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.

How Muscles (Actually) Work

As you all know, the conversations I treasure most are those I have with #bodynerd colleagues.  This week, my friend, Charlie Reid, put aside a couple hours to discuss titin with me.  As all our conversations go, we start with some previously selected research...

Your hamstrings. They’re not short.

  Your hamstrings aren't short, they are low in extensibility. There.  I said it. What  I'd really like to do now is run and hide, since the questions and discussions on social media will likely overwhelm my schedule.  I mean, I've already led you to question...

Research vs. Blog

Last week, I was enjoying the afternoon with one of my favorite people and fellow body nerds, Trina Altman.  Over lunch and a long walk, we got to discussing the world of research vs. the world of blogging.  They are quite different in format. Research, is long, drawn...

Let It Go?

  The theme song from Frozen may as well be the mantra for many yoga classes -  where letting go, surrendering, and opening your (fill in the blank) are seductively crooned by the teacher at the front of the room, perhaps only a little less emphatically than...

Stretching Does Improve Flexibility

  Headlines are so misleading.  All of them. Except this one.  Stretching does improve flexibility.  Really.  It does.  The data tell us so.  Until the data tell us differently,  I feel confident in saying that stretching improves flexibility. In fact, stretching...

You Aren’t Tight, You Feel Tight

  I finally did it. I completed my literature based research and successfully defended my thesis to the evaluating committee - I am officially peer reviewed. I honestly never thought it would end. There were times I just wanted to walk away. I had already learned...

Progressive Overload

  Last week, I met with my thesis adviser to get some feedback on this never ending immensely satisfying project - a comprehensive literature-based research project on stretching.  One of the things she suggested was that I include the principle of progressive...

Creep and Recovery

  My last post introduced viscoelasticity.  Today's post will cover one of the phenomena of viscoelasticity: creep. Creep is defined by an initially rapid increase in strain (deformation) followed by a slower increase in strain at a constant stress (load) over...

Viscoelasticity

  This past weekend I met with a good friend willing to help me edit my thesis.  He is an Exercise and Movement Scientist and Sport Psychologist who is not only an incredible writer, but engages me in stimulating conversation on the topic of Exercise Science for...

Stretching and muscle activity

  Today's blog is a challenging one and I'm not sure where to start.   I feel a little background is necessary so I will go with that. Two weeks ago, I submitted the first draft of my research on the science of stretching - a full 150 pages covering all the...

Get Updates to Your Inbox

Stay Connected

X