Anatomy and Yoga

What comes into your mind when you hear the word anatomy? Majority of us, the first thing that will enter our mind is the human body. The structures and it’s compositions, joints, muscles and the system of the body. As defined Anatomy is a branch of science connected with the bodily structure of humans, animals and other living organisms, especially as revealed by dissection and the separation of parts.

I have been studying anatomy during my university days. I’ve studied about the human systems and its functions. But only now when I took the YTT did I realize that human anatomy and physiology plays a big part in teaching, learning and practicing yoga. And on the other hand yoga has a big impact in the human body as well.

Learning some of the origin, insertion and the actions of a muscle will help us to get in and out of the asanas with ease. Knowing more about a certain muscle will make it easier for us to engage it during the movement not worrying whether we doing it correctly or not. It makes it easier to know as well whether we are stretching or strengthening the correct part. If a person knows more about the joints it will be easier identify which part should be moving and to which direction, a simple understanding of flexion and extension, internal and external rotation makes a big difference.

At the same time asana have different physical benefits in our systems, take for example the Pawan Muktasana (wind releasing pose), tucking the knees close to the chest and hugging them and lifting the chin between the knees can help expel abdominal gases, stimulates the digestive system and aid in combating constipation, it can also relieve menstrual cramps for females. Doing Pada Hastasana (hand to feet pose) not only helps to stretch the entire posterior part of the body, it also lengthens the spine and increases its flexibility. It increases the blood supply to the brain as well. Most of the twisting asana doesn’t just increase the flexibility of the spine it also squeezes the kidneys, intestines and all other digestive organs, facilitating their revitalization and cleansing process. There are a lot more physical and spiritual benefits an asana can give to the body.

So if we want to deepen our knowledge and practice of yoga I would suggest that we continuously learn more about the human anatomy. There is no need to memorize every little details and terminologies what is important is we get to learn and understand our own body. This will help us improve and become a better yogi.

Erly (“,)