Inner-Body Yoga

Mr. Iyengar trained and inspired Donald Moyer. Mr. Moyer originated and directed The Yoga Room in Berkeley, California for over 30 years. Donald's writings on yoga, as shared in his book "Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body" has received Mr. Iyengar's acknowledgement, approval and encouragement.

Todd Jackson has studied Inner-Body Yoga with Donald Moyer and Mary Lou Weprin since 1996. He helps students cultivate and refine their felt-sense abilities by sharing original material from his personal practice in addition to the valuable discoveries of Donald & Mary Lou. Teaching since 1997, Todd is known for his sequencing skills, sophisticated hands-on adjustments and friendly humor. His ability to see and understand what is happening in a student's body from across the room has earned him a reputation as a teacher who can adeptly guide students through their challenges to improved inner-body integration. After graduating from the Advanced Studies Program at The Yoga Room in Berkeley, he continues his long-term studies with Donald & Mary Lou.  Todd offers training to other yoga teachers through advanced studies in yoga sequencing, seeing and understanding bodies and other principles of inner-body yoga.

Inner-Body Yoga is not Iyengar yoga, although both feature cultivation of the felt-sense with an exploration of healthy alignment recognized from the inside out. Inner-Body Yoga uses the felt-sense to monitor the relationships between gravity lines, connective tissue tone and practitioner awareness to elicit the greatest expression of health available in each pose. This process empowers the practitioner to discern proper alignment and working methods from their own direct perception instead of relying upon alignment dictates.

The workshops and courses below appear periodically on Todd's workshop schedule.

Yoga Sequencing

Ever get stuck trying to figure out which poses to do in your home practice? Are you curious how to order the poses to build up to that one pose you'd love to do? Wonder why your teacher put the poses together in that way during class? Want to learn the names of the poses and yoga shorthand?

Study the art of sequencing yoga poses to access the more challenging asanas, guide students through thematic content, and ensure safer, more productive classes. We will examine the relationships between poses, organize them in a meaningful ways and discover how to better achieve our practice and teaching goals.

The sequencing course includes an overview of sequencing, learning the sanskrit and shorthand for all the poses, general sequencing guidelines, how to develop sequences to present simple and complex thematic content. Weekly written homework assignments and in-class quizzes will help you delve deeply into your study of sequencing. This course is presented for current and aspiring yoga teachers as well as intermediate yoga students wanting to cultivate greater depth in their home practice.

Prerequisite: 2 years consistent attendance in a Level 2 or above class, teaching at another studio, enrollment in a yoga teacher training course or by special permission.

Principles of Asana

The principles of asana provide us with guidelines which help us maintain our poses longer with less work, reduce strain in the body, prevent injury, access new places within ourselves, and expand our repertoire of asanas. They give us standards from which we can self-evaluate in the poses and advance our understanding autonomously.

In Principles of Asana we will study midlines, gravity lines, equal & opposite movements, direction of energy, foundations, relaxation of effort and more. Students will explore the many principles of asana, gaining an understanding of how to integrate them into their asana practice. There will be ample practice time to develop a visual and palpatory felt-sense for the content.

Seeing and Understanding Bodies

Explore tissue texture, skin color, weight distribution, directions of energy and other elements which help reveal the principles of asana in action. Students will observe one another in the poses to cultivate an appreciation for the patterns which emerge among yoga students as well as the unique personal configurations which add a richness to the practice. Explore ways to bring balance and integration to the inner body while developing your felt sense. An excellent opportunity for yogis, teachers and teacher trainees to deepen their understanding and enhance their observation skills. Learn to speak directly to what is happening in the body, using authentic, meaningful instruction based upon direct experience of tissue quality, joint space, directions of energy and more.

The Seeing & Understanding bodies courses are offered periodically to deepen practitioners' understanding in a specific region. Courses include: Feet & Legs, Knees & Thighs, Hips & Pelvis, Spine & Ribcage, Head & Neck, Shoulders & Arms, Abdomen & Organ.

Winter Immersion

Rekindle your home practice as you find the sunny destination within. We will warm the body thoroughly and explore new ways to embody the principles of asana. Participants need at least one year of consistent Level 2 class attendance as a prerequisite. Students from other studios are also welcome to attend. We will do headstand and shoulderstand daily while we progress to deeper backbends to warm the body and lighten the soul.

Summer Immersion

Join us for four days of dedicated yoga practice. We will explore new ways to embody the principles of asana, working towards the deeper backbends, forward bends, twists and inversions with leg variations. Partner-work will be minimized so that there's more time to develop sequencing and practice yoga. Qualifying students will have 1 year of regular attendance at a Level 2 or above yoga class, or by instructor permission.

Downward Dog

Downward Dog is a staple of yoga practice and a pose that many of us find challenging. We will explore how to work the pose to balance strength and pliability with restfulness and ease. Sequencing will be presented to address issues with feet, calves, hamstrings, hips, spine, ribcage, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. Learn how to optimize your downward dog and prepare your body to experience the pose as the resting pose it can be. This three-hour workshop is open to students of all levels.

Intro to Handstand

Learn how to properly place your hands, strengthen your arms and coordinate your body to kick up into handstand. Handstand improves the health of the ears, nose, throat, thyroid, lungs and intestines. It helps clear depression, gives us a feeling of accomplishment, lightens the heart and brings clarity with strength of focus to the mind. We will prepare the body and awareness for handstand and observe some common challenges to entering handstand, finding options for success.

Tuition includes a guide which outlines the important alignment and movement strategies for a successful handstand. The guide also includes home practice sequences. One sequence to improve shoulder and arm strength, one to improve shoulder flexibility, and a general sequence that trains the neuro-muscular circuitry to coordinate the launch into the handstand.

This class is appropriate for Level 1 students with their teacher's recommendation, Level 2 students, and other yoga teachers wanting to gain clarity in helping people learn and achieve greater success with Handstand.

Refining Handstand

There are many ways to improve one's alignment, full body integration and sense of effortlessness in handstand. We will review the basics of alignment and bodyweight relationships for handstand, then experiment with some rarely shared and highly effective working methods. Learn to move away from gravity with grace, to find the continuity of expression from the hands to the feet.

We will also explore how to...

  • move from balancing with one foot on the wall to balancing without wall contact
  • come into handstand with two or more feet of space between the hands and the wall
  • come into handstand without using the wall at all
  • enter handstand in the center of the room
  • descend from handstand slowly and gracefully, one leg at a time
  • descend from handstand slowly and gracefully, two legs at a time
  • enter into handstand with two legs moving symmetrically

Tuition includes a guide which outlines the important alignment and movement strategies for a successful handstand, along with a training protocol to help students transition from handstand with legs at the wall to handstand in the center of the room.

This class is appropriate for Level 2 students who can reliably get into handstand without assistance. Yoga teachers interested in furthering their understanding of intermediate handstand practice and teaching are also welcome.

Breathing Awareness

Exploration and insight for complete beginners as well as more experienced practitioners. Become familiar with the basics of breathing (pranayama). Areas of study include seated and supine breathing, working with the pelvic, respiratory and thoracic diaphragms, breathing in the belly, breathing in the ribcage, ujjayi breathing and jalandharabandasana (chin lock position).

As the breathing becomes steady, smooth and deep, so does the clarity and peace within the mind and emotions. A deep still mind from pranayama will help you fall in love with the simple daily practice of breathing awareness.

Pranayama Methods

We will continue to deepen our relationship to breath and being with a gentle approach to Kumbhakas (retentions), Vilomas (interrupted breathing), Surya & Chandra Bhedanas (sun & moon passes) and Nadhi Sodhana (alternate nostril breathing). Students will have weekly pranayama practice and reading homework.

Recommended text: Light on Pranayama by B.K.S. Iyengar
Prerequisite: For intermediate pranayama practitioners. Must have completed Breathing Awareness workshop.

Private Yoga Instruction

The private practice is full and closed to new and returning clients.