As some of you know I have been studying Embodied Anatomy with Amy Matthews at The Breathing Project since September 2014. The first year we went through every single muscle in the human body and now we are repeating the process mapping and naming every single bone. Now, if you were to ask me to name some of those muscles or bones I would probably be hard pressed to do so. Of course I can name a few, but there was no test, no pressure to remember them all, and since I don’t intend to become a doctor or somesuch I forgot the actual names as swiftly as I learned them.
Also, while it is useful to zoom in on an individual muscle or bone and its location, it is important to keep seeing the larger context. A single muscle will not do things on it’s own, it works together with all the other muscles. A bone does not move all by itself, there will be “knock-on” effects virtually through the whole body. Arguably therefore, the names of the individual muscles are not as important as grasping the inter-connectedness of the whole system.
The real magic of this course is the “Embodied” piece. Amy, who is a wonderful teacher and human being by the way, teaches the principles of Body-Mind Centering alongside the more technical anatomical material. We spend time every class on “feeling” the muscles or bones inside our own bodies. And feeling pathways of weight and energy traveling through our bodies. And entertaining the idea that the body (our body, every body) can move efficiently and even gracefully in all kinds of directions and contortions.
I am a person who always aspired to be hyper-rational, who sometimes wishes everything could be reduced to black and white, true or false, right or wrong, and who is plagued constantly by the different shades of gray I perceive in human emotion and in the affairs of the world. For me, this course has allowed me to transition from clinging to and studying mere facts to feeling the material, trusting that I will be capable to retain what’s important and see the bigger picture even if I lose sight of the details.
The fact loving, hyper-rational side of me still has to giggle though when I find myself reading “woo woo” books with titles such as Bone, Breath & Gesture.