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David Keil was introduced to yoga in 1989 by his Tai Chi Chuan teacher. Both the Tai Chi and Yoga practice at the age of 17 began his research into his own mind-body connections. His search continued through massage therapy where he discovered many insights and affirmations of what he had been exploring and finding on his own through his practices. One of the most important elements was the specific understanding of the musculoskeletal system and how fascinating, beautiful and amazing the body is on the scientific level and how that directly played into and off of his own understanding of the human body. He was given names and explanations for some of things he had been experiencing and feeling.
As an instructor of Kinesiology (the study of movement and musculoskelatal anatomy) at Miami’s Educating Hands School of Massage from 1999-2003, David developed a fun, informal and informative style of teaching. By repeatedly teaching incoming students who had no prior understanding of anatomy, David was confronted with the problem of making such a complex and beautiful system accessible and understandable to the average person.
David brings his unique style and ability to make things simple to the yoga world. Because of his passion and desire to share the human body with everyone, he delivers this complex and sometimes frustrating topic in a way that is very accessible and understandable to yoga practitioners.
Over the years David has used his skills as a Neuromuscular Therapist to help people reduce their chronic pain patterns. He often brings this information into his workshops where students are regularly uncovering painful patterns or injuries in their bodies.
David was introduced to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in 1999, but it was in 2001 that he met John Scott in Penzance, Cornwall, presenting his anatomy workshops for the first time oversees. Two weeks practicing with John was transformational and he realized that he had found his teacher. This began a relationship of both teacher/student as well as a collaborative colleague relationship that continues today.
It was also John who told David to go to Mysore in India the following year, which he did. David arrived in Mysore in 2002 where he studyied with K. Pattabhi Jois in the “old” shala. In fact, it was the last year that the old shala was used for practice. David was authorized in 2004 and returned yearly for extended visits to Mysore with his wife Gretchen Suarez. They are both authorized Level 2 to teach Ashtanga Yoga.
David also runs Yoganatomy, a highly successful yoga anatomy education company that delivers online anatomy training to teachers and training providers.
Why we love David
David has been working with Scott and SYL since 2008. He is a dear friend of SYL. We feel he has grown into one of the most relevant and accessible ashtanga yoga teachers in the world today. His skill as an educator of the yoga practice and at the same time as a personal guide to students is inspiring and a model to all yoga teachers.
When is David teaching at SYL?
Seeing Your Students Anatomy
A weekend of anatomy observation
26th – 28th July 2019
Friday 26th July: 6.00pm to 8.30pm
Saturday 27th July: 9.00am to 4.00pm
Sunday 28th July: 9.00am to 12.00pm
Location: Stillpoint Yoga Brixton, 41- 43 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5TN
Price for the weekend: £249 (£225 early bird until 26th May)
One of the most important skills a teacher can have is the skill of observation. There is a lot of information in front of you in every moment, but you’re not necessarily aware of it until it’s pointed out. In the Yoga Anatomy Observation Workshop you will learn to use tools to enable you to see more of what a student is doing and/or not doing. Seeing more can make all the difference in the adjustments or cues you give to a student in a particular pose.
In the Yoga Anatomy Observation Workshop we begin to develop “our eyes” by first recognising that we each have our own biases and that these biases can color what we think we see. We then use the technique of conducting a formal postural analysis to develop the practice of “seeing” more objectively. The technique of completing a full postural analysis also trains us to “see” at a greater level of detail.
The next step or level of observation, is observation in movement. We will apply the observation techniques that we’ve learned to the observation of people in one of the most fundamental movements: walking. We’ll then practice a more visceral method of observation by mimicking the patterns that we see in students walking. This adds a kinesthetic component to our understanding of what we observe is going on in an individual’s body. This exercise is a great reminder that we often need to put ourselves inside the student’s posture (asana) to more fully understand what they’re experiencing. With the addition of that kinesthetic knowledge, we may have a better idea how to support the student in their pose.
Finally, we will take our “eyes” back to the yoga mat and observe poses. We’ll use all our observation skills as we observe transitions into and out of postures as well as the more static state of the asana itself. With our new observation skills, we become more informed. The verbal cues or hands-on adjustments that we use to guide students will now be more skilful because they are based on observations that are less biased, more detailed, and generally more informed.
- Quick review of anatomy.
- Learn to see what has been in front of you all along.
- Detailed postural analysis.
- See the anatomy in movement.
- See the anatomy in asanas.
- Individualise instruction based on what you see.
Seeing Your Students Anatomy
David Keil 5 day Mysore intensive
22nd – 26th July 2019
Location: Stillpoint Yoga Brixton, 41-43 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5TN
From Monday to Friday there will be 3 start times per day:
6:30am start | 8:00am start | 9:30am start
Each session is limited to a maximum of 12 students.
Price for the intensive: £160
The magic of the ashtanga yoga Mysore intensive is that it allows you to have what feels like a private class with the energy of a group. The teacher holds the space for your growth in the practice of yoga.
- Personalised attention
- Limited to a maximum of 12 students
- Figure out your “next step” in practice
- Be clear about what you should focus on
- Techniques to work on difficult areas of practice
- Time to establish relationship with the teacher
- Be inspired to practice more regularly
Yoga is very much about the relationship a students has with the teacher. This is the reason that when David travels and teaches an Mysore intensive the number of students in the room at any one time is limited to a maximum of 12. With this intensive you, the student, have to commit to signing up for the 5 days of practice. With David’s commitment to small numbers and the students commitment to a daily practice, a transformative and in-depth relationship is created.
Students deserve individualised attention in their practice. The techniques and tools that you get are for you specifically in the intensive. In David’s way of seeing the practice, this is where true teaching and learning happens. Of course, there are generalised instructions for everyone, but when the specifics are aligned with your needs, growth and change naturally follow.
With the “Mysore” method the students each practice at their own pace without being guided through each pose by the teacher throughout the class. It’s not a led or guided class where everyone is doing the same pose at the very same moment. This allows for a deeper connection to develop between teacher, student, and the practice. Over 5 days of daily practice, the student begins to go through a process and grows within their own practice; this comes from the amount of attention, the discipline and the dedication of practicing daily. The effects will encourage and inspire you.
Knowing the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is not a requirement, only being open minded and receptive to learning is.