CPD Course Review: Do we need to know more about the Body?Jason Firmager
When I decided to embark on the Yoga Anatomy Principles Course taught by Leslie Kaminoff of New York’s The Breathing Project; I was excited, eager and enthusiastic… I had been receiving Leslie’s newsletter for some time and was fully aware that his style of teaching was the kind that resonated with me – in that he puts much of the decision making in the students’ hands, providing them with tools and self-awareness to seek out their own answers as opposed to just telling them what they ‘should’ be doing or ‘supposed’ to be experiencing… So a teaching over preaching approach.
The course is dedicated to teaching the individualised, breath-centered principles of Yoga in the tradition of Desikachar and Krishnamacharya. And it is brilliant… I could stop there… in fact, Leslie jokes on one video session that everybody should take his online course… and I must admit I agree with him. This is a fantastic investment for body workers, yoga teachers, physical instructors and even for other fields of work.
Leslie shares stories, and information in a warm and knowledgeable way, and seems genuinely ‘happy’ to be providing students with fascinating studies and research about yoga and anatomy… a lot of which is based on his work with a long list of clients over many years.
I’ve not met Leslie in person, or spoken to him over the phone, so you may be wondering how I actually know this about him. Well, I’ve been watching his two-hour classes online, where he interacts with students as well as those studying from a distance… I felt like a part of the class, and I’m sure this is the intention of the team. The online course offers vast material with in-depth knowledge available as video, transcript and audio… so the material caters for different learning styles. I opted for a combination of watching the video lectures, plus reading the transcripts. Handouts are also available, as well as class visuals, and all content is available to access even after the course has been completed and with the vast amount of material available it is certainly one to return to.
As a teacher of various subjects in my lifetime, teaching a range of ages and abilities, one of the key factors of learning anything is enjoyment, because this often fuels motivation, which is a major factor when doing a distance learning course. This course is enjoyable, and I felt a part of a community. I love the introduction music, and the graphics of the videos for this course, because this consistency is a signal to my brain that I am about to be learning, which is paramount when doing any home study. This motivation is further encouraged by having the option to study with a buddy.
After watching the classes, and reading the handouts and visuals, and checking out the research resources, I completed the optional homework… A homework tutor is assigned and provides feedback and ‘model’ answers… all of which add to the further learning experience, as well as this incredible interactive format, which is a great achievement with an online set up. The benefit of this distance learning course is the flexibility, and studying at your own pace. I had every intention of completing the first trimester in a short time period, but had unexpected personal and work commitments arise… so it was a great relief to be able to vary the pace according to my own schedule and needs.
I feel that what I have discovered about the breath in relation to anatomy and yoga in Trimester 1 is so valuable and I believe beneficial to all health professionals to do this further study. In a nutshell: Breath-taking.
When I reached Trimester 2, I was ready to learn about the spine… And this section I think would be useful for every single human being. In a nutshell: Spine-tingling.
I was excited when I started Trimester 3, and learning about specific aspects of the body in relation to yoga, and bringing all the material together from the previous two trimesters was brilliant. In a nutshell: Eye-opening.
The course in a nutshell: the course material is thorough, encouraging, useful and interactive, including the comment section beneath each video. Leslie is brilliant, knowledgeable, and quite cool. The further reading is interesting and encouraging. The homework tutors are supportive and lovely. The balance of practical, science and philosophy is just right.
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