Our second October weekend of teacher training focused on standing poses, sequencing, Pema Chodron and the anatomy of the hips. It was a busy weekend, following the previous weekend training by just three weeks. The students are making a lot of progress in their understanding of how to put together a yoga class, and how to transition between poses.
On Friday night we reviewed the principles of sequencing and put together a 5-pose standing sequence as a group that was designed to warm the body up for crow pose. In order to sequence for a particular peak pose, you must determine what that pose requires biomechanically. We analyzed crow pose and asked what needed to open, what needed to strengthen, and we proceeded from there. Once we know the key anatomical areas that we are targeting, then we can ask what standing poses address those areas most effectively. We then take that list of standing poses and sequence them intelligently. This is a skill that is crucial to effective teaching.
In order to further understand the mechanics of standing poses and how to put them in a sequence, we talked about the anatomy of the hips. The hips are a complicated area of the body. The hip joint is the joint between the femur and the pelvis. It is a joint that is built for stability. The femur can move in all direction in the hip socket - flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, medial and lateral rotation, but it is relatively limited in some areas. Its primary plane of movement is flexion/extension. However, the act of locomotion requires other muscles and actions to be active. For example, every time you take a step, your gluteus medius contract, helping to keep your torso upright over your standing leg. You are probably not aware that this is happening, and it is something your body learns when you are a toddler learning to walk. This muscle also plays a pivotal role in standing balances. Making sure you have a strong gluteus medius can contribute to overall health and well-being.
We ended the weekend talking about Pema Chodron's The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. We had a good discussion about facing our emotions and staying present for the good and the not so good times.
Next weekend: Back bends!