Let's Get Physical
Did you know the word yoga is a noun?
It’s a Sanskrit noun that translates to the English for “yoke.”
It’s derived from the root word yui which means to attach, join, harness … and yoke.
(Yes, we know the meaning of yoga can also be used as a verb, along the lines of to concentrate. As a word, ‘yoga’ has many dimensions.)
At its essence, however, yoga is body and mind and the connection—the yoke—between the two.
So there’s a natural affinity between yoga and the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System. Our motto acknowledges this connection: "The mind cannot forget what the hands have learned.™"
In August, about 200 managers of CorePower® Yoga studios from around the country attended a Leadership Summit in Colorado. The summit was held at Snow Mountain Ranch, a beautiful YMCA facility in Estes Park outside Rocky Mountain National Park. A more perfect setting is hard to imagine.
And we were there. One of the mandatory 90-minute classes for all attendees was a class led by Anatomy in Clay® founder Jon Zahourek.
Of course we are not playing favorites with CorePower®; all yoga is good as far as we’re concerned. However, the CorePower® folks seem to take it up a notch. CorePower® promotes their workouts as “highly physical” and “incredibly mindful.”
Jon led each of the four classes. He started with a chat about understanding the context for human anatomy (zoology) and he explored the misconceptions about what is the true anatomical neutral position. Jon also led the attendees in building such muscles as iliacus, psoas, vastus intermedius, rectus femories, adductor magnus, and semimembranosus.
For a yoga teacher, of course, understanding anatomy is critical. If you’re going to lead your students in various poses and stretches, then you should have a good understanding of how the body is put together. Right?
CorePower® manager Samson Frederick started teaching yoga in 2011 after a background in music and musical theater. Understanding anatomy, he said, is key in order to “to teach movement safely and effectively.”
Asked about his experience following the class, Frederick said it was “really eye opening to see the layers of movement” as each muscle was added.
For San Diego CorePower® teacher Theresa Spangle, comprehension of anatomy goes hand in hand with knowledge of yoga. “The more they (yoga teachers) know about the musculature going into sequencing a class, using poses, the better prepared they are to really present an experience that feels good in the student’s body,” she said.
Spangle also noted that it’s “liberating” to work in clay without the annoying odor that goes along with cadaver labs.
But for Spangle, the main benefit was being able to put her hands on the muscles and explore their interrelationships.