Anatomical Geometry, Asana Techniques Lab & Exploring the Axial Skeleton

Mary Richards
Mary Richards

Two days, Three workshops with Mary Richards
Saturday, December 8th & Sunday, December 9th

Each Workshop is $60. $165 for all three.

Register Now

Anatomical Geometry: Mapping the Bony Landmarks of the Body

Saturday, December 8th from 10-1:30pm
What’s a spine? (Hint: We are not talking about the vertebral column at present …) Where do you find a tuberosity, trochanter or malleolus? How does any of this pertain to yoga practice or instruction?

Knowledge of skeletal anatomy is immensely useful for those of us who teach and practice asana, especially when offering modifications, since people come in all shapes and sizes. Skeletal anatomy also provides a point of reference for studying muscles because many muscles are named according to their relationships to nearby bones. Furthermore, the palpable and visible bony features of our skeletal anatomy provide us with valuable information about the movement and orientation of our joints. From the foundation of the skeleton, we can offer anatomically correct and functional movement instructions, offer safe and effective assists to our students, and place props to support the body properly in asana.

Join Mary Richards, CYT, e-RYT, and anatomy fanatic, for a two-day adventure that explores the bony features of our magnificent skeletal structure. We will explore the planes of movement, how different types of joints move, and learn about the law of concave-convex motion. This workshop involves active practice, so be ready to practice from your bones.

Asana Techniques Lab

Saturday, December 8th from 2:30-6pm
Have you ever watched a student struggling on the mat and wanted more information about how to instruct them to greater ease and stability? Has a student shared with you that they have an injury or pain? Now, you’d enjoy learning options and techniques to address situations like “Chaturanga shoulder,” sciatica or plantar fasciitis.

If you answered yes to any of the above, please join Mary Richards for an exploratory lab intensive in the studio. Together, we will seek clarity and understanding via discussion and applied practice. We will examine asana technicalities and experiment with teaching techniques, including props, assists and therapeutic modifications. Bring your mat, questions, concerns and willingness to role play.

Exploring the Axial Skeleton: Mapping the Vertebral Column

Sunday, December 9th from 9-12:30pm
The vertebral column is the central organizing axis of the body. Composed of multiple bones that articulate with one another, the shoulder and pelvic girdles, skull and rib cage, it’s safe to say this structure is immensely important to posture and movement. In addition to the bones, the vertebral column is composed of cartilaginous discs. These discs are vitally important to the structure and function of the column. Furthermore, the vertebral column is home to the spinal cord. It is the major thoroughfare of the central nervous system. The vertebral column also interacts profoundly with the peripheral nervous system and internal organs of the body.

Join Mary Richards, CYT, e-RYT, for an engaging weekend dedicated to the vertebral column in all its glory. We will construct models of vertebral bodies, act like spinous processes and facet joints, and take our vertebral columns through their full range of movement via asana. In addition, this workshop will include a discussion of respiratory physiology and pranayama.

Mary began practicing yoga in 1992, and teaching in 2002. For over 10 years, Mary studied primarily in the Iyengar tradition with additional study in other lineages. In 2002, she attended her first workshop with Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT. Mary felt an immediate resonance with Judith’s work; she has studied regularly with her ever since. Mary assists Judith at various workshops around the United States and serves as her senior therapeutics and anatomy teaching assistant. Mary and Lizzie Lasater, M.Arch, yoga instructor and Judith’s daughter, also share a series on Lizzie’s YouTube channel entitled “Today’s Anatomy Question,” which features dialogue and demonstration of anatomical concepts and principles pertaining to asana. Mary, Judith and Lizzie launched their in-depth digital movement literacy course,, in December 2017. They also launched a webinar-based back care course in July 2018.

Mary’s teaching and practice are informed by her deep, abiding interest in and study of anatomy and kinesiology. Mary has completed credited coursework with labs in anatomy, physiology, cadaver dissection, kinesiology and biology. Additionally, she graduates on July 23, 2017, with a master’s of science in yoga therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has also completed volunteer observation hours at physical therapy facilities specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. Mary is passionate about sharing her experience in yoga therapeutics and other healing modalities to help others cope with — and ideally, prevent — injury to the joint segments of the body, especially the weight-bearing joints of the lower extremity.

Mary lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where she teaches syllabus-based yoga classes, sees clients privately, and trains bodyworkers, fitness professionals and yoga instructors in movement literacy and therapeutic techniques.