Reviewing the more ‘important’ muscles of the musculoskeletal system, including:
- Muscles of the hips and thighs
- Muscles of the trunk
- Muscles of the shoulder and upper arm
- Different ways a muscle can contract
- Different ways a muscle can stretch
Building on this refresher
With the fresh knowledge and revisiting of the more important muscles, we’ll layer in supporting muscles that help the body move around in a yoga class, looking at the function and make up of the muscles of the arms, legs, neck and head, and how they interact with the muscles from our refresher.
The make up of muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones
We know that tendons mainly connect muscles to bones; but it isn’t as simple as bone > tendon > muscle > tendon > bone… In fact, the body of the muscle starts to integrate a few tendon cells, then a few more, then more and more until it’s almost all tendon. Think of it as a sliding scale rather than a dividing change. Understanding the make up of these different types of tissues will take your musculoskeletal understanding from good to excellent; ready to apply that straight to our teaching.
Common injuries and conditions
As we know; yoga is so much more than just the physical! The positive impact that practicing physical yoga has on all the systems of the human body is vast. Therefore, whilst we have to prioritise safety first, in an ideal world; we wouldn’t turn people away from our classes because they have an injury or condition, but rather we’d work with them to help them enjoy the vast benefits of yoga, without exacerbating their injury further.
Full disclaimer: this module will not teach you, or qualify you, to diagnose or treat injuries or conditions, but it will furnish you with the knowledge to work with your students to allow them to benefit from yoga whilst still being safe.
Applying anatomy to sequencing
This deeper level of anatomical understanding will be part of what takes your classes from safe and beneficial to therapeutical, wonderful and completely enjoyable.
Diving deep into the make up of muscle tissues, an understanding of the different ways a muscle stretches and contracts, and the musculoskeletal system as a whole is really creating a bed of knowledge on which to build your sequences on. Intelligent sequencing with a body part, or a theme, or a energetic focus at the heart, really makes such an impact on those who are practicing; we can really make people feel like they’ve had a workout, and a massage, and a talking therapy session, and a good rest!
Advancing your asana
To complete the course content, we’ll be playing around with, and breaking down, some more advanced asanas such as inversions and arm balances. Having an understanding of how the body moves; how the body holds strength and where space is needed, is absolutely vital if you’re ever planning to teach people to take their weight through their shoulders and wrists, or their neck.
Looking at these advanced asanas really helps to apply the deeper level of anatomical knowledge that we’ve indulged in so far, in a fun way!