Earlier this year whilst doing some teaching at the Rocklyn Ashram I had the opportunity once again to watch Paul Grilley’s Anatomy and Physiology DVD and I feel the need to remind all of my yoga students and interested readers of Paul’s message that no two people will look or experience the same yoga pose in the same way.
Yes that is right! We could all be doing a mountain pose (in some traditions called the downward dog) but none of us would look exactly the same or be experiencing it exactly the same for that matter. Why is this the case?
Well according to Mr Grilley the difference lies between experiencing compression or tension in the body. In this instance compression is literally the meeting of bone on bone in a joint that restricts further movement whilst tension is tightness in muscles and ligaments that restricts movement of the joints.
Although each of us has the same sort of bones in our skeleton they are very unique to each person. For example some people will have a large femoral head on their femur whilst others will be smaller. Some will have more rotational capacity in their radius than others, some will have bigger hook on their ulna connecting ulna and humerus etc etc…Therefore a persons inability to move into a posture in the same way may well be due to structural differences.
Tension on the other hand is where muscles and ligaments are tight through previous injury, scar tissue or lack of appropriate stretching. A person may not be able to hold a pose in the same way as another simply because they lack the muscle flexibility and strength and this over time can be improved.
What does this mean for all of us out there practising yoga? It simply reinforces the idea that every one’s yoga experience is a very personal one and that what suits some people will not suit others. Your yoga experience is unique and you can measure your transformation not on whether you look the same as someone else but how you feel in the pose…what is happening for you personally and how these experiences change over time for you.
For more information about this check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve_GUyEHdfI