I am Yin Yoga teacher, a licensed acupuncturist, and a meditation instructor.
I lead workshops, trainings, and retreats throughout the United States and Europe. I offer an uncommon perspective to the practice and education of Yin Yoga, in that I am a practicing acupuncturist of 15 years and a dedicated dharma practitioner for 20 years.
Yin Yoga is an inherently meditative approach to yoga that focuses on the connective tissues of the body. It helps to stimulate the energy flow of the meridians, which is a fundamental concept in acupuncture as well. Having an understanding of acupuncture, Yin Yoga and the dharma helps me add depth to my students’ practice.
Workshops and Retreats
I have developed two teacher training modules that I run regularly:
1. The Yin Yoga Foundations Module covers the essential elements of how to practice and teach Yin Yoga, from postures to anatomical variation and sequencing to histology of connective tissue and physical benefits to Traditional Chinese Acupuncture theory (30CEU hours).
Read more here.
2. The Yin Yoga Mindfulness Module emphasizes the practice and teaching of mindfulness meditation within the discipline of Yin Yoga, from Yin and Yang forms of mindfulness to the Buddha’s essential teaching in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness to how to guide and use your voice in teaching (30 hours).
Read more here.
Each of these modules are eligible for 30 hours of Continuing Education credit with the Yoga Alliance.
3. I am currently developing a 300-hour Advanced Yin Yoga Teacher Training that will include a foundational physical module (50 hours), a Yin Meditation module (50 hours), a Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCM) module (50 hours), a Yang Yoga and Yin Yoga Integration module (50 hours), as well as a silent retreat module. It will be ready in 2018.
4. In addition to my workshops and trainings, I offer silent meditation retreats and exclusive 5-day retreats for immersive training, based on my Foundations Module and my Mindfulness Module. I offer these retreats about 3-4 times per year.
5. I also teach within 200-hour and 500-hours advanced yoga studies programs in the United States and Europe. Please contact me if interested in including any of my modules in your training curriculum.
Most recently, I was a featured author in “Mindfulness and Performance” (2016, Cambridge University Press), a collection about how performers, coaches, and athletes can use mindfulness to achieve peak performance and improve personal well-being.
This book was based on an innovative course called “Mindfulness and Performance,” which I co-designed and co-teach in the School of Education at Boston University.
I also co-authored “The Buddha's Playbook: Strategies for Enlightened Living” (2011) with Michael Brooks, about practicing a set of simple techniques to make the habit of meditation practice real and relevant.
On the Web
I conduct featured dialogues on meditation and spirituality for MeaningofLife.tv, produced by Robert Wright’s Nonzero Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to spread knowledge and diverse perspectives.
I also blog about mindfulness on my own site at joshsummers.net.
I first learned Yin Yoga from Paul Grilley, and trained to teach Yin Yoga with Sarah Powers. My meditation training has been primarily in the Theravada Buddhist lineages, studying with Rodney Smith, the late Sayadaw U Pandita, Ajahn Amaro, and currently Jason Siff and Linda Modaro.
I received my Masters in Oriental Acupuncture (MaOM) from the New England School of Acupuncture in Newton, MA. My degree was a dual focus on Chinese Herbology and Japanese styles of acupuncture. After school, I continued my studies with the Japanese Master, Kiiko Matsumoto, and specialize in fertility, musculoskeletal disorders and endocrine imbalances.
I began studying Iyengar yoga in the early nineties with James Murphy in New York City. Since then, I have spent several years in India, Taiwan, and Burma where I studied both yoga and meditation.
As my interest in Buddhist meditation developed, so too did my interest in more contemplative forms of yoga practice. With a professional background as acupuncturist and a personal passion for the dharma, I fell in love with Yin Yoga as a beautiful synthesis of the two.
When I’m not practicing, teaching, or writing, you’ll find me out walking my dog, reading crime thrillers (preferably British or Irish), and playing my saxophone.
Philosophy To quote the great jazz trumpeter, Clark Terry, jazz improvisation is a process of “imitation, assimilation, and innovation.” I’m committed, as a practitioner and as a teacher, to a creative process of continuous learning, re-evaluation, and evolution.