Aided Yoga

Śrītattvanidhi (Detail from plate 15: Āsana no. 86, Viratāsana)

We can practice yoga alone. We get more from some of it with a friend.

Aided yoga is interactive. We work together. I guide you where to feel how you move, feel how to align and how you extend and engage. A lot of what works best in yoga relies on how you subtly align and how you specifically engage and extend.

I reshape yoga to fit your need and what you do. But showing you and telling you can only go so far. We can do more. We use easy ways of moving together that have complexity. We push smarter, not harder. We move chains of muscles, step by step. You cannot see the muscles, but you can feel them. Together we move through your muscles and do more than you could alone.

Other practices could mislead understanding, so it is clearer to tell you what this is not. This is not pushing you into a pose. This is not Thai. You are not passive. This is not massage.

Right side human thigh and pelvis muscles from Gray's anatomy plate 430

An example can help understand how we will do this. Your strongest hip flexors (iliacus & psoas) are unseen deep inside you. They’re hard to reach, and you probably don’t notice them. Having your hip flexors tight can tilt your pelvis in ways that contribute to discomfort. And your psoas can contribute to common discomfort in your lower back.

We can easily touch these muscles in only a few places, and that is helpful. I will guide you to find where. We can extend these muscles, but to do so you need to feel specifically how you align. We can feel what we cannot see. We use aided yoga together for you to learn to feel how you align.

The well known warrior 1 pose by Krishnamacharya will extend your hip flexors. And I can guide you to feel how to align to extend your deep hip flexors. But that pose is not an easy way to learn to feel this and use it.

I use stable and supported poses to teach: they help simplify and help you focus on how you extend and engage. Doing warrior 1 standing people often attempt to over extend and also under use their butts. Doing aided yoga together, we will do warrior 1 seated sideways on a firm chair or kneeling. It is stable and supported. From this comfortable pose you can more easily focus as I guide you to feel as your extend your hip flexors and engage your butt.

Another example, moving up your torso. Your quadratus lumborum muscles also often contribute to discomfort in your lower back. They are much easier to touch than your deep hip flexors, but you still probably don’t notice them and just notice the discomfort.

Doing aided yoga together we can use pyramid rest pose and have you feel your chest move as you extend one arm. Then let your knees fall to one side and extend your opposite arm and feel as your ribs pull away from your pelvis and extend your ql muscle.