One of the common topics of controversy is whether or not a yoga teacher should be taught the science of human anatomy. Yogis and teachers often discuss, will be safer for the new teachers to know what lies underneath or are they better off not knowing it. With both types of arguments in motion, it is difficult anyone to say which side is better. The art of yoga is both powerful as well as transformative in nature. If done correctly, much can be reaped in less time. Anatomy aids yoga practitioners to delve deeper into their practice and become more responsive towards theirs & their student’s safety. Here is why yoga anatomy is as important as a subject as yoga philosophy:
An act of Empowerment
Knowledge is always better than darkness. An empowering tool, the teachers can expect to know which pose effects which part of the body. Often as a student, we hear about actions like flexion, extension, muscles like dorsi, pectorals, deltoids etc. and bones name and we are at times confused as to what is the teacher saying. With a complete guide to anatomy in a yoga teacher-training course, all these doubts can be cleared easily.
Prevention is better than cure
Yoga is a vast science and it has many levels to it. Many students complain of knee or elbow pain after starting Ashtanga Yoga practice. Others can complain about lower back pain. The reason for this is, that they do not understand their limitations and over stretch or exert their joints or muscles, which leads to injury. By becoming aware of how our body is designed will help a lot in the practice. For example, in poses, the rotation of the leg should come from the hip joint and not from the knee. If we try to rotate our knee too much, we can injure ourselves.
Why to How
With all the in-depth skills, the whys become hows and the way to teach improves. Often students will ask teachers why should I stop here, I feel I can go more. But only a teacher would know that if the student goes further in a pose, they could injure themselves. With a logical explanation, thy can satiate a student’s curiosity along with safeguarding them from any kind of injury. A deeper awareness of the body would also add to understanding the modifications and offering them wisely.
Perfection in teaching
Teaching is a noble act yet a tricky profession, as with great power comes great responsibility. Especially in yogic profession, where a minor mistake on a student’s part can lead to a deeper injury. With the correct knowledge, a teacher can excel in his instructions and understand his student’s limitations. By not pushing but encouraging, a good yoga teacher can take his student to a higher level.
Summary: Yoga Anatomy is an important part of yogic learning and with a good training it can become an empowering tool. When we know which muscle works in which pose, as teachers, we will be able to explain the facts in a much crisper manner. This information can help students conduct a safe practice and reach higher goals in life. Prevention is always better than cure and yoga anatomy prevents a practitioner from getting into the incorrect alignment and form.