Ever since our interview back a couple of months ago in preparation for the conference, I was really looking forward to meeting Santiago in person. He impressed me tremendously by his ample knowledge on the issues of both yoga practice (body alignment principles) and yoga theory (yoga philosophy).
This Ashtanga class was quite different: instead of doing LED Primary Series, Santiago spoke a lot on some of the important principles behind Ashtanga for a safe, life-long, and daily practice, making apple use of demonstrations of the key postures to make his points come across.
The main focus of the anatomy lesson was on the knees in combination with the hips, as the two are ultimately connected. Many Ashtangis and yogis in general indeed experience some kind of issues in the knees at least at one point in their practice, and this is precisely why it was so important and useful to speak about the best practices to support the health of these joints.
With truly impressive background in anatomy and physical therapy studies, as well as array of good teachers that Santiago studied with, he had a lot to contribute on the topic, in an accessible and interactive kind of way. What Santiago emphasized however, is the uniqueness of each body, and he did not fail to encourage the people to make use of the information they were given, applying it smartly to their own life and experiences, in the end producing strategies that work best for them in their circumstances.
I was especially grateful to Santiago for taking a little side track in the end of the class to share some tips on how to keep the wrists happy, as it is precisely my weak spot in the body. It was a truly a very informative workshop and I was very happy I participated.