Yoga makes for an ideal way to keep the inner-self charged and lively and is one of the most popular methods of keeping oneself fit and healthy. The disciplines and exercises of yoga help in the rightful maintenance of mind and body. Its asanas, pranayama techniques, and mudras help practitioners achieve the impossible by opening up their senses and healing different kinds of ailments and disorders. But do you ever wonder how yoga transforms our mind, body, and soul, and how it deeply impacts us? How does yoga resonate with the inner functions of the body? How are yoga poses responsible for treating various kinds of mental and physical problems? These questions must have crossed your minds if you are really into yoga and its powerful world.
And this is where anatomy and physiology slide in. To understand how yoga impacts our mental and physical state, it is important to know the inner structure and functioning of the body. So, let’s move ahead and learn the importance of anatomy and physiology in Yoga.
What is Anatomy in Yoga?
Anatomy is basically a branch of science that deals with the study of the structures of organisms and hence, anatomy yoga is all about understanding the inner structure of the body and its different parts and learning how yoga poses and other practices bring changes in the body. It also revolves around the layers of the mind and energies flowing within a body. In short, yogic anatomy teaches you in detail everything related to body organs, muscles, tissues, etc.
It is important for every yoga teacher or guru to have an in-depth knowledge of body structure so that it becomes easy for them to learn body movements, maintain alignments, and identify other functions. Yoga anatomy also helps practitioners deal with injuries in the right manner.
What is Physiology in Yoga?
Physiology is a branch of science, biology to be precise, that deals with the functioning of organisms. It helps you understand how the basic cell functions and how living beings function at the molecular level. And in yoga, physiology is all about understanding how different parts of the human body operate and they can be balanced by practicing yoga asanas, breathing techniques, and more.
Yoga physiology is of great significance for all the students who wish to become yoga teachers as it will help them understand how blood pressure, respiratory functions, blood circulation, etc affects the mind and the body. The study would help them learn how to keep their body fit and healthy in all circumstances. By learning yoga physiology, it would be easy for them to know what to do when blood pressure is low or high, when an internal organ isn’t functioning properly or when stress levels increase. It would also help them understand how energy channels can be activated by practising certain asanas.
Why is the Study of Anatomy and Physiology in Yoga Important?
Now let’s understand in detail why anatomy and physiology must be a priority for yoga teachers. These are the reasons why these subjects make for a significant part of yoga learning, whether you are doing a 300 hour or 200 hour yoga TTC in Rishikesh, a pranayama course online, or any other course.
Learn About Body Parts, their Functions and Importance
While learning yoga anatomy, you would be introduced to the inner structure of the human body. In these classes, you would learn how body parts are completely different from each, their locations and main purpose. From muscle structure to the skeleton, learn every bit of the human body. Study the importance of joints, muscles, bones, legs, arms, and more.
Also, understand why the spinal cord holds great importance in the yoga world. Once you are aware of all this, it would become easy for you to master your subjects whether you are learning yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, Kerala, Goa, or anywhere else.
Understand the Body Movement
By learning anatomy and physiology during your yoga classes, you would gain immense knowledge on how the human body functions and how different body parts move, and to what extent they can be used during yoga exercises. Imagine you are practising rigorously and you experience a serious injury, would you then be able to come back to your original form? Well, you may or may not be! However, chances are you would have to go on rest for a certain period of time. Isn't'?
But if you know how legs and arms should be stretched and how to carry out a yoga pose in the right manner, you would be saving yourself from many injuries. Moreover, you would be able to excel in your classes quite early.
Understand How Yoga Poses Provide Benefits
Yoga helps in healing several mental and physical problems and when you are aware of body functions and internal structure, it becomes easy for you to understand what poses to practise on a regular basis to deal with a certain issue. For example, if you are suffering from migraine, it is recommended you practise Lotus Pose as it helps in the relaxation of the mind and mitigates chances of severe headaches.
You would then know how the headstand pose helps in the right circulation of blood to the brain, how a supine spinal twist is extremely good for people suffering from lower back pain, and how the bound angle pose helps the practitioner deal with depression and menstrual complications.
Learn How to Maintain Alignment
Proper body alignment is necessary to avail maximum benefits from any yoga pose and to minimise the risk of any kind of injury. Alignment is basically the arrangement of your body in the right manner. And when you are aware of your body structure and internal organs and their functions, you are able to easily understand how you should pose your body so that you can reap all the benefits.
Whether it is keeping your hands in the right direction, sitting with spine straight and shoulders relaxed, or engaging all your muscles, proper body alignment is important as it would provide you with the base to form stability while performing yoga asanas.
Understand What To Avoid To Live A Healthy Life
Your food is the major source of energy in your body. It’s not just your yoga exercise that channelises the flow of the inner energy, it is also what you consume. Specific foods affect specific body parts and hence, when you are aware of your internal as well as external body structure, you tend to eat judiciously.
You start taking proper nutrition and save yourself from high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, heart diseases, cholesterol, tooth decay, and even cancer. So, if we say understanding the anatomy and physiology of your body allows you to keep yourself fit and teach your students the right ways to live a healthy life, it would be absolutely correct.
Learn How to Tackle Pain and Stress
Managing pain and stress is quite a task in itself as it requires a lot of dedication, knowledge, and suffering. But if you know how your body functions and what body part requires what kind of healing, then it becomes extremely easy to handle the pain and stress.
Yoga poses have been proven effective in healing headache, stomachache, arthritis, and more. Hence, whether you are a student or a teacher at an institute for yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, anatomy and physiology should be a part of your daily learning.
Things Every Yoga Teacher Must Know Regarding Human Body
If you are working as a teacher at a yoga school or desire to build a successful career in yoga teacher training, then there are certain things you must be aware of. The list includes:
You must be aware of everything a human skeleton comprises, ranging from bones to hands, spine to feet, and neck to head. This provides you with the opportunity to strengthen your practice and helps you understand how to bring out the best in your practice yoga sessions. You should know how the spinal cord supports your body structure and how other bones attach muscles together. Impart the knowledge down to your students and create a beautiful yoga community.
Yoga leaves an everlasting impact on every bit of the human body. And hence, every aspiring yoga teacher must be aware of the muscle system. You should know how many muscles make the human body and what all contractions are responsible for the strengthening and flexibility of the body. Learn how Skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle affect the growth of a person. Understand how muscles involve in various functions, including walking, speaking, running, and more. This way you would not only be able to carry out challenging poses but would also build incredible muscular strength.
Joints are basically the tissues that join two or more bones in a body. But did you know that these joints are extremely helpful in performing yoga exercises? And that’s the reason you must have an in-depth understanding of all kinds of joints including hinge joints, pivot joints, ball and socket joints, and ellipsoidal joints. Learning them would provide a bigger advantage in understanding how body movement should be done while working out.
3 Bodies Of Human
As per the physiology and philosophy of Yoga, there are three 3 bodies of humans. This three-bodies doctrine is a significant part of Hindu philosophy and hence, it has been incorporated into Yoga with all the sacredness. They are:
The Gross Body
This is the body that refers to the mortal physical body of the person. It is also called Sthula Sarira and comprises 5 elements - fire, earth, ether, water, air, and ether. This material body is often believed to be produced as a result of actions in the previous birth.
The Subtle Body
This is the body of the mind and the energies that flow within the mortal body. It is responsible for the growth and strengthening of the Gross body. It contains intellect, manas, five-fold vital breath, five organs of perception (eyes, ears, skin, tongue, and nose), and five organs of action (speech, anus, genitals, legs, and hands). It is also known as Sukshma Sharira.
The Causal Body
Containing experience, the causal body is also called Karana Sharira and is the origin of both the gross and subtle body as it serves as their seed. Hence, it can be referred to as the beginning of consciousness. As per several Hindu schools, it also refers to the end.
Yoga Poses and Their Benefits
Here are some of the important yoga poses and the health benefits they carry:
- Bandha Sarvangasana (the Bridge Pose) - strengthens the spine, provides stress relief, deals with Insomnia and Anxiety
- Balasana (the Child Pose) - Relieves neck, back, and hip strain
- Virabhadrasana I (the Warrior I Pose) - Opens up chest, shoulders, and legs and stretches spine and knees
- Trikonasana (the Triangle Pose) - Improves spine flexibility, relieves back and neck pain
- Utkatasana (the Chair Pose) - Strengthens calves, legs, ankles, and hips, and stretches chest and shoulders
- Navasana (the Boat Pose) - Improves digestive system and immunity and reduces stress and headache
- Savasana (the Corpse Pose) - Lowers blood pressure, calms your mind and body
- Natarajasana (the King Dancer Pose) - Helps in stretching legs and shoulders and provides stability
- Chaturanga Asana (the Four-limbed Pose) - Provides strength to arms, wrists, abdomen
- Sukhasana (the Easy Pose) - Provides calmness and a serene mind, lowers anxiety level, and helps during menstrual pain
- Vrksasana (the Tree Pose) - Helps in maintaining body balance and provides stability
How to Learn About Anatomy and Physiology In Yoga
- Enrol in yoga classes for yoga teacher training in Kerala, Rishikesh, etc.
- Partake in various workshops and meet like-minded people.
- Attend online courses like a pranayama course online, 200-hour yoga TTC in Rishikesh, and more
- Learn on your own through online channels on YouTube and other such platforms
So, if you are looking forward to understanding anatomy and physiology in yoga in detail, get going now and get enrolled in a yoga TTC program in Rishikesh today!