I Love To Share Fascinating Anatomy Lessons With You

November 15, 20186 min read
A group of yoga students learning about anatomy applied to yoga

The very brilliant Andrew McGonigle (Doctor Yogi) explaining some of the wonders of anatomy. (You’ll see me on the right hand side in my fav. leopard print yoga pants.)

Oh man, I love to learn. Have I ever mentioned that on my blog?

Love or hate it, social media can be a really great way of finding out about events that really do float your boat. For that reason, I spend quite a bit of time communicating with people on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles, letting people know what I’m offering locally and online. Members of Elevate, my virtual yoga studio, enjoy the tons of content I’ve created over the last few years, I'd love to welcome you if you fancy

yoga in your own home when it suits you

If people don’t know what is available to them, how can they enjoy what you’re sharing? Anyhow, I digress.

As a result of a lovely social-media-savvy person over in Lincolnshire, I became aware of a training day dedicated to

ANATOMY APPLIED TO YOGA POSES!!

Anatomy study is super-exciting for me, so I went ahead and booked it quick-smart months in advance in case it sold out.

What happens at Yoga School?

If you train with a qualified yoga instructor, which I hope you do, they will be required to undertake Continuous Professional Development. On my journey so far, I haven’t yet met a single soul who finds this to be a chore – I’m sure I speak for the majority when I say

YOGA TEACHERS LOVE LEARNING ABOUT YOGA

I set off on the 40-mile journey from my home in Nottingham to Lincolnshire, the home of the Central Wellness Studio, run by the very lovely Grace Bowker.

I felt instantly welcomed by everyone - they all seemed perfectly at home, to the point that I couldn’t actually tell who worked at the studio and who was a delegate!

The studio was indeed beautiful; if you’re nearby I’d certainly recommend a visit. I would definitely go if I lived closer by. They have a huge range of offerings from different styles of yoga to Tai Chi to holistic therapies.

Grace had arranged a beautiful vegan bring and share lunch – the spread really was quite impressive, and my proffered contribution seemed quite paltry in comparison to the homemade curries and stews!

WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT YOGA AND ANATOMY?

Ooooh, onto the good stuff!!

Dr Andrew McGonigle, aka Dr Yogi (yes, an actual medically qualified doctor) led a fact-packed lecture on the anatomy of the lower body – the feet, ankles, knees and hips and how different yoga poses support and in different ways.

Note-taking was furiously happening but I didn’t want to miss a thing so I concentrated solely on what he had to say (and he gave us an amazingly detailed handout).

Aside from all the anatomical information, what was great was that it was all in real talk.

If you think yoga trainings are all in some kind of hippy-dippy lingo, you wouldn’t have found that here (by the way, I LOVE that, too - everything in context, an’ all) and I’m always so excited for meeting the different people yoga school – it really is meeting up with friends you haven’t met yet.

Another fact about yoga training days that might surprise you is that there is a lot of laughter. I love it! It really helps to absorb information if there’s an amusing anecdote to go along with the fact.

Before I knew it, it was the end of the day and it was time to leave. The had day passed SO quickly.

Have you ever noticed how it’s really true that time does fly when you’re having fun?

Even better was my realisation that this CPD was part of a two-day training, the second of which I couldn’t wait to book. Excited much??

I drove home tired yet refreshed and with a very full and happy heart. I felt like I’d had a really exciting day out.

ALLOW ME TO SHARE MY MAIN TAKE-AWAYS FROM DR YOGI

Yoga teacher with a student demonstrating alignment of the knee over the ankle

Some of the typical cues that we use as yoga instructors are not going to fit for every student we have

Perhaps the unique and natural alignment of someone’s feet in tadasana is not to parallel with the toes pointing dead ahead and perhaps forcing that alignment may cause them more harm than good.

— DR ANDREW MCGONIGLE

Mobility is FAR more important than flexibility

If I had a sterling pound of the Queen’s realm for every time I’ve heard someone say, ‘I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough’…

Flexibility does not decrease the risk of injury. Mobility does decrease the risk of injury.

If you have laxity in the joints, you can still overstretch or perhaps get into deeper versions of poses but also potentially hurt yourself. Gravity often helps the body get into the asana but muscle strength and control improves mobility.

It is the mobility that keeps the muscles and joints working safely in conjunction.

MOBILITY IN YOGA = STABILITY

The whole of the body is connected to the whole of the body

Super-obvious, right? But is it really?

Beneath the skin is a layer of connective tissue called fascia and it is connected all the way over the whole body. It is one piece of tissue. My takeaway relating to the fascia is that I want to learn more about this. I adore the concept that we are all connected to other human beans (not a typo, I just love Roald Dahl), animals, the earth, everything and I love the symmetry that the whole of the body is connected to the whole of the body.

The Nocebo effect

I straight away began implementing changes to my vocabulary where this is concerned.

We’ve all heard of the placebo effect, whereby a positive expectation will deliver a positive outcome. Same in reverse. If I am saying ‘keep your knee safe’ I am also telling you there is a risk. If someone has a negative expectation, then by jove, a negative outcome is what they will receive.

I happen to know that all of my students have an amazing awareness of their own body and whilst Ego can occasionally come into play, I have every confidence that they they are the expert of their own body and that they trust their inner teacher to guide them only as far as feels comfortable for them on that day.

What a glorious day of learning, I’m grateful to have been part of it.

Until next time, Dr Yoga and Central Wellness, I look forward to sponging up loads more useful info.

All my love,

Lee-ann x

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Lee-ann delivers nurturing, creative, and vibrant yoga lessons, hosts an award-winning blog, and an active online yoga and wellness studio membership. She is passionate about holistic physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

Lee-ann Cordingley

Lee-ann delivers nurturing, creative, and vibrant yoga lessons, hosts an award-winning blog, and an active online yoga and wellness studio membership. She is passionate about holistic physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

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