Balancing Strength and Flexibility in Vinyasa Yoga Weekend
Full Weekend Registation: $285 after June 7
Over 20 years ago I stopped playing sports, said good riddance to the gym, and rolled out my yoga mat for what would become a long romance with vinyasa yoga. Since I couldn’t touch my toes, let alone do a backbend to save my life, my singular physical focus was to create more flexibility. I was strong, but I had no range of motion. Since the grass is always greener—and I didn’t truly understand that strength and flexibility are not mutually exclusive—I focused too heavily on flexibility. Then, like so many yoga practitioners, the over-stretch issues starting showing up: sacro-iliac instability, sacro-lumbar strain, hamstring insertion pain, shoulder pain with deep flexion, and more. Oh, yeah, then I turned 40 and I realized I couldn’t take strength and conditioning for granted any longer.
For the last few years, my practice has circled back to creating functional strength and stability in my body—without compromising my flexibility. I’ve learned that strengthening my body doesn’t decrease my range of motion when it’s done right. I’ve revised nearly every element of my vinyasa yoga sequencing to create muscular balance throughout my body—especially the regions that are excessively vulnerable in vinyasa yoga including the hamstrings, external rotators, sacro-iliac region, and shoulders. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’ve
It might seem obvious that we need to balance strength and flexibility in vinyasa yoga. But the reality is that we don’t. Not even close. These 4 workshops are the culmination of many years spent revising elements of vinyasa yoga in order to create a more balanced and sustainable practice.
Shoulders, Neck and Upper Back Flow
Friday, June 28 7:00-9:00pm
This dynamic flow will create balanced strength and flexibility in your shoulders, neck and upper-back. You’ll learn how subtle changes to your vinyasa practice can produce lasting, positive changes in your shoulders. In addition to enjoying a satisfyingly strong flow practice, you’ll learn the following takeaways:
-How to strengthen your scapular muscles to improve your posture—and your chaturanga.
-How to create balanced strength and flexibility in your entire shoulder girdle, minimizing the chance of pain and discomfort in your shoulders.
-How to use your shoulders correctly in all postures where the arms reach overhead, such as Handstand, Forearm Balance, and Upward-Facing Bow.
-How to save your wrists from the long-term stress of vinyasa yoga yoga.
-How to relieve chronic discomfort in the shoulders, neck and upper back.
Strength + Stability for Your Core & Spine
Saturday, June 29 11:00am-1:30pm
Your core is much more than your abdominals. And, your abdominals are much more than those muscles that you dare to look at in the mirror. This dynamic vinyasa practice will create balanced, sustainable strength in all of the muscles that comprise your core and spine. In addition to enjoying a satisfying, strong flow practice, you’ll learn the following takeaways:
-How to strengthen all of the your abdominal muscles—not just the ones that fail to look back at you in the mirror.
-How to strengthen your spinal muscles to create lasting comfort in your back and greater safety in your yoga practice.
-Why the rotational muscles of your core are integral to functional strength and how to use them in your practice.
-How to connect the strength of your core to the power of your hips and legs.
-How core strength supports all of your postures, including backbends, twists and arm balances.
Balanced Strength + Flexibility for your Hamstring & Hips
Saturday, June 29 3:00pm-5:30pm
Practicing yoga is an exceptional way to create flexibility and comfort in your hamstrings and outer hips. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overstretch them. When we lose strength and stability in these muscle groups, we become much more prone to injury. This is exacerbated in vinyasa yoga sequences which often over-emphasize lengthening these muscles without doing enough postures that strengthen them. This dynamic vinyasa practice will create balanced strength and flexibility in your hamstrings and hips. In addition to enjoying a satisfying, strong flow practice, you’ll learn the following takeaways:
-How to include hamstring and hip strengthening postures in your vinyasa practice to achieve more muscular balance.
-How strengthening your hamstrings and hips minimizes common vinyasa injuries.
-How to use your Glutes in backbends and standing poses—once and for all!
-How to create strength without losing flexibility.
Arm Balances and Inversions
Sunday, June 30 10:00am-1:00pm
Everyone reading this right now has heard a yoga teacher say, “Okay, if Bakasana is part of your practice, do it.” You’ve also heard a yoga teacher say, “If handstand is available to you, go ahead and kick up.” But, where are the details? Where are the techniques? Where are the stepping stones. This workshop will focus on key arm balances and inversions that are often included, but rarely taught in vinyasa classes. In this workshop we will break down the following with drills, discussion, and practice:
-The 2 most effective ways to transition into handstand.
-How to bail on handstand without ensuring that you or your neighbors will be going straight to the emergency room.
-The 3 essential keys to balancing in handstand.
-How to do Bakasana (CraneCrow), Parsva Bakasana (Side CraneCrow) and several arm balances that are derivatives.
-How to do Headstand and Shoulderstand in a Vinyasa Class without compromising your neck.
The workshop will be held at Porter Gaud School. Click on the map for directions.
Jason Crandell is a natural teacher and author with more than 15 years of experience. His accessible, grounded classes integrate the best elements of power yoga, anatomical precision, and mindfulness teachings. Jason’s articulate, down-to-earth approach to vinyasa yoga will educate and empower you. Named “one of the teachers shaping the future of yoga,” by Yoga Journal, Jason has been an in-demand teacher at conferences around the world for more than a decade. Considered a “teacher’s teacher,” Jason has taught on countless teacher training faculties, leads trainings globally, and regularly presents teacher training content at esteemed conferences. Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal magazine where he has written more than 25 articles. His critical thinking skills will support you on your path of practice, teaching, and self-inquiry. Jason’s primary teacher is Rodney Yee—who was kind enough to say, “Jason is taking the art of teaching yoga to its next level.”