Guest blog Your Body: experience it to know it with The Franklin® Method part two

Guest blog by Rie Franklin


Through my teaching of Human Kinetics for Dancers, at the University of Richmond I have already begun cultivating opportunities for this population to make lasting changes. But listening to Pat talk of her convictions made me consider the possibilities of bringing this same opportunity to other ‘body workers’ such as somatic practitioners and yoga instructors. I began to consider how this knowledge could extend the longevity of their careers. I am not talking about the act of integrating Franklin® Method into their instruction or client interaction; to do that they would need to seek certification through the Franklin® Method Institute (Information below). I am talking about the deepening of their own physical insight, which can only lead to a greater understanding of their clients and students. This physical insight would also allow these healers the ultimate level of self-care, by teaching them to become their own physical gurus.

The Yoga Alliance requires accredited Yoga Teacher Training programs to offer a specific number of hours in anatomy this usually takes the format of a week end module (12 hours). Mostly this consists of book learning; the names of body parts and certain poses that address that area of the body. When going through my 300 hour yoga certification program I was disappointed in the prescriptive methods used to teach anatomy. When studying the piriformis the teacher stated the same facts written in our mannuals and placed a student into a pose which stretched this commonly too tight muscle. Information of the origin and insertion of the muscle was not given and after I asked, its importance was downplayed. Not one of those instructors learned where the piriformis was specifically located – aside from the general description of it being an external rotator of the hip we learned nothing of its role in human movement. I am still confused as to how I am expected to teach a student to use, stretch or relax a mysteriously placed muscle! While the teaching of Yoga philosophy, and Ayurveda come from ancient texts there definitely needs to be a modernization in the teaching of asana and anatomy (especially since asana as we know it was mostly developed and codified in the 20th century).

Anatomy for yoga teachers should include the knowledge of how the body works. A yoga pose, or asana is a specified shaping of the body, using the musculature to create these shapes by aligning the bones in a particular way at the joints. To teach an asana safely an instructor at the very least should know the movement capabilities of the joints and how the muscles work to move and stabilize these joints. This information is different than simply being able to name a part of the body and present a yoga pose in which it is utilized.

The Karuna Yoga Teachers Training Program in Richmond, Virginia is based upon compassion. Understanding lies at the root of compassion and this core belief is what makes the Karuna Yoga program innovative and such a good fit for me. My thought is that you have to first understand and experience your own body before you can offer that out to others. The students of this program are introduced to anatomy with a Franklin® Method foundation. There are really three types of anatomy to be learned. There is book anatomy, aka, terminology/language; there is the geography of anatomy, which is anatomical location, and then there is living anatomy, the anatomy you experience. Candidates for Karuna Yoga certification are given the tools to experience their anatomy and continue their learning over a life time. This opportunity for body wisdom is one I strive to share with multiple populations. Now you have seen three (dance, yoga and I have to count the general population who fill out my various workshops).

Just because a concept is complex it does not mean that we are incapable of understanding. The Franklin® Method discards the 2 dimensional teaching of 20th century anatomy and kinesiology and ushers in the 21st century by teaching workshop participants 3 dimensional anatomy and embodied kinesiology. David S. a medical Doctor pointed towards this fact after attending a Franklin® Method workshop in Hawaii; “The greatest revelation was the counter revolution of the bones and the spiral movement in the joints. It is not the levers that I had learned. This is a new way of approaching this and its foundation in physics has such truth.” Greater than this realization, is the impact this type of embodiment can have on clients. Debby O. a Pilates Instructor and Franklin® Method Educator in Wisconsin offered this revelation about her work with clients. “Initially most of my clients don’t know what it is (The Franklin® Method). I work part time in the office of a Physical Therapist and receive my clients through a process of elimination, of sorts. Basically those who still experience pain after the prescribed physical therapy are passed on to me.” While physical therapy can achieve great things in the building of strength and balancing of musculature it does not always address poor postural habits or poor movement patterns. “All I do is teach them to embody the area in pain. We start with the Bone Rhythms and go on from there. It is amazing, how their pain just goes away.” Once a client finds a functional movement pattern they are more likely to continue moving/exercising that part of the body. They find that their pain dissipates from the functional movement of the afflicted area. This in the long run increases mobility and strength plus it teaches the client how to foster their own health. Finally the frustrating pattern of low-mobility causing pain, leading to less mobility and increased pain has found its nemesis; the Franklin® Method.

The Franklin® Method is not just beneficial to those who are experiencing problems with injury, pain, posture or poor movement patterns it is an incredible tool for those seeking longevity in a physical career. Kathy S. a LMT in Virginia summarizes her experience. “The Franklin® Method is a perfect complement to the practice of massage therapists and body workers. (These) workshops bring anatomy to life. By experiencing how bones, organs, and muscles move in conjunction with each other, one’s understanding of body movement grows tremendously. The imagery cues made the classes fun and helped us explore the mind/body connection as it relates to movement and tension in the body. I found the workshops extremely helpful to my practice as a massage therapist but also a valuable tool for my self-care. The Franklin® Method should be a part of every massage school curriculum!”

It was the comments and experience of workshop participants like Kathy which lead me to seek the NCBTMB approval for a series of continuing education workshops entitled, Know your Body, Empower your Practice. There are three large 12 hour presentations/experiences under this title which include The Franklin® Method Bone Rhythms, Muscle Imagery and Organ Rhythms. (You can find a listing of CE workshops on my websites below at locations such as Cayce/Reilly, AIM, Local Motion Studio and Sonak Family Chiropractic). The goal of these workshops is to offer the practitioner numerous tools for self-care which can be applied between clients and utilized as well while offering services. The infinite applications of experiencing body wisdom with this population is unprecedented, but soon to be realized.The Franklin® Method will become the pedagological foundation for the teaching of Advanced Anatomy with in the Massage Therapy Program at the University of Richmond beginning in the Fall of 2013. Cultivating understanding and intuition begins from within, there is no better mind/body tool for this purpose than the Franklin® Method.

Clearly the relevant applications of this modern mind/body technique are just coming to fruition. Julie W, a Physical Therapist in California who focuses on Sports Medicine and Women’s Health believes the Franklin® Method will surpass the test of time, “… because it is at its root that which integrates into all other systems.” Anyone who has a body or works with bodies therefore will benefit from learning the Franklin® Method. I am elated both as a FME and a person of this earth to offer so many populations an opportunity for physical happiness.

For more information on how to get your body involved please check out the following sources: – A listing of Franklin Method Educators world wide – A listing of Franklin® Method Educators in North America and a calendar of workshops offered by FME’s in North America – Find out how to become a Franklin® Method Educator and integrate the Franklin® Method into your current practice or teachings.


About Rie Franklin

Rie Franklin FME, RYT500 is a movement specialist who combines elements of both ancient and modern mind/body techniques into her instruction. Currently on Faculty at the University of Richmond offering classes in Human Kinetics, Yoga and Advanced Anatomy within the Massage Program she also teaches continuing education workshops for Yoga Instructors, Massage Therapists and Body Work practitioners and is a NCBTMB approved provider. Along the central east coast, Rie offers wellness workshops to a variety of audiences based on the mind/body techniques of the Franklin® Method, Yoga and Tai Chi. Find out more:,


Finally the answer to the question you have been asking all along: Rie Franklin is no relation to the Franklin® Method developer, Eric Franklin. Being a supportive teacher and kind friend just doesn’t count! ‘Franklin’ just happens to be a lovely and popular last name. However, Rie Franklin is an integral member of the FME community in North America. She helps coordinate the information on and has interests in facilitating connections between FMEs and populations interested in the Franklin® Method. Rie hopes to provide and be a part of forums for support and collaboration among Franklin® Method Educators. While the site currently caters to FME populations with in North America we do seek to include any and every FME interested in communing with other’s within our specialty. Rie is interested in receiving commentary, ideas and questions pertaining to the Franklin® Method; please send these to:


Picture credits: Anthony Mayatt