Yoga Basics 1 (ebook plus video extras)
Yoga Basics 2 (ebook)
Basic Muscle Control for Stronger Arms and Legs (ebook and vid)
Option 2 (all of above) 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.
As a teacher I want my students to learn each of these techniques. I want them to learn their body. 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.
This approach is a little like learning to drive a car. Once you learn how to use the brakes, you don't need to be constantly retaught. You use them. Of course, you can refine the way you use them, but to do that you first have to learn to use them in the first place. Once you have that, you can use the brakes whenever you need them. And that is more or less the approach taken in this collection of body awareness (proprioception) ebooks and videos. Each focuses on a particular technique (or set of techniques) so that you can become proficient at the use of that technique.
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. Bar the first ebook (yoga basics 1) each focuses on 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. Muscles are in a large part, how we feel our body.
Yoga Basics 1 and 2 help you become more aware of how your parts of your body move, and in particular whether a part of your body is moving or still. This is important in muscle control because a big part of muscle control is deliberately moving parts of your body or deliberately keeping them still.
So muscle control not only helps you to feel your muscles, it also helps you to become more aware of your bones and how they relate.
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 flow is a mind-state where you aren't thinking. Time may even stop. 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. 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.
Note that this package has two options. The first option includes basics 1 and basics 2 plus the arm and leg strengthening program. This latter program focuses on using friction as a means of activating muscle. Basics 1 and 2 are both ebooks while the arm and leg strengthening program includes a set of videos and an ebook. All three include an hour long routine (roughly) that focuses on a particular aspect of body awareness.
The second option includes the material from option 1. Each of the three additional programs it contains are only in video format.
The first, Feel and Activate Quadriceps and Hamstrings focuses on those muscles. It's especially helpful for teachers, and also for students who have difficulty activating and feeling those muscles. It includes the different exercises I use to help the students who have difficulties with these actions.
Foot and ankle Stability for better hip control focuses on activating the feet and ankles. It's one way of creating stability within the body and you may find it helps you when working on stretching your hamstrings or hips.
The final program, Improving Hip control, focuses on using the pelvis (and pelvic landmarks) as a means of improving hip control.