Yoga for a Healthy Back - Creating a Balanced Core for Long-term Back Health

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Marlysa Sullivan

Marlysa Sullivan Marlysa Sullivan MPT, E-RYT 500 is an Assistant Professor at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) where she teaches in the integrative science and yoga therapy departments. Marlysa has developed many courses as well as being the founding clinic director for the Masters of Science in...

This combo course features two, 3-part courses with Marlysa Sulllivan on Yoga for Back Health for $20 off the regular prices of $167. Price is reflected at checkout!



Monday, December 10 & Wednesday, December 12, 2018
8:30 pm Eastern / 5:30 pm Pacific

Awaken the Psoas, Free the Breath - Yoga for Balancing the Core, Releasing the Low Back and Improving Well-being

The psoas muscle is often talked about as one of the most important muscles in the body, because of its central location and interconnectedness with other parts of the body.

The largest hip flexors in the body, the psoas muscles have many other functions which affect our health and well-being in numerous ways. The two psoas muscles are the deepest muscles of the core, and as such play an important role in stabilization of the spine and prevention of low back pain. The psoas muscles also support the internal organs, and via their movement, facilitate lymphatic flow.

The functions of the psoas muscles have been linked to psychological well-being as well, because of their close connection to our breath and the stress response.

In this online course, yoga therapist and P.T. Marlysa Sullivan will take a close-up look at the psoas and its vital importance for the health of our diaphragm, breathing, the low back and the hips.

This course shows how the psoas, via its connection to the diaphragm and breath, is intimately involved in the body’s stress and relaxation response.

Marlysa will also discuss the importance of the psoas for structural health; i.e. the connection between the psoas and the 'core' including common imbalances. She will also discuss potential issues of a "tight" psoas or imbalance between the 'core' and psoas; how to spot these imbalances and what to do to relieve them.

The course includes a yoga practice to release and lengthen the psoas while also strengthening both the core and psoas in order to create an optimal relationship between the two.

What You Will Learn
  • Why the psoas is one of the most important core muscles of the body, in addition to being a hip flexor

  • The position of the psoas and its many important effects on structural balance, organ functioning, and breathing.

  • How the psoas has a direct influence on the fight-or-flight response and may be the seat of deep-rooted trauma in the body

  • How to spot if you or your students have a psoas imbalance and associated muscular compensations

  • Best ways to safely release, lengthen and tone the psoas, and why stretching isn’t always the answer



Monday, December 17 & Wednesday, December 19, 2018
​8:30 pm Eastern / 5:30 pm Pacific

Diaphragm, Breath, and Bandhas: Yoga for Core Stability and Integration

In this course yoga therapist and physical therapist Marlysa Sullivan will look at the anatomy of the core and spine and the relationship to the breath and the bandhas in the cultivation of optimal core strength and spine health. We will explore common musculoskeletal imbalances that contribute to spine pain and how to use asana to alleviate these imbalances. Discussion of the breath will include an understanding of the mechanics of breath as well as how the breath contributes to both stability and relaxation of the body. Pranayama and asana techniques to work with the diaphragm and breath will be discussed. We will explore the yogic concept of the bandhas, the corresponding muscles, and the appropriate use of strengthening and release in these areas of the body through specific pranayama and asana.

What You Will Learn
  • The anatomy of the core muscles stabilizing the spine including common muscular imbalances that contribute to injury and how to use yoga postures to help these injuries

  • The anatomy and mechanics of breathing including the relationship between the diaphragm, spinal stability, relaxation and the bandhas.

  • Common diagnoses and issues of the low back and neck and how to understand them through their relationship to muscular imbalances, breathing imbalances and improper use of the bandhas.

  • How to work with the breath and bandhas in a way to promote a balance between stability and ease in yoga postures.

  • Various asana and pranayama techniques will be discussed to help work with the breath, common muscular imbalances, and the bandhas to promote health of the spine.


This Premium Combo Course Also Includes These Bonuses!

  • Yoga Practice Video: Enjoy two yoga practices created for this course.

  • Recordings of Both Sessions: Yours to keep. 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 four sessions, 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 webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.


Join us live or listen to the recordings!

This course qualifies for 6 non-contact hour CEUs with Yoga Alliance.