Minding the Mind: Week 5 of Yoga Teacher Training

Intent Blog

Wabi-Sabi

One of the highlights of our anatomy training is when we learned about the spine. We looked at each others’ spines standing erect and folded forward. One of the physical therapists teaching us anatomy spotted a student who had scoliosis. We all gathered around to take a look. As the student bent forward, the uneveness in her spine became amazingly prominent. Many of us were so focused on the apparent “wrongness” of her spine that we were gasping in awe.

The therapist looked around and started to point out what we had missed. “Look how beautiful and even her hips are. Look how even her shoulders are.

Le Grande

It was true. She was perfectly aligned. We had failed to notice all that was right with her pose because we were looking at what appeared to be wrong.

Our anatomy teacher commented on the beauty of scoliosis, marveling that, “The body will do what it needs to do so you are upright in the world.”

This reminded me of the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. The idea that the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete are beautiful. And not just in terms of physical imperfections. Wabi-Sabi goes much deeper and is more of an “aesthetic consciousness that transcends appearance.”

A growing interest in anatomy is one of the reasons I’m in this training in the first place. The more I practiced yoga, the more I became curious about my own muscles, bones, and how they function. The more I saw how body movements affected my state of mind and being, the more I wanted to learn the how and the why.

Every week I have fascinating experiences that confirm my choice to make this investment. We are just scratching the surface of anatomy and how it relates to yoga, but I feel like a clear path of learning is being laid out for me to travel in the years to come.

Read the rest of Monique’s article here.

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