If you go to a teacher, the idea is that you learn something.
How do you know when you've learned something? When you can do it without the need of the teacher.
As a yoga "teacher" my aim is to help you learn to feel your body and control it. I used to be uncoordinated, clumsy. I used to be inflexible. I've had knee injuries, knee pain, hip pain, low back pain. I didn't fix these by just doing yoga poses. I fixed these problems (clumsiness and a lack of flexibility can both be viewed as "problems") by learning to feel and control my body. And I did that by focusing on the pieces.
Take out the slack monthly is a membership program that gives you access to all of my body awareness courses. (Note: I haven't included my dance of shiva videos in this membership.) Why not just sell them? They are for sale, and you can buy them if you choose. But, the courses are designed to help you feel and control your body. The exercises are short and to the point. Once you've learned you shouldn't need to watch the videos again.
Another reason for the membership format is that it ideally encourages you to actually watch the videos and do the exercises.
Imagine having a month off!
You could conceivably finish the whole library in that month.
If you took your time, watched a video or a clip, (while doing) and then repeated by yourself, you could actually learn the material. Plus, there is a lot of overlap. And that overlap can help to make the material easier to learn.
More importantly, each video, each exercise, ideally gives you a slightly different point of view of each exercise.
While some of the routines can be thought of as "workout", a lot of them are designed to help you work smoothly, efficiently, with "less effort".
Obviously not everyone has that amount of time. And so you can spread out your learning if you choose.
While not all exercises are amenable to being done anywhere, a lot of them are simple muscle control exercises that you can practice while standing or sitting around.
Perhaps the most wonderful thing about these exercises is that they empower you. They give you agency. By learning to feel the parts of your body and control those parts, you'll be able to figure out for yourself what is right or wrong or best for your body on any given day. Plus, you'll be able to more fully engage with your body. Instead of worrying about external alignment cues, you'll be able to feel your alignment from the inside. (And if you can't, you'll learn to adjust so that you can. That's one of the reasons for "taking out the slack". It allows you to feel the parts of your body where you've removed the slack. And then from there you can go about fine tuning tension.)
The complete list of courses that you have access to is below.
For first time members there is a 10 day refund policy.
Basically, you have 10 days from date of purchase to request a refund.
You can also think of that as 10 days to learn as much as you can.
Or you can think of it as 10 days to check out all the programs and decide which one(s) you want to buy.
To request a refund, use the "reply-to" email included in your subscription receipt.
You can also cancel membership at any time.
If you have questions prior to purchase,
you can always contact me via my facebook page.
Standing Balance Basics: Learn to feel and control your relationship with the earth while standing. Understand how to balance (and stay balanced) while upright so that you can apply the same ideas when balancing on other parts of your body.
Basic Breathing: Learn to feel and control your breathing muscles for better breath control and awareness.
5 Beginners routines: These 5 routines are designed to help you get familiar with your body. Each is slightly different and together they show you how you can vary your routine from day to day.
Extreme Muscle Control: Something that isn't often explicitly talked about is how our extremities, hands and feet, can affect the limbs they are attached to. In this routine, the focus is on activating the feet or hands to help anchor the muscles of the arms and legs.
Frictional Muscle Control: Friction provides a force we can exert our muscles against. With this routine, you'll get a feel for working with both friction and pressure and notice how different muscles activate depending on the direction of push. If nothing else, it's a great way to strengthen and improve flexibility.
Push Up Arm Strength: If you have trouble with push ups or chaturanga dandasana, this set of videos explores different ways to apply your arms while doing push ups to make push ups easier. Once you have a basic push up, you can use these methods for strengthening your arms in different ways, while doing push ups.
Hips and Pelvis: This workshop stye course gives you exercises for getting a feel for your hip bones. In the process you'll also learn to control your SI Joints. From there you'll also get a basic feel for your long thigh muscles, the muscles that extend from the corner points of your hip bone to the inside and outside of your lower legs.
Hip Crease control: This set of 5 yoga routines helps you to feel and control your hip joints via the hip crease. For anyone who wants to improve hip control, or teach it, these 5 routines offer a class-tested step by step process for hip control via the hip crease. You'll also learn how to activate the hip via foot pressure. And you'll also get a taste of knee control.
Muscle Control and Proprioception Collection
Action Vectors, Foot Exercises, Frictional Resistance, Pressing and Sensational Muscle Control 1 & 2 (below) are all part of a group of classes called MCP (Muscle Control and Proprioception)
Action Vectors: Action vectors is a single routine broken down into 5 videos that focuses on "directionality" in yoga poses. A vector is a thing that has direction and magnitude. In this course the focus is on the direction component. It's a great way to find the "ease" in a yoga pose simply by aligning with applied forces.
Foot exercises: Foot exercises focuses on feeling and controlling the feet. If you have active feet, you stabilize your ankles and lower legs and that in turn helps to anchor muscles that act on the knees and hips. Plus, how much time have you spent focusing on your feet lately?
Frictional Resistance: Another look at using friction to activate muscles (or activating muscles to generate friction). If you ever had trouble activating your legs in standing poses, here you'll learn how to activate specific muscles and at the same time strengthen them.
Pressing: In this set of videos the focus is on pressing to acquire a muscular response. The thing with muscular responses is that they generate "strong sensations" which we can otherwise use to get a feel for our body. Muscle activation can also generate stability, if it is done without creating movement. So with "pressing" you'll also learn how to stabilize.
Sensational Muscle Control 1 &
Sensational Muscle Control 2: This set of videos builds up on Action vectors, foot exercises, Frictional Resistance and Pressing, and teaches you how to activate muscles directly so that you can then use that muscle control to improve flexibility among other things.
8 Elements Collection
(Pelvis and) Spine, Ribcage, Hip Flexors, Hamstrings, Thighs, VMO, Long thigh muscles, Deep hip muscles, Knee hip and thigh 2 & 3 (Deep hip was the original 1), Integrated SI and Shoulders (below) are all part of a group of courses called 8 Elements Proprioceptive Control.
Yes there are more than 8 elements in this collection!
Pelvis: The pelvis could be thought of as the bottom of the spine. This short series of videos gets you used to feeling and controlling your pelvis through clearly defined reference points.
Spine: The first part of this set of videos focuses on better spinal posture through feeling and controlling clearly defined landmarks. Since breath closely relates to posture (and vice versa), there's also a breathing element. It includes standing and chair based exercises for improving spinal awareness and control.
Ribcage: This program was originally packaged with the Spine program. It includes simple upright exercises for improving ribcage awareness, mobility and control.
Hip Flexors: The hip flexors that you learn to feel and control in this course are the "long hip flexors", the sartorius, tensor fascia latae and in some cases the gracilis. These muscles also help to control knee rotation. You'll learn different options for anchoring these muscles. And yo get to practice using them in different poses.
Hamstrings: In this program you'll learn a bit of glute control as well as hamstring control. And as with the hip flexors, you'll learn how to anchor these muscles for easier activation plus.
Thighs: This set of videos looks at the thighs. It builds up on and compliments the previous two courses with inclusion of the inner and outer thighs as well as the vastus muscles.
VMO: The Vastus Medialis Obliquus (VMO) attaches at one end to the Adductor Magnus Long head tendon. In this course you'll learn how to activate the adductor magnus long head as a precursor to activating the VMO.
Long Thigh muscles: These muscles include the hip flexors and some of the hamstrings. Here we look at them as a group and explore how they can control shin rotation (or stabilize against it) and how they can help control the hip bone (assuming the lower leg is rotationally stable).
Deep hip: This set of videos looks at directly controlling the deep hip muscles. Clearly defined references are used to make this a lot easier.
Knee, Hip and Thigh 1 & 2: These two sets build up on previous lessons and explore shifting of awareness and control between the thighs, knees and hips.
Integrated SI Joint control: This set of exercises looks at controlling the SI Joints via the hip bones. It explores hip bone control in combination with control of the ribcage and then in combination with control of the lower legs.
Shoulders: This set of videos looks at better shoulder control first with the arms free, and then with the arms bearing weight.
The course below could be thought of as having a slightly more anatomic approach to muscle control.
Quads and Hip Flexors: A simple and short set of videos for teaching you how to activate and feel your quads and hip flexors with the "special" exercises that I use for students who can't activate their quads ad hip flexors.
Glutes and Hams: Complimenting the previous set of videos above, a short and simple set of videos for learning to activate and then feel and control your glutes and hams
Anatomy Leg Basics: where previous videos were designed to help you learn muscle control and then use it, here the focus is on using muscle control as a way of learning your anatomy first by experiencing it. As a result, most of the exercises in this set of videos are simple standing exercises.
Anatomy, Hamstring Flexibility: This set of videos builds up on the previous videos and uses the understanding and experience of leg anatomy to work on hamstring flexibility.
Foot Control: This set of lessons focuses on standing and then seated (or vice versa) exercises for feeling, and controlling your feet, ankles and lower legs. Plus it uses and applies the control learned in a variety of standing and seated yoga postures.
Most of the courses above have an element of flexibility included in them.
Muscle Control for Flexibility: in the form of a routine, this is one of my earliest videos on using hip flexor and hamstring control to improve flexibility of those muscles.
PMC Flex: Proprioceptive Muscle control for Flexibility aims to teach muscle control in the context of routines or mini-routines with the goal of helping you to improve flexibility.
MC4 Flex Strength: Muscle control for Flexibility and Strength (the proprioception is implied!) is another look at teaching muscle control for strength and flexibility in the context of a routine.