List of Workshops
(all workshops are 3 hours)
Suitable for Teachers and Students
Dynamics [dahy-nam-iks] noun
- The branch of mechanics that deals with the motion and equilibrium of systems under the action of forces, usually from outside the system
- The motivating or driving forces, physical or moral, in any field
- The pattern or history of growth, change, and development in any field
While the hip joint has the capacity to be a highly mobile joint, it also has the capacity to be quite strong. And contrary to conventional thought, flexibility and strength can be achieved together. Discuss why weakness may sometimes manifest as tightness, resist the urge to stretch yourself into common yoga postures, and discover the potential for utilizing isometrics in asana. Additionally, incorporate principles of co-contraction to help identify individual alignment variations. You’ll leave feeling strong and capable. Please bring a journal.
We do a lot of forward folds in yoga. Some might say too many. In fact, hamstring discomfort is prevalent among teachers and long time practitioners, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Jules has compiled all the hamstring tendon research on athletes, such as soccer players, also prone to needing hamstring help and translated it into a series of yoga poses to help you build tolerance so you can forward fold for years to come. There is never too much of one pose, only insufficient adaptation. Be prepared to be humbled, Hella Hamstrings will turn up the heat! Includes tips for hypermobile students.
Prana with a Twist
The breath is a unique function of the body because even though it is mostly an involuntary process, it can be voluntarily controlled. Breathing can, therefore, be utilized as a movement practice, prompting adaptive responses in both the physical and physiological realms. Moreover, the basic act of breathing moves the ribs, in turn moving the spine for better side bending and more expansive axial rotation. Experience directed breathing practices and somatic lessons that get you twisting more with less effort in all your poses served with a parivrtta garnish.
This is Spinal Map
Navigate the architecture of the spine in this brief lecture followed by movement and practice. Explore how the spinal curves evolved in response to gravity and how our limbs can leverage forces on the spine. Enhance your spinal mobility through phases of rest and repetition while gently and effectively building up to more challenging yoga poses. The workshop includes approaches to spinal articulations that consider current research on spinal biomechanics while addressing common misconceptions about back pain and spinal health. Please bring a journal.
Explore the core in this fun and educational workshop that develops awareness and control through to the center. Redefine the core to include structures beyond only muscles to explore the positional and functional relationships of your ribs, spine and pelvis while you move, break movement habits, and develop a keen insight into how to continue to evolve your yoga practice. Through Jules’ unique cueing, you learn stability without rigidity to support and improve breathing mechanics. This workshop begins with a one hour lecture on biomechanics, anatomy, and current research on core stability/mobility – then follows with a 2-hour asana class to apply and experience those concepts.
Variation Nation™: A Biomechanical and Variable Approach to Asana
Yoga is well established as a practice that prompts both physical and neural adaptive processes. Through a discussion of motor control theories, compare and contrast the academic versus the mind-body interpretations of variability. Discover how asana can introduce novel movements to affect performance, reduce risk for injury, and improve proprioception. A 2-hour asana class will follow, where you will explore and reveal habitual movement patterns and bend classical alignment rules for optimal tissue loading and heightened sensory input. It’s a moving, feeling, and learning party.
The highly mobile shoulder complex can bear the weight of the body in yoga asana but does not always perform to its full potential. Instead, we often see limited range of motion, repetitive use injuries, and pain. In this 3-hour workshop, we’ll simplify all the complex anatomy you may have studied in the past and equip you with approaches to get stronger, move better, and feel better. You will learn upper extremity biomechanics, learn to assess quality of movement, and incorporate practices to improve shoulder function, promote change and develop mobility/stability. Apply these insights to a variety of asana including the everyday downdog. You may experience a departure from conventional cueing. Therefore, curious minds are encouraged. All shoulders are welcome – healthy or injured, strong or weak, hypermobile or not mobile enough. Please bring a journal.
Foot Fundamentals and Ankle Articulations
Stand up to your standing poses with the knowledge they deserve, knowledge based in biomechanics and traditional yoga. In this 3-hour workshop with Jules Mitchell, we will explore standing postures from the ground up, increasing awareness of foot and ankle mobility and learning how gait patterns might be expressed in popular poses like Warrior 1, Triangle, and Tree. Get excited and challenged with Jules’ fun, functional, skill-based approach to teaching and learning. Expect to leave this workshop standing tall and proud about your standing postures. Please bring a journal. Notes and questions are encouraged.
Breathing Spaces & Asana
The average person takes over 23,000 breaths per day. Its no wonder breathing habits affect how you move, how you posture, and how you yoga. Explore different breathing practices and how attention to space and direction can profoundly impact the work you do on your mat. The practices are designed facilitate sensing and feeling, while challenging you to identify and progress beyond you predictable asana strategies. Don’t let the title fool you into thinking this will be nap time. Suitable for all levels, breathing is the only pre-requisite. Please bring a journal.
Analyze Your Asana
Immerse yourself into an investigation of common poses you regularly practice. If you’ve ever been puzzled by contradictory cues or wondered if you’re even doing the pose correctly, this workshop is for you. We will look at normal human variation to learn why there is no right way, but explore which approach may be best for you with specific outcomes in mind. You’ll learn the why, which then answers the how, with a brief biomechanics breakdown and plenty of practical application. Come with an open mind and leave with your curiosity satisfied. Suitable for teachers and students of all levels.
Trikonasana (triangle pose) is one of the most important poses in yoga. It is both introductory and advanced, simple and complex, revered and disliked. Because most practitioners have learned the aesthetics of the pose, they are successful at “posturing” and disguising mobility limitations. Reveal those hidden compensatory strategies by breaking down the three main component parts – lower extremity, upper extremity, and spine. The insight you will gain translates to dozens of other yoga poses and will immediately impact your own practice, as well as, how you teach.
Keep Calm and Balance On
As in life, balance takes practice and strength. Balancing skillfully and without compensation is even harder. Learn how to increase strength in single leg poses like vrksasana, eka pada malasana, and maybe even pistol squats, as well as in double leg poses like skater. Absorb yourself in anatomy of the lower extremity and basic gait mechanics to explore eccentric loading and test your balance and motor control at end range of motion. Don’t know what this means? Come to the workshop. Take charge of your balance on the mat and see what begins to happen off the mat! Expect to laugh a little and learn a lot. Please bring a journal.
Breathing Practices for the Body and the Brain
The breath is a unique function of the body because it’s an involuntary action that can be voluntarily altered or controlled. Thus, breathing can be utilized as a movement practice, prompting adaptive responses in both the physical and physiological realms. This 3 hour workshop includes an in-depth lecture of breathing mechanics and the autonomic nervous system, a discussion of the available research on the best breathing practices for beginners, and the opportunity to experience directed breathing practices and somatic lessons that change range of motion, down-regulate the stress response, and affect an overall sense of embodiment. Suitable for all levels, breathing is the only pre-requisite. Please bring a journal.
Teachers Only Workshops
Crash Course in Biomechanics
Transform the way you think, speak, and move within the practice of yoga. Learn how human musculosketelal tissues behave under load and adapt to applied forces. Distinguish between stress (load) and strain (stretch) to speak clearly and with confidence when speaking about the effects of yoga asana on connective tissue. Add the variable of time to the equation and we will question common yoga cues, bend classical alignment rules, and explore the use of props and adjustments to “direct the load” for a specific purpose. Please bring a journal.
Approaches to yoga asana alignment, sequencing, and breathing techniques are passed down through specific lineages. Over time, unique interpretations by each individual teacher and new translations of the material are introduced. Add some exercise science to the constantly evolving movement modality we call yoga and we have all the makings for a sequencing shakedown. In this workshop, we will add some principles in biomechanics to challenge the rote routines, upend class formatting guidelines, and think outside the pre-packaged pranayam box.
Let’s use science to:
- Understand why it is actually safe and savvy to reverse the rules
- Apply concepts in connective tissue and muscle behavior to promote specific adaptations
- Gain some insight as to why it’s okay to question some of the sacred cows of yoga
Please bring a journal.
Anatomy of a Private Lesson
Private lessons are not only excellent learning opportunities for the student, but also for the teacher. Working one-on-one with someone is an opportunity to sharpen your cues, get immediate verbal feedback, and become proficient in seeing the body and its infinite capacity for movement. While you can certainly teach a private lesson the same way you would teach a group class, you can make the experience much richer with some individualized care. In this workshop Jules will share you the basic structure she uses with her private clients – from initial contact and single sessions to working with regular clients for years. A little proficiency in assessment, pose selection, and gauging effectiveness will increase your confidence and expand your teaching potential. Please bring journal.
Applied Asana: A Scientific Approach to Stretching in Yoga
Classical yoga asana meets current scientific research on stretching methods in both the physical and restorative practices of yoga. In this 3-hour workshop you will:
- Discuss what stretching is and what role in plays in yoga asana
- Explore attainable modifications of challenging yoga poses like hanumanasana (splits pose) to develop strength at end range.
- Utilize isometric contractions for maximum benefit in generally accessible poses
- Apply active and resistance stretching techniques in classic yoga poses
- Learn why restorative yoga differs from stretching but has stretching benefits
Wear your critical thinking caps and bring a journal. There’s so much to share!
Workshops for Yoga Therapists and Licensed Healthcare Professionals
Safety In Yoga
The processes of healing after injury and avoiding injury are not as distinct as they might seem. For many decades, the prevailing approach for both has been to minimize load exposure, thereby preventing injury and re-injury. However, a new paradigm is emerging, suggesting that load exposure has a protective and therapeutic effect. Recent developments in rehabilitation research suggest that improvements in tissue capacity is multifaceted; capacity considers not only structure, but also function and pain. Jules shares a summary of these findings and highlights a few landmark papers while examining how these principles can inform the clinical approach to yoga therapy in the management of common musculoskeletal conditions. Mostly lecture.
Movement Modifiers and Manual Adjustments
Modern postural yoga (MPY) tends to be heavily assessed by aesthetic ideals; the shape determines the quality. But what happens when position, alignment, and geometry do not result in clinical success? Jules discusses how yoga therapy can be enhanced by moving beyond the kinesiopathological approach and embracing the symptom-modification approach to asana. Once separated from the notion of correctness, yoga postures may develop into an opportunity for patients/clients to manage their pain, improve self-efficacy, and restore joy to movement and daily activities. By combining cases studies and session attendee participation, Jules demonstrates how to read visual and palpable patient/client feedback and how this informs pose selection, modifications, and touch. Ultimately, the focus of this is session is to allow the yoga therapist to shift the balance of power in the patient’s/client’s favor. Mostly asana.
Slow Flow with Jules Mitchell
Tis not the pace, but the precision that provokes prana. This two-hour class begins with somatic warmups, delves into active postures with a biomechanics boost, and ends with a gentle restorative sequence to completely prep the body for a deeply peaceful savasana. It’s a slow flow practice that will give you a rush.
Umbrella Title and Description for Workshop Series
Yoga Meets Science Workshop Series with Jules Mitchell, MS
A recent survey conducted by Yoga Journal Magazine, reported flexibility as the number one reasons why people in the U.S. practice yoga. Yet, most of the scientific research on yoga does not investigate the biomechanics and motor control around improving range of motion. In fact, exercise science sometimes refutes and contradicts yogic teachings. In this workshop series weekend, Jules will lead insightful discussions, cite the most current research, and teach asana by blending her two passions: yoga and biomechanics. Jules isn’t shy about challenging the anecdotal instruction we were taught in yoga classes of our past but still upholds the tradition with the reverence it deserves. She is more interested in asking the right questions than knowing all the answers. Be prepared to transform the way you think, speak, and move within the practice of yoga. Please bring a journal.