Yoga Alliance completed a large survey of yoga professionals which included ranking the things that are the most important requirements for teaching. "A significant understanding of human anatomy" landed near the top of the list. What makes a significant understanding? It's the ability to integrate knowledge into teaching. Knowing structure isn't very helpful unless you understand function. Anatomy is structure; kinesiology is function.
Learning about how your body works can improve the connection and awareness you have when you practice. It can help prevent injury. If you teach, it can also help with class development, cueing, and offering options and modifications for students. It can also help in communication with other teachers, fitness professionals, and healthcare providers.
There are so many resources for safe yoga practice. (Here are several that I've compiled over the years.) Learning the language of anatomy and kinesiology will be beneficial for continued learning. In this blog, I'll share the basics that will give you a foundation for further study. Stay open and curious. Ask questions. Challenge assumptions. Listen to your body and to your students.
Tips for Retention
Integration. Bring small pieces of knowledge directly into your practice and/or teaching.
Teach someone. The best way to solidify what you've learned is to teach it to someone else.
Be patient. There is no shortcut. It takes time and effort.