Why Posture Ellie's classes are different
The focus is on precision, total body control and not moving beyond
what you are capable of in that current moment.
‘Posture Ellie’ is a Postural Alignment Therapist trained in The Egoscue Method. She uses observational tactics and function tests to assess where muscular dysfunction lies within the body and to understand how this impacts the person’s posture and pain. By giving her 1-2-1 clients precise, bespoke exercises to complete, they improve their muscular function, transform the interaction and position of all the joints in the body and reduce symptoms of (often life-long) pain.
The idea of Ellie’s Yoga Classes was inspired by Ellie’s own personal yoga practice. She saw a gap in the marketplace where she felt her specialism (teaching dysfunctional bodies how to move more functionally) would benefit yogis immensely ….
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is not just about throwing physical shapes on a mat (the asana). Yoga is not a sport nor a fitness regime. Yoga is working towards self-actualisation through living with kindness and integrity when interacting with yourself and the world around you.
Most people are initially drawn to yoga for the asana (because they want to get flexible or they want to get strong). However, as they delve deeper into their yoga journey, most people can’t help but get caught up in some of the more esoteric and philosophical aspects of the practice.
Ellie doesn’t teach these more esoteric practices but she fully encourages that every potential student of hers constantly explores as many styles, teachers, scriptures, books and limbs of yoga as possible. She wants you to have the most well-rounded view of yoga you can and she believes that no one yoga teacher can give you everything yoga has to offer.
Ellie’s version of gentle, precise physical asana is only one tiny piece of the yoga pie – don’t forget the rest of it!
Ellie thinks that far too many people are attempting yoga asanas that they are nowhere near capable of performing well and are often taught by teachers that do not understand muscular compensation, how that presents and how to correct it. Correcting muscular compensation is what she deals with daily in her role as a Postural Alignment Therapist.
She delivers yoga classes which catch potential movement problems at the very basic level, before the movement problems have the chance to develop into much greater issues over time.
They are the perfect supplement to work alongside the other yoga classes you do and to help you get the most out of them.
See the above quote.
If someone is routinely performing a movement using compensatory muscles and they never understand or correct this, they will, at worst (and most commonly), lead themselves towards pain and injury. At best, the student will hit a wall where they simply stop making progress physically.
Even movements which are very common in a beginner yoga classes can be extremely demanding on a wonky, stiff, dysfunctional body. For example, to ‘simply’ stand upright (without undue tension somewhere) requires full function of almost all the joints in the body. Standing upright requires the pelvis, hips, spine and knees to be able to extend, the ankles to dorsiflex, the shoulder blades to depress and retract and the kneecaps and feet to face directly forward. Due to postural imbalances and compensation, you’ll notice that many people have kneecaps that face internally/externally, collapsed feet, thoracic spines that round forward into kyphosis and pelvis’ and lower backs locked into position by hips that can’t move. These visual signs of muscular compensation aren’t ‘just the way people are’ anatomically, they are the clues as to what dysfunctional movement patterns have become embedded in that person’s posture over the years. Someone’s posture (position of their joints) can change dramatically when given the right stimulus.
In Ellie’s opinion, the people in the above example will be moving themselves towards pain and injury every time they are performing a standing asana (because they are unable to control and correct each joint in their body whilst standing). This is dysfunction. Dysfunction leads to pain and problems. Ellie’s classes hope to change your muscular dysfunctions.
What are her classes about?
Ellie believes that most newcomers (and probably most old-timers!) to yoga actually need an introduction to yoga before they ever attempt a ‘normal’ yoga class. This is in order to understand what it feels like to wake up certain muscles (and turn off the compensating ones), things like how the position of your foot impacts the function of the hip and why pushing your body behind the limits of what it is truly capable of in that moment is a recipe for long term misery.
If someone doesn’t understand what it feels like to wake up their hip flexor or what scapula retraction without a ribcage flare feels like, should that person be attempting a headstand? In Ellie’s opinion, no.
The body unfolds at its own pace and Ellie believes there is such joy to be gained in discovering the depths and details of every single posture – however ‘easy’ a student might initially think that posture is. No yoga posture is easy when you fully explore the potential depths of it.
Ellie delivers yoga classes (and posture classes) where the most ‘simple’ of asana are broken down into all their component parts so that students begin to understand what their feet, knees, hips, pelvis’, spine, shoulders, arms, fingers and neck should feel like in the pose. The class includes a dissection of that week’s chosen yoga asana, before Ellie guides students through a mix of Egoscue Method and other yoga postures which will mesh together to gather a comprehensive understanding of the chosen yoga asana and how your body should feel as you perform it. It is not a sweaty, flow class, it’s a technical, slow exploration that will help you enjoy your sweaty flow class more safely and productively.
Even the most seasoned student will learn something new from this approach.
If something hurts, you’re not doing it properly. Ellie will teach you what is going wrong …