Freeing the Breath - Keys to Releasing and Retraining the Abdominals

Course Info

Class Length:
Two One Hour Sessions Plus Yoga Practice Video
All Levels
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Julie Gudmestad

Julie Gudmestad Julie Gudmestad, PT, C-IAYT has been active in Portland, Oregon, as a yoga teacher and licensed physical therapist for over 40 years. She has integrated her western medical knowledge with yoga training into a unique teaching style, and regularly teaches anatomy and asana workshops throughout...
Yoga for the abdominals

With the popularity of abdominal strengthening exercises like curl-ups and crunches, many people come to yoga with overly tight and short abdominals.

Tightness in the abdominal muscles can restrict the movement of the diaphragm and disturb the proper balance between the different muscles involved in breathing, thus disturbing the breath's natural rhythm. When the diaphragm can't move normally, we rely more on accessory muscles in the neck, which can contribute to chronic neck pain and headaches.

At the same time, keeping the abdominals strong is key to supporting the abdominal organs, preventing and alleviating low back pain and even exhalation.

How can we keep the abdominal muscles strong and well-tuned while avoiding the restrictions and shortness that comes with unbalanced ab work?

In this 3-part course (two lectures and yoga practice), Iyengar yoga teacher and physical therapist Julie Gudmestad will show you how to build healthy strength in your abdominal muscles without creating unhealthy restrictions and movement patterns. You'll learn how to identify tight abdominal patterning in yourself or your yoga students. Julie will also show you some gentle counterstretches to release overly tight abdominals, and how to identify and retrain some common compensatory patterns in the upper body that may contribute to chronic neck tension and migraine headaches.

What You Will Learn

  • The key compensating patterns resulting from tight abdominals and how to identify them

  • Yoga postures and yoga moves to release tight abdominals, improve posture and create greater freedom in the upper body

  • How to retrain the abdominals for proper core support

  • How tight abs can limit breathing, and how to strengthen the diaphragm as part of releasing the abdominals

  • How to free the breath by creating an appropriate balance in the muscles of your belly and back

  • How deepening the breath can help you stay centered and calm in spite of challenges that we each face in life.

This Premium Package Includes These Bonuses!

  • Yoga Practice: Enjoy a special 25-minute audio visual yoga practice with Julie Gudmestad created especially for this course, which illustrates the principles and practices covered.

  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions - both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.

  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

This course qualifies for 2.5 non-contact hour CEs with Yoga Alliance.