A Human Anatomy Approach To Yoga – By Master Saumik
7 May 2019, Tuesday
Yoga has become one of the most popular & effective self-care practices in modern society as it has proven to bring many physical & mental health benefits to many millions of people. However, while yoga works as an alternative medicine, it may cause many injuries to thousands of practitioners too. Many people have wondered how is this possible.
In a group yoga class, the same instruction from the Yoga teacher can either benefit or injure the students. In our modern practice where such classes are being conducted in groups, very often we may ignore the fact that each practitioner has different practice levels and needs due to the difference of everyone’s body type. Teaching of yoga would be easy and simple if we assume that every student is the same. Unfortunately, we are all not the same. each of our physical characteristics and body’s anatomy is different too. From our height and weight to the size, shape of our bones and density of our muscles, everyone’s physical built differs from one person to another. Even our endurance level is different.
Physiologically, we are all unique so we should adjust our practice needs to meet the requirements of our body and mind. Even in a group Yoga class, each practitioner must be treated or taken care of differently. Just like when you are ill, you do not take someone else prescriptive medicine, or when you drive you do not wear some else glasses.
In a Yoga class, the same alignment does not work for everyone. Very often, the Yoga teacher is, unfortunately, unable to give separate instructions for different people. Hence, we often see it may benefit to one it may cause injury to others. Take an example, the inward rotation of the shoulder, it might be beneficial to some practitioners but at the same time, it may create compression to others.
There has been a great transformation of Yoga from the olden days till date. Prior to the boom of Yoga in the fitness industry, Yoga was only a small niche and people practice Yoga for calmness and stillness. Eventually, it was transformed into a more Vinyasa and cardio workout such as Bikram’s Hot Yoga and Patabjo’s Ashtanga Yoga, and it has since become very popular around the world. Thereafter, Alignment Yoga was created and introduced to Yoga lovers by the grace of Yoga guru B. K. S. Lyengar.
Modern research has proven that every bone structure in everybody is different, every joint is different, so while some poses can be very easy for a new practitioner, it can be almost impossible for someone who have been practicing for years. This is due to the skeletal variation in the bodies.
Eventually when people start to get injury from their practice, they go back to the most traditional style of Yoga that is Yoga Therapy and Yin-Style of Yoga for healing. We can’t ignore that we all are different so our practice must be modified to suit our physical needs too. We must educate ourselves to understand our own body and we must communicate through our practice to understand what is good for us and what is not in order to get benefit from your practice, injury free!