Sensory Perception At Work In Yoga

jennyHello World!  This is my first ever blog post and I would like to reveal a few tidbits about myself. Most importantly, I am a ballet dancer. Ever since I can remember, I have loved dancing and moving to music. I’ve been studying ballet at the University of Louisville Dance Academy for the last 20 years and have the privilege of performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy again this December. Complimenting ballet classes with strength-based workouts, yoga, and Muscle Activation Techniques™ has allowed me resiliency from overuse injuries and made me more mindful how to “stretch” in an active manner.

After getting a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and working as a personal trainer for 8 years, I went back to school to become an Occupational Therapist or OT. Not to be confused with a Physical Therapist, occupational therapists examine the meaningful activity (or occupation) a person wants to do, works on the skills needed to do that task, and gives them strategies to accomplish it. I recently completed my first year working as a pediatric OT and help many children with lack of coordination,which can impact their balance, attention, and activities we take for granted like the ability to get dressed, to write our name,or play safely on the playground.

The work I do as a dancer and OT infuses my yoga classes with a light-hearted energy and acknowledges the sensory systems involved in practicing yoga. I discuss how balance is the result of a number of body systems working together: the eyes (visual system), ears (vestibular system), and the body’s sense of where it is in space (proprioception). The vestibular system works with the visual system to keep objects in focus when the head is moving such as in a Sun Salutation. Proprioceptors in our muscle spindles, tendons, and joints provide critical feedback to the brain and integrate information from sensory systems about our body’s position in space, jenny-3movement, and acceleration. There are so many systems being called upon and integrated to orchestrate a balanced Tree Pose.

I hope you will join me for classes at Yoga Integrated Science™ where I weave strength building yoga poses together with a playful approach to challenging our amazing sensory systems. Rise and shine every Tuesday and Thursday for “Yoga I.S.® Power Flow” with me from 8:30am-9:30am and you will face the challenges of your day with focused energy.

Jenny Eubank, MS, NSCA-CSCS, OT, RYT-200
Registered Occupational Therapist 
Yoga I.S.® Instructor
Certified Personal Trainer