You mean it’s more complicated than “the foot bone’s connected to the leg bone”?

Last weekend was my Anatomy and Alignment training, and going into it I was radiating positive energy and happiness.

Saturday night was a different story. Turns out, learning anatomy is difficult.

Friday night was full of mind-numbing traffic, driving around in an unfamiliar city, and extreme storms that (combined with an overzealous cricket and the generally uneasy hotel room feeling) made sleep next to impossible. I was feeling “off” in about every way on Saturday. 

More than anything though, it was frustrating for me to see people conversing fluently in this foreign language of anatomy while I tried to keep my head above water. Of course, most of these people have ACE certifications and/or work in the medical field and/or have degrees in Kinesiology, Physical Education, or Physical Training. I was completely out of my element.

Both days our 2 hour morning class was taught in purely anatomical terms. So, instead of “turn the palm towards the ceiling”, or teacher cued us to “supinate the forearm”. And instead of pointing the foot, she instructed us to plantarflex the foot. This was an enormously effective teaching tool, if kind of jarring for the student.

Luckily, on Sunday, things started sinking in. I still don’t know all the muscles in the body, and I never will unless I make an extreme career change. But I learned enough. I also learned these three extremely important things:

1)       I hyperextend everything. Elbows? Check. Knees? Check. Shoulders? You bet. More on this to come.

2)       Everything is connected. Your elbows are doing something weird? That affects the muscles between your ribs (serratus anterior, dontcha know). Your knee hurts? Perhaps your knee is fine – it’s your hip that’s arthritic. I already knew this in a floaty, spiritual, yoga way, but it was fun to learn the science behind it. No, seriously, it’s all connected.

3)       I can walk down the wall from Tadasana (mountain pose) to Urdvha Dhanurasana (wheel/backbend). The wheel is probably my #1 favorite pose, but I had never done it from standing before. It’s always nice to achieve a huge personal practice milestone on the path to becoming a teacher.

On Saturday night I declared that I needed a yoga BREAK! No more about the acetabulum for pete’s sake! But it was really just a lovers spat, and yoga and I made up quickly.

All in all, I left the weekend with more knowledge, more experience, and more love for yoga than before. YTT is just like everything else. You ride the ups and downs. Education is never wasted.



5 responses to “You mean it’s more complicated than “the foot bone’s connected to the leg bone”?

  1. out of curiosity… can you walk back up the wall after coming down? i ding that easier, personally.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful experience. I always find workshops difficult – so much to soak in at the same time, and I could never take enough notes. I wish sometimes I could videotape the workshop once I’ve paid for it so I could review it over and over again.

    Its a great experience though – thanks for sharing what you learned!

  3. LOL. As usual, Jamie, entertaining and enlightening! The best kind of teaching there is!

  4. I love studying anatomy. But, I totally agree with you, I often can’t keep my head above water. I just keep plugging away. The more I learn about anatomy, the more confident I become as a teacher.

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