Yoga Workshops

On Location & Online

Leila has been teaching workshops locally and internationally since 1993. In her workshops, you will experience a felt sense of your gross and subtle anatomy and physiology as you learn to:

Mindfully access your anatomy as a source of mobility and support.

Turn your practice and teaching into a living process of transformation.

Live and move from your essential Wholeness.

Use experiential and subtle anatomy, key principles of therapeutic yoga and yogic tools to address specific conditions of body, mind and spirit.

Leila is available for teaching workshops nationally and internationally as her schedule allows. Please contact her with inquiries.

ON LOCATION WORKSHOPS

ONLINE WORKSHOPS

Workshop Schedule

Please visit for updates

Leila Stuart Virtual Yoga Therapy Live:

CLASSES NOW OPEN TO ALL!

Information / Registration HERE

Yoga U Online

Standing on Your Own 2 Feet: Experiential Anatomy for the Feet

Register Here

For a preview, please click HERE

Experiential Anatomy as Therapy: Balancing Freedom and Stability in the Neck

June 20-22

Scottsdale, Arizona

SYTAR 2024 conference

iayt.org/sytar

Workshop Descriptions

In these workshops, students will experience a felt sense of their gross and subtle anatomy and physiology as they learn to:

  • Mindfully access their anatomy as a source of awareness and support.
  • Revamp their practice and teaching into a living process of transformation.
  • Live and move from their essential wholeness.
  • Use experiential and subtle anatomy, key principles of therapeutic yoga and yogic tools to address specific conditions of body, mind and spirit.

These workshops are designed for teachers as well as students with at least one year of dedicated yoga practice.

THE SPINE IS THE CENTRAL CONNECTING STRUCTURE OF THE BODY, affecting health and balance, heart and mind. When we cultivate a felt sense of the location and function of the spine as the midline of the body through experiential anatomy and somatic practices, we can change how we perceive and meet Life by establishing a “home-base” from which we can move and live. When we align the spine with the Heaven and Earth axis, we can consciously balance these two energies and live a life that is more grounded and flowing yet balanced by spiritual aspiration. Exploring the spine from a koshic perspective can lead to deep personal transformation through the use of experiential anatomy, yoga therapy principles, movement re-patterning, asana, breath, sound and mental perspective. IN

THIS WORKSHOP, YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Embody experiential anatomy of the spine as the central core of the body from which movement can originate in an integrated way.
  • Understand how the spine is stabilized by the interplay between the musculoskeletal, fascial and nervous systems.
  • Repattern spinal curves and integrate the concept of “neutral spine” in asana and daily movement.
  • Free the movement possibilities of individual spinal vertebra and zones of vertebrae in the context of balancing mobility with stability.
  • Apply and integrate experiential learning and yoga therapy principles into asana practice.
  • Practice safe spinal movement in the activities of daily living.
  • Utilize inquiry to explore the consciousness shift that can occur when mindfully centering yourself in the physical and energetic anatomy of the spine.

THE PSOAS IS A TRULY YOGIC MUSCLE, bridging the body back to front, top to bottom, core to periphery, spine to limbs and Heaven to Earth. Though hidden deep within the body, the psoas can be considered one of the most important muscles of the human structure. It has a multidimensional influence on your physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual experience of stability, strength, ease and connectedness. When gently and sensitively accessed experientially using yoga therapy principles, the psoas can initiate a process of deep inner transformation as well as healing back pain, pelvic instability, digestive issues and a multitude of other physical conditions.

IN THIS WORKSHOP, YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Access, relax and lengthen your psoas to its maximum resting length through experiential anatomy.
  • Explore the role of your psoas in spinal, hip and pelvic alignment, stability and dysfunction.
  • Experience your psoas as a source of core stability and centrally initiated movement.
  • Utilize inquiry to experience the shift in consciousness that can occur with dynamic engagement of your psoas.
  • Consciously engage your psoas to fully enjoy the benefits of asana through integrated movement that emanates from the core.
  • Access your psoas as a tool to experience a reproducible sense of being centered in yourself and accessing authentic power.
  • Utilize your psoas muscle in activities of daily living so movement is safer, stronger and more integrated.
A flowing form of yoga that focuses on inner development and transformation. Practices include a powerful series of sequences, postures and THE CORE IS A POPULAR CONCEPT that we all know about, think is a good idea and try to develop. The usual focus on strengthening abdominal muscles to build the physical core can certainly contribute to core stability but there are other important aspects of the core that can help us to be more deeply seated in our true self and become a more integrated person.

Breath, core and self are inextricably related: by practicing ongoing awareness and activation of the core, the mind and ego can gradually shift from lifelong domination to being in service to the Self. In this workshop, we will examine the core from a multidimensional perspective and then explore Yoga Therapy practices designed to assist you to establish the core as both a physical center and the “home-base” of your innermost self. This is where deep inner wisdom can be accessed. The tools of yoga will be used to bring awareness and functionality to the core in asana practice and off the mat in daily life.

IN THIS WORKSHOP, YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Embody awareness of core structures through experiential anatomy, imagery, somatic practices and movement re-patterning.
  • Explore the influence of the “cylinder of support” on lumbopelvic stability, function and alignment.
  • Practice integrated and core-initiated movement in asana and daily life.
  • Explore the relationship between breath, core and experience of self.
  • Discover yoga tools to anchor emotional awareness in the core as a way to stay mentally and emotionally steady and centered.
  • Apply key yoga therapy principles for working with digestive issues, back and neck pain and other conditions associated with weakness of the core.

BONE IS DYNAMIC LIVING TISSUE! Experiential anatomy of the bones and joints of the skeletal system can make everyday movement and asana come alive. Intelligent practice of yoga promotes strong, healthy bones by sequencing force, weight and prana through specific lines of force. When you have a direct experience of the structure and framework of the skeletal system you can learn to “stand in your bones” and access strength and support to live from your deepest self.
In this workshop we will explore different parts of the skeleton from a koshic perspective and learn ways to integrate experiential anatomical knowledge and yoga therapy principles into a yoga practice that refines alignment, stability and movement. As you locate and develop a “felt sense” of the skeleton you can take advantage of its possibilities while honouring its limitations. Ongoing practice of bone and joint awareness builds a bony framework and foundation that can be relied on to provide a deeply comforting and embodied sense of physical, mental and emotional grounding and steadiness.

IN THIS WORKSHOP YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Access and activate the skeletal system through experiential anatomy principles and practices.
  • Learn key principles of yoga therapy that can influence bone density, remodeling and repair when dealing with osteopenia and osteoporosis.
  • Understand the alignment and movement possibilities of the skeletal system to decrease habitual muscular tension and re-pattern greater stability, precision and direction of movement.
  • Experiment with the skeletal system as a tool of stress reduction and emotional grounding.
  • Explore habitual ways of living in the skeletal body that affect how we perceive and live life.

THE PELVIS AND FEET ARE CONNECTED BY MYOFASCIAL MERIDIANS formed by longitudinal tracks of muscle and fascia that receive and transmit tension and force from one area of the body to another. In this workshop we will explore 3 major myofascial meridians to experience the physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual connections between these two important parts of the skeleton. When grounding through the feet is consciously united with a stable pelvis, movement becomes graceful, integrated and core initiated. When weight, force and energy sequence through bone, muscle and fascia in a clear pathway from the pelvis to the ground, we can experience balance and integration in all its multifaceted aspects. This mindful connection will be explored from a koshic context using experiential anatomy, movement re-patterning, asana, breath, sound and mental perspective.

IN THIS WORKSHOP, YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Explore the relationship between the feet and pelvic bones, core muscles and myofascial lines.
  • Apply mindful anatomy to develop integrated, stable yet fluid yoga asana.
  • Find new sources of strength and balance for the upper and lower body.
  • Awaken cellular intelligence in all the tissues along the myofascial lines.
  • Integrate Yoga Therapy practices and tools to keep the pathways between feet and pelvis opened, flowing and alive.
  • Discover new ways to stay centered in body, heart and mind.

CHRONIC PAIN AND TENSION IN THE NECK is so common in our society that it is accepted as normal. Why is this part of our body so prone to pain? Anthropologists tell us that the neck evolved to increase the range for the eyes to search for food and scan for danger. As the human brain developed, the average head evolved to weigh 12 to 15 pounds and subject to strong mechanical forces. Most modern people habitually meet these forces by unconscious muscular effort to hold the head erect. The nervous system “forgets” that the musculoskeletal system, the organs and the earth itself offer support from below and that the delicate structures of the head and neck can naturally relax into this support. Tension from compensatory alignment and movement patterns contributes to pain, weakness and restricted movement in the neck, jaw and eyes as well as many requests for neck massages! The neck is also a multidimensional doorway between mind and body, head and heart and thoughts and emotions. Western culture tends to value the mind and reason over the wisdom of the body and heart. Tension in the neck serves to perpetuate the split. Feeling emotions, expressing oneself or accessing inner wisdom is difficult when this doorway is clamped shut by muscular tension.
The dance between freedom and stability in the neck will be approached from a koshic perspective using experiential anatomy, yoga therapy principles and somatic practices.
IN THIS WORKSHOP YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Actively engage deeper skeletal and organic sources of support for the neck and head so relaxation and stability can be experienced.
  • Re-pattern cervical ease and freedom of movement especially at the joint between the head and neck.
  • Explore the connection between stability and freedom in the neck and the free flow of prana between heart and mind.
  • Practice “rooting” the head and neck from the thoracic spine and pelvis.
  • Integrate continuity and integration of the head and spine through developmental movement patterns.
  • Apply yoga therapy principles to work with common neck conditions.

THE PELVIS IS THE CENTER OF THE BODY. The bony bowl of the pelvis is both the container and protector of vulnerable organs. The centre of gravity is generally located at the level of the second sacral vertebra and can be viewed as the “still point” around which the movement of the arms, legs, head and tail takes place. Structurally, the pelvis is the foundation on which the spine and the upper body rest and through which weight and force are transferred through the legs to the ground and vice versa. When the pelvis is both aligned and flexible, you can experience both groundedness and an enhanced ability to connect with and flow with Life. Pelvic misalignment can often generate feelings of unsteadiness, imbalance and disconnection both mentally and physically. A misaligned pelvis can be experienced as a morass of stuck emotions, compromised movement and a source of considerable pain and suffering. Sometimes working with the pelvis can be like opening Pandora’s box but the ultimate reward is ease and stability. When we develop STHIRA, or steadiness, through the stable physical foundation of the pelvis and legs, the pelvis can be experienced as a centre of stability, power and grounding in which both vitality and stillness live.

IN THIS WORKSHOP, YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Use experiential anatomy, yoga therapy principles and somatic practices to become aware of the pelvis as the key to structural alignment of the physical body.
  • Inquire into the functional balance between stability and flexibility that creates integrity in the pelvis.
  • Realign and stabilize the pelvis and sacrum with movement re-patterning and yoga asana.
  • Apply principles and tools of therapeutic yoga to common patterns of pelvic misalignment.
  • Explore the relationship between pelvic alignment and a steady and balanced mind and emotions.

THE SHOULDERS AND ARMS REPRESENT THE HUMAN CAPACITY TO “DO” or manifest creative intention in the world. Arm movements and gestures reflect and express what is contained within the heart. With the arms, we reach out to embrace, push away, give a helping hand and accept an offering. The psychology expressed by the alignment of the upper spine and shoulder girdle can be complex and multidimensional; it is often easy to interpret someone’s psychological stance by observing the shoulder girdle and to notice fundamental psychological change when alignment of the shoulder girdle is re-patterned, particularly in cases of anxiety and depression. Although the shoulder girdle is capable of a wide range of motion, we tend to move our arms in a narrow, limited repertoire. By exploring and re-patterning mindful and non-habitual movements, deeper aspects of the self can be revealed and accessed. Alignment and movement of the shoulder girdle will be explored from a koshic perspective utilizing yoga therapy principles, somatic practices and yoga asana.

IN THIS WORKSHOP YOU WILL LEARN TO:

  • Use experiential anatomy to explore the structure of the shoulder girdle as a functional unit.
  • Realign and balance the shoulder girdle using yoga therapy principles and practices.
  • Move the arms independently of the torso yet connected to the core through muscular chains, bones and developmental movement patterns.
  • Explore the sequencing of force between the arms, center and legs in order to access core strength.
  • Apply principles of therapeutic yoga to common conditions of shoulder dysfunction.
  • Connect your arms and heart so all your actions become compassionate.

Instructor

Leila Stuart - IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist

Leila Stuart

Leila Stuart BA, LLB, C-IAYT, is a Registered Massage Therapist (retired) and has practiced and taught yoga for over 40 years. With kindness and deep compassion, she offers accessible teachings on experiential anatomy, movement repatterning and embodiment of the deeper teachings of yoga as pathways to self-healing.

With a deep love and intuitive knowledge of experiential anatomy, Leila specializes in transforming academic information into somatic awareness and life changing experience. She is the author of Pathways to a Centered Body, co-authored with Donna Farhi, and The Great Yoga Handbook. Leila teaches in Canada and internationally.

I loved your weekend and have so much to enjoy and work on. The effect on me has been unexpected. I am walking with greater ease and much longer strides as well as noticing a deeper more mellow tone to my voice as a result of fuller breathing. I can get rid of tailbone pain by stroking my psoas!

“The Anatomy of Yoga Therapy is a powerful course filled with spirit and love. Leila sets up a space that is safe, secure and embodies trust. In this environment I was able not just to be myself, but to find, discover, evaluate, absorb or discard aspects of myself. The course was like a journey to self discovery – through body awareness and alignment, knowledge and learning, reflection and testing out ideas, absorbing and integrating what resonated with my beliefs and prior knowledge. I learned to listen to my body and to honour its wisdom. This course opened up my curiosity and awareness of the connection and alignment between body, mind and soul. It was a magical journey toward wholeness.”

“Leila takes the body/mind/spirit experience of yoga to a whole new place. Literally, a place of “Wholeness” is experienced as we delve deeper into the understanding of our physical body. As someone truly walking her talk, Leila brings her incredible wisdom to us in an experiential way that is easy to understand and can change our lives forever on the journey home through yoga.”

“Leila’s course has transformed my practice, teaching and life. Beginning with the rich foundation of anatomy and journeying into the intelligence of the body, this course brought my bones to life and helped me to see my deeper holding patterns. Through her gentle, yet penetrating guidance, I have been given many tools to expand awareness, release tension and open the energy flow within. I am more free.”

“I have had great benefit from the classes on the pelvis. My hip hardly ever hurts now. I feel so blessed to have had the privilege of learning what I’ve learned in this course. My life is different. I feel as though I was stuck in a place of “physical limitation” and now my growth is happening at other levels, my mind, my spirit are now more engaged in the process of shedding the old patterns and beliefs as my body is freed.”

“Being on the journey with this group has helped me to be a bigger and deeper person. In my heart I really understand now that all of our suffering is caused by forgetting who we really are at essence, and that we are all on this journey together to remember who we are so that we can in turn remind others, and so on. This is the challenge and the joy of being a yoga teacher. Through our individual and group interactions and experiences you have all helped me to remember. A million thank you’s.”

“This course met and went beyond my expectations. I’ve become a much better yoga instructor and more importantly have learned a lot about myself.I really appreciated the koshic model of healing and the many faceted approach to connecting to wholeness; I use this in my teaching a lot now. Personally, so much more of myself is awake now. My body is more stable and I feel more authentic as a person and as a yoga teacher.”

I found the workshop very lovely and intense. I’ve been doing some or all of the exercises you shared with us everyday. I found the work shifted quite deep into my subconscious mind and unearthed old patterns and learned behaviour. I recognize the benefit of moving slowly and listening deeply. I am deeply grateful to find validation in your words and wisdom. I look forward to studying with you further in the future!

“An exceptional amount of knowledge is shared between teacher and students in this training. Leila is an inspiration to each and every one she comes in contact with.”

“Leila, thank you for being in my life and for this amazing course you have taught. Your beauty and grace and passion and brilliance are an example to us all. I love you and I thank you for everything.”

Your knowledge and presentation is truly inspiring and I’ve been using some of the anatomical ideas you presented to remind me of the importance of the spine.
As I have gotten older, my yoga has become more slow and thoughtful and experimental – this is a great addition to my practice.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a wonderful workshop in Dublin. I enjoyed every single moment and loved all the experiments. I admire you for being so warm, patient and listening all the time – this is the most important for me – feeling safe within the learning environment – I wasn’t afraid to answer any of your questions, I felt welcomed and understood whenever I said something.