“... everyone who comes into contact with a child is a teacher who incessantly describes the world to him, until the moment when the child is capable of perceiving the world as it is described. According to Don Juan, we have no memory of that portentous moment, simply because none of us could possibly have had any point of reference to compare it to anything else. From that moment on, however, the child is a member. He knows the description of the world; and his membership becomes full fledged, I suppose, when he is capable of making all the proper perceptual interpretations which, by conforming to that description, validate it ...”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

Yoga Anatomy – Torso

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This article was born out of necessity – so it may evolve over time as it touches on more contexts. It got started when I wanted to explain directional breathing. When I sat down to write it, I realized that I needed to establish a simple and basic description of the upper torso where active breathing takes place. So here we are.

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The image above is intended to give you some orientation and perspective on the workings of the upper body. Things to notice – scanning the image top-down:

  • A relatively fragile connection between the neck and the upper body.
  • A rather solid looking chest area – it’s a well formed structure built around the spine that fills the chest area with a ribbed structure
  • A structurally empty void in the abdominal area – this is considered a more “liquid” space – filled with internal organs. It is walled off in front by a set of abdominal muscles.
  • Then this entire system is again connected via a relatively fragile connection to the pelvis. This is the lower back where many back problems manifest.
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