There are many ‘yoga teachers training courses’ emphasize on training the ‘yoga teachers’ with the knowledge or information about anatomy and physiology for performing and teaching the yoga poses, while there are yoga teachers who emphasize on explaining the different types of muscles group that are being used in the different yoga poses or exercises, as well as the different types of benefits of the yoga poses in their yoga asana classes, and there are yoga practitioners who want to know what type of muscles group that they need to engage in order to perform the yoga poses, and of course, they want to know the different types of benefits that they would get from performing the different yoga poses.
There’s nothing wrong or bad with this emphasis on the knowledge of the mechanism of the physical body and the benefits of the different exercises in fitness training, but this is pulling the mind away from the yoga teachings and yoga practice about letting go egoism of attachment and identification with the existence and the function of the body and the mind, and letting go attachment and identification with the actions and the fruit of actions, to annihilate ignorance and egoism to transcend suffering, to realize yoga or selflessness or unconditional peace and compassion, where all these realization has nothing to do with the physical condition, appearance, fitness level, performance, ability and limitation, or the knowledge of fitness training and its benefits.
One doesn’t need to know the names and forms of the muscles and their specific function, to have peace and be compassionate.
One doesn’t need to know which muscles groups are being engaged in order to hold a spoon and pick up a spoonful of food and put the food into the mouth and chew the food and swallow the food. One doesn’t need to know how to engaged a specific muscles group to move the legs forward or backward to walk or run or kick or jump or turn upside down. One doesn’t need to know which muscles to be engaged to smile or to frown.
There’s nothing wrong if people are interested to know the names and forms and the functions of the different muscles and muscles groups, and there are many books about fitness training, anatomy and physiology or biology for them to study about the mechanism and function of the physical body, and all these knowledge can be helpful in the improvement of the quality of life, but the realization of yoga or liberation from suffering has nothing to do with the accumulation of knowledge or the quality of life. People might be highly knowledgeable and have a higher quality of life, but might not necessarily be free from ignorance and egoism and suffering.
The doctors can use their medical knowledge of the physical body to cut open the body to find out the disease inside the body, and take it out for us, and fitness instructors can use their fitness training knowledge to provide us with health and fitness advice and an efficient health and fitness training program to make the physical body fitter and healthier, but no physician or fitness instructor can cut open our mind to find out the ‘disease’ inside the mind, and take out the ‘disease’ for us. Having a super fit and healthy physical body also doesn’t guarantee that our mind will be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering.
Ask a physician or fitness instructor, “Which muscles groups are being engaged in order to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and suffering, to know the truth, to realize selflessness, and be peaceful and compassionate?”