YogAnalysis was created by the President of the Diagnosis Foundation, Dr. John Wallman, and his wife, Pamela Wallman. He created similar analysis programs for various sports, including weight training and golf. For three years, he assisted at the U.S. Open using his unique analysis measurements. Pamela Wallman, a yoga instructor, saw how this type of analysis could help the yoga practitioner in the same way it was helping pro golfers. This is how YogAnalysis the company was born.
What is YogAnalysis? First and foremost, it is not a form of yoga; it is instead a system of diagnostic assessments to help a yoga practitioner gain awareness of their body in their yoga poses. There are 108 assessments that check for strength of individual muscles and flexibility of every major joint in every direction, and then a plan is given to the yogi based on the analysis. The assessments inform yoga practitioners which poses are good for their body and which poses are bad or need to be modified as well as which areas need corrective exercises or stretches.
The assessments take time; they are done over a period of months. The process begins with the first 27 assessments, after which the client gets a sheet for each abnormal finding showing them what they can improve, work on and strengthen. When the client returns, they recheck those first assessments. If the areas have been strengthened, then the analyst will move on to the next assessment in the series. The yogi leaves with corrective exercises and a summary of poses to work on. The analysis also includes an in-depth computerized 3-D motion capture analysis to determine the functional movement of the body as it enters in and out of poses.
“The first assessment is usually 27 tests, and if, say, 15 are abnormal, the client leaves with exercises to correct them,” explains John Wallman. “When they return in a month, hopefully everything has been corrected. Frequently that is not the case. Usually there are still a few from the first assessment that need additional work. So we continue with those that aren’t yet perfected, along with analyzing others. A month later, we test the progress. A typical person may take a year to reach a state of higher performance. A high-level athlete, like the top-level professionals at the U.S. Open, go through an assessment at 6 a.m. for 30 to 40 muscle tests, find two or three things that are off, do work for an hour, then go and play a round of golf, and repeat.” The speed of correction is in part determined by the level of athleticism.
“An example of some things we may notice and correct would be in the yoga pose of a full-body twist. That twist and push should come from your feet, but often people twist from their head, which is a more unstable approach, gives inconsistent results and leads to a greater chance of injury,” adds John Wallman.
Currently, the field of yoga analysis is booming, and there is a need for more people to be certified, he points out. YogAnalysis certification comes in three levels. In level one, yoga instructors are taught how to follow up once people have been analyzed. “Someone may come to YogAnalysis for an assessment and leave with exercises and pose variations—a YogAnalysis certified practitioner can help the student to implement the corrective exercises, poses and practices.”
The second level of training teaches the yoga instructor or therapist to do the assessments, and the muscle strength and range of motion testing. In level three, the highest level, they are trained in the utilization of the computerized movement imaging component. As part of the course, they get a set of equipment and training.
“Yoga analysis helps people learn how to listen to their body,” says John Wallman. “This is what we hear in yoga—‘listen to your body.’ When yoga practitioners experience what each muscle feels like and see each range of motion for every joint, they learn how to listen to their body much more deeply. This results in an outcome that is safer, more enjoyable and leads to faster progress when doing yoga.”
YogAnalysis is located at 2805 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Ste. 8, in Ronkonkoma. For more information, call 631-440-7007 or visit YogAnalysis.org.