Accidental falls are a leading cause of injury, especially in the elderly and those with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and MS, where balance problems are common. Improving balance should also be an integral part any program to prevent osteoporotic fractures, which half of women over 50 will experience in their lifetimes.
Beyond using yoga to improve physical balance, we’ll explore balance as seen in Ayurveda and examine such factors as core strength and mindfulness, as well as the balance of the autonomic nervous system, all of which affect physical balance.
N.B although we will mention balance problems caused by dizziness, vertigo and inner ear problems, this will not be a major focus of this workshop.
Session One: The Yoga of Balance
An overview of perspectives on balance from modern medical science, yoga and Ayurveda. We’ll examine the sources of balance from the inner ear to the felt sense (proprioception). Our practice will focus on creating resilience and balance in our bodies, nervous systems and minds.
Session Two: Feet as Foundation
Falling, and the injuries that often result, is often caused by poor balance. We’ll study a number of factors that contribute to a lack of balance from weakness to inattention to a lack of being “grounded,” both physically and energetically. Our practice, emphasizing standing poses, will focus on learning to wake up our feet, making them stronger, more flexible, and more aware.
Session Three: The Domes of the Hands
In yoga, most of us have been taught to press the four corners of the hands into the mat in arm balances and poses like Downward-Facing Dog. This can be valuable, but the dome in the palm that this action accentuates is only one of the domes in the hand. In our practice, we’ll explore how to use these other domes to strengthen and enliven our hands, allowing better balance and a deeper connection to our core. A side benefit of this practice is that it informs us how to fall more skillfully, if we realize we’re on the way down.
Timothy has developed a number of dynamic balancing postures, which are gentle but challenging, which are much more effective in improving balance than the type of static balancing poses like Tree pose commonly taught in yoga classes.
Each class will include a lecture, Q+A sessions as well as practices that includes asana, pranayama and meditation.
Who is this Workshop For?
Appropriate for yoga teachers and therapists as well as interested students of all levels.
You will receive a Yogacampus certificate of completion on finishing the course, which totals 9 CPD hours. The course is also eligible for Yoga Alliance Continuing Education credits.
Meet the Teacher
Timothy McCall, MD is a board-certified internist, Yoga Journal's medical editor since 2002 and the author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing. He practiced medicine in the Boston area for a dozen years before devoting himself full-time in the late 1990s to yoga therapy. He has studied with many of the world's leading yoga teachers including BKS Iyengar and TKV Desikachar, as well as Patricia Walden, Rod Stryker and Donald Moyer. In 2005, Timothy began his studies with a traditional Ayurvedic doctor, Chandukutty Vaidyar, and spent more than a year at his clinic in Kerala, India. He serves on the editorial board of The International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and co-edited and contributed to the 2016 medical textbook, The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. His latest book is Saving My Neck: A Doctor’s East/West Journey through Cancer. Most recently, he has introduced an approach to yoga, which he calls Vinyasa of Breath. See DrMcCall.com