By Dynamic Yoga teacher Lorraine Jay
Many people think that practising Dynamic Yoga means a fast challenging practice.
This is not so. Dynamic Yoga actually works by using the dynamics of the hands and feet in the form of spiralling.
Lengthening from sacrum to crown of the head will immediately invite the spine to lengthen upwards. To lengthen from chin to base of skull will immediately invite the neck to become long and free from tension. Arms gently lengthening out of relaxed shoulders into the broadening of the finger bases will gently encourage the ribcage to broaden and lift, inviting breath into the lungs which will allow the PRANA (energy, life force) to flow freely so as to nourish every cell, muscle, joint and organ within the body.
If you don't believe in Prana, think of Yoga as a remedy for stagnation and mechanical imbalances within your body. When all muscles are relaxed and toned, the circulation of blood and nervous functions maybe increased therefore enhancing many functions of your body's systems.
These are the main features of Dynamic Yoga, but there is much more to it... Please read on to see how Yoga may be beneficial to your health.
Q: Can Yoga help with knee issues?
A: With any knee issue it is important not to over-stretch or over-bend your knee joints when going through your daily routines of work and rest and even more important when exercising. It is important to understand, that your knee joint doesn't exist or move on its own and that the health of your knees largely depends on the strength, alignment and flexibility of your ankles, hips and even the spine. Dynamic yoga exercises address all of these joints and the muscles responsible for keeping all these joints aligned. Through gentle repetition of opening postures and applying the foot spirals correctly the knee can be strengthened and aligned through sensitive nourishing opening postures such as gentle lunges. Similar exercises are taught for strengthening other joints and parts of your body.
Q: What is the main benefit for back and neck pain sufferers?
A: With any lower back issue, being sensitive to the lower lumbar curve is vital in yoga posture practice. I use a series of gentle opening postures to awaken and sensitise the whole of the body before inviting any challenging holding postures and on many occasions it is advisable to stay in movement during certain postures. My students are encouraged to be present to sensations being felt within the body as clearly as is possible at all times.
This promotes “postural awareness” - something we gradually lose through daily living with long periods of sitting and standing. Postural awareness is a skill everyone has from birth, it manifests when we learn to walk and handle things in childhood and develops into increased and enhanced dexterity when we learn sports, and other movement routines.
Postural awareness means knowing and feeling where your shoulders, hips, feet and other body parts are and how they positioned and held. Learning and practising yoga helps to develop this postural awareness first at a conscious level and then it becomes an unconscious habit of holding and managing our bodies in a right way without thinking.
Some of us are unable to do simple tasks like rolling our shoulders or even moving our heads left to right. This is because we have never done it before, therefore this movement pattern doesn't exist in active form on the list of our postural skills. It also means, that we can be often “stuck” in tense and static postures which we can't recognise therefore unable to correct.
The practice of dynamic yoga helps us support and develop our body postural awareness through a repetition of well controlled, smooth and natural to our body movements. This ensures natural and relaxed posture and makes us more able to withstand the strains of daily living.
Q: Will practising yoga stop the pain in my joints or spine?
A: Practising yoga is not a pain-killer, but a long term solution for re-vitalising and strengthening your body and soul. If you are in pain, we would recommend that you seek professional help to find the source and reason of your problem.
Your doctor or chiropractor will offer you a treatment, which will first stop or lessen the pain and then they will advise you to take up exercises to gain control over your back, neck or joint problem. Yoga, Pilates or other core stability training is often recommended.
This is where Dynamic Yoga classes can be very beneficial.
Over the years of practice we realised, that exercising in pain might make things worse for you for two reasons.
Firstly, it may make your condition worse.
Another reason not to start practice of yoga when you are in pain, because you might not enjoy this ancient art of realigning and harmonising your body and lose your interest to this practice forever.
Many of my clients use chiropractic adjustment to restore the function of their spines and reduce the pain and then were referred to me for strengthening and re-aligning.
The aim of chiropractic in keeping our bodies strong and flexible are alike with the aims of Yoga, this is why I chose to write for AdjustHealth about Practice of Yoga.
I run regular classes and courses in Chigwell and Epping.
There are some places available and private tuition is welcomed, let me know if you would like to learn more, either by e-mail or phone.
Please visit my website for information and bookings at
Having practised Yoga for 10 years, I was given the chance to train to become a Yoga teacher with Windfire School of Yoga and to be taught by the founder and creator of the Dynamic Yoga method, Godfrey Devereux in 2007, although I was not really sure if I actually wanted to teach but made a decision to attend the course so that I could take my own practice and understanding to a deeper level.
After the first part of the course I began practising with some fellow students and it became very clear to me that teaching was definitely for me. I began to run some classes for my friends and family to gain experience and after a while began to teach small groups from my home. I then began to teach in health and fitness clubs around the local area. I now run courses for beginners as well as students who have practised for many years, although there is always a modification for any posture because however long we may have practiced Yoga for, our human bodies have many different capabilities and limitations. So nobody should ever think that they could not possibly do Yoga because… they are not flexible…not fit….suffer with back or knee problems…MOST people CAN do Yoga as it is completely non competitive.
There are no goals with Yoga… just a wonderful journey to be enjoyed.
I do make it a priority to attend as many workshops and classes as I possibly can, along with constantly carrying out my own explorations into the many aspects of Yoga as there is always so much more information to be absorbed so that it can in turn be passed onto my students.
I am a member of IYN (Independent Yoga Network) and run classes and workshops in Chigwell and Epping. I also cover classes in various health and fitness centres from time to time.