The Connected Body

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Course Overview

Everything we do in daily life—from how we sit to how we stand—directly affects our alignment and how much tension or ease we feel in yoga practice. In this ten-class program, you'll explore therapeutic techniques that will help you restore functional strength and mobility throughout your whole body. You'll learn how to address postural imbalances and areas of tension that often result from habitual actions (such as texting, typing, and hunching). Each class focuses on a different area of the body, and combined, they're designed to give you a felt sense of how one aspect of our physicality can affect everything else. 

You'll also examine common misconceptions surrounding "proper" alignment in yoga (which both teachers and students should know about!).

These classes are designed to help you establish a more effective asana practice, healthier breathing and gait patterns, and whole-body integration both on and off the mat.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

7.5 hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • How we carry ourselves in daily life directly affects how much tension or ease we bring into our yoga practice. And because many of us stand and sit so often, learning how to stand and sit well is important. In this class, you'll learn how to create healthy, neutral alignment in four simple standing and seated postures: mountain pose, easy pose, staff pose, and sitting in a chair. This work will help you release physical rigidity and open to richer, deeper breathing both on and off the mat. Props: 1 strap, a few blankets
  • As our foundation for standing and movement, our feet provide us with stability, strength, spring, and propulsion. In this class, you'll explore simple practices to support or build the arches of your feet, improve toe mobility and dexterity, and increase steadiness from the ground up. Working with the feet can affect the whole kinetic chain, improving the function of your knees, hips, and lower back, and even reducing neck and shoulder tension. Props: 1 strap, 1 chair, 1 block or small rubber ball
  • Good ankle and knee alignment can positively affect the health of our feet and hips, the ease of our walk, and the way we practice particular poses. In this class, you'll work toward neutral lower-leg alignment with strengthening, mobilizing, and tension-relieving practices that focus on the ankles, shins, calves, and knees. Notice the difference this makes in your downward dog and squat practices! Props: 1 blanket, 1 strap, 1 block, 1 small rubber ball, a Coregeous® Ball (or similar exercise ball), a rolled up yoga mat, 1 bolster
  • The hips and pelvis are power players in our gait patterns and in much of what we do in yoga. However, sitting often and doing repetitive movements (such as walking and running) can create stiffness in these key areas. In this class, you'll work to restore suppleness and healthy neutral alignment in the hips and pelvis through practices that focus on releasing tension through the inner thighs and hip flexors. Props: 1 strap, a few blankets, 1 block, 1 small rubber ball, a Coregeous® Ball (or similar exercise ball), 1 bolster
  • As the foundation of our core stabilizing system, the pelvic floor needs to be both supple and strong. However, due to common postural habits, many of us tend toward having shorter, tighter pelvic floor muscles. In this class, you'll use feedback from props combined with movement and a focus on the breath to increase your awareness of your pelvic floor and to consciously relax it. You'll also learn ways to adjust your habits (both on and off the mat) for increased pelvic floor health. Props: 1 chair, 1 small rubber ball, 1 blanket, 1 bolster, a couple of straps
  • Everything between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor is a part of our core stabilizing system. And though we often focus on strengthening the core in yoga, it's equally important to release the muscles that comprise it. This class begins with a bolster practice for strengthening the diaphragm and self-massage techniques for releasing the abdominals. After that, you'll move on to deeper core-stabilizing work (which may appear much easier than it actually is!). Use these practices to create a stronger, more dynamic core that supports everything ordinary and extraordinary that you do. Props: 1 bolster...
  • The lower back is inherently strong and resilient yet lower-back discomfort is an extremely common experience. In this class, you'll explore practices that can release chronic lower-back tension, encourage a healthy lower-back curve, and reduce asymmetries in the hips and S.I. joints—which can directly affect the health of your lower back. This work can help you build better backbends, forward folds, and a smarter, more lower-back-friendly yoga practice overall. Props: 2 blankets, 2 small rubber balls, a Coregeous® Ball (or similar exercise ball), 1 chair
  • Due to common forward-rounded postural habits, the thoracic spine (the space from the tops of the shoulders to the bottom ribs) often becomes misaligned and immobile. In this class, you'll work to restore mobility and healthy, neutral alignment to the mid back with practices that focus on the rib cage, chest, armpits, and shoulder blades. This work can help relieve shoulder and lower back pain and encourage richer, deeper breathing both on and off the mat. Props: 2 blocks, a few blankets, 1 small rubber ball, a Coregeous® Ball (or similar exercise ball), a rolled-up yoga mat, 1 bolster
  • The neck is highly mobile, and where we're more mobile we're often less stable. When we spend a lot of time hunching forward, the body—in order to keep the neck from moving too far off its axis—becomes tense and tight (tensing up through the jaw and neck muscles, and pulling shoulders up and forward). In this practice, you'll not only release this tension in the neck and shoulders, you'll also build functional strength through the neck that will support its whole range of motion. This work will help you find more postural ease and it can also reduce your stress levels. Props: 1 block, a few blankets,...
  • Learn practices for hand and wrist health that can help you avoid repetitive strain injuries and create a stable foundation for weight-bearing through the arms. Class includes self-massage for the forearms and hands, a therapy-ball technique for stretching between the fingers, a block exercise that can reduce shoulder strain in downward dog, wrist stretches to undo tension from texting and typing, and more. Sneak some of these practices into your workday and notice the difference they make! Props: 1 block, 2 small rubber balls in a sock or a mesh bag

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Meet Your Teacher

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Sarah Garden
Hi, friends! I’m Sarah Garden, and I am a yoga therapist with an interest in treating chronic pain and... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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