Why do we study anatomy?
Our bodies are the reflection of all that has happened to us. All our changes, our scars, whether physical or emotional, are embedded in our bodies. Anatomy helps us understand that. Through asanas we gain a consciousness of alignment and movement. Understanding anatomy will help us balance our bodies on a structural, emotional and energetic plan.
Understanding anatomy is our way of being precise so we can achieve greater strength and flexibility (there is no point in stretching the body in any way to try to achieve some cool looking posture, that would only bring on injury) . We start with a more concrete approach of the mechanisms of movement to reach a more subtle realm of the possibilities of the body. We go from the “physical” to the “emotional” to the “energetic” body.
Each level gives us clues on how to achieve better harmony between our selves and our environment, bringing us closer to some equilibrium where the body no longer aches, where the mind lets go and where the energy can flow more freely, helping achieve greater awareness and greater wisdom.
We need to look at our bone structure, understand how each is linked together, understanding the specific joints to respect their optimal functioning without over doing it. We need to look at how muscles affect movement. This especially is important in Pralaya. Understanding movement to prevent injuries and also to heal.
We need to look at breath and understand the power of the inhale and the exhale as the source of all movement. Through breath, it is the life force, the prana or qi, that circulates. Movement exist because of breath and it is this union of breath and movement that permits us to accept and respect the limits of the moment (limits which vary moment by moment, which is why some days a posture may feel better than at another time).
We need to understand fascia, the tissue that surrounds every organ, muscle and bone of the body. Understand what role it has in healing but also in movement.
In short, we need to understand anatomy so we can guide students to release their tensions, find their alignment, and heal their scars so they can optimize the use of their bodies through time.
Our aim with Pralaya is to understand all the possible ways injuries can happen so we can prevent them, heal them and give relief from all the stresses our bodies take on.
Understanding the mechanisms at play, we learn to make our bodies strong, giving us confidence so the emotional can let go and the mind can quiet.