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The Original Body addresses the physiological experience of yoga.  The soft tissue, skeletal, fluid and spatial sensations experienced in practice are considered in sequence and collectively as the reader becomes drawn into a depth of feeling and understanding that lies beyond practice.

Yoga teachers are shown how to use a deeper ‘feeling’  to unveil an innate  powerful  physical wisdom. This includes bringing together anatomical visualisation and imagination, the development of awareness as a movement, and the management of sensation.

This book focuses on honing and harnessing the practitioner’s  essential experience in order  reveal  a more profound style of teaching from within. Teachers are invited to consider the impediments to a deeper practice and will be taken through the common factors inhibiting sensory pathways. These include conditioning, habit, trauma, anxiety, non-essential thought and the effect of technique and methodology in teaching.

Teachers will learn about the principles of mechanical freedom in postures and movement and they will find out about the parallels and differences between yoga practice and the osteopathic approach to biomechanics.

The Original Body invites the reader to put aside Sanskrit terminology and  well-trodden paths and dig deeply into themselves and discover the unconditioned body at its deepest level.

This book supports its reader through the understanding that group work thrives on their inspiration. This book inspires and provides an essential addition to the library of all teachers of yoga, movement and bodywork.


Additional information

Format Paperback, eBook
ISBN 978-1-909141-25-4
Edition No 1
Pages 208
Illustrations About 80 illustrations
Dimensions 246 X 189 mm
Status Published
Publication Date 14 September 2015

Author biography

John Stirk is a yoga teacher and author with a background in osteopathy. He has been teaching yoga since 1974. He graduated as an osteopath in 1983 at the College of Osteopaths in London where he subsequently lectured in biomechanics and practical osteopathy. He was made a fellow of the College in 1995. His association with R. D. Laing in the 1970s and 1980s and his attraction to the teaching of J. Krishnamurti have inspired his approach to a quality of consciousness realized through hatha yoga practices. John stopped practising osteopathy in 2005 to focus exclusively on yoga teaching and use his osteopathic and philosophical understanding to inform teachers. His approach has influenced many teachers in the UK and internationally. His interests lie in the power of group work and the potential insight and wisdom that arise spontaneously within the group field. He invites yoga teachers to take a step further, to trust and share their own insight and wisdom with their students by using physical sensitivity as a springboard to an alternative consciousness. John is the author of several books, notably The Original Body (Handspring 2015). He has published numerous articles for yoga journals, teaches in the UK and internationally, and conducts courses for teachers including the highly successful What Lies Beneath course. John is based in London and east Sussex where he lives with his wife Lolly Stirk, who is a childbirth activist, pioneer of yoga for pregnancy, and founder member of the Active Birth Movement and Yoga Birth. Their daughter Sarah created the photographic images for this book.

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