Seeing body parts or anything to do with the internal parts or organs of the body has been a phobia for me since young. I cringe watching documentaries on surgeries, or even just looking at a simple diagram of a body anatomy. So having to learn biology in school was quite ‘mental torture’ for me.
The fear slowly started to fade away as I grew older but nope I’m still not a big fan of it so when I found out that anatomy was part of the YTT curriculum, I told myself to just embrace it or I can just continue dreaming about getting the certification. First lesson of anatomy began and I thought, ‘Hey this isn’t so bad after all’. I realized how important it was to learn about the skeletal system, the movements in our bodies and the muscles engaged in our asanas. It makes me more aware of my body alignment and how one can just avoid injuries by moving the body parts correctly and engaging the right muscles. For instance, I’ve been hyperextending my elbow and knee joints especially in Ardho Mukha Svasana (Downward Dog) without realizing that it causes tension to my ligaments. Learning how the body works makes me realize that I need to microbend my joints and use more of of muscles in the pose. This also helps to strengthen my muscles and core.
I also have scoliosis which used to cause me a pinching nerve pain down my left leg just by standing still for a few minutes. It got better after a couple of chiropractic sessions and I was told to just maintain it by doing yoga or pilates as these exercises can help to strengthen and stretch the (weaker/shortened muscles) which I’ve not been doing the past few years. The lateral deviation in my spine has caused one side of the muscles to work harder than the other, hence causing the pinching pain down my leg. I learnt that some of the Yoga poses such as twists, forward and back bends can help equalize strengthening/stretching of the back muscles and yeap I’ve to say, it has helped me a lot, though I may not be conscious of how my back muscles are not balanced (was told by my classmates during partner work).
So I’m happy to say that I’ve fully overcome that part of fear in seeing simple diagrams of body anatomy but I think I’d still cringe seeing the gooey bloody organs (really, just the thought of it makes me cringe).
~ Farah Lyna H.

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