Honoring Individual Differences in Human Anatomy when Training in the Studio, at the Gym, or on the Mat

Each human is different, we have different personality traits, some are reserved and shy while other people are exuberantly outgoing. Each trait can provide assets and challenges as we navigate through our environment of work, home life, recreation and rest. We are psycho-physically unique. The emotional lens in which someone experiences the world varies from person to person. Discovering the most effective model to discover maximum movement potential must also be a unique journey.

Each human body has individual skeletal and neuromuscular differences. We all have 206 bones in the body, yet the number does vary from person to person. For example only 5-15% percent of people have an os trigonum bone in the foot. There is also variety on how each of the bones is shaped. Some people have wide hipbones or ilium, forming a wide bowl-like pelvic structure, while others have a shape that is more narrow and higher ilium resembling a more vertical vase.  The image below demonstrates this as a gender difference but both men and women can portray these characteristics in bone shape. It is more common for women to exhibit the bowl-like shape of the pelvis, but it is not exhibited in all women.


Some people have an elongated tuber calncanei or posterior heel bone while others have shorter posterior tuber calcanei. This skeletal difference can be one factor in the dorsi flexion of the foot or depth of demi plié. People can be born with more elastic ligaments, referred to as hypermobility, while in others the ligament fibers connecting bone to bone can be shorter and less mobile or hypo-mobile. The following is an article describing individual differences in regard to squats, whether it is in physical training or primitive squat in Horton Technique.


 Because we all have the same structure, yet there are infinite variations within the human skeletomuscular system, each person must design their own plan to maximize their movement potential.

Functional Awareness® (FA) is a practical approach to understanding the body. FA utilizes basic anatomical information to deepen this understanding as it applies to improve dynamic alignment and movement skills. Functional Awareness® is a process to release unnecessary tension and then recruit muscular effort for more efficient action. The information is founded on over 35,000 hours of experience teaching and training in dance technique, Vinyassa yoga, embodied anatomy, Thai massage, and Alexander Technique.  It allows one to generate efficient exertion and allow for appropriate recuperation.

Throughout these posts, you can investigate different approaches to conditioning, quantitative measurement and physical therapy assessments, embodied anatomy explorations, movement improvisation and investigation, as well as somatic inner listening and moving practices.


Honoring Individual Differences in Human Anatomy when Training in the Studio, at the Gym, or on the Mat — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Cross Training for Dancers: Constructing an Individualized Program for Balancing Exertion and Recuperation, Exercise/Fitness and Restoration Practices | Functional Awareness

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