Zhen Hua Yang (and for that matter my other Chinese teacher Wee Kee Jin) will frequently point out that most people hold far too much tension in their lower back, hip, abdominal, upper back, and neck muscles even though most people are totally unaware of it. This tension impedes the free flow of blood and tends to pinch and tether nerves leading to pain.

It should be pointed out that Zhen Hua Yang did not make these concepts and techniques up. They are held in the cannon of knowledge in the Taoist tradition (Mantak Chia discusses some similar techniques in his publications) and at least to some extent in the Hatha Yoga tradition as alluded to earlier with Krishnamacharya’s Yoga Makaranda (1935).

Nevertheless Zhen Hua Yang’s understanding is very deep and broad. I think his formal training in Chemical and Mechanical Engineering in China has contributed to his understanding and allows him to discuss Taoist body technology in straightforward scientific terms when required.

I hope I have got across the idea that whether your interests lie in Tai Chi, Yoga, Western gym based health and fitness, or just wanting to be a healthy human, Zhen Hua Yang’s workshops are very worthwhile.

It should also be pointed out that many of the techniques used to cleanse the blood also improve the function of the digestive organs, which is a key topic Zhen Hua Yang has chosen to discuss along with musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction in his upcoming workshop this Fri to Sun 28 - 30 Nov 2014 at the Maroochydore Sailing Club Chambers Island.

Times are:
Frid 28 Nov 2 pm to 5:30 pm
Sat 29 Nov 9 am to 12:30 and 1:30 - 5 pm
Sun 29 Nov 9 am to 12:30 and 1:30 - 5 pm

Cost:
For all sessions: $370
Individual sessions $90

Contact Sarah Johnson for booking and payment:
Ph. 0404 420 205 or sljohno74@gmail.com

Visit calligraphyhealth.com.au for more information

Hope to see you there.

Warm regards,

Ben


Zhen Hua Yang is presenting a workshop on the Sunshine Coast on 28, 29, and 30 Nov 2014 at Maroochy Sailing Club, Chambers Island Maroochydore QLD 4558. 

Zhen Hua Yang lives in Sydney, but grew up on the Eastern side of the Tibetan Plateu near a geographical and social gateway between China and Tibet. Much was invested in him by the cream of China's Daoist (Taoist) and Buddhist monks and by his own family's four hundred year old tradition.

His understanding of how to improve health, longevity, and functional ability is the deepest I have experienced.

The depth of his understanding of Yoga and Eastern body technologies generally, including their philosophical underpinnings, is equally superlative. So much so that the already experienced Yogi, Simon Borg Olivier, who had already trained extensively with the late Indian masters, Pattabi Jois and BKS Iyengar, has made Zhen Hua Yang his primary teacher for the last eight years.

Times are:
Frid 28 Nov 2 pm to 5:30 pm
Sat 29 Nov 9 am to 12:30 and 1:30 - 5 pm
Sun 29 Nov 9 am to 12:30 and 1:30 - 5 pm

Cost:
For all sessions: $370
Individual sessions $90

Contact Sarah Johnson for booking and payment:
Ph. 0404 420 205 or sljohno74@gmail.com

Visit calligraphyhealth.com.au for more information

Below are two reviews I wrote of two workshops of Zhen Hua Yang's I attended in Brisbane and Melbourne in August 2014 and nine day teacher training workshop I attended in Melbourne in Jan 2014 :


Aug 2014 Workshops:

I recently attended two workshops with Zhen Hua Yang.  The first was a three day workshop in Brisbane titled "Rising Sun: Healing Depression Anxiety and Fear".  The second was five day workshop in Melbourne on "Hormone Balancing".
 
In my opinion the techniques Zhen Hua Yang teaches represent the most powerful and comprehensive health inducing body technologies I have ever been exposed to. 
Some of these techniques may at first seem subtle or even appear to be contrary to certain assumptions Westerners have about how to attain health and fitness.  Nevertheless his patient, attentive, and informative teaching methods afforded me enough of a taste of the techniques to leave me in no doubt that what he is offering is of inestimable value.
 
As those of you who have read my bio on my “Resilience Physiotherapy” website or my “Yoga Chi Gung Pilates” website and facebook page, I have been surveying, researching, and practicing “body technologies” since 1997.  At the time I was undertaking clinical trial based doctoral research on the effects of Ginseng, a potent Chinese herb, on endurance athlete’s endocrine and immune systems.
 
It was then that I uncovered a reference which suggested that in Chinese Medicine herbal drugs including Ginseng were not considered good ways to preserve or enhance vitality.  Rather “Taoist and Yogic methods…” do this best and “… are the primary means to preserve vitality…” (Fulder, The Root of Being: Ginseng and the Pharmacology of Harmony,  1980 page 273).
 
This began to challenge my ideas about what constituted good health and how to get it.  It also got me started on my quest to find out just what these Taoist and Yogic methods were all about.
As I have outlined before, Modern Postural Yoga in the form of Iyengar Yoga was what I tried first and fell in love with, but began getting insidious injuries from after just 18 months of practice.  I then began searching far and wide for teachers that could help. 
Pilates helped, particularly the styles strongly influenced by Australian Physiotherapy research (Clinical Pilates).
 
Simon Borg-Olivier (Synergy Yoga), a Physiotherapist and Yoga teacher who I met in 2008 after he had commenced being a student of Zhen Hua Yang, is an extremely insightful Yoga teacher who was instrumental in my being able to do Yoga asana again without hurting myself.
Yang  style Taiji Quan (not to be confused with the “Yang” in Zhen Hua Yang's name) from the school of the late Huang Sheng Shuan in Chinese Malaysia as taught by Wee Ki Jin (The central school of equilibrium) and Glen Blythe is an extremely powerful and relaxing body technology and one I am still enjoying learning.
 
Nonetheless, with regard to the depth and breadth of health affording body technology Zhen Hua Yang is the master.  I find his teaching methods combined with what he is teaching profoundly valuable.  (see my facebook post from 29 June 2014 for a review / synopsis of my experience with Zhen Hua Yang at nine day teacher training workshop in Jan 2014)

What makes Zhen Hua Yang's workshops so powerful and transformative for me is his exposition of techniques that are legitimately time tested to enhance vitality and longevity.  It is worth pointing out that Zhen Hua Yang identified three major teachers in his life.  One has passed on, while the other two are still alive.  One is his Grandfather is 107 years old, the other teacher 102 years old.  These numbers alone give you some idea of the power of these techniques.

He explains that Taoists traditionally place a high priority health and longevity and sometimes martial arts ability. They discovered long ago that specific interventions / techniques were far superior to no intervention at all.  Neither hard farm work nor the attainment of high levels physical strength and endurance were as potent at enhancing vitality or prolonging life as specific “Taoist” techniques.

From my perspective as a physiotherapist, some of these techniques make a tremendous amount of sense.   As a simple example, in my body, there is a palpable sense of ease and freedom from tension and pain in the region of my lower back and hips when I follow Zhen Hua Yang's lead and bend my knees in standing, and decreasing the “sway” (lordosis) in my lumbar spine.
  
While some of the Taoist techniques are similar to some used in modern postural Yoga, many are not.  I remembered being taught to keep my knees straight while standing in “Tadassana” (standing up straight posture) in Iyengar Yoga classes with attendant feelings of congestion, tension, and discomfort in my lower back and hips.

Zhen Hua Yang mentioned several times that “physical” fitness such as cardiovascular endurance or muscular strength was only 20% of the whole story as far as health is concerned.  The rest was “internal organ servicing” and “bone marrow cleansing”.
 
With regard to nutrition, he also pointed out that internal organ servicing was very important for efficient digestion of food and that without it no amount of organic super foods or expensive vitamins could prevent poor health arising from those foods remaining in the large intestines too long and insidiously poisoning your blood.

Indeed the health of the blood is of major concern.  Zhen Hua Yang pointed out that the red blood cells are what carries oxygen to the body and the white cells are a critical component of the immune system.  He also pointed out that many of the blood cells in most people are clumped together and that this occurs partly because the cells are old and that this clumping prevents the body's tissue from receiving optimal oxygen, nutrients, or immune surveillance.
 
“I want your blood cells moving one by one”, Zhen Hua Yang said many times.  One by one means the cells are not clumped together and can therefore squeeze into the smallest of capillaries.
 
To achieve this cells that have reached their used by date need to be processed in the liver and spleen, to go to blood cell heaven (ha ha).  This is part of the purpose of the emphasis on abdominal breathing.  It massages these organs and improves their blood flow.  The same organs that can accumulate large amounts of relatively stagnant blood without such massage.
Perhaps this is why Krishnamacharya founder of the primary series of Ashtanga Vinyassa Yoga, the prototype that others such as “Power Yoga” were based on makes reference to the blood on no less than 27 occasions in his first book Yoga Makaranda (1935).  For example:
 
“Whoever has no impurities in their blood will never develop any” disease (Krishnamacharya, Yoga Makaranda 1935; p. 9)

It is interesting to note that while in his 20s Krishnamacharya travelled for over three months from Southern India to the Southern Tibetan Plateau region to find someone capable of teaching him high level body technology

By way of comparison Zhen Hua Yang who grew up on the other side of the Tibetan Plateau had to look no further than his own Grandfather, who himself came from a four hundred year old family lineage, to teach him high level body technology.

The next phase in the sequential daoist teaching methodology that Zhen Hua Yang taught is “bone marrow cleansing”.  Why the bone marrow?  Because it is where all of your red blood cells (oxygen carrying cells) and many of your white blood cells (immune system cells) are manufactured.
 
Indeed this only takes place in red bone marrow, not yellow bone marrow.  Babies and young people have a high proportion of red bone marrow, which generally decreases with age leaving a higher proportion of yellow bone marrow, which primarily just stores fat, but can regenerate into red bone marrow under certain circumstances.

Bone marrow washing is not only for the purpose of enhancing the generation of new blood cells, but it can also for the purpose of re-modeling of bone, which is of particular relevance to minimizing the deleterious effects of osteoporosis and osteonecrosis (see my facebook post from 16 June 2013 for an anthropologist's and radiographer's perspective on why humans are so vulnerable to osteoporosis).
 
Quite simply bone needs a good blood supply to do both its jobs, production of new blood cells and provision of a stable scaffold for your body.  Bone marrow washing is the art of improving the blood supply of the bones.  The technique may be a little subtle to pick up at first.  This may be why it was only taught at the longer Melbourne workshop and according to Zhen Hua Yang this was the first time he has taught it in a public forum.  Nevertheless, it is an amazingly powerful technique that Zhen Hua Yang largely credits his teachers' longevity to.  It is also amazingly powerful in terms of vitality as evidenced by Zhen Hua Yang's one vitality, which has to be seen or felt to be appreciated.




Jan 2014 Workshop Review:

I recently attended Master Zhen Hua Yang’s nine day Calligraphy Yoga course (Part One 11-19 Jan 2014). It was an uplifting and positive experience. The techniques I learned continue to give me a feeling of balance, calmness, and capability.

It is difficult to explain what I found so valuable without referring to principals that may at first seem somewhat difficult to understand because they represent a "paradigm shift" of sorts regarding how humans can influence their health. For example, early on in the workshop Master Yang mentioned several times that the internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver, spleen, and intestines etc., need to be "serviced" for health and longevity and that conventional Western physical exercise such as running, resistance training, and many interpretations of Yoga practised by Westerners today do not provide this service.

The implication was that those practising the types of exercise common in the West, including many types of postural Yoga, would suffer ill health much earlier in their life than those who had a dedicated internal healing arts practice, such as Calligraphy Yoga. Master Yang also said he could see the effects of either approach in people’s eyes and skin. Those who practised servicing their internal organs would have clearer eyes and healthier looking skin. Those that did not would have visibly dryer eyes and skin at a comparable age.

The movements and positions taught in the course were a combination of Chi Gung movements and postural yoga positions. I was reasonably familiar with most of these. What was more novel was the way in which in each movement and position we were instructed to become aware of "energy" points, especially in our hands, feet, and head and to connect them not only with each other, but with movements in our abdomen, specifically in our "Dan Tien". Some of these abdominal movements, or Dan Tien rolls, were subtle. Master Yang was quick to point out that the movements should feel less "muscular" and more "energetic". I found this technique both challenging and rewarding to apply. It feels like it has opened up a whole new world to my personal practice.

To elaborate on this internal circulation approach, as best I could understand, Master Yang said it was important to develop a strong circulating current of blood and lymph centrally in the internal organs and then to extend this circulation peripherally to all parts of the body. To this end, Calligraphy Yoga includes some of the extension, lengthening, and stretching of the spine and limbs (including the hamstrings) with postures reminiscent of those practised in the types of postural yoga I am familiar with, but with the purpose of connecting the interior organ’s circulation with the entire body, a purpose I had never heard expressed before.

From what I was able to glean from Master Yang himself and from my brief internet research, he comes from a part of Western China, Mianyang in Sichuan province that borders the Tibetan Plateau. This region has ancient healing, medical, and martial arts traditions that have been highly regarded in China for centuries. In addition, Master Yang himself comes from a familial martial arts tradition that dates back 400 years. The style of Yoga he teaches, Calligraphy Yoga, contains a level of accumulated wisdom and authenticity that in my opinion most postural Yoga traditions I have experienced don’t come close to matching.

Indeed depending on what your current conception of Yoga is, Master Yang’s techniques may be considered more authentic "Yoga" than the Southern Indian Yoga traditions and their Western interpretations that have achieved such market penetration in the West in the last few decades. Kindness, patience, and more than a dollop of good humour are other welcome qualities Master Yang brings to his teaching.

Hope to see you at Zhen Hua Yang's upcoming workshop,

Namaste,

Ben

Events and Workshops March 2014.
Workshop One: Sat 15 March 2- 4pm
Yoga Chi Gung Pilates: An Introduction
Topics:
Introducing Yoga Chi Gung Pilates: Why combine these disciplines?
&
Solving the problems of excessive "mobilizing" muscle tension and insufficient "stabilizing" muscle recruitment.
		
		
		
		
		
		
		
		

			
			
			
			
			
			
			
				
				
				
				
				
				
				Workshop Two:Sun 16 March 10 am -2:30 pm	


				
				
				
				
				
				
				Internal Organ Servicing
Topics:
Historically Yoga and Nei Gong (Chi Gung) were internally focussed.
&
The influence of mean abdominal pressure on internal organ function
&
Wise movement, like wise decisions, come from a grounded centre.
&
What is it the Dan Tian? How do we roll it and roll with it?
&
The Microcosmic Orbit: Circulating the benefits of internal organ servicing

Cost: $25 for workshop for workshop One, $50 for workshop Two, or $60 for both.
Workshops will involve a balance of theory and practice, so bring a mat if you have one and a cushion if you want one. To ensure your place, book and pay in advance by contacting Ben:
0423 103 202 bengaffney68@hotmail.com




The 2013 series of
"The Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga, Chi Gung, and Pilates: Maximizing the Benefits and Minimizing the Risks"
will be presented on Sun 24 Nov and 8 Dec. 

Workshop one, Sun 24 Nov 2013 1-4 pm, will have two topics:

"Back muscles: Which  to engage, which to soften?"
and
"Internal organ massage: From the ‘historical’ Uddiyana Bandha toTha-Mula Bandha to Spinal Undulation."

Workshop one will be repeated Sun 8 Dec 2013 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Workshop two, Sun 8 Dec 2013 1-4 pm, will have two topics:

"The very human problem of pain in the neck, back, sciatic region, and  legs:  Why is it so common and what can we do about it?"
and
"Three distinct cultural interventions to preserve the life of the spine:  Western Physiotherapy, Chinese Internal Arts, and Indian Postural Yoga."

The cost will be $70 for both workshops (or $40 for one).  Please note if you have attended all three of my workshops in 2012, the total price for both workshops is $50 (or $30 for one)

The workshops will involve a balance of theory and practice.  So bring clothing appropri ate for action, a mat if you have one, and a cushion if you want one.

Please contact me on 0423 103 202 or bengaffney68@hotmail.com to book, pay, or if have an enquiry

Namaste,

Ben

 

Archives of past workshop titles:

Workshop One Sat 27 Oct 2012

2:30 to 5 pm

Topic 1

Introducing YogaChiGungPilates:   Why combine these disciplines?   Why not just do one?

2

Returning to spinal health:   The problem of excessive resting muscle tension.   The role of self massage.

3

Returning to spinal health:   Stabilizing exercises, from low-load to high-load, the University of QLD treatment revolution!

4

Returning to Spinal Health:   From a stable neutral spine to a stable moving spine.

Workshop Two

Sat 17 Nov 2012 2:30 to 5 pm

Topic 1

Can pranayama be performed during asana?   Natural breathing and internal organ massage.

2

What is “Reciprocal Inhibition” and how does it allow flexibility to be improved more safely?

3

What comes between updog and downdog?   Why it’s Lolasana, the forgotten pose.  

4

What constitutes a complete vinyasa practice? How can it performed safely?

5

How can an insightful vinyasa practice inform forward and back bending asana practice?

Workshop Three

Sat 8 Dec 2012

2:30 to 5 pm

Topic 1

What constitutes “structural alignment” considering we have nerves and use to walk on four legs?

2

Balls, sockets, notches, tethering and peripheral nerves: How asana practiced with the best of intentions has the capacity to be injurious and how it can be made more body-friendly?  

3

Spotlight on parsvakonasana,   Krishnamacharya’s favourite

4

Spotlight on trikonasana, Iyengar’s favourite

5

Spotlight on parsvottanasana

6

Spotlight on paravita (Shiva’s better half)

		
		
		
		
		
		
		
		
		
		
		
				
		
		

February 2009 "Stability Exercises For Yoga: From Low Load to High Load. "

and:

" What Comes Between Updog and Downdog?   Why its Lolasana, the Forgotten Asana. "