Yoga Anatomy – How important is it to know?

A good yoga teacher is one who knows how to instruct you for adjustments and corrections by understanding your level and body type. However, this knowledge won’t come unless you are well informed about the joint movements, muscle engagements, and proper alignment of every posture. Besides these, there are other aspects of the human body like knock knee, hyperextended elbows and knees, etc which need special attention to ensure the strengthening of muscles without compromising the safety of joints.

Having good anatomical knowledge not only reduces the risk of injuries but also prepares you to take on students who recovered from some injuries in a very safe and effective manner. A good practitioner will also be curious to gain this knowledge to dive deep into the postures and understand their own body. This knowledge becomes a motivational channel to push own self in a posture with full awareness and confidence.

Impactful cueing and instructions: Will it be a good asana class if your Yoga instructor just gives you the demo and mentions the name of the pose without any instructions on how to get into it, which muscles to engage, where to look etc? Cueing and instructions are the key traits of a successful Yoga teacher and it becomes more impactful when the teacher has good anatomical knowledge, as then the cues can be instantly modified to suit a student’s need. For example, in a downward dog if a student has hyperextended elbows and he/she is extending it more in the posture, then you can instruct them to very gently bend the elbows or just make the effort to bend them so the biceps are engaged and the elbows are not overextended. These are very basic instructions that make a lot of difference to build strength without losing the posture

Sequencing for peak postures: Having good anatomical knowledge also helps in preparing an appropriate sequence of asanas for a peak posture. For example, if we are preparing an absolute beginner for a camel pose, then identifying the muscle groups, joints and movements involved in it will help to prepare the sequence – Camel pose is where quads and upper body front muscles lengthen and hamstrings and back muscles contract. So, some of the preparation asanas could be half lunge pose and variations, active backbends like superman pose, locust pose, bow pose without holding ankles etc. The teacher can get as creative as possible when he/she knows what exactly will help the practitioner to get into the posture with absolute ease.

Trust level with your students: When a student is struggling to get into a posture and the teacher with proper instructions and sequencing makes it easy for them, it becomes a big brownie point for the teacher in terms of gaining trust. A student will always identify someone as a good teacher with the knowledge they possess not only about the postures, but also about the alignment, movement etc, as then the student is more confident to push further rather than being fearful of getting injured. In fact, if someone has recovered from injury will also trust such teachers who are more aware of the postures that should and shouldn’t be performed to facilitate the healing process

Vinyasa Yoga Ashram’s 200 and 300 hour Yoga teacher training course covers Yoga Anatomy as a separate topic in which our very experienced teacher will provide in-depth knowledge of the below-mentioned topics

  • Body Movement & Planes
  • Importance of joints and how to Protect them in Asanas
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Muscles, Ankle, Knee, Hip, Spine, Neck and Shoulder
  • Breathing mechanism in Yoga and short introduction to Bandhas
  • Workshop on different Asanas
  • Food & Digestive System
  • Introduction to Respiratory System
  • Introduction to Nervous System
  • Tension, tightness, strength weakness of a muscle
  • Understanding flexibility & strength in detail
  • Muscle relaxation technique
  • Co – Activation of muscles & Bandhas

So come join us in the upcoming batch of Yoga TTC courses to get this extensive knowledge and start your journey as a well-informed Yoga teacher.

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