Humerus, femur, scapula. Flexion, extension, abduction. Nervous system, skeletal system and muscular system. All the eleven systems of the human body are passing by these weeks again. I started studying anatomy about five years ago and I have to say: Knowing anatomy makes a difference in a yoga practice. For starters: you truly start to understand there is no picture perfect in yoga.
I know I’ve wrote this before, but for me this is one of the most important things. There truly is no picture perfect. If we talk about this subject, we actually talk about yoga asanas and as you know doing yoga postures is not doing yoga. But lets stick with the asanas for now. We are all built differently. Our muscles have a different combination of fast and slow twisting fibers, our bones have a different structure and a different range of motion. Comparing your body to mine doesn’t make any sense. Even when you find two people looking more or less the same on the outside, there range of motion can be totally different, because of their body skeletal system. If you never look at a skeletal it’s hard to understand. As soon as you start looking ‘inside’ you will get it. Bones restrict our movement.
And it’s not just the bones. Muscles, connective tissue, nervous do also. Actually all eleven systems can give problems in our asana practice. At the same time: they benefit greatly from it. It’s precisely this what makes anatomy so interesting for me: the cross over between the ‘hard’ Western science, the holistic, Eastern look at the human body and the yoga philosophy. Different approaches, but with many, interesting cross overs.
I have a background in journalism (and photography). I started pretty late with yoga. I was already 35 years old. My pelvis was ‘frozen’. In my forward bends I could barely touch my knees even when I was rounding my upper spine. Yoga brought a big change in my body. Physically and emotionally. I have always had problems with my lower back. I lived with pain for years. Thanks to yoga I started to have more and more days without pain.
After my first yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) at Sampoorna Yoga in India I was so amazed how my body had changed that I wanted to know more. I decided to study Sports massage. A big part of that was anatomy and physiology. After I finished and after I did my second TTC (the 500 hours) I was still craving more knowledge. I also had so many positive reactions on my massages that I decided to study massage therapy. During that study we looked in detail at the human body. Almost on the same level a doctor does. The big difference is that we didn’t study pathology, but focused on helping people by massaging them.
The more I learn about the human body the more impressed I am with it. Our soul lives in a pretty advanced ‘machine’. Doing its job for the biggest part without us being able to control it. Even the biggest control freak can’t. It’s truly a divine piece of work.
The human body
So I’m very happy to be able to teach all the knowledge that I have gained over the last few years and all my amazement of the human body to the students of Sampoorna Yoga (see video). Especially in the combination with yoga (philosophy), asanas and the holistic approach I have towards the human body. To keep it all interesting I try to combine it with stupid little children games, some AcroYoga and some Thai Yoga massage. Learning something while having fun at the same time is for me the best way to get a message across.
I love it how we do things in our life out of our own interest and they turn out to be something we can share with others. Because for me – in the end – that is what life is about: sharing.