Saturday 9th April | 9.00 am EST | 2.00 pm UK | 3.00 pm Paris
90 mins | recording available for 14 days (if you can’t attend live register to automatically receive the recording link)
It goes without saying that pretty early on in our journey with Ashtanga yoga we almost inevitably come up against an obstacle presented by the hips.
We are also used to hearing how the sequence was made in India for Indian bodies. Living at a time, they naturally had the openness to do with ease the postures we now struggle with. Perhaps this is due to genetics or not sitting on chairs.
That is to say, the sequence ought to flow with relative ease. Attempting to jam ourselves into certain postures (generally the lotus-work of the primary series), is not the answer. We are struggling against a tightness that will not necessarily be alleviated by the daily performance of the posture itself.
Indeed, the prerequisite of the posture is often taken as the demand of the posture itself. In other words, the hips should already be fairly open when we start manipulating the knees. Otherwise, it is the knees themselves that suffer.
Avoiding Knee Injuries
Hence, knee injuries in ashtanga yoga are so common to be almost ubiquitous. To enjoy a comfortable, injury-free practice we need to start with our hips. If we want to work safely and efficiently, we may have to do some preparation work. To repeat, the posture is not to open the hips. The postures, take as a given pretty open-hips and work more deeply from there.
We don’t often develop greater flexibility at the hips going through the sequence. This is because we cannot really access the work in a posture we are simply struggling to get into.
So many people have asked for further hip-openers then, not finding any progression here in a daily practice of primary, or even intermediate series. It is for this reason, as well as my own experience, I have put together a whole sequence of stretches focussing on the hips.
The level of the stretch is not so important as the embodiment of the feeling of one’s own body doing it. We are simply looking to connecting to feeling; remembering also that a lot of tightness in the hips is also emotional. Therefore, the workshop is relevant to all levels. It’s not about the degree.
I believe everyone will enjoy this workshop as its more unique to get a pre-made sequence, along with the breath-count, vinyasa aspect. Whereas, often hip-openers tend to be static-stretches with no breath emphasis or flow.
Knowing we all love a sequence, I believe participants will be more likely to take this away and do it at home. We will go through a 15/20 mins sequence a couple of times leaving space for specific tips (and questions) about particular areas of difficulty – whether marichyasana D or ekapadas sirsanana in the second half of the workshop.
About Adam Keen
Adam has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2004. He is one of few practitioners to have completed the Advanced A (third) series in Mysore under the guidance of Sharathji Jois. In 2012 Adam received level 2 authorisation to teach the full intermediate series.
He has taught and lived primarily in his native London, as well as Vancouver, Istanbul, Spain, Crete and India.
Adam’s primary influence on the way he teaches is Mark Darby. He is committed to facilitating the individuals experience of yoga. His teaching is approached with a lightness of touch and an open mind.
Having practiced daily for over 25 years he has realised there is no one way to do things. It is from this perspective that Adam shares his suggestions with clarity and humility.
Adam is the host of the Keen on Yoga Podcast, a continuous student of philosophy as well as a prodigious thinker and writer. He also trained as a homeopath and began his work life as a vegetarian chef at Buddhist and yoga retreat centres.
Cost €20 approx £17 | $23