This weekend was the 3rd module of my Yoga Teacher Training course. The focus for the weekend was anatomy and physiology and was run by Melissa Nordin – a yoga teacher and anatomy ‘expert’. It was a long but interesting weekend which raised as many questions as it answered but that seems to be a pattern in my YTT as there is just so much to learn! I’m loving every minute though and love all the new knowledge I’m gaining.
We started on Friday at 6:30pm with introductions from Melissa and all of the group. She began by telling us about her wealth of experience and then asked us which postures or aspects of the asanas we struggled with or had questions about. She asked lots of questions, analysed each of us individually, made lots of notes and told us that over the course of the weekend, she would address each of our concerns or questions. It was amazing that Melissa could simply look at someone, analyse their posture and tell whether a pose was available to them or what they would need to do to get there.
At 8pm, we moved into the studio for our teaching practice for the weekend. This week we had a lot of poses to sequence and it look quite a while to get through each person. I’m still struggling with the cues for left and right as I’m getting confused! Learning the dialogue and alignment cues are getting easier though. After we’d been through our dialogue, we got some feedback which is always really useful and then it was time to go home!
Today began at 10:30am with a 90 min alignment based flow taught by Melissa. It was quite a slow paced class with lots of cues to get each part of our body into the correct alignment. This meant that your core was tight, your shoulders back and down, glutes engaged, sternum forward etc. in every posture. By the end of the class, I was sweating and felt like I’d worked really hard. This just shows that usually in class, I’m not always holding each posture the way I should be. It’s much easier to be lazy and now engage my muscles! However, this can lead to injury and poor form – as I soon discovered.
After the class, we had some time to change and grab lunch. Then it was on to anatomy and physiology lectures. We delved into the skeleton, muscles, ligaments, tendons and how they all work together to help you move and keep you stable and supported. Mixed into the lecture, Melissa showed us alignment cues and tricks to help us get into postures, how to get the most out of a pose and which were not ‘available’ to us individually due to our unique physiology. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted but had really enjoyed the day and all its information.
We started this morning at 10am, grabbed a coffee and dove straight back in to the anatomy chat from yesterday. We went over a lot of specific joints – the shoulders, hips, knees etc and their function in the body. We then linked these to the postures we are learning and specific alignment cues.
After lunch, we were back in the studio to continue the lectures for the rest of the afternoon. We also spent a lot of time this afternoon going over the specific poses we wanted help with. Melissa went round each of us and gave us tips and tricks to help us get into our pose. We had a go at handstands, headstands, shoulder stands, firelog, bird of paradise and more. Melissa was absolutely amazing at giving us advice and helpful support.
I found this weekend really useful and it has made me want to learn more about anatomy because I think it is key in nailing the asanas without injury. It was also fascinating to see how people’s bodies are different. A pose that is easy and comfortable for one person is near impossible for another. I’ve bought a few anatomy books this week to read further to increase my knowledge of this subject. It is strange having more questions by the end of the weekend than I started with at the beginning however I think this is due to gaining more knowledge – you can ask more questions if you understand more. It’s now down to me to answer my own questions with reading and research.