In 2018 I listened to a podcast that completely transformed my yoga practice and teaching.
Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) was interviewing a teacher called Lara Heimann. I had no idea who she was but she blew my mind with how she spoke about anatomy in yoga and in day to day life. It was clear that she had quite a critical eye about traditional yoga asana and deciding what is worth keeping for our modern day bodies and what is worth changing, tweaking or even dismissing.
I had to know more about this Lara – Who was she? How could I try her classes? So I found out more. Lara was a physiotherapist specialising in neurodevelopmental treatment when she became a yoga teacher. She has spent the last 25 years refining the LYT method (Lara’s Yoga Training) by merging yoga with her therapeutic background.
“The LYT Method is intended to unify the traditional teachings of yoga with a more modern understanding of the human body by emphasizing intelligent sequencing and proper body alignment, while re-educating compensatory movement strategies that place unnecessary strain on the body.”
As I practised this method and learnt more and more, I realised that it was going to change my teaching. I have previously completed some training in The Anatomy of Movement with Lara and am now completing 200hrs of training in the LYT method.
5 things you can expect in a LYT class…
1. The Reset. We start each practice with a reset – finding a neutral pelvis, firing up the glutes and the abdominals and organising our bodies before we move into the first sequence. The reset follows a developmental sequence, similar to how we learn to move as babies.
2. Bend Your Knees. In many yoga classes it can seem that bending your knees is for beginners or for tight hamstrings. We’ll focus more on hip flexion, neutral pelvis and neutral spine and you’ll still get a good hamstring stretch. And if you’ve ever had ‘yogi butt’ – this will be excellent for you!
3. Don’t expect a seated section. There are seated poses included in the flow but there isn’t a big seated section at the end. Why not? Well, for a lot of us seated forward folds are awkward and difficult, or they’re so easy for you that there’s a lack of engagement and control. We can replicate paschimottanasana (seated forward fold) as a standing forward fold instead. We call this a Happy Squat as it’s way more accessible, encourages more hip flexion and we have gravity helping us! As a general society, we also sit way too much for way too long, so if we’re going to go to a vinyasa yoga practice and we’ve got one hour out of our day, we’re going to move.
4. There’s crawling, jumping, hopping,and skipping. Expect to move in all directions and in a variety of ways!
5. Get on your hands! It can be easy to think that a ‘safe’ ‘optimal’ ‘sustainable’ practice equals boring. LYT is still fun and energetic. In every class there is an opportunity to get on your hands, whether it’s a little handstand hop, or a handstand. And with time, we break this down and it becomes more and more accessible.
Join a class with me and let me know what you think.