Of Muscles and Skeletons (5/6-Stephanie Chua)

I went on a holiday during one of the most important lessons! And that is when they were teaching about the skeleton. So I had to acquire notes from a classmate and learn all about it. Here’s what I learnt:

  • We are born with 270 bones and as we grow older, we have 206-207 bones as some bones will fuse together.

Then we learnt about the spine which was really important as it helps us, the teacher trainees to better understand what asanas our students can attempt or recommend. Imagine if someone has a significantly arched back and we keep making them do backbends instead of addressing the problem where they have exaggerated hyperextension of the lower lumbar spine because they have a weak core.

Last week, we learnt about how we analyze the spine. We check the feet, the knees, hips, lowerback, spine and the shoulders. After observing either through Tadasana or during Surya Namaskar, it helps us determine what options to give to the class. After which we learnt about joint movements so we can better understand how our joints work during class. This is crucial as it links the bones. We need to know the joints that glue them together and how it functions (meaning, which joints can rotate and which ones can’t). Yes, we do not need to vomit the information onto our students but it’s good to know so we can help them to adjust without fracturing anything.

And finally, yesterday we learnt about the muscles which completed the overall package as we need to understand which muscles are activated in the poses. Though complicated, but once we understand which parts are the agonist and antagonist, it shows how the body balances out to make the poses work. Though somewhat complicated, understanding the anatomy of the body and how everything gels together will help to deepen the practitioner’s and teacher’s knowledge to breaking down and deepening the poses while minimizing injuries.