No Alignment Rules- You Will Not Be Assimilated

posted in: Yin Yoga Podcast 0

If you are newer to Yin circles, then you may not know. That we don’t follow “alignment” rules in Yin Yoga.

If you’re not familiar with the work of Paul Grilley my teacher. He has what was a DVD (and is now an online streaming presentation) called Anatomy for Yoga.  One of his geniuses, and one of the biggest contributions he’s made to the yogaverse is understanding that skeletal variations are a very real thing.

Meaning if you and I were to stand next to each other, even if we were exactly the same height and weight. Kind of general body. Proportions like our arms, were similar in length, etc., etc. We do not look the same on the inside. So inside our body, our bones are not the same from one person to the next.

So based on the fact that we are all different, inside we can’t expect our poses to be the same on the outside either!

Yin Yoga is a functional form of Yoga, not an aesthetic form of Yoga. Meaning in Yin Yoga it doesn’t matter what the pose looks like. It’s what the pose feels like that matters.

So if you are feeling the shape in the intended area, in the 50-60% range and you aren’t in any pain then you are doing the pose right, regardless of what it feels like. In Yin Yoga, we are looking for Function over Form.


Yin Yoga Podcast- No Alignment Rules – Listen

Yin Yoga Podcast- No Alignment Rules – Watch

Yin Yoga Podcast- No Alignment Rules – Read

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Hi Yannis, welcome back to a yin Yoga. Podcast

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if you are new here, welcome

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and welcome back to returning listeners.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if we haven’t met before. My name is Nick Danu, and I’m your host. I’m a certified yoga therapist mentor of yoga teachers. Yin yoga teacher trainer, and a total yani Yoga Geek, and I also offer public Yoga classes as well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Couple of things to note here.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: These are adult conversations, and so they might include difficult subject matter.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and

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Nyk Danu Yoga: also you can expect some adult language. So if you have small people around.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: take a moment to grab your headphones. Now.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: one more thing to mention is, you may or may not know, dear listener, that you can also watch these on video. If you prefer video as a format to audio, I upload the completely unedited versions to my YouTube channel, and there will be a link

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Nyk Danu Yoga: below wherever you’re listening to this to access those if you would like to.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay. So now that we’ve got all of that business out of the way.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: today’s topic is something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while, and it’s been on the list of in my phone of podcast episode ideas.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But it kind of got sparked recently. So I thought. now is the time.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I’m in a lot of Guin

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Nyk Danu Yoga: groups on Facebook. In fact, the only reason I stay on Facebook is for the groups. So in groups and also other teacher groups as well. So I’m on.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m on a few groups in Facebook. And recently there was somebody who posted a question.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And that sort of sparked today’s episode. The question was.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: when I’m doing shoelace pose, I can’t get my head above my knee.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: What am I doing wrong, or are there any tips to help me with this.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So that was the

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Nyk Danu Yoga: the kind of

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Nyk Danu Yoga: match getting lit for this episode.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you are newer to Yin circles

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as a member of the public. Maybe you’re not a teacher. then you may not know. or even if you are a teacher who’s newer to the practice of yin. But don’t have any yin training

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Nyk Danu Yoga: at this point.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: You may not know that we don’t follow those kinds of rules. Indian.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you’re not familiar with the work of Paul Grilli, my teacher.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: He has what was a DVD. And is now an online streaming presentation called Anatomy for Yoga. and one of the geniuses of Paul, and one of the biggest contributions he’s made to the yogavers

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Nyk Danu Yoga: is understanding that skeletal skeletal variations are a very real thing. meaning

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if you and I were to stand next to each other, even if we were exactly the same height and weight. Kind of general body. Proportions like our arms, were similar length, etc., etc.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: We do not look the same on the inside. so inside of our body our bones are not the same from one person to the next.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and Paul came across this Aha! And then started sharing it in workshops and trainings, and then it became the rather famous now anatomy for Yoga presentation, and if you are a teacher especially.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: but even the public could definitely watch this. But especially if you’re a teacher. If you have not watched that anatomy for yoga presentation, whether you teach yin or not because it’s not yin specific, it’s yoga specific

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cannot recommend that you do that enough.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It will change the way that you look at your body and everybody else’s body for the rest of your life.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and it will allow you to be truly of service to your students in a much deeper way.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you want to know more about that, there will be a link to it in the show notes so that you can hop online and snag that presentation.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So let’s start with a little story, shall we? We all love stories? So when I was a fairly new teacher. I think I’d been teaching, probably about 2 ish years

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Nyk Danu Yoga: somewhere in that range. I realized that in my first teacher training, although it was a fairly good program. I didn’t feel like I had enough anatomy knowledge.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Nor did I feel like I had enough sequencing knowledge. But that’s a that’s a podcast episode for another time.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so those were kind of the 2 areas. Once I graduated my first teacher training that I decided I was going to need to do some more continuing education in some self study in order to really kinda feel like I had an understanding of these things.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So one day, while in a bookstore back, when everybody went to bookstores. I still do. But you know most people don’t anymore.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I was in the Yoga section.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and there was this DVD called anatomy for yoga, and I was like perfect. I didn’t know anything about the teacher.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I didn’t know anything about what the subject matter was specifically, but I did know that I felt like in my first teacher training. The Anatomy Section was way too short, and I really didn’t jive with the teacher. And so it’s like, Yes, I’m gonna get this. So I bought that it was a DVD. Again. You don’t have to watch it old school like that. Now it’s streaming online.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I bought the DVD. And took it home and started watching it.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And it’s fairly lengthy. So it’s the kind of thing you can spread out, unless you are totally nerdy like me, and want to spend a whole Saturday night doing it, which is what I did.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: but you can spread it out. It’s in chapters.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so I watched it, and my mind was completely blown.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It was completely blown, because, watching that information and learning about all of our different bone structures. not to mention body proportions and all the other things.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: was something that was news to me. So I was first trained in a style of yoga that was very sort of

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Nyk Danu Yoga: one. Size fits all

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Nyk Danu Yoga: where there was these blanketed alignment cues. I’m doing air quotes here alignment cues that were tossed out.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and they were tossed out to everybody in the group.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: regardless of what our particular body or shape or body proportions were.

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So there was this idea in my first teacher training program, which was an I younger based program.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It wasn’t anger certification program. But all the teachers that taught in that program were I younger teachers other than one. So it was very Iungar influenced, you could say.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and it definitely left me with the feeling of there is a right way and a wrong way to do a yoga pose.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and that these 5 little points are the the air quotes cues that we use to guide somebody in and out of this shape.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: there were cues that we learned that we were to say to people to get them in and out of their poses. There was the way the pose should look like, and if you couldn’t

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Nyk Danu Yoga: do that pose

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Nyk Danu Yoga: in the way that it was taught. Then you were just given props so that you could try your best

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Nyk Danu Yoga: to

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Nyk Danu Yoga: look like the version that other people were doing. So. It wasn’t like, Oh, okay, your leg doesn’t work that way, or your leg doesn’t move that way. So let’s just, you know, do what feels right for you. That was not how I was trained I was trained with. This is the air quotes right way to do this pose.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so this is the way you do it, and if you can’t do it, you just use props until you can get comfortable enough and look like you’re in some semblance of a similar shape, but with a bunch of props.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: this was how I was trained, and even in my first training I was starting to get these inklings that this

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Nyk Danu Yoga: wasn’t right.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: that there were things in my body that didn’t fit with what they were saying.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and there was no flexibility on individualism on each person being different.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So, for example. in extended side angle pose

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Nyk Danu Yoga: based on my bone structure, if I bring my hand to the floor.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I get a sharp pinching in my hip socket to be clear. It’s not a stretch sensation. There’s no stretch sensation at all. It’s like a pinch like someone’s taken a handful of my flesh and just like squished it really hard

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if I then go. Okay, that’s too far, and I bring my elbow up onto my knee. Then I’m just kind of hanging out there like I’m really not getting anything from that shape

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if I do in between, and I put my hand on a block.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then I can come lower.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and I can do that shape without the sharp pinching.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so, as a new teacher. So I was discovering this in my teacher training, I went to my teachers and said, Why is this? Why is it when I bring my hand to the floor, which II technically had the flexibility to do.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Am I getting this pinching in my hip socket?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And I didn’t get a good answer.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I got answers like your hips are type.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: which is totally

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Nyk Danu Yoga: baloney, because the only area of my body that has been naturally flexible. There’s only a couple of them every other, every other little bit of flexibility that I have is has been earned with years of practice, but I’ve always been fairly open in my hips and my inner thigh at the time as well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: just in comparison to the average bear. Not, you know, circus ole amounts, but, you know, compared to the average person.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so I knew that it wasn’t tight hips.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: That was the answer. And yet I wasn’t getting any answers.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So you know, I just kept putting my hand on a block

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Nyk Danu Yoga: because I couldn’t get any answers, and I certainly didn’t want to feel that sharp, pinching pain. So I blocked

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Nyk Danu Yoga: another example from my time in my own teacher training is that I am naturally what’s called an internal rotator in my hip sockets, and I’ll explain what that is

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Nyk Danu Yoga: before we go further. Just in case you’re new to this kind of information. So, depending on where your hip socket is on your body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: some people’s orientates a little more to the front.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: some people’s orientates a little more to the side. Some people so orientates even further to the side, almost kind of to the back.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So that’s your hip socket right where the top of your leg bone plugs into your hip socket.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So that’s one thing that can be different from person to person.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: The other thing that can be different is the head of your leg bone, or your femur. The size of the head of that bone

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Nyk Danu Yoga: can be totally different

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Nyk Danu Yoga: from person to person. Now I realize that for some of you this might be brand new information. because in our teacher trainings

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Nyk Danu Yoga: we’re often given an anatomy book with drawings. or we have that plastic skeleton thing at the front of the room.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so we think that everybody looks like that on the inside.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But if we can acknowledge that you might have a group of people standing near each other.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and they have different eye colors and heights and weights and body proportions and skin tones, etc. Etc. Then why is it that we think on the inside? We all look the same?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: We don’t. So this is what I mean by skeletal variations. And this is what Paul goes through at length

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Nyk Danu Yoga: in that presentation. Now I’m gonna talk about it just based on my own

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Nyk Danu Yoga: personal experiences and shapes. To illustrate

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Nyk Danu Yoga: what I’ve Ahaz I’ve had with this because of my own bone structure.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: but these are by no means, you know all of the examples. These are just the ones that have personally affected me.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay. So back to the hip joint

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Nyk Danu Yoga: my hip joint because I’m naturally, genetically, more internally rotated. I actually have a really good amount of external rotation as well, depending on the position of my pelvis.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So, depending on whether my pelvis is flat, or tucked, or tilted, or upright, or laying down, will noticeably change how much range of motion I have in my hip before my leg

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Nyk Danu Yoga: bone eventually hits my hip

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Nyk Danu Yoga: socket in a way where it’s like bone on bone, and it can’t move. So it’s complex, right? It’s a complex joint.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I’m naturally, fairly, genetically, internally rotated, meaning. When I just sit on the floor I can easily stretch my legs out straight and have my legs kind of fall in towards each other. So if you were imagining this, the obvious way to see it is your feet

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Nyk Danu Yoga: might turn in, but it’s actually not coming from the feet or the ankles or the lower leg. It’s coming from the hips.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I’m genetically.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: internally rotated. I have a good amount of genetic internal rotation.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I also have external rotation, but we’ll leave that to the side for now. and so for me to do a pose like what’s in Hafa called subdivorasan

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Nyk Danu Yoga: or client hero, or in yen. We call it saddle pose.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So for me to come into that pose and bring my bum to the ground. My knees look like they’re turning in towards each other.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: but it’s actually not my knees that are turning. It’s my whole thigh bones that turn in so my knees look like they’re kind of turning in, but it’s actually my whole leg

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Nyk Danu Yoga: upper leg bone in the hip socket that turns in

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and in Iongar circles. This is. This is a moment for freaking out.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so I would do that. I’d been sitting like that since I was a small child quite comfortably. I did have a babysitter when I was little, also freak out about me, sitting down on the floor between my feet, saying that I was going to ruin my knees, which is ridiculous.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Anny, who? So in my younger

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Nyk Danu Yoga: classes, when I would do that, and I would sit between my feet, because that’s what I would need to do to feel a stretch in my thigh, muscles in my quadriceps, as I would need to kind of come down.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and usually we would be doing this pose as a prep

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Nyk Danu Yoga: for back bends right, we would be opening the front line of our body, stretching out our quads as a way to prepare for deeper, stronger back bends.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and so everybody else would be, you know, doing their

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Nyk Danu Yoga: reclined hero or Aka saddle, and most of their knees would kind of point straight, but mine would turn in, and then teachers would come up and freak out about that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and say all kinds of things like you’re going to wreck your knees and blah blah blah! And so they would put a bunch of support under my bum so that I couldn’t come down as low

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Nyk Danu Yoga: until my knees pointed straight.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then they would strap my legs together so they would stay that way.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then they would ask me to lie down in, replied Hero.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So the problem with that is manyfold. The first one is now. Everyone else in the group is feeling sensations of stretch in their thighs, their quadriceps

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as a way to prepare for the back bending. That’s about to happen.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But I’m not getting that stretch because you’ve got me up on all of these blocks and things, and you’ve got my legs.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, stuck together with a strap. So I’m just kind of hanging out there

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Nyk Danu Yoga: like I’m just laying back, feeling nothing.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: not stretching my quadriceps because you’ve taken away what my bone structure naturally allows my body to do.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So this became an issue. So I would always think, Well, that doesn’t make sense. Now, everybody else is getting this big quad stretch, and I’m getting nothing. And I’m gonna also have to do wheel pose in a few moments without opening up my quads like. I don’t understand this.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So there was the hip thing in extended side angle with the pinching. There was the not allowing me to internally rotate in my in my thighs, which is in my hips, which is totally natural for my body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then the final one was, I have a very limited range of motion in my shoulders.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so a pose like shoulder stand, for example, some people can effortlessly come into shoulder stand, and they love that pose, and it works so well for their body, and it feels relaxing, etc. Etc.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: In my body. That is not the case. If I interlace my hands behind my back.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then I try to bring my hands away from my sacrum, away from my lower back. I get maybe an inch inch and a half before I just get stuck.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So to be really clear.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s not muscular tightness that’s restricting me. I don’t feel any stretch. I just literally get stuck like I can’t

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Nyk Danu Yoga: pull my hands any further away.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and even when teachers would try to put their hands, but under my arms and bring my hands away. Nope, they just don’t go.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and that’s because I’m hitting my bones. So in my shoulder joints I have a fairly small acetabulum.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and a fairly, I guess, large in comparison to the acetabulin bone in my upper arm. And so it doesn’t take long when you’re in that range of motion, of pulling your hands behind your back before I’m hitting my bones, which means we’re done. That’s all I can do.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, if I was able to bring my hands wider, using a strap, then I’m able to bring my hands much further away, because I’m able to get around that point of bony compression in my shoulder.

00:18:51.480 –> 00:19:08.709
Nyk Danu Yoga: So how did this come up in my poses? Well, when you’re upside down in shoulder stand, and most people are using their arms, you know, maybe hands interlaced, or maybe hands sort of on their back as a way to roll their shoulder blades together, and, you know, use their arms to help lift them up off of the neck

00:19:08.880 –> 00:19:12.939
Nyk Danu Yoga: so that they’re not getting all of the weight of that pose on their neck.

00:19:14.310 –> 00:19:15.940
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m not able to do that

00:19:16.190 –> 00:19:28.669
Nyk Danu Yoga: because I can’t bring my arms back away enough to get the weight off of my neck. So when I do a classic shoulder stand or plow, or snail in yin.

00:19:28.700 –> 00:19:34.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: I only feel a bunch of weight and pressure on this on c. 7 on my neck.

00:19:34.420 –> 00:19:36.779
Nyk Danu Yoga: which is Hello! Uncomfortable.

00:19:37.190 –> 00:19:40.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: My face starts to turn red. It feels like torture.

00:19:40.710 –> 00:19:47.659
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I remember having teachers come up to me in my training and saying to me like. Can you get your

00:19:47.680 –> 00:19:58.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: shoulder, your arms more underneath you, and you know, roll them back and lift up off of your neck. And the answer was always no, I can’t. I’m literally stuck here

00:19:58.900 –> 00:20:14.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: now, of course, in the Iango tradition they have props for everything, and so they would get me in a very prop version of a shoulder stand, using a bolster under my shoulders and a chair for my legs and all of that. But at that point it’s taken me like half of the time that everyone has in that shape

00:20:14.730 –> 00:20:18.029
Nyk Danu Yoga: to just get into a version that I could work with.

00:20:20.170 –> 00:20:25.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: There wasn’t an understanding of the fact that I was probably hitting my bones.

00:20:27.090 –> 00:20:31.129
Nyk Danu Yoga: They assumed I just wasn’t air quotes flexible enough

00:20:32.440 –> 00:20:38.009
Nyk Danu Yoga: in order to do that pose. So I just needed to wait until my shoulders opened up

00:20:39.240 –> 00:20:50.029
Nyk Danu Yoga: before I could do it. but they never once asked me, Are you feeling a stretch in your shoulders? So those are just 3 examples in my own body

00:20:51.110 –> 00:20:56.049
Nyk Danu Yoga: of how, in my first teacher training, there were some things where I was like. Hmm!

00:20:56.480 –> 00:21:05.519
Nyk Danu Yoga: This doesn’t make sense to me. Why isn’t this working, or why? And when you give that direction, does it feel completely the opposite in my body? From what you’re saying it should.

00:21:05.870 –> 00:21:12.769
Nyk Danu Yoga: because I’m an internal rotator, for example. So this is how I graduate. I graduate this program.

00:21:12.800 –> 00:21:29.509
Nyk Danu Yoga: I am using all of the same automatic robotic alignment cues that I was taught. So I’m using all of the step by step, alignment cues. I’m using all of the so called air quotes for those of you who can’t see me. Rules of alignment in order to air quotes.

00:21:29.710 –> 00:21:33.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: keep people safe. and I start teaching this way.

00:21:33.850 –> 00:21:45.730
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I’m a young teacher, I’m out. I’m saying all of the silly things that were taught like, you know. Have your knee directly above your ankle in a lunge. All of the things that have now been completely debunked

00:21:46.830 –> 00:21:49.670
Nyk Danu Yoga: for those of us that have been staying up on these things.

00:21:50.970 –> 00:21:57.329
Nyk Danu Yoga: And I come out and I’m teaching, and I walk into the book store, and there is the anatomy for Yoga, DVD.

00:21:57.620 –> 00:22:02.770
Nyk Danu Yoga: I buy the DVD. I go home. put it on my computer on a Saturday night

00:22:03.010 –> 00:22:08.140
Nyk Danu Yoga: start watching it. Because that’s how I roll on Saturday nights, and

00:22:08.930 –> 00:22:10.650
Nyk Danu Yoga: my mind is blown

00:22:11.020 –> 00:22:19.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: because there’s a huge amount of people in that presentation that have very different bone structures and body proportions.

00:22:19.110 –> 00:22:22.570
Nyk Danu Yoga: And Paul so skillfully demonstrates kind of

00:22:22.730 –> 00:22:28.559
Nyk Danu Yoga: ranges of motion from really restricted bone structures to really, really, you know.

00:22:29.240 –> 00:22:40.779
Nyk Danu Yoga: very adaptable and very like Bendy Bone structures. Almost not Bendy. That’s not the right word, but large ranges of motion to really restrictive ranges of motion. And then a few people in between.

00:22:41.320 –> 00:22:44.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: and he also really demonstrates body proportions

00:22:44.650 –> 00:22:57.220
Nyk Danu Yoga: how that affects what we’re doing. And so, watching this presentation, my mind was blown as far as my own body. I was having some Aha! Moments, I was like, oh.

00:22:57.370 –> 00:23:02.869
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m an internal rotator. I didn’t even know that was a thing. Okay, cool.

00:23:03.040 –> 00:23:04.330
Nyk Danu Yoga: Oh.

00:23:04.410 –> 00:23:19.400
Nyk Danu Yoga: that’s why I can’t do this shape, or Oh, it’s fine. If my knees turn in when I sit like this, I’m not damaging anything, because the movement’s not coming from my knees. It’s coming from up in my hip socket. Oh, it’s having all of these huge Aha moments!

00:23:20.200 –> 00:23:28.390
Nyk Danu Yoga: And then, as we do as teachers. You go back out into the world and you start teaching your students, and you start looking at their bodies and going. Wait a minute.

00:23:28.830 –> 00:23:37.179
Nyk Danu Yoga: Maybe the reason so and so isn’t doing what I’m saying, as far as these alignment cues go isn’t because they’re not listening.

00:23:37.430 –> 00:23:47.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s because they can’t actually do that with their body, or it doesn’t work for their body, or it’s really uncomfortable in their body. And so I started being curious about

00:23:47.480 –> 00:24:01.130
Nyk Danu Yoga: watching my students and studying them and seeing what limitations they have. And then I started changing the way that I taught. Because if you’re a Yoga teacher and you’re listening to this dear Yoga teacher

00:24:02.260 –> 00:24:09.520
Nyk Danu Yoga: when we get new information. which I hope that you are, if you’re continuing to study. which you should be.

00:24:09.530 –> 00:24:16.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: even if it’s in small bite-size doses. Don’t just get your 200 h and think you’re done. No, no, no, this is the beginning. 200 h is like

00:24:17.000 –> 00:24:30.649
Nyk Danu Yoga: junior high level. So you can continue to study for your whole life. So if you’re continuing to study, my hope is that when you have new information. and you realize that maybe something that you were doing wasn’t

00:24:31.050 –> 00:24:39.510
Nyk Danu Yoga: skillful or accurate. that you then switch what you’re doing. And that’s what I started doing so. One simple example was

00:24:40.420 –> 00:24:46.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: in Tudasan mountain pose. I was trained in my first teacher training that you stand with your feet together.

00:24:47.640 –> 00:24:49.089
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so that’s how I taught it.

00:24:49.500 –> 00:24:53.499
Nyk Danu Yoga: and then, which, by the way, never felt very grounded for my own body.

00:24:53.820 –> 00:25:04.239
Nyk Danu Yoga: I could do it. It was fine, it didn’t cause pain or discomfort, but I never felt really solid and stable like a mountain when my feet were together. That’s because I have a wide pelvis.

00:25:05.490 –> 00:25:10.290
Nyk Danu Yoga: but I did it. and so I stopped teaching tanas in that way.

00:25:11.980 –> 00:25:24.049
Nyk Danu Yoga: and instead I asked my students to come to the top of their mat and stand with their feet in a position that felt stable and solid for them, and then I showed a few variations.

00:25:24.180 –> 00:25:29.280
Nyk Danu Yoga: Their feet could be together, they could be slightly apart, they could be hip distance apart, etc., etc.,

00:25:30.280 –> 00:25:43.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: and so keep in mind. I’ve been teaching feet together for a couple of years now. and I had a student come up to me after class and say. I noticed that you changed the way that you taught about our feet in Tadasan.

00:25:43.930 –> 00:25:55.879
Nyk Danu Yoga: Why? And I explained to her, well, I’ve been studying some more anatomy, and and what I’ve realized is that actually, not everybody but Bones can do that comfortably. Some people can do that really comfortably. Other people can’t.

00:25:55.940 –> 00:26:02.270
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I’m just opening it up so that everybody can feel kind of stable and solid in that shape, which I think is the point.

00:26:02.840 –> 00:26:08.529
Nyk Danu Yoga: You know it is called mountain Pose. Right? So how do we feel stable and solid here

00:26:09.040 –> 00:26:10.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: grounded?

00:26:11.070 –> 00:26:12.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: And she said, oh, okay.

00:26:12.600 –> 00:26:14.899
Nyk Danu Yoga: And we moved on with life. Right?

00:26:15.100 –> 00:26:16.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

00:26:16.980 –> 00:26:27.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: that’s a bit of the background of how I started to learn about skeletal variations and started to drop these so-called alignment rules.

00:26:29.510 –> 00:26:37.019
Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, my hope is that if you are a teacher who is teaching in Yoga that you have either

00:26:37.420 –> 00:26:42.170
Nyk Danu Yoga: watched or are about to hopefully this presentation with Paul Grilly.

00:26:43.340 –> 00:26:46.009
Nyk Danu Yoga: It is of the utmost importance.

00:26:46.330 –> 00:26:51.100
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I cannot stress this enough that it will blow your mind if you haven’t watched it yet.

00:26:51.540 –> 00:26:56.769
Nyk Danu Yoga: and it will change the way that you look, not at your own, not just at your own body, but also at

00:26:56.870 –> 00:26:58.020
Nyk Danu Yoga: your students.

00:26:59.590 –> 00:27:02.550
Nyk Danu Yoga: So sometimes our students or teachers

00:27:04.910 –> 00:27:10.080
Nyk Danu Yoga: use these kind of shoulds like the posts should look like this, or you should do it this way

00:27:10.190 –> 00:27:20.420
Nyk Danu Yoga: because they haven’t studied skeletal variations, and they don’t have a deeper understanding of how to make poses

00:27:20.570 –> 00:27:23.730
Nyk Danu Yoga: customized for each individual person.

00:27:23.860 –> 00:27:30.069
Nyk Danu Yoga: Instead of this blanket alignment queue, or this rule air quotes about how the pose should look.

00:27:30.760 –> 00:27:33.409
Nyk Danu Yoga: So sometimes. The reason that these

00:27:34.430 –> 00:27:47.679
Nyk Danu Yoga: things get said in Yen Yoga circles is because a teacher will come from a style of yoga where they were taught all of these so-called alignment rules. and they just bring those into their yin practice.

00:27:48.260 –> 00:27:56.900
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so, if that’s you right now, listening. Don’t feel called out, but accept this invitation to do better

00:27:57.010 –> 00:27:58.249
Nyk Danu Yoga: and to learn more.

00:27:58.750 –> 00:28:02.490
Accept this invitation to really, deeply investigate.

00:28:02.720 –> 00:28:06.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do these rules even make sense. And again, resource

00:28:07.050 –> 00:28:14.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: Paul Grilly’s anatomy for Yoga, DVD. Because I don’t offer that in a training.

00:28:16.430 –> 00:28:30.579
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I don’t, simply because it’s very hard to do what Paul did, where you can find sort of these extreme ranges of different humans to demonstrate all of these different things right? It’s very hard to find that group of people.

00:28:31.760 –> 00:28:32.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

00:28:34.240 –> 00:28:40.310
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you are coming to Yin from another style of yoga. and you haven’t perhaps studied

00:28:40.520 –> 00:28:42.810
Nyk Danu Yoga: yin yoga.

00:28:44.250 –> 00:28:50.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so you’re just kind of teaching in with all of these same kind of blanket alignment rules.

00:28:51.150 –> 00:28:52.549
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s a big problem.

00:28:53.700 –> 00:28:55.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: If you’re a teacher who

00:28:56.020 –> 00:29:10.249
Nyk Danu Yoga: has come from another style of Yoga, bringing in your alignment and rules as your suitcases with you into your baggage, into a yin practice, and you have taken a Yin training, and they haven’t talked about skeletal variations.

00:29:10.470 –> 00:29:15.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: They haven’t talked about how to make poses adaptable and accessible for different bodies.

00:29:16.280 –> 00:29:17.630
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s a problem

00:29:18.060 –> 00:29:21.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: because that should have been included in your yin training.

00:29:23.350 –> 00:29:33.919
Nyk Danu Yoga: So there’s something to to say. and if you are out there and you are a yin yoga teacher trainer, and you do not include skeletal variations in your teacher training? Why the heck not.

00:29:34.400 –> 00:29:42.650
Nyk Danu Yoga: I understand that sometimes teaching this can be awkward, because, again, you can’t really get a room full of people that have such

00:29:42.860 –> 00:29:52.190
Nyk Danu Yoga: large ranges of motion and limitations and skeletal variations all in one place, so it can be a little daunting. But Paul’s.

00:29:52.220 –> 00:29:55.660
Nyk Danu Yoga: DVD. Is there as a resource, and that’s how I do it in my training.

00:29:55.970 –> 00:30:05.829
Nyk Danu Yoga: When you come into my yin training. The only thing you need to buy is Paul’s anatomy for Yoga presentation, and that is the first assignment. Everybody has to watch it

00:30:06.020 –> 00:30:07.200
Nyk Danu Yoga: as homework

00:30:07.610 –> 00:30:15.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: ideally, even before they come to the first day, and then they have some reflection questions, or some homework, that they can do on

00:30:16.760 –> 00:30:27.609
Nyk Danu Yoga: what they experienced, what they thought, what they saw any Aha! Moments, etc., etc. So that’s the very first thing that my teacher trainees go through before they even have a lesson with me.

00:30:28.070 –> 00:30:37.480
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you are a teacher trainer and you of Yen, and you haven’t done this, or you haven’t included skeletal variations definitely rethink that.

00:30:38.630 –> 00:30:43.400
Nyk Danu Yoga: So there’s some examples of why this idea of like my.

00:30:43.680 –> 00:30:49.429
Nyk Danu Yoga: this should be here, or my that should be here, or the pose should look like this.

00:30:51.600 –> 00:30:59.510
Nyk Danu Yoga: Sometimes we bring our baggage, our aesthetic baggage, or our what does the pose look like or alignment rules that

00:31:00.200 –> 00:31:17.189
Nyk Danu Yoga: aren’t actually rules because there is no way to say one blanket rule about everybody, it’s impossible. So we bring that baggage into our yin practice. And then we start teaching our students with that baggage. So that’s one reason why sometimes these things, these questions come out.

00:31:17.570 –> 00:31:28.309
Nyk Danu Yoga: The other reason is, and if you are a Yoga student and you’re listening to this is that you’re not actually studying Yen Yoga with a qualified Yenny Yoga teacher.

00:31:28.870 –> 00:31:31.729
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you’re just scanning through Youtube.

00:31:32.040 –> 00:31:37.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: and you just find a video. And you’re like, Oh, okay, this video says Yin in the title.

00:31:37.540 –> 00:31:41.109
Nyk Danu Yoga: But that teacher doesn’t have any Yin training.

00:31:41.730 –> 00:31:51.240
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s problematic, because what they’re doing is they’re taking all of their baggage from their other other styles of yoga, and they’re pushing all that luggage into their yin class

00:31:51.410 –> 00:31:53.129
Nyk Danu Yoga: and again problematic.

00:31:55.280 –> 00:31:59.090
Nyk Danu Yoga: So back to the case in point with the

00:31:59.180 –> 00:32:05.969
Nyk Danu Yoga: inspiration for today’s episode. When I’m in shoelace, I can’t get my head over my knees.

00:32:09.630 –> 00:32:12.680
Nyk Danu Yoga: So why, this is problematic is because

00:32:13.370 –> 00:32:21.770
Nyk Danu Yoga: this poor student has fallen under the misconception. That Yin Yoga is an aesthetic form of Yoga.

00:32:22.440 –> 00:32:25.499
Nyk Danu Yoga: and it’s not. It’s a functional form of Yoga.

00:32:26.120 –> 00:32:35.820
Nyk Danu Yoga: So let me break that down a little bit aesthetic for those of you that are like, what does that mean? Aesthetic is how something looks. Function is how it works.

00:32:35.960 –> 00:32:44.869
Nyk Danu Yoga: Right? So in Yin Yoga, for example, if we were going to do shoelace, let’s just use that example, since that’s the one that sparked today’s episode.

00:32:46.250 –> 00:32:50.679
Nyk Danu Yoga: When you’re a teacher or a student, and you’re going to do shoelace pose.

00:32:51.940 –> 00:32:59.320
Nyk Danu Yoga: You have to understand. What is the intention of this pose like? What is? Why am I doing this. What’s the point?

00:32:59.330 –> 00:33:08.169
Nyk Danu Yoga: It isn’t to make pretty shapes with your body. The intention of shoelace is to feel some sensation in your hip, but IT band zone.

00:33:09.530 –> 00:33:23.379
Nyk Danu Yoga: So when you take the focus away from what does this pose look like? I’m trying to make a pretty pose, or I’m trying to match the version that I’ve seen in a book, or I’m trying to copy the version I’m seeing on a DVD.

00:33:24.080 –> 00:33:38.770
Nyk Danu Yoga: Or I’m trying to, you know, practice on Youtube. And I’m trying to copy what that teacher is doing. But you are not studying with a skilled teacher who can look at your individual body and go. Oh, okay, for you. Try this.

00:33:39.510 –> 00:33:40.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s a problem.

00:33:42.580 –> 00:33:43.470
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

00:33:43.810 –> 00:33:47.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: that’s why these alignment cues come in

00:33:48.180 –> 00:33:57.190
Nyk Danu Yoga: when you understand that the point of Yenyoga isn’t what the poses look like. but what they feel like.

00:33:57.560 –> 00:34:04.800
Nyk Danu Yoga: Let me say that one more time in Yen Yoga. What the pose looks like is irrelevant.

00:34:05.370 –> 00:34:09.399
Nyk Danu Yoga: We are worried about, what does the pose feel like in your body?

00:34:10.110 –> 00:34:20.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: So in the case of shoelace, if you are doing some version of shoelace, and there’s a whole bunch of different versions based on bone structure. If you’re doing some version of shoelace

00:34:21.090 –> 00:34:27.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: and you’re feeling sensation of stretch in your hip. But it. Band zone. You’re not feeling any pain.

00:34:27.770 –> 00:34:38.200
Nyk Danu Yoga: and you’re in that kind of 50 to 60% zone. So you’re not going into the fullest, deepest pose that you can do. then you’re successful. because that is the point.

00:34:38.620 –> 00:35:01.089
Nyk Danu Yoga: The point of shoelace is to feel sensation in your hip and butt area. If you’re feeling that. And you’re not feeling any pain. And you’re feeling an amount of sensation that’s tolerable that will allow you to be there for an extended period of time anywhere from 2 and a half to 5 min. We’ll say not that you couldn’t hold it longer, but just that’s an average.

00:35:01.100 –> 00:35:07.380
Nyk Danu Yoga: Then you’re doing the pose right regardless of where your head is or your knee is.

00:35:08.500 –> 00:35:13.600
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m going to point out 2 more examples that come up with this often

00:35:14.820 –> 00:35:18.329
Nyk Danu Yoga: sleeping swan. It’s called Inyin Pigeon. In Hatha.

00:35:18.860 –> 00:35:28.360
Nyk Danu Yoga: There are teachers out there, and if this is you, dear teacher, please, for the love of all of my sanity and the health of your students. Bodies stop saying this.

00:35:28.890 –> 00:35:37.090
Nyk Danu Yoga: but there are teachers out there that will tell you that your front leg in pigeon or a KA. Swan pose should be at 90 degrees.

00:35:38.120 –> 00:35:47.310
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you are doing that, and you just felt called out, please stop doing that. You could potentially be injuring your students. Some people’s bodies

00:35:47.840 –> 00:36:06.080
Nyk Danu Yoga: have the natural external rotation in their hip socket again, their bones. This is not a flexibility issue. This is a bone thing. Some people have the bones to bring their leg to 90 degrees, and fold over it, and have that be totally safe for their hip and their knee

00:36:06.240 –> 00:36:22.580
Nyk Danu Yoga: for other people if they keep trying to do that because they just think practice, practice, and all is coming. Or my teacher said, if I just keep doing enough, Yoga. Eventually I’ll be able to get my leg to 90 degrees here, and the goal of this pose is to get my leg to 90 degrees.

00:36:22.760 –> 00:36:35.140
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if that starts happening, and that student keeps trying, and their bone structure doesn’t allow for that. you are injuring their body. you may be causing damage to their hip.

00:36:35.550 –> 00:36:41.940
Nyk Danu Yoga: There is a huge generation just before me of Yoga teachers who have just a little bit more experience in practice.

00:36:42.200 –> 00:36:48.820
Nyk Danu Yoga: who have had amounts. So the amount of hip replacements in older Yoga teachers is ridiculous.

00:36:49.620 –> 00:37:04.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: and a lot of it is because they fell into these lies that they’d been sold about how everybody should be able to do this. If you just keep practicing 1 one day you, too, will have 90 degrees in your pigeon or swan pose, and that is bullshit.

00:37:05.000 –> 00:37:08.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: There are people who could do that from their very first Yoga class.

00:37:08.540 –> 00:37:16.760
Nyk Danu Yoga: There are people who will never be able to do that, even though they’ve been practicing for decades, and it depends on their bones.

00:37:17.370 –> 00:37:20.889
Nyk Danu Yoga: So that is another example that I often hear

00:37:20.990 –> 00:37:30.649
Nyk Danu Yoga: or witness students trying to pull their shin up so that it’s parallel with the front of their mat, because they think that’s the way to do this pose.

00:37:31.020 –> 00:37:44.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s not the way to do the pose. It doesn’t matter what angle your shin’s at. The point is, are you feeling sensation in your hip? But IT band zone in that pose, and are you not feeling any knee pain.

00:37:45.110 –> 00:37:46.950
Nyk Danu Yoga: and then well done.

00:37:47.210 –> 00:37:57.139
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you can find sensation without pain in the intended area, and you can settle into the shape because you’re doing a moderate amount. You can hang out there for time.

00:37:57.300 –> 00:38:02.560
Nyk Danu Yoga: Then you’re doing the pose right, regardless of what it looks like.

00:38:04.210 –> 00:38:08.640
Nyk Danu Yoga: One more example that I’ve had. that I’ll share with you.

00:38:11.220 –> 00:38:17.570
Nyk Danu Yoga: Not too long ago one of the studios I teach at the student came up to me before class, and she said.

00:38:18.210 –> 00:38:22.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: Hey, can you help me with something? I said, maybe let’s let’s see.

00:38:22.990 –> 00:38:25.550
Nyk Danu Yoga: So she got into frog pose.

00:38:26.560 –> 00:38:29.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: and she told me that

00:38:30.090 –> 00:38:36.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: she wasn’t really feeling a stretch in her inner thighs anymore in frog pose. But she couldn’t go any lower.

00:38:36.930 –> 00:38:44.370
Nyk Danu Yoga: She’s like, what? What can I do? And I looked at her, and I said nothing. Because you’re hitting your bones.

00:38:44.550 –> 00:38:52.699
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I said, What are you feeling here? You’re not feeling any stretch in your inner thigh. Well, where in your body do you feel this? And she pointed, pointed directly to her outer hips

00:38:53.360 –> 00:38:58.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: in that pose. And she said, Yeah, I just feel like this, like, like, I’m like.

00:38:58.390 –> 00:39:07.369
Nyk Danu Yoga: stuck or like, pinch here. Yeah, because you’re hitting bony compression. One of your bones is hit in the other bone.

00:39:07.450 –> 00:39:10.650
Nyk Danu Yoga: so there is no further. You’re going to go in that pose.

00:39:11.870 –> 00:39:17.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yoga practice is not going to change our bones. It can release our soft tissues.

00:39:18.080 –> 00:39:29.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: it can, you know, can open our. We can get more flexible with our our tissues of our body, whether that’s muscles, or even fascia right? We can affect the fascia of our body. We can affect the muscles of our body.

00:39:29.990 –> 00:39:36.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: We can affect the nervous system. That’s a whole other topic. but we cannot change your bones.

00:39:36.150 –> 00:39:44.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: So this poor girl was coming into frog pose and doing frog pose often because she had the goal of wanting to be able to do the splits.

00:39:47.920 –> 00:39:48.780
Nyk Danu Yoga: And

00:39:50.070 –> 00:39:52.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know we could talk a lot about

00:39:53.230 –> 00:40:00.950
Nyk Danu Yoga: whether or not having a specific Asana as a goal is even wise. I don’t think so personally, because again, bone structure

00:40:01.390 –> 00:40:14.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: hmm, but anyways regardless, her goal was to do the splits. And so she was doing this pose often, and couldn’t figure out why, even though she wasn’t feeling any stretch in her inner legs, she couldn’t get any lower to the ground, and when I told her

00:40:15.090 –> 00:40:27.719
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I used my hand as an example. Now, you can’t see this if you’re listening to the podcast, but I often demonstrate by taking one hand and kind of making it into a curve shape, and then, the other hand, I make a fist which is to represent the head of the the femur, the leg bone.

00:40:27.840 –> 00:40:43.930
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I showed her well in your body. What’s happening is as you spring. The head of the femur is in your hip socket and you come to the ground. You’re starting to get stuck here on your bones. Sometimes a visual is a good thing, so you can always check this out on Youtube if you are not understanding what I mean.

00:40:44.170 –> 00:40:46.699
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I said, You know you’re hitting your bones.

00:40:46.920 –> 00:40:49.539
Nyk Danu Yoga: So there is no further to go.

00:40:49.830 –> 00:40:51.859
Nyk Danu Yoga: and so she looked at me, and she was like.

00:40:52.380 –> 00:40:56.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: so I’ll never be able to do the splits this way. And I was like

00:40:57.430 –> 00:41:00.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: exactly. and she was like. oh.

00:41:01.580 –> 00:41:10.110
Nyk Danu Yoga: she wasn’t sad. Her life wasn’t over. She wasn’t feeling like she wasn’t a good Yogi because she couldn’t do the splits

00:41:10.310 –> 00:41:14.040
Nyk Danu Yoga: if anything. She was relieved because she was like, Oh.

00:41:14.340 –> 00:41:17.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: okay, well. you know, scratch that idea, then.

00:41:19.400 –> 00:41:24.980
So those are just a few of the many, many, many examples that I’ll commonly see

00:41:25.090 –> 00:41:26.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: in Yoga classes

00:41:26.880 –> 00:41:33.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: when people are trying to do a version of the pose that they see the teacher do, or they see the person next to them do.

00:41:34.370 –> 00:41:38.419
Nyk Danu Yoga: and it’s not necessarily wise for their particular body.

00:41:39.830 –> 00:41:53.910
Nyk Danu Yoga: And I realized that sometimes, as teachers listening to this kind of information can be a little bit daunting. Because if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, Oh, great! So everyone’s get different bone structure.

00:41:54.060 –> 00:42:06.029
Nyk Danu Yoga: How the hell am I supposed to teach this pose. And how the hell am I supposed to help people when I realized they can’t do the version that I can comfortably do, or that the neighbor can comfortably do.

00:42:07.020 –> 00:42:10.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: Well. This is when we talk about things like props

00:42:10.690 –> 00:42:15.600
Nyk Danu Yoga: and making yoga accessible. And if, dear Yoga teacher.

00:42:15.630 –> 00:42:29.189
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you have a yin training, and they didn’t go over skeletal variations and ways to change the shapes, including props, sometimes to make these accessible for more bodies if they didn’t show you several versions.

00:42:29.630 –> 00:42:33.960
Nyk Danu Yoga: then it might be time to do another training. So.

00:42:35.290 –> 00:42:42.829
Nyk Danu Yoga: unfortunately, in the Yoga verse and Yin can definitely fall into this camp as well. There isn’t a big focus on accessibility

00:42:42.960 –> 00:42:55.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: and customizing the poses to meet the individual’s needs. And so sometimes, as teachers, we can kind of look out at the group and see something coming up and be like. I don’t know what to do about this.

00:42:55.940 –> 00:43:00.160
Nyk Danu Yoga: This is something that I will say, even though I talked at the beginning of my

00:43:00.320 –> 00:43:08.590
Nyk Danu Yoga: after this episode about my first teacher training program, and how you know it had some definite disadvantages with this whole one size fits everybody. Thing.

00:43:09.830 –> 00:43:16.199
Nyk Danu Yoga: One thing the ay, younger camp does really really well is teach you how to use props.

00:43:16.350 –> 00:43:22.640
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so I have become a bit of a props Queen, or some people call me a props, ninja. I’ll take either.

00:43:22.730 –> 00:43:39.130
Nyk Danu Yoga: so I have the ability to look at a student and see if they’re uncomfortable. and go over and offer them either a different version of the pose, or maybe putting a prop here, or try this or try that. Does that feel more comfortable for you now? It’s always a question it’s always does that feel more comfortable for you?

00:43:39.500 –> 00:43:40.930
Nyk Danu Yoga: Most of the time

00:43:40.970 –> 00:43:47.229
Nyk Danu Yoga: I got it figured out. But there’s times where I’m wrong, because I don’t know what’s going on in your body. If you’re my student.

00:43:47.470 –> 00:43:57.210
Nyk Danu Yoga: I can make some informed guesses. I can be curious. I can offer you some solutions, but ultimately you’re the one who has to tell me what you’re feeling in your body.

00:43:57.660 –> 00:44:09.210
Nyk Danu Yoga: But if, dear Yoga, teacher, you’re sitting here right now thinking shit. I’m always uncomfortable trying to figure out how to do versions of poses for people

00:44:09.400 –> 00:44:18.169
Nyk Danu Yoga: to meet their needs, and I don’t know how to use the props, and I don’t. I haven’t experienced that issue in my body. So how am I supposed to know how to help them.

00:44:18.250 –> 00:44:31.170
Nyk Danu Yoga: Well, it comes from a few things one a willingness to learn that’s always good. You might not know now, but you can learn a willingness to use props where needed.

00:44:32.470 –> 00:44:45.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: and a willingness to be curious and not feel like you need to have all the answers. So notice, I said, when I go up to a student I will ask them.

00:44:45.510 –> 00:44:49.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: Hey. hmm! What if you try to block under your foot here?

00:44:51.250 –> 00:44:53.180
Nyk Danu Yoga: How does that feel. Is it more comfortable

00:44:53.400 –> 00:44:59.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: or less? If it’s not, let’s just take it out and forget this idea. But if you feel more comfortable here, let me know.

00:44:59.500 –> 00:45:01.390
So notice how I didn’t just say

00:45:02.000 –> 00:45:05.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m going to put a block here, because that’s the the answer for you?

00:45:05.950 –> 00:45:07.119
Nyk Danu Yoga: I asked them.

00:45:07.360 –> 00:45:16.440
Nyk Danu Yoga: Are you feeling more comfortable this way. Does this allow you to feel more supported in a way that you can then take a deep breath and settle into this pose more and let gravity have you

00:45:16.820 –> 00:45:20.040
Nyk Danu Yoga: without feeling like you’re straining or efforting to be here.

00:45:21.830 –> 00:45:22.680
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

00:45:23.170 –> 00:45:26.770
Nyk Danu Yoga: that’s also important. So you would be open and curious.

00:45:26.940 –> 00:45:29.690
Nyk Danu Yoga: You have to be okay with not having all the answers.

00:45:30.820 –> 00:45:43.449
Nyk Danu Yoga: And then, if you really struggle with this, especially those of you teachers that come from quite naturally flexible bodies. It can be hard for you to then look out at a room of like the average bear and go. Oh.

00:45:44.020 –> 00:45:45.990
Nyk Danu Yoga: these people can’t do what I can do.

00:45:46.280 –> 00:45:47.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: Shit now, what?

00:45:48.510 –> 00:45:54.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: So might be time to invest in a training where accessibility is a focus.

00:45:55.160 –> 00:46:04.769
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you’re looking for one, I happen to have one in my 60 at the time of this recording. It’s a 60 plus hour training. It could be longer by the time you listen to this

00:46:05.340 –> 00:46:26.680
Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the big things that we go over when we learn these shapes. The yin shapes is, I call it a bunch of ways that you can change the poses up to make them more accessible, and also other poses that can access the same area. If all of these variations that we’re trying aren’t working. You could also do this pose instead, or this pose instead.

00:46:27.000 –> 00:46:31.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: because not all poses are good for all bodies. That’s just the way it goes.

00:46:31.360 –> 00:46:36.160
Nyk Danu Yoga: I will never be comfortable in shoulder. Stand on the floor

00:46:36.260 –> 00:46:47.779
Nyk Danu Yoga: without a bunch of props. It’s just never going to happen. and I’m cool with that. It’s fine now that I know that. And now that I know that it’s my bone structure limiting me, I could just do something else

00:46:47.840 –> 00:46:52.749
Nyk Danu Yoga: that to experience the same benefits of that pose right? So, for example, in yin.

00:46:53.380 –> 00:46:55.049
Nyk Danu Yoga: I can’t do plow pose.

00:46:55.070 –> 00:47:11.929
Nyk Danu Yoga: Nope, you’d have to put a boatload of blankets underneath my my shoulders for me to even feel remotely comfortable there, and I still wouldn’t feel comfortable, so would I want to settle into plough or snail for 5 min. Hell! No, that would be a small amount of torture for my body.

00:47:12.170 –> 00:47:18.570
Nyk Danu Yoga: But when I understand what is the intention of snail or plow, why am I doing this?

00:47:19.600 –> 00:47:32.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: Not what does this pose look like? And we just do it because it’s in the sequence. And we want everyone to look the same. But, like, what am. What is the point of this? What is the benefit? What am I putting this pose in the sequence for?

00:47:32.070 –> 00:47:42.209
Nyk Danu Yoga: Then it’s really easy to swap that out. So, for example, a great alternative for me, for snail pose is to flip over and to do caterpillar.

00:47:42.390 –> 00:47:48.909
Nyk Danu Yoga: because now I get that same rounding in the spine. but without all of the pressure on my neck.

00:47:49.640 –> 00:48:01.820
Nyk Danu Yoga: Such just one example of how sometimes we can use props to help our students get more comfortable. But sometimes we just give them something else that’s going to help the same area of the body. But that’s going to be more available to them

00:48:02.240 –> 00:48:03.580
Nyk Danu Yoga: or more comfortable.

00:48:05.130 –> 00:48:11.440
Nyk Danu Yoga: So, dear Yoga, teacher, if you’re listening to this, and you’ve had a lot of struggles trying to figure this out

00:48:11.700 –> 00:48:29.549
Nyk Danu Yoga: in your Yoga classes if you witness your students. And you’re like, Oh, I don’t know what to do here. and your first yin training didn’t have a lot of focus on this. I would welcome you to check out my training. Of course the link is always in the show notes. In fact, if you click the link you can just get on the waitlist.

00:48:29.960 –> 00:48:39.400
Nyk Danu Yoga: and that’s how I recommend finding out about it is, get on the waitlist. Just literally look for the link that says, Get on the waitlist, click it and add yourself to the waitlist.

00:48:39.680 –> 00:48:55.730
Nyk Danu Yoga: because when you do that you’ll be the first to know when registration opens for my training. You’ll also get some other little bonuses like I do offer at the time of this recording a discount for the first 5 that sign up and you only get that discount code. If you’re on the waitlist.

00:48:55.910 –> 00:49:07.480
Nyk Danu Yoga: And I also send out these podcasts and videos and other things to help you with your Yoga teaching along the way with your yin teaching on the way to registration opening.

00:49:07.830 –> 00:49:13.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if what I’ve said is resonated with you, and you feel like there’s a hole in your knowledge

00:49:13.910 –> 00:49:21.690
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would love for you to join me, or if you’re listening to this as a teacher, and you’ve been teaching in, and you don’t actually have any in training peek.

00:49:22.690 –> 00:49:32.459
Nyk Danu Yoga: I have a whole episode on that. And why you need to have yin training in order to teach Yin Yoga, I will link that episode below as well. You really should check that one out

00:49:33.940 –> 00:49:47.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: because Yin is pretty different, and so we need to treat it differently. We need to have a different skill set with yin than we do with other forms of yoga. And so it’s helpful to learn that.

00:49:47.650 –> 00:49:49.940
Nyk Danu Yoga: and sometimes I get the question of

00:49:50.500 –> 00:49:54.660
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know. Oh, but I’ve already taken a yin training.

00:49:54.890 –> 00:50:03.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: Should I take your training? Well, I don’t know. But I will tell you this. I’ll read this from one of my former students.

00:50:04.900 –> 00:50:06.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: whose name is Janice.

00:50:08.120 –> 00:50:14.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: here is her sort of testimonial, her feedback on my program.

00:50:15.170 –> 00:50:20.879
Nyk Danu Yoga: I have trained with Paul Griley as well as Bernie Clark, so she’s already got really awesome yin training under her belt.

00:50:21.660 –> 00:50:27.069
Nyk Danu Yoga: Nick’s training stands out as unique. Her approach to Yin is a truly quiet practice.

00:50:27.150 –> 00:50:31.810
Nyk Danu Yoga: Her focus is on developing teachers to appreciate space and quiet.

00:50:33.080 –> 00:50:52.040
Nyk Danu Yoga: Nick has studied Tcm in depth, and one of the standout features of her training is the information about the meridians, the sinew channels, and the 5 elements, and its balance with deeply practical applications of both expansive posture, including the upper body, plus props and modifications for all body structures.

00:50:52.220 –> 00:51:01.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: She offers a detailed manual with everything in one place. support, videos, and book lists for continuing education well past the duration of the training

00:51:03.050 –> 00:51:10.249
Nyk Danu Yoga: as a teacher. In this training we had plenty of time for live questions and answers as well as accesses access to nix experience

00:51:10.280 –> 00:51:13.920
Nyk Danu Yoga: as a teacher building a Yoga business and a practice twice.

00:51:14.920 –> 00:51:18.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: This training is an incredible blend of yin

00:51:18.560 –> 00:51:24.030
Nyk Danu Yoga: practical teacher stuff, you need to know, and highly informed. Tcm. Approach

00:51:24.110 –> 00:51:38.729
Nyk Danu Yoga: Nick’s refreshing humor and style. Add to this truly one of a kind training, and I would recommend this training. In fact, I already have to teachers whether you already have another Yin training or not. It is an investment well made. Thank you, Janice.

00:51:39.380 –> 00:51:42.379
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I highlight that, because

00:51:42.780 –> 00:51:52.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: sometimes I think we get this idea in yen that like Oh, well, I’ve taken 1, 20 h, or 30 h or 50 h Yin module. So I’m good. I’m done. No.

00:51:52.930 –> 00:51:55.459
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you’ve taken some training before.

00:51:56.110 –> 00:52:01.490
Nyk Danu Yoga: you still feel like there’s holes in your knowledge, then it might be time to take another training.

00:52:01.800 –> 00:52:22.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, in the other styles of Yoga we have these silly systems of 200 500 300 h. And yet, somehow, we think with yin that we just take like a little teeny module added on to what we’re doing. And then that’s it. Our work is done. Here we dust off our hands and we move on with life. But if if Yin is a style of yoga that you really really love, and you love to teach.

00:52:22.730 –> 00:52:27.539
Nyk Danu Yoga: and you feel passionate about. You will probably take several trainings over your years of teaching it.

00:52:27.850 –> 00:52:40.409
Nyk Danu Yoga: and so, if mine sounds like a good fit again. Check the show notes. There’s a wait list there. If mine’s not a good fit, then try to seek out another training. If you’re listening to this, and you struggle with this whole alignment

00:52:40.440 –> 00:52:51.329
Nyk Danu Yoga: accessibility, how do I modify things and try to find another training where that’s a big focus of their training, and I can’t necessarily say which ones those would be because I haven’t taken them. But

00:52:51.590 –> 00:52:56.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: please feel free to explore that and make that a real part of your training.

00:52:57.970 –> 00:52:58.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay.

00:52:59.090 –> 00:53:02.710
Nyk Danu Yoga: so there’s my version of

00:53:02.970 –> 00:53:06.430
Nyk Danu Yoga: alignment versus functional. Yoga.

00:53:06.660 –> 00:53:16.370
Nyk Danu Yoga: What is the difference between these silly alignment rules that may or may not make any sense for our students, and actually doing a functional form of Yoga.

00:53:18.240 –> 00:53:32.809
Nyk Danu Yoga: So when we switch from teaching how the post should look to how the post should feel. It changes everything because it opens up the playing field to all kinds of versions of the shape that are are adaptable for that individual student.

00:53:33.940 –> 00:53:40.899
Nyk Danu Yoga: I often joke with my students, and I’ll let this be the last little nugget that I share, and some of you will get the joke, and some of you won’t. That’s okay.

00:53:41.360 –> 00:53:56.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: Those of you that are trekkies will get it. But I often say to my students, you know Yoga isn’t one size fits all. I don’t care what you look like in the shape you don’t need to look like your neighbor. You don’t need to look like me. I want you to choose the version that works for you.

00:53:58.330 –> 00:54:00.090
Nyk Danu Yoga: and that’s when I always will say

00:54:00.560 –> 00:54:05.460
Nyk Danu Yoga: you will not be assimilated. I am not the Borg. I am not trying to assimilate you.

00:54:05.480 –> 00:54:09.549
Nyk Danu Yoga: We can all have our own beautiful individual versions of these shapes.

00:54:09.690 –> 00:54:18.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I love to see students that feel empowered enough to take props and make these versions their own, and do what truly works for their body.

00:54:19.410 –> 00:54:30.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: So what started off, as, should my head be over my knee, and Shoelace has gone down this rabbit hole, and I hope that you’ve found something from it. Whether you’re a teacher who really struggles with how to help people.

00:54:30.340 –> 00:54:42.299
Nyk Danu Yoga: or you’ve been using some of these alignment cues in yen. Please stop. It’s not the point of yin or if you’re a student listening to this, and you’re like, Oh, wait a minute. I don’t have to look like everybody else in the practice.

00:54:42.540 –> 00:54:44.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: but this isn’t a one. Size fits everybody.

00:54:45.910 –> 00:54:50.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: I hope that this was helpful. and until we talk again. bye, for now.


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