Our third weekend of yoga teacher training was our anatomy weekend. Being the geek that I am, I enjoyed the information and especially the graphics. A lot of it was review for me, but the best part about anatomy taught by a yoga instructor is that she relates the information to yoga. This is the action of this muscle in this pose, etc. Check out the cover of this book, which our anatomy instructor highly recommended for further understand of the way muscles work while doing yoga:
It's simply amazing to take basic practical knowledge and then physical put it into practice. External and internal rotation of the hips are my current obsession (which is probably not surprising when you consider that overdoing the external rotation of the hips puts stress on the low back, my biggest "problem" area). Even if I never move into yoga teaching as a career, this training has been worth the time and effort simply for the incredible amount of knowledge it's given me on working with my own body. Granted, that information is only any good if I put it into practice - I have been, but I need to remain diligent and banish complacency!
So today I learned that I hyperextend my elbows. This is SO exciting to learn! It may sound ridiculous to be excited about such a thing, but the knowledge will help me to practice yoga more safely and allow me to strengthen my upper body better because I know how to work with it instead of just dropping into a position without awareness. I've long struggled with poses that involve upper body strength because my upper body isn't very strong - and it turns out that part of the trouble is because rather than fully working the muscles, I tend to "lock out" my elbows and make the joint do some of the muscular work. This is BAD and can lead to joint injury! As well as weak shoulders and arms. My "prescription" so to speak is to always have a microbend in my arms in poses such as Adho Muhka Svanasana and to concentrate on rotating my arms so that the "eyes" of the elbows face one another. I have SO much to work on putting into my practice between this, learning to lift in my palms (to protect the wrists), spiral my inner thighs back (to increase space in my low back), it's like a whole new yoga practice to learn!
After class today I met my husband and son at a friend's for a BBQ dinner. I monopolized the conversation for some time about yoga. LOL I was just on a roll! I am so excited about this change in my life... I really am not sure what it will come to at the end of 6 months of training, but I do know that in just these few weeks what I have learned has already made a significant difference in my yoga practice and my life. I am so grateful for this place and time in my life, and to have this opportunity to improve my health and awareness of my own body so that I can heal my back. I would not be here if it weren't for the support of my amazing husband; he's given me the gift of time to devote to this study and the chance to change my life, and I couldn't be more thankful to him.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” JFK
Who deserves your gratitude today? What action does your gratitude inspire?