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I have decided that the new three-day Stretching, mindfully workshop will be the entry point to all other workshops that nestle under the Stretch Therapy™ ‘umbrella’ from now on. So, what I write here today is for comment—and if this finds favour with our audience,  everyone’s first experience of our approach to stretching and relaxation, designed to lead to grace and ease in the body, will be a 100% experiential three days. There will be a relaxation module presented every day, too. No theory, no anatomy presentations, just the best stretching exercises we know. Past attendees have found this experience transformational, and so will you!

As foreshadowed in previous posts, I have decided to move in this direction for a number of reasons, chief among them being my belief that direct experience of simply working on oneself and experiencing major changes in a brief time period is a sufficient reason to attend a workshop—and will lead to better teachers and therapists if that paths calls to you. The other reason is that many people have asked recently “is it OK for me to attend a Stretch Teacher workshop, just for me—I don’t want to teach”. In my view, attending for oneself is the best reason and can open many doors in time.

As well, the idea is that once you have had a direct experience of the method in action (on you and the other attendees), you will be much better equipped to choose the next step: Stretch Teacher or Stretch Therapist. The Monkey Gym will remain a separate stream, though we have already filled the forthcoming MG workshop in Melbourne (11–12 January, 2014), just from the attendees of the Stretch Teacher workshop we have only finished yesterday!

We have decided to keep the Stretch Teacher (“ST”) workshop the same number of hours; historically, it has been a minimum of 36 contact hours; and the Stretching, mindfully workshop (let’s call this one “SM” from here on) will count as the initial 18 hours of either the Stretch Teacher or the Stretch Therapist workshops.

The focus of the Stretch Teacher three-day workshop will be on the essential anatomy, how to structure a class and how to teach group classes, and a full revision of the most important poses. This is what the Stretch Teacher workshop presently comprises—the big change will be that the first weekend will be the fully experiential SM workshop, and the Stretch Teacher workshop will focus more directly on the ‘how to teach group classes’ aspects. At the conclusion of the ST workshops, attendees will receive a beautiful certificate, with an embossed ST logo, suitable for framing, and will be entitled to be included on our website Stretch Teacher listing, so new clients can find you!

Alternatively, someone who has done the SM workshop may want to go the Stretch Therapist (“STh”) route. This will be offered in an additional two parts: Level One Stretch Therapist, a three-day workshop, will comprise the anatomy and the theoretical aspects of low back, neck, arm, and shoulder pain, and will present the latest research into these problems, including piriformis syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Compression syndrome, and many other common ailments. As well, all the essential partial poses, all stretching and mobilisation techniques (designed to be used one-on-one in a clinic or small studio setting), will be taught, including massage table top and chair versions of our best stretches.

In all, as is presently the case, the STh workshop will comprise a minimum of 36 contact hours, the only difference under the new proposed arrangements being that potential therapists will do the SM workshop too, to fully experience the transformations dimensions of the work for themselves. We are certain this experience will lead to better clinical applications of the work. At the conclusion of the STh three-day workshop, attendees will receive an elegant embossed certificate, describing the number of contact hours, and which designates the holder as a Level One Stretch Therapist. As well, the holder of this certificate is entitled to be listed on the Stretch Therapist part of our site for ease of being found by prospective clients. So, to Level One, the contact hours and the content will be the same that we have done in the past, except that we will spend more time on the stretching and mobilisation aspects—a number of past attendees felt that we did not spend enough time on these parts before.

If a therapist wants to go deeper into the work, however, we offer an additional Level Two weekend (two-day) workshop (Level Two requires 36 + 12, so 48 hours in all). In the additional two six-hour days, we will teach how to test for structural leg-length difference, and what solutions to offer if found, and additionally will teach the clinical application of the essential neural re-patterning that is one of the hallmarks of our work. We will explore how to re-establish excellent alignment in feet, ankles and knees, how to activate the pelvic floor, how to activate and strengthen the core abdominal muscles and (for me, most importantly) how to activate the glutes, and how to treat knee pain. All of the key therapeutic clinical applications of the main stretches will be revised. Completion of SM and Level One STh are pre-requisites for level Two. And the certificate from this second workshop describes the holder as a Level Two Stretch Therapist, and the website listing will reflect this level change, as well.

What do you think?