Last weekend I spent Saturday & Sunday afternoon on the floor of Semperviva’s Sea Studio, and sat in on The Physical Body workshop with the lovely Bernie Clark. While the majority of the attendees were taking part in his Yin Teacher Training, they opened up the anatomy & physical body part of the days to anybody who was interested in attending, so being as I’m more of a hands on learner I thought it was the perfect time for a refresher.
Yoga Teacher Training programs generally have some information about anatomy & the effects of yoga on our body, but this is something that I have struggled with. I’m not a biologist by any means, and trying to correlate a map of the skeleton and all its pieces to a class and what we are doing & using is not always an easy task. If you have never taken one of Bernie’s classes, I highly recommend it, and knowing this I knew this workshop would really not be the boring mundane put me to sleep talk about bones and muscles, and I was right.
We spent 8 hours looking at the dynamics and bones of the human body & how unfortunately for some of you hardcore yogi’s some poses may be very challenging for you to accomplish just because of the way your bones & body have developed. We learnt the difference between compression, two bones compressing into each other – there is no where for them to go, and tension, tight muscles that are restricting the movement you are trying to accomplish and how to tell the difference between both of them. Compression is what you feel in the direction of movement and tension is what you feel on the opposite side, ie. raising your arms above your head you would feel compression in your shoulder/humerus & tension in your triceps.
Of course this was just the bare bones of the workshop, no pun intended, and what is happening in your body when you practice yoga and is all dependent on what you are trying to accomplish from the pose, either a stretch or building muscle. It was another well spent weekend at Semperviva and am looking forward to Bernie’s Energy Body workshop taking place this Saturday at the Sea Studio. From the Semperviva website check out this four hour workshops, here’s what you can expect;
“In this workshop we will investigate the various models the Yogis of India, the Yogis of China and the Medical Scientists in the West have developed to explain the workings of the body’s energy and its associated systems. We will explore the world of prana and the energy channels and vortexes of Indian Yoga (called nadis and chakras) and contrast it to the world of Chi (Qi) and its associated network of channels (called meridians) utilized in China. Then we will discover how modern scientific investigations in the West (Energy Medicine) are finding remarkable parallels to these ancient models.”