Yogi, Heal Thyself

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Via Ruthie Streiter's Online Video Library

Ruthie Streiter is an enthusiastic woman on a mission to revolutionize how we heal ourselves with yoga.

After thousands of hours of giving Rolfing body-work sessions to hundreds of clients who came to her for problems, Streiter saw clear “archetypal tendencies.” She would regularly provide therapeutic yoga sequences for her clients to practice on their own time, meant to target the imbalances they were relying on her to take care of.

Streiter firmly believes that a proactive approach and self-education are integral to healing. But she was spending countless hours writing up asana prescriptions for her clients. Her response to this overwhelming demand? She created the Decompression Project Video Library, an online site whose purpose is “fundamentally pragmatic.”

The videos that you watch once you have joined the site are asanas to help heal everything from neck and sciatica pain to kyphosis and lordosis. The library’s diagnostic tools guide the individual yoga practitioner to evaluate personal patterns and reconnect with “inner technology.” These videos force the consumer not just to consume, but to engage with their own tendencies and to select appropriate, effective medicine from a wide menu – over 200 videos. The asanas are simple enough and the voice-over is straightforward and clear so that the practitioner does not have to deal with—or be deterred by—overwhelming jargon.

Streiter divides what’s out there currently into “super-duper yoga guru” videos, which deliver a single sequence, but if done every day, don’t fill our need for structural variety, and the streamed “thematic by buzz word” videos, for core strength or flexibility. Most of these videos, she observes, “target what you are going to work on, but not why.”

Streiter’s videos, by contrast, are modular and so can be arranged for individual prescription and emphasis. The library’s toolbox of yoga for structural-integration includes over “300 coherent, singular exercises,” adaptable to a student’s changing needs and shifting body patterns.

Streiter filmed all of the asanas with her crew in a single, rigorous and chaotic three days of devotion in India (when is the last time you did 300 asanas in a row?). She is proud of her product, which, like the nadis, yield infinite sequences to design. “The videos—15, 30 or 45 minutes each—make an appropriate home practice attainable, efficient, effective for everyone,” she explains.