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Tim Davis2010-07-04 14:00:22 +0000 #1
Nichole- I have this question. I was recommended to you a person at Purnayoga.

I recently purchased the book "Structural Yoga Therapy" by Mukunda Stiles. I love the book but i have a question that the book does not answer: in the book it talks about a joint releasing series. This is a series of 23 exercises in which the practicer (student) moves his/her body in movements that are all the possible ways a joint can wove. for example; he/she would move their shoulder joint forward, backward, up, and down. All the joints are moved in the directions that corrospond to all the directions that naturaly move. My question is, can one go through a yoga class doing this, and would it help heal parts of the body where injuries are? Can it be used to maintain the body and protect it from injury? I know this is a tough one but i would appreciate any help. namaste -hanuman
Nichole2010-07-04 14:09:30 +0000 #2
Hello Hanuman and welcome to the forum. I am glad you are enjoying Mukunda's SYT (Structural Yoga Therapy) book and that it is inspiring some questions for you too--always an excellent indication of increasing perception and discernment IMHO. Since you have the SYT book, I am going to refer to some page numbers so we can get specific. I also want to offer some clarification since others will be sharing in our conversation here. The Joint Freeing Series (JFS), or Pavanmuktasana, is presented in chapter 15 of SYT on page 121. It is a series of 21 exercises, though some are presented in sets; for example, exercise #1 has both ankle plantar flexion and ankle plantar dorsiflexion, and both are counted within/as exercise #1.


Originally Posted by Tim Davis

can one go through a yoga class doing this

If your question is, can a person, during a non-SYT Yoga class/session, move through the 45 specific directions of possible body movements, then I would say, yes, that is possible depending on the classroom sequencing that you are being lead through and if you had enough time to address each. It also occurred to me that you may be asking if there are asana that offer this systematic use of ones range of motion (ROM) and that could be utilized in a classroom; if so, the answer is yes, though I don't believe as efficiently and directly as it offered in the JFS. Likely best achieved in a Mysore class under Jois's Astanga where you are doing your own practice and not being guided by an outside teacher, but rather your own Inner Teacher.


Originally Posted by Tim Davis

and would it help heal parts of the body where injuries are?

I also say yes to this, though with a condition, and that condition would be that "healing" the injury is your part of your karma. And I speak of karma in the context of Classical Yoga and not as a "new-age" concept. I also want to refer you to pages 325 and 326 of the SYT book. These are the beginning pages of chapter 33 entitled, A Complete Classical Yoga Practice. Here is a quote from page 325, [The] Following is a summation of all the practices for the Structural Yoga Therapy process that leads you more deeply into Classical Yoga.1. Joint-Freeing Series is first done to evaluate joint freedom and learn anatomy. Regular practice maintains limber joints and improves circulation. Committed practice will shift attention to the energy level of pranayama practice to create pranic flow through the pranayamayakosha to awaken your intuition.

To me, healing, or freedom from the suffering of an injury, are the fruits that we receive from our committed practices and an integral piece to a committed practice is nonattachment to the fruits of ones practices.


Originally Posted by Tim Davis

Can it be used to maintain the body and protect it from injury?

Again, I would offer yes because of the above. On the first kosha, the JFS offers improved joint articulation and improved circulation. On the second kosha, it creates a pranic flow that awakens our intuition which is an aspect of fourth kosha; this in turn benefits the first, second and third koshas and leads us to experiences of the fifth kosha. Also want to refer to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra for this question, Mukunda's translation offers this for sutra II:28,

By sustained practice of all compenents of Yoga,

the impurties dwindle away

and wisdom's radiant light

shines forth with discriminative knowledge.

Patanjali's sutra II:28 is the promise of our individual sadhanas; it is the promise of Yoga. Reading chapter 33 of the SYT book will hopefully further answer these questions that you've asked.

Was that helpful? I've answered someone's question, but was it yours? If not, please know you are welcome to ask again, or to ask something new.

I've put up Mukunda's book edits here on the forum and you can find them in this thread. .

Highest regards,

Fin2010-07-04 14:46:49 +0000 #3
Are there differences between JFS & Pavanmuktasana?


Tim Davis2010-07-04 14:56:12 +0000 #4
Thanks for the information on Yoga therapy. I have been teaching older adults Yoga for five years and I have been learning as much as I can during this time because Yoga benifits them and the better the class the better for them. I am considering an attempt to use part of the joint releasing series working with the bigger muscle groups in these areas-the hips, spine, and shoulders. The spine is already exercised using the joint freeing movements because we allready do all possible movements with it.

om, hanuman



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