Learn Anatomy for Yoga by Drawing It
A simple and low cost way to improve your understanding of anatomy
I recently read a blog pose about a yoga teacher using anatomy software to teach anatomy for yoga.
Yoga teacher training is already pretty pricey without paying extra for specialist software.
A cheaper and perhaps more effective approach is to have yoga teachers learn to draw their anatomy.
But I don't Know How to Draw
But I don't know how to draw you might say!
(Or your yoga teacher trainees might say this.)
What is drawing? It is an act of union between the mind and the body.
The mind has an image and ideally the hand reproduces this image.
But if it can't then practice is what is required. (Practice drawing and practice "knowing" what it is that you are trying to draw.)
In much the same way, what is a yoga pose? An image that the mind has.
And then it gives that image to the body to reproduce.
Break it Down
It takes a lot of practice to be able to reproduce a yoga pose and for that reason it can be broken down.
You can break the body down into smaller elements and learn to control those elements and likewise you can break poses down into elements and practice those elements.
You can then gradualy learn to do a yoga pose better and better.
Focus on One Thing
Learning to draw anatomy for yoga can be much the same way.
You can focus on one single element, say the pelvis, and one view of that element, say a side view.
You learn to recognize landmarks, features, relationships between the landmarks, and you try to draw the pelvis.
Say you copy a picture a few times, and then you try from memory and then you check.
A few things are wrong, you notice them, take a rest and then try again the next day.
And as you practice you begin to develop an understanding of your anatomy. (And you can use that understanding of your anatomy for yoga.)
You don't just learn the names of parts of the body you learn to draw them and because you can draw them (and have taken the time to learn) you then must have an image of that item in your mind.
You can then use that image and map it onto your body.
You then have an internal map which can guide you in sensing your own anatomy.
If You Can't Draw, Then Learn
If you can't draw, if you can't even hold a pen let alone use it, then that becomes the starting point for learning.
You can start by drawing straight lines, both vertical and horizontal, then slanted.
Then you can practice drawing curvey lines.
You can practice drawing shapes like circles and squares.
And as you draw you work at controlling the relationship between pen and paper and between one corner and line and the next.
Now you are on your way to being able to draw yoga anatomy sketches.
The nice thing about learning to draw anatomy for yoga is that it doesn't cost much more than the cost of a pen or pencil and some paper.
And you can do it anywhere, no computer or specialist software required.
Even cooler is that if you plan on teaching anatomy for yoga or simply running yoga teacher training courses, you can draw anatomy sketches easily which shows that you truly do know your yoga anatomy.
And you can teach your students to do the same.
Published: 2012 07 04