Yoga As Therapy: Volume 1
Volume 1 provides the 'Foundations' or 'Big Picture' for our therapeutic approach, in terms of both an anatomical overview utilizing Tom Myer's myofascial meridians from his book 'Anatomy Trains' while relating these insights to the Ayurvedic system of Marma Therapy.
My approach to establishing 'foundations' begins with the roots of yoga therapy in the Vedas and Ayurveda, and expands to embrace contemporary insights. Much of the therapeutic application of postural or asana-based yoga practice owes its heritage to the Iyengar system of alignment-based yoga. Many therapeutic benefits are ascribed to the practice of asanas with specific attention to alignment and action in the Iyengar system; other systems also describe the benefits of poses, often in Ayurvedic terms, with reference to their effects upon the doshas.
The 'how' and 'why' of these benefits is not always explained with clarity, and tools of assessment are also needed for reading the 'story' — postural and otherwise — behind the therapeutic problems. Volume 1 of 'Yoga As Therapy' focuses especially upon exploring these questions.
The context or 'big picture' I set forth for understanding both the causes of therapeutic problems as well as the details for effectively addressing these problems through yoga is drawn from contemporary work myofascial work. This is meant to help us understand the claims about the therapeutic benefits of alignment and action in asana practice more clearly, and to apply recommended alignments and actions more effectively.
I refer directly to Tom Myer's myofascial meridians from his book 'Anatomy Trains,' and draw heavily upon assessment techniques from the works of Leon Chaitow, Dr. Ben Benjamin and Pete Egoscue as well as others. I relate this very concrete and physical myofascial 'weave' of the body described by Mr. Myers to the Ayurvedic System of Marma Therapy (drawing principally on the work of Dr. Vasant Lad in this area) in order to expand our understanding of the effects of postural work to the subtler 'flows' or 'srotas' of energy which affect organ function and the various systems of the body which can often be understood more intuitively in Ayurvedic terms of the doshas. This also includes influence upon the emotional and mental body.
For this reason, while the anatomical descriptions in 'Yoga As Therapy' are based firmly upon Mr. Myer's myofascial lines or 'meridians,' I describe these 'lines' in terms of 'sutras' in order to include elements from Ayurveda that are not part of Mr. Myer's own seminal work. I distinguish the terminology principally to avoid confusion about whether concepts of 'marma' are included in Mr. Myer's foundational definition of the 'Anatomy Trains' detailed in his own work, and to help yoga practitioners more easily relate the work upon these lines or sutras to postural practice (for instance, the 'Paschima Sutra' involves precisely the muscles stretched in the pose 'Paschimottanasana.')
The book also explores actions which can be practiced at the 'core' in order to provide stability and integrity that are essential to health, and which are really the essence of the actions of the 'bandhas' practiced in yoga. This aspect is actually prior to and in addition to our understanding of the 'sutras,' and I relate it in particular to the health of the sacrum and low back, as well as to providing the stability necessary for the health of the shoulders. The section on the anatomy and function of the shoulders is also quite extensive in this volume, with additional practical exercises for the shoulders provided in volume 2.
In order to have a look at the table of contents for Volume 1, click here.
If you intend to buy the set of both volumes, click here!