Bony landmarks are prominent, identifiable places on bones. There are many of them, but we'll start with some important ones of the scapula and pelvis. Once you learn them, find them on yourself or someone else. Then look at where the landmark moves when you move your arm or your pelvis. More on that later.
The idea of this blog is to share a little bit at a time. There are lots of good anatomy-related blogs, but many of them have so much information and detail that it can be overwhelming. My goal with this blog is to share things that I teach in yoga teacher training anatomy sessions. We'll build knowledge with accessible content and begin to integrate it into yoga postures and skills for practice and teaching. I hope you find it helpful.
The skeletal system is dynamic. It remodels throughout life and responds to demands. It gives us structure, helps us move, protects us from harm, produces blood cells, stores minerals, and even has a role in endocrine regulation. It's also a fast and easy way to start the study of anatomy. Yes, there are 206 bones in a typical adult, but when all is said and done, for yoga anatomy, you have less than 30 bone names to learn. Many of them are grouped (like the carpal bones in the wrist) and sometimes learning one name covers 56 bones (phalanges). If you want, you can learn all of the bones in the head, but for our purposes, we'll learn two - cranium (skull) and mandible (jaw). See? This is accessible!
Use the image below to learn the bones. Run through them several times, and find them in your own body. Download this free app to learn more. Review, integrate what you learn into your practice, and teach someone else about the bones. This is a strong and solid start to learning anatomy.
Tips for Retention
Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Get creative with your study habits, and figure out what works best for you.
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.
Yoga teachers-in-training consistently say that there is so much more to think about when teaching a class than they ever knew or imagined. I remember the feeling, and I often joke that if you can get your music to play and everyone lives, you're off to a strong start! In addition to surviving class, we also want students to leave feeling better than when they arrived. And of course, we want to prevent injury. Here are some tips to decrease the risk of injury in your classes.
Remember, it is outside the scope of practice of a yoga teacher to diagnose and treat.
Students with injuries/conditions will attend your classes. The safest action is to recommend medical evaluation when a student tells you about an injury or asks for advice.
More information: Yoga Alliance Statement on Yoga Therapy
A student at heart, Jen is passionate about learning and sharing what she has learned to empower yoga students and teachers. Jen is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, and yoga teacher. She teaches at Kindness Yoga and practices physical therapy at Vernon Physical Therapy & Wellness.