In his sixth podcast for Gray Institute, Dr. Gary Gray talks with Al Bingham, the owner of Encourage Yoga in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Listen now!

Listen to the 40 minute podcast:

For more information, read Al Bingham's article, "Yoga: What are We Doing Here?" and Al's first podcast with Dr. Gary Gray," The World of Yoga by Dr. Gary Gray with Al Bingham" on the Gray Institute's blog.

Let's Discuss Yoga - Quotes from the Podcast

Dr. Gary Gray begins by telling Al Bingham about his friends’ responses to yoga:

Dr. Gary Gray: I asked my friend who has taken yoga, “What did you like about it and what didn’t you like about it?” My friend’s immediate reaction was, “It was hard.”

Dr. Gary Gray then asks Al Bingham about Al’s approach to yoga:

Dr. Gary Gray: What are they really saying [when they say “Yoga is hard”]? And what have you done to elicit such positive responses from those you teach? Your clients don’t tell you that yoga is hard; they respond with, “It’s challenging, it’s fun, it seems like it’s made for me.” Why is that?

Al Bingham: My body doesn’t do some of the traditional yoga postures the way other people’s bodies do. So [my approach to yoga] started with that awareness and branched out from there… It made me understand that what I was taught initially was … generic.

Al discovered that yoga poses need to be individualized for practitioners. “Generic” yoga poses – poses that require the feet or hands in a very specific position – just don’t work for everyone.

Al Bingham: First I had an “ah ha” moment for myself, then I realized that there were other people in that position, then I asked myself, “What does that mean? Does that mean we’re lazy or not trying as hard as we should?” The answer is: everybody is different. We need to use these yoga poses as a starting point, not an ending point.

Dr. Gary Gray: It’s the difference between the generic and the individualized [yoga practice].

Listen to the full podcast to learn how Al Bingham individualizes yoga for his practitioners and what he means by a “handcrafted” approach to the discipline.

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More About Al Bingham

Al is the owner of Encourage Yoga in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. He is passionate about handcrafting yoga practices for groups and individuals.

Teaching since 1995, Al has trained aspiring teachers, developed continuing education programs for experienced instructors and worked with physical therapists, personal trainers, psychologists, orthopedic doctors and physiatrists.

Al has co-authored two books on Yoga published by Random House and is featured on Yoga Zone DVDs and the Yoga Zone television show.

Al received his yoga training though Yoga Zone founder Alan Finger and through the American Viniyoga Institute led by Gary Kraftsow. In 2011, Al became a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) with the Gray Institute. Al is also a certified Nike Golf NG360 Golf Performance Specialist and works with golfers to train, rehabilitate and prevent injuries. Al is a 1992 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Yoga Resources from Al Bingham

Encourage Yoga
Handcrafted yoga made-to-order in Croton, New York. Athletic challenges. Therapeutic movement. Gentle breathing. Stillness. Come as you are.

Thanks for Listening!

Thank you for listening to this Gray Institute podcast. We appreciate your interest, and we’d like to hear from you. Let us know what topics you’d like to hear more about from Dr. Gary Gray in the comments below!