What are the Five Filaments?

anatomy for yoga five filaments postural yoga Nov 18, 2020

Postural anatomy

I developed the Five Filaments approach to anatomy as a practical way of learning how the body moves. It brings key concepts from embryology together with rotational rhythms to support an evolving body intelligence from the inside out.

The concept resides in common sense. As a codification of rotational patterns, each of the Five Filaments is essentially a convergence of medial and lateral rotation:

  • Hand Filament: Opening and Grounding Spirals (supination/pronation)
  • ShoulderFilament: Opening and Grounding Spirals (supination/pronation)
  • Foot Filament: Opening and Grounding Spirals (supination/pronation)
  • Hip Filament: Opening and Grounding Spirals (supination/pronation)
  • Axial Matrix (Omnidirectional flexion and Twists) 

A method for methods

Taking into account the evolutionary development of human morphology, embryology, and the chiral (meaning handedness) spirality inherent in all living things, this method of movement is quite simply all about going with the flow. In the Five Filaments, you will learn how opposing directionalities of flow coordinate movement as rotation throughout the body. These form the natural morphological constraints of our bilaterally symmetrical body plans.

In the functional application of the Five Filaments, our aim is to optimise these directionalities and use them to harness power by moving along loading patterns that support joint congruence. Like a sailor catching the wind, movement in harmony with proper joint rotation will take you to places you never thought possible!

The Five Filaments approach to anatomy is unique in that it supports your pre-established practice in any style of movement. I have developed these techniques through years of coaxing my body into the challenging asanas of the Ashtanga method, and have discovered that the Five Filaments unlock ease applicable to any movement practice. 

Each form of Five Filaments instruction that I offer will introduce techniques and inspire you to transform your physical practice by:

  • breaking down each of the Filaments
  • identifying your movement patterns
  • reframing asana in the spiral approach
  • contextualising movement in the biotensegrity paradigm
  • weaving in threads of subtle body concepts from ancient yogic texts
  • learning new techniques to build healthy patterns of movement applicable to all styles of yoga
  • developing the confidence to share these techniques in your teaching practice

This postural anatomy approach/method integrates science with tradition in a systematic method accessible from anywhere and applicable to any movement style. I am so excited to share this method with you and to see where it takes you in support of your own personal progression and teaching practice! 

I'm in the final stages of finishing the book that explores the anatomical basis of the Five Filaments. The book is called Spiral Bound: Integrated Anatomy for Yoga and you can get the Online Resource here.

Explore the Five Filaments Specialist pathway here.

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