Ryan Cunningham, Yoga Teacher
Ryan Cunningham, Yoga Teacher

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My simple goal is to make yoga practical and applicable to anyone who walks into the classroom. Not everyone needs to take 90 mins out of their day for yoga asana practice, however learning the tools to integrate yoga practice into everyday life takes time, practice and teachers that are willing to share their honest experience of yoga.

Teaching yoga is a practice onto itself. This requires me to constantly explore and re-examine my own practice in an effort to understand the most effective pedagogy and methodology with which to communicate the practice of yoga to students. I strive to present a safe and balanced asana class that teaches students how to individualize the practice. My own studies and experiences have taught me that it is necessary for the student to go beyond “lather, rinse, repeat” instruction to develop a subtle understanding of their own body and mind. By cultivating this understanding, the body, mind and breath synchronize and we can glimpse the state of yoga on a very practical level.

A yoga asana class should be a venue for education, exploration, and cultivation of strength, stability, and clarity. It should also be an opportunity for students to refine the skillful means to help develop their own personal practice of asana, pranayama and/or meditation. All of these skills, tempered of course with a healthy sense of humor, make the study of a yoga a fantastic tool that can enhance our lives off the mat. With these goals in mind, I try to make every class a fun and challenging dialogue between myself and the students.

Practice

Yoga Basics with Ryan Cunningham

Basics

Work from the ground up! This class focuses on standing poses, simple backbends and balances to develop awareness, strength and coordination. Appropriate for brand new beginners as well as experienced practitioners looking to refine the basics.

Monday 6pm
Wednesday 6pm

Alignment Yoga with Ryan Cunningham

Alignment

This class works on a much more subtle level exploring not only the shape of the pose but the internal actions of the asana. Inversions, and deeper backbends are taught on a regular basis. Students should have a basic understanding of all of the standing postures as well as a comfortable Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog).

Tuesday 9:30am
Thursday 5:45pm

Alignment Yoga with Ryan Cunningham

Restorative

Learn to relax! Restorative sessions meld postures fully supported by props (blankets, bolsters, blocks, chairs etc) with pranayama and meditation. This class is for all levels.

Friday 4:45pm

all classes held at Back Bay Yoga Studio

Study

Teacher Trainings, workshops, and retreats are a fantastic way to deepen your own practice. A full listing of programs are provided below. All programs are held at Back Bay Yoga Studio unless otherwise noted.


"Most of all I want to teach people the tools to go practice on their own. As essential as it is to have fantastic teachers, in my own experience transformation and change only comes from personal practice." Ryan
Alignment Intensives
Back Bay Yoga

Alignment Intensives

Saturdays, 9am-12pm
Back Bay Yoga

Dates: October 25

This monthly 3 hour workshop gives students the time to explore a particular theme in an effort to work not only with the structural aspects of postures but also the more subtle internal actions of the yoga asana practice.

Price: $40 each

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Asana Lab III: Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel)
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab III: Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel)

Tuesday, October 7, 6-8pm
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab is a seven part series geared towards students with some yoga experience and are looking to take a close look at the postures of modern yoga. It is also ideal for teachers looking to enhance their knowledge of how to teach each of these poses. Each lab will entail asana practice and discussion in a small group setting (each class limited to 12 students).

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel pose or Upward Facing Bow) takes patience. To bend over backwards, requires strength, suppleness and a certain amount of daring. The third asana lab will explore the anatomy of back bending in general as well as the particulars of wheel pose. We will also explore a number of preparatory exercises both active and passive that will help strike a perfect balance between strength and ease. Students are not expected to be able to do urdhva dhanurasana to attend this class.

Price: $35

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Asana Lab IV: Sirsasana (Headstand)
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab IV: Sirsasana (Headstand)

Tuesday, October 21, 6-8pm
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab is a seven part series geared towards students with some yoga experience and are looking to take a close look at the postures of modern yoga. It is also ideal for teachers looking to enhance their knowledge of how to teach each of these poses. Each lab will entail asana practice and discussion in a small group setting (each class limited to 12 students).

Sirsasana (headstand) is often referred to as the “king of the asanas”. Although it is a beneficial posture, we have to acknowledge that balancing on ones head comes with a certain amount of risk, and is not for everyone. In this lab we will break down how to build the necessary strength to works towards this fantastic pose. We will also explore numerous variations that will allow us to experience some of these benefits without supporting all our weight on the head.

Price: $35

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The Fluid Spine
Windsoul Studio, MA

The Fluid Spine: Releasing Tension while Cultivating Strength

October 26, 12-3pm
Windsoul Studio
440 Middlesex Road
Tyngsboro, MA 01879

Back pain has become epidemic in our culture. In an effort to protect ourselves from this pain, yoga students often engage in rigid exercises in order to “protect” the spine during yoga practice. While this may cause temporary relief, it also can create excess tension in the spinal muscles from the sacrum all the way up to the neck, shoulders and skull. Tension in these muscles can also be exacerbated by everyday circumstance, such as stress, work conditions and postural habits. The solution, like most things, is finding a balance of strength and ease as we condition the body to support the spine through subtle muscular action. In this workshop we will stretch, relax, and challenge our bodies as we take the spine through its full range of motion. Backbends, twists, standing postures and inversions will all be explored so please have a solid 6 months of yoga experience under your belt. There will also be an opportunity for students to ask questions regarding postures that are particularly troublesome in their own practice.

Price:$40 per person, or $35 for Windsoul monthly members

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Asana Lab V: Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab V: Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Tuesday, November 11, 6-8pm
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab is a seven part series geared towards students with some yoga experience and are looking to take a close look at the postures of modern yoga. It is also ideal for teachers looking to enhance their knowledge of how to teach each of these poses. Each lab will entail asana practice and discussion in a small group setting (each class limited to 12 students).

Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) is probably one of the most misunderstood postures in modern asana practice. Some teachers are huge proponents of daily practice, and others say it should never be done. In this lab we will delve into the pose’s anatomy as well as its function. Through understanding the actions of the pose we will then be able to explore a number of different approaches and variations on the theme of sarvangasana.

Price: $35

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Asana Lab VI: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon)
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab VI: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon)

Tuesday, November 11, 6-8pm
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab is a seven part series geared towards students with some yoga experience and are looking to take a close look at the postures of modern yoga. It is also ideal for teachers looking to enhance their knowledge of how to teach each of these poses. Each lab will entail asana practice and discussion in a small group setting (each class limited to 12 students).

Pigeon pose, in all forms, is ubiquitous in modern yoga class. This lab will consist of a slow-flow practice in which we will discuss the anatomy, function and benefits of both the forward pending and backward bending expressions of eka pada rajakapotasana.

Price: $35

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Asana Lab VII: Savasana
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab VII: Savasana

Tuesday, December 2, 6-8pm
Back Bay Yoga

Asana Lab is a seven part series geared towards students with some yoga experience and are looking to take a close look at the postures of modern yoga. It is also ideal for teachers looking to enhance their knowledge of how to teach each of these poses. Each lab will entail asana practice and discussion in a small group setting (each class limited to 12 students).

Savasana is often touted as the “most important pose” in class, bust rarely is it ever explained. Despite its seemingly simple shape and setup, we will look at the anatomy of the posture and in doing so explore the physiology of relaxation. We will also take a number of different and luxurious savasana variations.

Price: $35

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Writings

Ryan Cunningham, Yoga Teacher

The power of NOT touching your students.

A few weeks ago a student came into the office with an urgent question. She had overheard me explaining to another teacher why I don’t tend to give manual assists in class. Being a new teacher herself, she wanted some further clarification on this point. Quite honestly, she is not the first person to approach me regarding this topic, and I have grappled with this for quite a while. I will also wholeheartedly admit that I am never fully satisfied with my answer to this query because while I have been the recipient of truly fantastic, sensitive and even healing manual assists; I have also endured assists that have been incredibly injurious, careless, and harmful. The worst of these incidences was a full chiropractic facet adjustment on my cervical spine in the middle of a yoga class, which a few days later left me with severely limited range of motion in my neck.

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Contact

Back Bay Yoga Studio Map

Classes, trainings and workshops are held at Back Bay Yoga Studio unless otherwise noted
364 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
(617) 375-9642

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