I had the pleasure of attending the DNS Yoga course this weekend. I have been trying to begin my DNS (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization) training for two years. Due to multiple life events/stressors including the happy arrival of my son, Miles, I have been unable to fit it into my schedule. So when Judy Green of Green Osteopathy in Port Perry, ON, brought the program back to Whitby (my hometown!) again this spring, I asked with a hopeful hear that she would admit me to the Yoga course. I was anxious to start with anything DNS, to get my feet wet, to get a taste of the system.
Our course instructor, Martina Jezkova was fantastic. She was clear with her instruction, specific with her corrections and directions when working with a demonstration. Her skills with the system were a pleasure to learn from. And the way in which she integrated the DNS principles into the yoga postures was inspiring. I have never felt my postural muscles work as hard as when she was putting me through a yoga posture with DNS cues.
The ideal stereotype of breathing according to DNS is circumferential cylindrical expansion of ribs with out cranial shift of sternum, Lower ribs anchored by abdominal activation, and efficient use of diaphragm as the main respiratory muscle.
The breath is the foundation of yoga practice. What this course did for me was to so strongly emphasize how important your POSTURE is for impacting your BREATH. Many yogis work hard to develop their yogic breath. What was so inspiring in this course was to experience what happened when you put your entire body into a 'centrated' position - meaning all the joints were in properly centrated positions in the posture. When you centrated the joints and the posture, the breath was almost effortless. You were able to create the opportunity for your body to breathe properly, through the whole core canister, and to allow your core to respond to the breath.
Joint centration is the maximum contact of the joint in all positions with other bones and muscles in a balanced state. Tight muscles pull the joint out of centre, and weak muscles cannot stabilize the joint. These principles assigned to a yoga asana allows for an extremely strong yet gentle position. You get to practice both mobility and stability at the same time, a magical success of two birds with one stone.
Martina put us through all the asanas, while applying the DNS principles to each of them. I found my postures were simultaneously more effortless and more intense. I have never worked so hard in yoga as I did with Martina's guidance. It required more strength, while taking pressure and strain off of the body parts that are usually injured in yoga practice. She utilized props intentionally and with purpose. Her class that she walked us through at the end of the course, had us spread along the perimeter of the room, to use the wall as an additional support when needed, instead of lined up in the middle as with a traditional class.
I left the course inspired and hungry for more DNS knowledge. As usual, let me leave you with some pearls of wisdom from the course:
From Karl Lewit:
"If breathing is not normalized - no other movement pattern can be."
"Nose is for Breathing, mouth is for eating."
From Martina Jezkova:
"Breathing is the most important component of life - it is the first thing we do in our life and the last thing we do in our life. (But yoga isn't just about breathing)"
"Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is about what you learn on the way down."