I had the opportunity to attend Liz Doyle’s “Curves Ahead- Navigating the Twists & Bends of the Spine” workshop at Terra Yoga on November 12. Terra Yoga, located in downtown Issaquah, has a beautiful studio with hardwood floors, a wall of mirrors, and large windows for great natural light.
I was looking forward to taking Liz Doyle‘s workshop. Thanks to a tail bone injury many years ago, I have some low back pain and a compressed spine. Backbends have always been a concern of mine, so I knew this workshop would be very informative.
Liz started with a discussion about the spine, using a skeletal model for reference. She talked about what muscles to stabilize while in a backbend (from strengthening your legs to tucking your tail bone to avoid injury).
The class was small, allowing for more intimacy and one-on-one adjustments. Liz encouraged questions and feedback throughout. The ladies in class were a lot of fun, cracking jokes. I really enjoyed the light-hearted atmosphere.
After the spinal discussion, we moved into some warm up stretches, twists, and muscle strengtheners. Liz showed us how the muscles worked in each pose to help with backbending. Seeing how to rotate the shoulders correctly was very helpful.
I enjoy yoga teachers who bring their vast knowledge of anatomy into their classes. There’s definitely less chance of injury if you understand how and where your body is supposed to be in each pose.
When Liz explained each asana, it was easy to understand. She demonstrated how not to do the pose, then showed us the correct way. We were able to see the difference in where the muscles were and how they moved. She then had us try both ways so that we could understand how our muscles were working.
We took all we learned in the first part of the workshop, then moved into the backbending asanas. I know there were many “A-ha!” moments in class when we realized we’d been practicing an asana incorrectly and now had the tools to better understand each pose.
I had a great time during the workshop and learned a lot. I look forward to taking another of Liz’s great workshops in the future!