Welcome to My Blog

Discover the latest on yoga biomechanics and exercise science.

By reading, commenting and sharing these posts, you are participating in the development of my work. Thank you for playing such an important role in the process.

 

Yoga has been a regular part of my life for over 20 years, during which time my practice has dramatically changed and my teaching style has evolved to reflect my personal experiences. After years of teaching anatomy for yoga teacher training programs, I had collected an extensive list of questions about how asana was actually affecting our anatomy and function.  I enrolled in graduate school and found many of the answers to my questions were to be found by studying biomechanics.  Partly due to my own injuries and partly due to the public perception that yoga is mostly stretching, my Master’s thesis project became a comprehensive literature review on the science of stretching, referencing the most current collection of scientific research on the topic of flexibility.  During the process, I discovered that the emphasis on stretching in the yoga community is often misunderstood, resulting in anecdotal information unsupported by the vast body of evidence published by exercise scientists.  Additionally, I discovered that our bodies (systems, organs, tissues, cells) respond to tensile loading in ways far beyond stretching for flexibility purposes.  “Stretching” had to be redefined in order to see the bigger picture.

I’m currently writing my book, Yoga Biomechanics:  Stretching Redefined, which should be available in 2017.  Through my blog, I share my educational  journey with you.  My views have matured and my rhetoric has become more sophisticated as I have continued to research, write, and teach this material to yoga teachers internationally.  Thus, older posts don’t always reflect my current opinion on some subjects, but they do reflect my growth as an educator.

By reading, commenting and sharing these posts, you are participating in the development of my work. Thank you for playing such an important role in the process.To read through the posts, just scroll down to work your way back, beginning with my most recent posts.  Or start at the beginning, and work your way forward by clicking here.

Question Everything

"Blind respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." – Albert Einstein I’m currently on a writing sabbatical, book writing, not blog writing. That means little-to-no time on social media, extended periods of time staring at my computer, a lot of typing, even...

The Difference Between Stress and Strain

Every profession has its jargon. In yoga, we insert Sanskrit words in the middle of an English sentence, speak in metaphors that defy the laws of physics, and use anatomical analogies that would baffle anyone in the medical industry. But we understand each other. We...

Loading and Stretching

  Stretching. That one simple word is anything but simple. It’s a linguistic divide among the yoga community. On one side we have the “yoga is not stretching” camp and on the other side we go to public yoga classes, and we do what seems to be stretching. In fact,...

Resistance Stretching with Charlie Reid

  This blog is sort of like a podcast, only you have to read it. It's basically a conversation between me and my friend/colleague, Charlie Reid, about yoga and resistance stretching.  We email often, so this is a glimpse into one of our email threads, just...

Why “Yoga for Sciatica” is a Stretch: A Guest Blog

My friend and colleague, Jenn Pilotti, delivers again with a guest blog on an important topic for yoga teachers.  I actually find the dialogue she has begun here to be so essential to education for yoga teachers, I have a hashtag for it: #thepigeonconversation As...

What’s the cue for that?

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Too long. But to put things in perspective, since my last post back in (gasp!) July, I was in Europe filming and on retreat, teaching workshops and seminars almost every weekend, putting together a book deal, and most...

To Bend or Not to Bend (the Knees in a Forward Fold*)

  I am not sure how or why this division came about, but whether or not to bend the knees during a hamstring stretch is a fiercely contested topic in the yoga community. Perhaps it is because injury at the proximal tendon (yellow part of photo below) is quite...

Transitions in Yoga Asana: A Guest Blog

  Don't you just love it when worlds collide?  I have been friends with a #bodynerd on facebook who posts the most awesome "Wednesday Musings" about her observations while working with clients, but I didn't actually know who she was.  In February, we attended the...

Biomechanics ≠ Anatomy

  In case you don't read symbols, this blog is titled "Biomechanics does not equal Anatomy." I only offer you this translation because I've been there. When I first registered for Calculus as an undergrad, it had been several years since I had taken it in high...

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