Teach People, Not Poses

Lessons in Yoga Anatomy and Functional Movement to Unlock Body Intelligence

By Mary Richards
Foreword by Judith Hanson Lasater
Illustrated by Lili Robins

- Paperback
Shambhala Publications
Pages: 184
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781611809725

Honor your yoga students' unique practice with this essential guide to identifying and supporting healthy, safe movement for every body. Includes more than 80 exercises and 43 instructional drawings.

Teach People, Not Poses is the manual that yoga teachers and yoga therapists need to help their students step onto the mat on their own terms, comfortably and safely. Mary Richards, a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and expert in kinesiology and anatomy, says that we leave too many people off the mat, due to overly aggressive pace, sequence, and ambition in asana. She offers advice, techniques, observations, practices, and sequences to give teachers and yoga therapists the tools they need to move beyond the popular ideas of “should” on the mat.

To safely guide others in asana, especially when people come to the mat for relief from residual effects of acute injuries, chronic pain, and repetitive strain, yoga teachers need to understand what is typical and atypical in terms of posture and movement. Richards offers teachers myriad exercises to address imbalances and strengthen, such as

  • "Tighten the Corset" for deep core training
  • "Forearm Chaturanga/Plank" to develop core strength and stability
  • "Revolved Warrior I with Resistance Band" for core stabilization
  • "Wall-supported Downward-facing Dog" to activate the abdominal muscles and support the lower back
  • and much more

This unique book masterfully blends yoga philosophy with practical body knowledge and physical core stabilization skills, so that asana is truly an individualized expression—and what the Yoga Sutras describe as sthira sukham asanam, asana that is steady and comfortable.