Jason was on a panel discussion about physical and subtle anatomy of yoga asana, sponsored by Yoga City NYC. We've posted the write-up of the event by YogaCityNYC here, or you can head over to Jason's ASFYT blogpost about it, which includes the full audio and a breakdown of the questions.
On Wednesday, September 25th six yoga teachers and scholars, Alan Finger, Alison West, Amy Matthews, Jason Ray Brown, Swami Sadasivananda and James Bae, gathered at Yoga Union to discuss how the physical and subtle anatomy interrelate and contribute to a serious yoga practice. Sponsored by YogaCity NYC, the free event marked the third in the Deeper Learning Series. Publisher and founder of YogaCity NYC, Brette Popper, moderated the discussion.
In September 2011 Jason was interviewed by online blog Yoga Dudes about the need for yoga teachers to study anatomy and yoga-related anatomy injuries.
Jason Brown has been a student of the contemplative and movement arts for over 30 years, and a student of yoga since 1996. In 2007, he created Zenyasa Yoga as a way to synthesize interests in Zen Buddhism, vinyasa yoga, and exercise science.
Q: Why do yoga teachers need to learn so much anatomy? How does it help their teaching?
A strong understanding of musculo-skeletal anatomy, injury awareness and kinesiology can help yoga teachers in a million different ways. We routinely ask students to take their joints to the edge of their range of motion, and sometimes toward more extreme ranges of motion. Many yoga postures can put tremendous stress on the shoulders, wrists, knees and intervertebral disc joints. So first and foremost, a strong foundation in anatomy can give teachers the knowledge required to help keep their students safe and prevent injury. But also, teachers with a strong understanding of anatomy can also “see” their students more clearly, as if with x-ray eyes, and more quickly identify the causes of misalignment within any given posture — which muscles might be tight or weak, or just not working, or if there are skeletal issues causing the misalignment. And they can then give more meaningful verbal cues and hands-on assists, as well as potentially recommend specific postures or exercises to the student that could enable them to more effectively evolve in the posture. Understanding anatomy can also help teachers become more skillful and creative in their sequencing, especially when sequencing toward a peak posture. Or work therapeutially with clients who have specific concerns. I could go on and on.
Jason was interviewed by Joelle Hann of Yoga City NYC over the summer of 2010, about the Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers program that he created. We’ve copied the entire article here, or you can click here to read the article on their site.
When Jason R. Brown completed his teacher training in 1998, it met the minimum standards set by the Yoga Alliance. But he felt bewildered by his lack of knowledge in anatomy. In too many situations he was making educated guesses about people’s injuries and limitations. So he took some workshops, only to find that three-hour intensives were still not enough to help him feel confident in the classroom. If you’re a yoga teacher, you might relate to Jason’s frustrations. Depending on which training you did, the anatomy coverage might have left you feeling less than equipped to meet your students’ various needs and to plan effective classes. Luckily for you, Brown’s long road of self-education motivated him to become an educator himself. After training at the Swedish Institute as a massage therapist, Brown went on to design a rigorous program called Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers (ASFYT) which does much more than fill in some gaps—it completely educates yoga teachers in the anatomy they need to know.