Anatomy is a hot topic in the yoga world today. A majority of yoga instructors who have graduated from traditional 200-hour teacher trainings complain that there is not enough emphasis on anatomy in many of these trainings. Currently the Yoga Alliance only requires 20 hours of Anatomy and Physiology as part of a 200-hour teaching curriculum. This can leave a newly certified yoga instructor at a loss for what asana may or may not be suitable for certain populations in their classes.
Many clients come to yoga classes to feel better and oftentimes fix issues they may be having in their own body – whether its back pain, flexibility and movement issues, or wanting to get stronger. It is up to each of us as a yoga instructor to provide the best instruction based on our training and promote an environment of safety and support for our clients. This is where personal responsibility and yoga instruction meets the pavement. Continuing education in anatomy, biomechanics, kinesiology, and musculoskeletal dysfunction can amplify your teaching skills two fold.
While learning anatomy and biomechanics can be daunting, it is important to know that it just takes time, memorization, critical thinking, and application of the information you are learning. Even learning one piece of information and applying it in your classes or theming a class around it helps you readily use what you have learned.
When learning the ins and outs of asana and alignment, it is beneficial as a yoga instructor to continue the study of anatomy and biomechanics beyond your initial training to not only improve teaching skills, but also to keep your students safe and in Optimal Functional Position in the joints. The silver lining in all of this is, now more than ever we have access to information, training, and educational material to gain as much knowledge as we want!
Below you will find, Tristan’s Top 3 Favorite Anatomy Resources:
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