Muscle Control not only helps you to better control your body, it helps you to better feel it.
Muscle control is the primary way that you feel your body.
As an example, each time you focus on your breath, the "feeling" of your breath is created by muscles activating and relaxing.
When focusing on your breath you are actually focusing on feeling the muscles that you breath with activate and relax (unless you are concentrating on the feeling of air passing through your nasal passage or your throat or mouth).
Muscle activation and relaxation is what provides the different sensations of inhaling and exhaling.
The exercises in the videos and ebooks below all focus on helping you to improve some aspect of muscle control so that you can better feel your body and better control it.
The exercises are a little like breathing exercises in that you focus on feeling your muscles activate and relax.
But instead of just feeling and controlling your breath, you work towards feeling and controlling the rest of your body.
includes all materals from Option 1 plus
includes all materals from Option 1 and 2 plus
As a yoga teacher, I'm constantly exploring new exercises, new ways of doing yoga poses. Each new way isn't necessarily better. It is simply a different way of using the body.
There is no single "right way" of doing a yoga pose. Instead, there are options. And the better you are at "feeling" your body, the better you can get at choosing the right option for your body as it is now.
Often in a yoga class you don't have the time or opportunity to actually learn your body. You are too busy moving from pose to pose, or you get so much information in a short period of time that its difficult to remember any of it, let alone all of it. And then in the next class you are learning something different and so it takes a long time (and a lot of classes) to actually learn anything.
As a teacher my goal is to help my students learn to feel and control their body. My goal is to help them learn. (Not just give them a good workout). As a result, we'll practice a technique over the course of several poses, or even throughout a practice.
The idea is to become good at using each technique to the point that it can be used in any pose, even those it hasn't been practiced in. And of course, the idea is that they actually learn the technique so that they can remember it easily.
And if that isn't the case, then what I focus on doing is giving students clear instructions. Often this can involve using a particular intent or focus within a pose with the result that doing the pose becomes easier, not because of some skill, but simply from a change in focus, a change in what they are "doing" within the pose.
The first approach is a little like learning to drive a car, or better yet, a motorcycle. You practice using the brakes so that you know how to use them. Then you learn how to steer. Only once you have learned a skill to the point that you can do it without thinking about how to do it do you move on to the next skill.
Note that the goal here isn't perfection. That comes with practice. Instead the idea is to be able to do a particular skill without having to think about how to do it, so that then you can practice it whenever the opportunity arises.
The second approach, that comes from learning how to teach effectively and is also based on a understanding how the body and mind can work well together.
And these are more or less the approaches taken in this collection of body awareness (proprioception) ebooks and videos. Some focus on a particular technique (or set of techniques) so that you can become proficient at the use of that technique. Some focus on giving you simple and clear instructions with the idea of teaching "basic principles" that you can apply in learning and doing any pose.
All of these books and videos include elements of "feel" and an element of "control". So you'll not just be learning techniques, instead, each technique is a means of helping you to learn to feel and control your body. And that means they can be applicable in anything, not just yoga!
These techniques are not dependent on how flexible you are.
However, given time they can help you improve your flexibility. More importantly, they can help you get a better feel for your body.
Each book or video teaches you muscle control. That means activating muscle and relaxing it. But more than that it also means that you learn to feel your muscles and the way their activation changes patterns of tension in your body. The first book, Yoga Basics 1, is more about feeling parts of your body move relative to your contact with the floor. These movements are driven by muscles but there the focus is more on feeling bones moving relative to other bones.
Note, even when focusing on relative bone movement, muscles are in a large part, how we feel our body.
This is important in muscle control because a big part of muscle control is deliberately moving parts of your body or deliberately keeping parts of your body still.
Sometimes the simple act of just keeping parts of your body still can be a good exercise in body awareness (and muscle control).
Working Towards Wheel pose teaches you some basic principles that you can apply in any yoga pose, but in particular when working towards a challenging pose like wheel pose. Even if you have no interest in wheel pose, this ebook is a valuable learning resource.
The Hip Control Guide teaches you some simple actions for learning to feel and control your deeper hip muscles. Plus it shows you how to practice feeling and controlling these muscles in a few basic positions so that you can get an idea of when using these muscles can be helpful and when not.
This ebook can be a really good guide to not only learning to feel your hips, but in how to explore muscle control in general. If you are working on improving your forward bend (and hamstring flexibility) is also includes one technique in particular that may be helpful.
One of the interesting side effects of practicing muscle control is that you don't have to be constantly flowing from pose to pose in order to get into the flow. the simple act of feeling your muscles activate and relax helps get you there.
As a result, you may find that your yoga practices that where you focus on muscle control can leave you feeling refreshed and energized and not worn out.
With muscle control, the focus is on what is going on inside of your body. And the focus is on deliberately creating changes within your body. While there is some movement, the changes are smaller and more regular than simply doing vinyasas from one pose to the next.
An advantage of muscle control, particularly if you practice slow and smooth activations and relaxations (a point that is particularly evident in the videos) is that you can get better at feeling the minimum required effort to do a pose.
You'll still be working in your poses, there will still be muscular activation (since you need it to feel your body) however, the activation, the effort will be the minimum required.
Note that this package has three options.
Options 1 includes the following ebooks: Yoga Basics 1, Yoga Basics 2, The Hip Control Guide and Working Towards Wheel Pose.
These are all ebooks and all can be downloaded as PDF, mobi (for kindle) or epub. You have the access to all three options!
The first video teaches you how to use friction and floor pressure to activate muscles. You'll learn to get a better feel for your body as a result. The second video focuses on foot activation.
Both videos are in the form of a routine. You can follow along with each video, doing the poses as you listen to the instruction. Or you can watch a pose, memorize the instructions and do the pose while pausing the video. I'd suggest this latter method because then you can internalize the instruction and over the course of a few days of practice actually memorize each routine.
Option 3 includes all of the material from options 1 and 2.
It also contains the first three videos from the "Muscle Control and Proprioception" workshop sereis: Action Vectors, Foot Exercises and Proprioception and Frictional Resistance.
The Action Vectors workshop roughly corresponds to the material presented in Yoga Basics 1. Here the focus is on pressing the floor and allowing the hips or ribcage to move in response.
Frictional Resistance corresponds to the material presented in Yoga Basics 2. Here the focus is on pressing the floor and resisting by not allowing your hips (or ribcage) to move.
Both of these videos focus more on the legs than the arms. In addition, these videos aim to make the concepts taught more clearly understood.
Foot Exercises for Proprioception workshop focuses on simple foot activation in a variety of yoga poses.
Foot control is something that is rarely focused on in isolation and is often added as an afterthought. However, the muscles that you use in these exercises to control the feet originate in the lower legs, and so foot control is actually a way of stabilizing the feet, ankles and lower legs. Foot control can then have an affect on the hip bones and hip joints via the long hip muscles, the muscles that connect the lower leg bones to the hip bone.
These programs are all based on my "in class" experience as a teacher. That being said, the exercises may not work for you. If for that reason or any other reason you aren't satisfied, contact me for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
You can also go directly to the gumroad website to order this product using the URL below.
Videos and ebooks can be downloaded to any device. To download the videos, go to the Gumroad Library
Here's the URL for the Gumroad library in plain text:
I'd recommend the VLC Media Player for viewing download videos, whether using windows or mac.
If you are viewing these on a smart phone, then you can also stream the videos using the gumroad app.