Downward facing dog. Tree Pose. Warrior Pose. These are all terms you’re probably familiar with thanks to the rising popularity of yoga in the West. In just a few decades, yoga has gone from being a niche curiosity to a widely-accepted therapeutic practice. Chances are, you don’t have to look too far to find a yoga studio near you. Even professional athletes like LeBron James and Aaron Rodgers have added yoga to their training routines in recent years.
When executed properly, yoga can have a number of notable physical and mental health benefits. This ancient practice can help people improve their balance and flexibility, reduce the risk of sports-related injuries, and even manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. When yoga poses aren’t properly executed, however, they can sometimes do more harm than good.
It’s especially easy for beginners to form bad habits when they don’t receive clear, detailed instructions. If these habits aren’t corrected, they can lead to acute injuries such as muscle pulls and sprains.
Anatomical illustrations offer an ideal way to teach novice yoga practitioners how to maintain proper form and avoid injury-causing bad habits.
These illustrations can depict the desired form at each phase of a pose, offering students an ideal example to emulate. If you’ve participated in a yoga class in the past, you may have seen these illustrations hanging on the walls of the studio. This way, if an instructor spots a bad habit that needs to be corrected, they can simply point to the appropriate illustration for guidance. With the help of reference illustrations, instructors can also have more time to focus on some of the more subtle aspects of yoga, such as breath management techniques.
You can see an example of my yoga illustration work in the image above!