The Art of Teaching Forward Bends


Informal surveys indicate that the highest percentage of yoga injuries come from forward bending postures. One likely reason is that numerous biomechanical factors impact the safety of forward bends. These include not just tight hamstrings, but many other interactive anatomical and kinesiological factors, which most yoga teachers have not been trained to observe or correct.

In this online course, author and yoga therapist Doug Keller goes deeply into the anatomy of forward bending and discusses how to make this group of poses safe and accessible for all levels of students. He further discusses practices for protecting the low back, sacrum, as well, as the hamstrings and knees. Special attention will be paid to seated forward bends and related twists, posture groups that a surprisingly large percentage of students have difficulty finding correct alignment in.

For many students, some typical posture modifications offered for forward bends, without appropriate action points, do not fully address the issue, and they may even be counterproductive. Doug will show how to take students through a series of awareness building steps to help students lay the foundation for healthy and safe forward bends, no matter what their level.

What You Will Learn

  • Anatomy of forward bending—why and when do forward bends cause injury?
  • Key muscle groups that affect alignment in forward bends
  • The right and the wrong way to do forward bends and how to help students feel the difference in their body
  • Warning signs to look out for in class to know which students are at risk
  • How to ascertain which part(s) of the body is the greatest cause of the limitations
  • Levels of modification and how to determine which is appropriate
  • Key actions to perform in forward bending poses to help keep the sacrum and low back safe
  • Explore the context of the ‘bigger picture’ of the Soma Sutras, which Doug Keller discusses in his book Yoga As Therapy.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Video: Enjoy a 30 minute yoga practice with Doug offering specific guidelines for safe hamstring opening.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of both webinar sessions (both MP3 and MP4 – downloadable), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

Related courses

Doug Keller’s background reflects a lifelong commitment to studying, imbibing and sharing the vast field of knowledge and practice known as yoga. He spent a total of 14 years doing service, practicing, and teaching yoga. 

$127/ Lifetime Access

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