My Experience Learning Yoga Through the Lens of Physical Therapy with Threesphysiyoga

In December 2019 I finished a 6 month 100-hour training with physical therapists who taught us yoga through the lens of physical therapy. Their goal was to start bringing smart, anatomy and biomechanic-based yoga into the yoga world. They threaded in PT exercises in a way that makes sense in a vinyasa yoga class and especially for one-on-one yoga sessions. The training was really about looking at how people move and how we can help people move better and be in less pain by using yoga and movement.

I’m going to be totally honest here – the reason I took this training was to get a really clear understanding of biomechanics and anatomy. Some of you may know I’m also a personal trainer, and that’s what that venture started out as as well. And here’s why:

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How to Help Your Balance and the Connection Between Your Toes and Balancing

I follow a guy named Dr. Perry Nickelston on Instagram (@stopchasingpain), and he made a post Tuesday morning about something that really struck me – how your toes compensate for a weak glute (aka butt muscle). 

Here’s what he said:

“Toe gripping is a compensation for glutei (aka butt muscles) that don’t work well”

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All Things Chaturanga Dandasana

I get asked about this pose ALL. THE. TIME. It’s one of the reasons people start seeing me for private yoga sessions. It is THE pose that everyone wants to know how to do, but is unfortunately the pose that us yoga teachers never actually take the time to teach.

There are so many ways you can build up to chaturanga in order to work on it STRONGLY instead of dropping into it and kind of flopping to the ground.

Why is it so hard? Let’s break it down:

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Stepping Your Foot in Between Your Hands From Downward Facing Dog

I see this all the time. I say lift your right leg up, step your foot between your hands, and then a student’s foot lands somewhere halfway up their mat, their hip is jacked up in the air, their heel is off the ground, and they look unsure and uncomfortable in the lunge position. I’ll usually go up to that person and kneel by them and suggest they push their foot to the top of their mat, and then that’s what they’ll continue to do the rest of the class.

But wouldn’t it be nice if the foot just got there on its own?

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Yoga Break to Help With Sitting at Work

When you sit at work, are you sitting up straight or are you rounding your upper back? What about during your commute? What about when you’re reading or texting or sitting on the couch watching tv? I catch myself doing this a lot, and I end up with upper back pain. Click the link below for a video I created about how to relieve some of this pain, and all you need is a desk or the back of a chair. 

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Hip Stretch to Combat Sitting at Work

Sitting all day got your hips feeling stiff? Or maybe you stand all day at work and it leaves your hips achy and your back hurting? Try this video below and let me know if it relieves some of your aches and pains. If you’re at work and can’t do this with the sound on – don’t fret – step-by-step instructions are below the video. Feel free to respond to this email with any questions or feedback. Enjoy!

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5 Tips to Nail Your Crow Pose

Every time I’ve taught a one-on-one session with someone, it was always for 2 reasons: they wanted to nail crow or they wanted to understand chaturanga. These also happen to be 2 of the poses I feel most confident to teach. I’m not gonna lie – it’s a really really hard pose. So I’ve come up with a list of 5 tips I can share with you so that you can nail your next crow, or at least get a little closer to sticking the landing.​

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Downward Facing Dog Alternatives

Recently I’ve been dealing with a bit of shoulder pain (specifically my rotator cuff) for a few months now. As a result, downdog has started to bother my shoulder a bit, which has made me get a bit creative with my vinyasa yoga practice since so much of vinyasa is downdog. I thought this could be helpful for you as well, so I wanted to share with you a few alternatives to downdog I’ve been using in my own yoga practice.

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