Going inside has taken on a new meaning to me. In order to add hours to my present yoga teacher training, I recently signed up to Gary Carter’s 10-weekend Anatomy and Myofascial Movement course for Yoga Teachers. First weekend was this weekend, and I’m just blown away by what I’ve been hearing so far! For the past five years, to me, going inside has meant checking-in with myself with regards to thoughts, emotions and body sensations. This is something I do several times a day. It provides me with a sense of groundedness and lightness, getting in touch with where I find myself in any moment or situation. I would say it’s like a mini meditation that can be done anywhere.
I now see going inside as also becoming more aware of what happens within my body as I move throughout my day. Do you realise what an incredible structure your body is, and how much wisdom it holds? How amazing it is that all bumps on your bones are there for a specific reason, and that there is a reason why some bones are thick and some are thin, some partly thick partly thin, and that our bones shape themselves to how we live our lives. Just by looking at one of the 24 articulating vertebrae in your spine, it is possible to tell your posture…
It’s funny, when I chose what to study in my twenties, I saw three options: law, medicine and business. Law seemed too dry for me, and medicine way to scary with everything having to do with the inside of a body. I chose business, and enjoyed both studying and working in that field. For the last few years, I have been seeing things in a different light. I’m fascinated about mind, body, breath and consciousness. I have gone from only believing in tangible facts, to understanding that the more I know the less I know (?), from feeling nearly a bit repulsed by learning anything about what’s inside a human body, to considering buying a life size human skeleton to have in my house so I can check it out whenever I want – that’s quite a leap, isn’t it?
What really excites me about what I’m learning now is the way the course opens for different perceptions in how you can see the body working. Most of us know what a skeleton looks like, and I guess many of us believe bones are sort of resting one on top of the other. You lift up an arm and you can visualise how a skeleton’s arm would lift up, and then you add some of the muscles that might be triggered as you are lifting. Starting learning about fascia (connective tissue) and how forces travel through the body as we are moving makes me become more aware of how the body feels, and the space there is in it, as I am walking, sitting, or rolling on the floor. Yes, we were asked to do that too this weekend! I must add my first thoughts about rolling around were these: “I’m a serious yoga person, I am not that alternative, this is not constructive teaching”, to becoming these: “Wow, by following the shapes of my structure, I can move with such fluidity, how amazing I am built this way, I can’t believe the lightness I feel standing up after having rolled around, when can I do this again?”
Next time you are lifting up one leg in front of you, knee flexed, maybe allowing yourself to look at it happening with some awe. Your leg weighs around 15-20 kilos, and perhaps you are lifting it up with ease? Imagining all that is happening within you to allow you to perform that lift. Pretty amazing, right?
I am currently teaching yoga in Wimbledon Common by the Windmill on Sunday mornings 9-10am. Maybe we’ll do some rolling to experience the body in a different way this Sunday, come along if you want to have a go!