|Illustration by Caleb|
I wrote in a previous post that I have been watching Anatomy for Yoga, by Paul Grilley, to fullfil my anatomy requirement for my Bodhi Yoga teacher training.
I am fascinated by what I'm learning, and not just about anatomy. The shape of our bones has a direct effect in what our yoga looks like. For example, consider something as simple as putting the palms of our hands flat down on the floor (for downward facing dog, table top, etc). To make this happen, the radius pivots around the ulna, and not until I saw the demonstrations in the video, did I realize that not everyone's forearms pronate to the same degree. If you have bone structure that do not allow for complete pronation, then your shoulders will become involved anytime you place your hands down on the ground. Fascinating! I had no idea. It's like discovering a new species or something. A new understanding and appreciation for the need of having compassion towards all.
I think of the many people I have heard say things like "I can't do yoga, I'm just not flexible", or "my body doesn't go that way". They give up, without even trying. And on the other side of that same coin, how many of us have injured ourselves while trying too aggressively to achieve a pose, that perhaps will never be available to our structure? (Matching a photograph on Yoga Journal can be hazardous!) Again, compassion needed.
I'm not saying we stop pushing our edges, growth and progression require that. Hopefully we learn to diferentiate what is tension and can be improved, and what is structure and to be accepted. Our limitations can be our greatest teachers, as we accept them and learn to work with them. Self compassion is the key, and all compassion begins with self compassion.