It’s not so much the what as the how— teaching LA classes should be as much fun for the teachers as it is for the students. To make each class as enjoyable as possible, we offer the following tips:
- We recommend that one or two individuals with combined anatomy and movement expertise teach the class.
- Start each class with a brief introduction of who you are, why you are teaching the LA class, your hope that everyone will enjoy it, and your trust that if everyone attentively follows along (without thinking too hard), they will retain more than they realize.
- Within the class, reinforce brief discussions of the region’s underlying anatomy with relevant yoga or Pilates exercises first demonstrated by the teacher and then repeated by the students. Anatomy discussion may also occur while students are in the pose or performing an exercise to further reinforce the material. When possible, the non-teaching teacher should adjust students’ alignment in the poses.
- Keep it simple, stupid: Don’t feel like you need to cover every bit of information under the sun. We recommend focusing on content that 1) is most relevant to human beings, in general (e.g. the spine versus the pinky toe), and 2) is relevant to your course’s aims (e.g. a Gross Anatomy LA course might focus more on innervation, whereas an LA class for fitness professionals might highlight muscles’ origins and insertions).
- Make the class interactive: ask questions in a non-threatening way, elicit laughter. But be careful not to turn what’s supposed to be a mixture of movement-and-lecture into full Q&A.
- Demonstrate and palpate everything that can be demonstrated and palpated!! For example, if you’re talking about the elbow, touch your elbow and have your students do it, too. If you’re waxing poetic about a clinical correlate like the foot-drop… show what it looks like! Don’t just say, “hey, when the deep peroneal nerve is injured a foot drop results.”
- End the class with a moment of acknowledgement and thanks to your participants.
- Most importantly—keep the living anatome classes living, adjust the content and teaching style as needed, and make them your own!
From the community:
By the way, teaching anatomy is hands-down the best way to learn it! If there are certain tips-of-the-trade that have worked for you in teaching living anatome, chances are they’ll work for others, as well—contact us and we’ll post ‘em for the benefit of the community.