What Yoga Teachers Can Learn from Bodywork,
What Bodyworkers Can Learn from Yoga
MAXIMIZE RESULTS … MINIMIZE INJURY
In the Practice & Teaching of Physical / Mental Yoga
KNOW the Human BodyMind — the Anatomy & Physiology —
So Well That You KNOW What Your Students & Clients Need,
and What They DON’T Need.
KNOW How Yoga and Yoga Therapy REALLY WORK in the Human Bodymind and How To Create Unique Strategies Customized for Each, Individual Student & Client
Become Knowledgeable & Skilled in
Yoga Injury Prevention,
also Applicable to Stretching & Exercise
HELLO! … The Pages of this website give You a Great Overview, with quite a lot of detailed, useful ideas & techniques, on Yoga Basics and how David Scott Lynn’s Methods of Let-Go Yoga, as well as the inner workings of the FUNdamentals of Physical/Mental Yoga, Yoga Therapy, and Yoga Injury Prevention. …
PLEASE NOTE: Personal Trainers, Fitness Coaches, Physical or Occupational Therapists and others might well prefer the term Conscious Stretching rather than Yoga. Yet the physical/mental principles are the same. (We use NO Eastern Mysticism here.) …
You Too Can BE on THE Leading Edge of Yoga Education, Yoga Therapy & BIO-Structural Balancing … and if You’re a Hands-On Therapist, Yoga-Based Bodywork.
You Too Can Become a Most Trusted, Most Valuable Resource to Your Students, Clients or Patients.
And if You’re a Member of the General Public, and a Serious Practitioner of Yoga or Conscious Stretching, there is Plenty Here for YOU Too!
The DSL Method of Let-Go Yoga, Yoga Therapy, and Yoga Injury Prevention
is based on FIVE PRIMARY COMPONENTS:
1. BodyMind Integration & Awareness
2. Structural Balance & Postural Alignment
3. Cross-Training in a Range of Modalities
4. Scientifically Sound Principles
5. Yoga-based, Hands-On Bodywork
1. A fully Conscious approach to BodyMind Integration & Awareness, using deeper levels of the Mind & Breath — with initially very Low-Intensity or “Homeopathic Doses” of stretch — to release tension & stress in the Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial System. … (There is much to Homeopathic Principles NOT involving the actual remedies, the little white pills!)
We look for a balance between Health, Fitness & Flexibility. Yet the Primary Focus of Let-Go Yoga is on DE-Stressing the BodyMInd while DE-Contracting & Balancing the Muscles & Fascia, facilitating activation of the parasympathetic nerves, the healing & restorative systems of the body. At the root of it all, calming the nervous system & brain. That, of course, leads to a calmer mind & emotional state. …
The “Yang” activities of SECC Fitness (Strength, Endurance, Cardio & Coordination) are very important (and we do address that, but later!). Yet in an over-stressed individual bodymind and society in general, most of us need, at least for a while, FAR more balance toward the “Yin” side. The DSL approach to Yoga Therapy is definitely on the “yin” or low-intensify side of the Health / Fitness spectrum.
And that is the Primary Focus of DSL’s development of Let-Go Yoga. When proper & healthy “Yin” myofascial foundations are restored, de-stressed, stabilized and balanced, we can from there move toward a more “balanced” Yin & Yang exercise program: Health / Fitness (SECC) / Flexibility & Resilience. (Though similar, there are significant differences between Let-Go Yoga and the various Yin Yoga systems more commonly available today.)
2. BIO-Structural Balancing & Postural Alignment: When a human being goes too far “out of balance” for too long in ONE direction, doing things “equally” on both sides of the body does not always “restore balance” nor solve the problem. Very often, one group of muscles (the Primary Contractors) get over-contracted, over-shortened & “tight.” The opposing group (the Secondary Contractors) get over-lengthened, but are as equally contracted as the Primary Contractors, or EVEN TIGHTER because in many cases, they are actually working harder.
This is one reason we frequently discover the source of our pain is on the opposite side of the body from where we feel the pain. And, we become Structurally Compressed in the process.
One must sometimes go for a while “excessively” in the OTHER direction from what feels “normal” to get back to balance. In structurally-oriented Yoga, if you’re “out of balance,” you might have to do A-symmetrical (not “equal on both sides”) yoga for a while to get back to balance. …
OR, our muscles get over-tight & short, but symmetrically so. In such cases, we get overall structural compression.
BIO-Structural Balancing is a science of discovering and working with those musculoskeletal compressions & imbalances. The Primary Focus is to Structurally DE-Compress & Balance the Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial tissues and Joint structures of the bodymind.
3. DSL is a big believer that for a truly “wholistic” healing process, “Cross-Training” from a wide range of wholistic health disciplines is highly useful, sometimes necessary. For the DSL Method of Yoga/Bodywork/Whole Health Therapeutics, this includes the Principles, Practices & Pathologies from hands-on:
- Neuromuscular & Myofascial Therapies
- BIO-Structural Principles & Therapies
- Osteopathy & Chiropractic Principles
- Naturopathic & Homeopathic Medicine*
- Metabolic & Functional Medicine*
Philosophical principles & techniques from such disciplines widen & deepen our ideas of what Health, Healing & Fitness are all about, as well as how to look at them from an Integral, Yogic (Conscious, Aware) Perspective.
* Medicine: From the root word Mederi, meaning an Inner-Measure, a Meditative sense-of-self, leading to internal responses that Moderate or Cure the problem. … This is in contrast to “modern” medicine being far more about the “outer-measuring” via equipment and external technology. This in turn usually tends to lead to more external remedies & cures. While this external approach is certainly quite valuable and useful, it has it’s limitations. Our view is to use both, when each is appropriate.
4. Scientifically sound, medically accepted principles of Structural Anatomy, Functional Kinesiology, Neuromuscular/Myofascial Physiology and Neurology, as well as a wide range of explorations into a Philosophy & Psychology of Being Human. And we might argue the effectiveness and safety of Orthodox Medicine for their methods of treating chronic, life-style dependent illness, but orthodox medicine does have incredible depth of very useful research into and knowledge of the actual workings of the Structure & Function of the human body.
These sciences provide a strong foundation on which to base our understandings and assessments, and what to do about them, for the conditions and challenges of many human beings today. And the much maligned Scientific Method actually provides excellent checks & balances on our thinking and analytical processes to keep us on a correct track.
Added to that is DSL’s life-long exploration, from many very different philosophies & techniques, including both Eastern & Western Perspectives, of what it means to be a human being (philosophy), how the mind & brain works and influences all our actions, and vice versa (psychology), and the very nature of health & sickness, of well-being & disease. We are, of course, especially cognizant of the mental and emotional components of soft tissue pain.
The above Four Elements are brought together in an Integral, Comprehensive System that, in great part, can be explored and worked with in Physical/Mental & Relational Yoga, and expresses itself in Postural Yoga. However it should be noted that in the DSL Method, and as David was taught by Joel Kramer, the focus is NOT on achieving “Perfect Alignment” in the poses, but using physical/mental yoga as a Tool of Exploration of who we are as unique human beings, and what we as human beings are as a species.
The Key, then, is to never force or coerce the bodymind, but to explore, discover and ALLOW the body, to move deeper into postures (or asana). This is an important key to Injury Prevention in yoga, exercise and movement in general.
Yet if your ONLY INTEREST is in the physical stretching with a more conscious component, you can get immense benefit from the perspectives & techniques presented here. You do NOT need to get into the philosophical & psychological parts to benefit. … But it helps!
5. Edge-Touch, Asana Assists & Yoga-based, Hands-on Bodywork Therapy are tools to use, when necessary, in conjunction with, yogic postures. OR, in severe trauma, injury or VERY chronically held tensions & stress, hands-on work can open doors in minutes or hours that might require weeks or months with “stretching.” That’s even with VERY conscious, yogic stretching. Sometimes, the physical stress & tensions are so locked in, “being aware” and “yogic stretching,” even at a very deep level, are not enough. In such cases, the hands-on work can be far more efficient & effective.
Ideally, the hands-on work is delivered by the hands-on therapist as an Externally Applied Form of Physical, Mental & Relational Yoga. For one example, while in a yoga posture, relatively light (Edge-Touch), hands-on “assists” can greatly expand, deepen and enhance the Student’s or Client’s experience and results. In more therapeutic situations, hands-on work might, for a time, replace the postures until the inertia of past trauma and/or injury is reduced substantially.
DSL’s hands-on work has similarities to neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, shiatsu, and other such modalities. There are similarities to Rolfing®, Hellerwork®, and other structural therapies. However, most people who’ve experienced DSL’s work say no one really does what he does. His approach is unique and highly “effecticient.” (Effecticient = Effective plus Efficient, as they are best when they arrive together.)
The DSL Method of Yoga & Bodywork incorporates a wide range of knowledge, experience and skill that is hard to match in today’s excessively specialized and narrow “scope of practice” world.
Having had experience with many different bodyworkers, David’s technique is certainly unique. There are levels of healing he achieves I’ve never seen before. This is clearly a result of a vast knowledge of anatomy and physiology combined with decades of hands-on experience.
Dr. John Bordiuk, Nutritional M.D.
Inner Balance Med, Wellesley, MA
(Dr. Bordiuk was a Yoga Teacher before attending Medical School)
I have worked with many soft tissue therapists over the years. David Scott Lynn is the only one educated and skilled enough to do what I want with full confidence that the job will be done. My patients definitely feel the difference.
Gary Fujinami, Doctor of Chiropractic, Prescott, Arizona
Yoga Helps Us All … If We Use It
We are all unique in what we come to a yoga practice with. We have differing interests, desires, needs and challenges. And, of course, a life of past experiences & ideas. Yet, because so many people are similar enough in their motives, and so many of them have the same Basic Conditions of Life, we can design highly effecticient programs even though generalized in nature. Much of what most human beings want and need can be achieved without getting into very specific activities, without requiring highly specialized knowledge, degrees or licenses, in various health care disciplines.
Whether you’re into a more traditional approach to Yoga, “Conscious Stretching,” any kind of stretching in Physical or Occupational Therapy or in Fitness & Personal Training, or even “Club Stretching,” there’s something here to contribute to every approach & style of releasing tension & stress in the human bodymind.
You’ll also find the Basic Principles of Therapeutic Applications of Yoga & Stretching, including …
How To Prevent Yoga Injuries.
Prevention of Yoga Injuries has become a primary focus of DSL. That’s in part due to the Hippocratic Oath: Healer, Do No Harm … and in part, just to help people.
Ironically, over the years, many of DSL’s Students & Clients often pointed something out to him: The very therapeutic techniques he was using to get them better, they thought if they had been doing them in the first place, they might not have been injured in the first place.
It soon became clear that many or most of the Principles of Repairing Injury were the very same principles that would Prevent injury, as well as Maximize Results. And while this was certainly true in a postural yoga practice, is was also true in many other forms of exercise and daily activities, such as workplace ergonomics.
OKAY, a lot’s been said here. … Now, how are we all going to get there? …
Well, this system has been developed by DSL over the last several decades, and while it is VERY SIMPLE to get started, it is potentially deep & complex, as well. You can jump down to the bottom of this page for a list of webpages describing much of how it all works and where to go from here, OR … if you want to know more about David and how the work was developed …
Here’s a short Biography of David Scott Lynn (DSL) and the DSL Method:
Beginning in 1967 at age 13 with Zen-style Meditation in Martial Arts, David (DSL), developed a life-long commitment to studying & practicing Alternative Philosophies & Systems of BodyMind Health, Healing & Personal Development, and what it means to be a fully functioning Human Being. … At 19, he was introduced to physical/mental yoga at a talk given by Joel Kramer in Chicago. (Joel has been called The Father of American Yoga and the First American Yoga Master by various people in America.) In 1976, after a one-month, residential intensive with Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad in Physical, Mental & Relational Yoga, DSL began teaching yoga later that year. (Much of DSL’s early personal & professional life & work was based substantially on Joel & Diana’s yoga-related teachings.) … While teaching yoga, he studied various forms of massage therapy informally with a number of leaders in that field. In 1981, with no formal training, yet a lot of excellent experience with and feedback from people (including several massage therapy school owners), DSL began Private Practice as a hands-on bodyworker in Chicago. He quickly gained a reputation for being able to make changes and solve problems in the human body other therapists were not. … In 1982, he studied Structural Bodywork with Daniel Blake, who had been trained & certified by Ida Rolf, founder of Structural Integration or Rolfing®. … DSL also worked directly with several alternative/wholistic medical and osteopathic physicians, learning and applying that experience and insight into his system of therapeutics.
Since then, DSL has Cross-Trained in a number of areas:
- Physical/Mental & Relational yoga
- Yoga Therapeutics
- Hands-on, Yoga-based Bodywork
- Neuromuscular, Myofascial & Structural Therapeutics
- BIO-Structural Balancing & Postural Analysis
- Metabolic Medicine (diet, nutrition, detox)
- Anatomy & Kinesiology
- Physiology, Neurology & Pathology
- Philosophy & Principles of:
- Osteopathy & Chiropractic
- Naturopathic & Homeopathic medicine
(David does NOT provide chiropractic or osteopathic-style spinal adjustments, and does NOT provide specific metabolic evaluation or treatment for specific conditions. In such areas, he teaches General Principles & Practices common to us all, but does NOT provide person- or symptom-specific evaluations or treatments.)
DSL was even in acupuncture school for a time, but found he was more drawn to Western approaches to Alternative Medicine. Along the way, he’s extensively studied & applied the orthodox medical sciences of Structural Anatomy, Functional & Postural Kinesiology, Physiology & Neurology, as well as certain aspects of medical pathology. To round it all out, studies of various forms of philosophy, psychology & personal growth — from a meld of primarily Western but some Essential Eastern Elements — add to the deeper meanings of what it means to be a Human Being, as well as what supports their intellectual, meditative & physical development. …
Developing the CORE of the DSL Method
of Yoga Therapy
In 1982, due to significant pain & dysfunction resulting from racing motocross and ironworking (heavy construction) in his teens, DSL could not find any health care practitioner (orthodox or alternative) who could help him recover. Yet along the way in his private practice, he had also been noticing much of what he’d read or been taught about the body and therapy just was NOT true. His thinking about yoga, bodywork and therapeutics began some significant changes at this time.
Though barely able to stand up or walk at times, he began combining the teachings of Joel Kramer’s Yoga and Daniel Blake’s Structural Bodywork. Over the next three to four years, he created the foundations of The DSL Method of Yoga/Bodywork Therapeutics. Working along side a number of “alternative” physicians & practitioners over the next three plus decades, DSL brings a wide, deep & well-grounded perspective, knowledge & skills to the alternative healing arts, especially neuromuscular, myofascial & musculoskeletal problems. Yet he’s along the way helped many people with significant metabolic issues, as well. …
And, given that David experienced so many positive results from Yoga, upon discovering how many people were suffering from yoga related injury, he has set out to emphasize Yoga Injury Prevention in his teachings and writings.
Teaching Yoga-based Bodywork
In 1989, when the then owners of Heartwood Institute in Northern California needed a Deep Tissue teacher, they called the Late, Great Robert K. King, then president of the American Massage Therapy Association, and co-founder of one of the leading massage schools in Chicago & America, the Chicago School of Massage Therapy. Mr. King’s top recommendation for teaching Deep Tissue was DSL. David began teaching his system of therapy at Heartwood, including the various supporting sciences, to Students from all over the world.
The students in Heartwood’s approved Massage program felt that The DSL Method [now known as DSL EdgeWork] was the most valuable work in Heartwood’s massage curriculum. Many students felt that David’s work instilled a sense of competence in their ability to do massage & bodywork. It is an open ended system allowing and encouraging students to continually improve their work through active practitioner/client exchange. I have personally found that, based on feedback from clients, The DSL Method is on par with, if not superior to, the other major bodywork systems available today.
Rex Dippre, Massage Therapist, Director of Admissions,
Heartwood Institute, 1989-1992, currently
in Practice in Arcata, California
Rex Dippre’s Website
DSL then spent most of the 90s traveling the country, training small groups of bodywork therapists. He spent much of the early 2000s working with yoga teachers, then traveling to Boston to work with students & professors at the New England Conservatory of Music. He helped them recover from career threatening problems no therapists or physicians had been able to resolve. … A natural born teacher, DSL has coached and taught seminars to a number of Students & Clients, including many members of the General Public, surprising them as to how such complex topics can be made easy to understand & apply.
Along with Kyle C. Wright, David co-authored the 380-page textbook Structural Balancing, published by McGraw-Hill in early 2010, available from Amazon.com. … Kyle Wright is the former owner of the five Southeastern Schools of Neuromuscular Therapy in Florida, North & South Carolina. Kyle acknowledges David as a primary source for the redesign of his curriculum at his schools, and more than 6,000 students have been introduced to the basic principles David has been learning, integrating, developing and teaching his entire life.
David now devotes his time to writing books and web pages on various aspects of physical/mental & relational yoga, yoga therapy, yoga-based bodywork, healing & medicine, and a number of related topics, including Social Yoga. He’s developing On-line e-Courses to teach his work, and will return to teaching advanced, in-person trainings when enough people have learned the basics from the e-Courses, or when people ask him to show up. … He works privately with individuals when they can find him.
Therapeutic Let-Go Yoga and The DSL Method of
Yoga/Bodywork/Whole Health Therapeutics:
Thanks for Reading,
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
DSL: Your Hi-Touch Up-Link to the Inner-Net.
* Inner-Net: Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Network.