This is it.
200 hours, sweat, tears, cognition, some stubbed toes, and a whole rush of emotions.
There’s just too much information that I’ve been trying to force feed my brain with in this short period of time, and as one with a really poor memory, each time a person asks about what I’ve acquired in this journey, the mind is blank.
I’ve always known that practicing yoga is more than just doing poses (asanas). I just never knew it was so much more. What have I learnt? Many things. (Can’t really explain here because you’ll have to experience it yourself). I came to this with a goal to improve my posture, flexibility, poses, hopefully do a successful chaturanga…
Little did I know I would gain perspectives, insights, and experiences that are a thousand times more valuable than just doing asanas. One thing that stuck with me, was the emphasis on basics.
B A S I C S . That’s right.
Who cares if you can do 1001 poses?
Who cares how flexible you are?
Who cares how long you’ve been practicing?
Who cares about your instagram-worthy shots?
The only person who would probably be interested in all of the above, is yourself. Anyone can achieve the most challenging of poses – if they start to focus on the right muscles to engage and understand the anatomy well. Anyone (well, almost) can greatly improve their flexibility if they work hard and also put focus on the right muscles to engage and understand the anatomy well. Anyone can practice for as long as they wish – it’s just a matter of whether you understand what, how, why you’re practicing, or simply just doing poses to add to your IG feed.
It is a common but often neglected downward-spiralling sight, where we all know that we should perhaps be focusing on the basics and techniques, but we are way too caught up in the moment because “I need to ace this pose so I can put it on instagram!”
The simplest moves are always the hardest, and takes the longest time to practice. Before we ran, we learnt to walk. Before we walked, we learnt to crawl. Now crawling is easy for us, but have we thought about how much time, focus, energy, determination, and a whole village of encouraging adults we had to endure back then when we were just toddlers?
That said, I was never so into anatomy. Because yes, my short memory and attention span would mean: learning about bones and muscles and systems = TORTURE.
But as the hours passed, from 50, to 100, to now at 195… I’ve grown to realise how important it is to know your anatomy. Know your muscles, however foreign they may sound. Know the joints you are using on a daily basis. Know that twisting and turning actually meant flexion, extension, rotation, etc.
But knowing also encourages you to finally appreciate your body. The levator scapulae I’ve never taken care of. The latissimus dorsi I’ve taken for granted. The pectinus I never knew existed.
Hello, my dear muscle friends. Friends of mine that have the coolest names, that have been there for me through thick and thin, ups and downs, since who knows when… Friends I have grown to love, and that from this day on, I will continue learning and appreciating.
I’m going back to basics. The basics before all basics. I’m going to learn about my anatomy.