Coloring Books and Muscle Groups

I have been doing a lot of coloring lately.

After practicing yoga for over two years, I was still hopelessly confusing muscle groups and joints.

A teacher would ask - what is tight? And I would have to point. I couldn't verbalize the muscle groups or the joint. I really - to be honest - would have struggled to show you where the hamstring actually connected.

I was also growing more and more curious about how the connections truly worked. When I noticed new space forming in my hips or in my chest - I had no idea what was actually changing as a result of the practice. And I wanted to know.

So I am working my way through The Anatomy Coloring Book. I even have a fresh new set of colored pencils. It is a nice addition to my carry on bag for travel as well.

It is a little bit like kindergarten meeting a college class.

Anatomy is a huge part of yoga, because it informs how we should be positioning our bodies in asanas and serves as the foundation for the alignment of poses.

If I am in awe of the body in yoga, I can tell you that I am in a state of shock and awe at how absolutely amazing our bodies actually are - before you even go into a pose.

Anatomy Coloring Book - 3rd Edition, Kapit/Elson
I don't know if I ever actually took an anatomy class in school. It was probably a skimmed portion of several science classes. I was planning on becoming a writer and an English teacher - so the whole science thing was a bit more of a "get through it" exercise. In college, I peaked at Bio 101. I enjoyed it, but it didn't spark a passion.

Better late than never.

Knowledge truly is power - and now when my muscles start to fire in a pose - I have a better sense of the underlying action that is actually happening - and that mind-body connection strengthens even more.

The real truth is that we have one life and one body to move through it with. And a colorful little instruction manual certainly helps.