Training Thursday: Debbie, Trudy, and Carmen complete anatomy workshop with Leslie Kaminoff!

Welcome back to our Training Thursday feature, where we highlight the ongoing training that teachers are completing as they enhance their knowledge and understanding of the world of yoga!

Today we feature a 12-hour workshop taken by three folks who teach at 4yoga:  Debbie Berry, Trudy Burkeen, and Carmen Herrera.  Debbie, Trudy, and Carmen traveled to New Harmony, Indiana, for this weekend with Leslie Kaminoff.  Many yoga teachers are familiar with Kaminoff because of his anatomy book, a popular choice for teacher trainings. The workshop was organized and hosted by Yoga Think Tank, founded by Shanda Packard of Harmony Therapeutic Yoga.

The August 16–18 workshop drew dozens of participants—fellow yoga teachers, yoga studio owners, and yoga students—and was divided into four main sections:

  1. An Introduction to Breath-Centered Yoga
  2. Shushumna Nadi in Theory and Practice
  3. Healthy Spines: Range of Motion, Support, and Breath
  4. The Sage’s Seat—The Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama

Debbie, Trudy, and Carmen all agreed that the workshop’s focus on breath and on paying attention to students’ individual experience was quite helpful.  For example, Debbie noted

We explored a “new to me” way of breathing especially on the exhale, the “apana,” by initiating the exhale breath from the pelvis and moving it up and out the nostrils like a wave. I also liked that he discussed breath being a pleasant and coordinated shape change and described tightness as a blockage in the shape change.

Carmen highlighted

[Learning] why there’s no single “right way” to breathe—the importance of integrated breathing within the context of our activities.

Trudy mentioned Kaminoff’s connection between the direction of the nose or gaze and the degree of opening in the pose, as a strategy to prevent straining in the pose.  For example, in triangle, if a student cannot gaze up at the thumb of the extended arm, then he or she should only open the arm to match the trajectory of the nose.

All three teachers especially appreciated the workshop’s focus on students’ individual experiences on their mats and indicated that, as teachers, they look forward to guiding students’ experimentation with both their breath and their bodies in future classes. Debbie shared her favorite quotation from Kaminoff: “’In yoga we’re not looking to add anything that is missing from the system. It’s to focus on what is still going right in the body and help unblock what is in the way.”

We look forward to benefitting from what Debbie, Trudy, and Carmen learned when we take their upcoming classes!

Carmen (left) and Debbie (standing, second from right) enjoy dinner with Leslie Kaminoff
Debbie (back row, center-ish) and Trudy (back row, second from right) participate in the workshop
photo credit: Lydia Mann
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