Amy Matthews has been teaching movement since 1994. She is a Body-Mind Centering® Teacher, a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, an Infant Developmental Movement Educator, and a movement therapist and yoga teacher based in NYC. Her vast experience and interest in studying movement and anatomy has lead her to develop a variety of programs and projects such as The Breathing Project, Babies Project and co-authoring the best-selling Yoga Anatomy. Currently, Amy teaches embodied anatomy, developmental movement and yoga workshops in New York, across the US and internationally.
This was one of our favorite epiosdes from season two, so much that we are reposting it a second time. So much is covered in this interview within the context of how we analyze, experience and teach movement. Amy and Kathryn talk about the challenges of how to teach movement that may not subscribe to a particular style or modality and that there is not necessarily one right way to move nor is there an inherently safe or dangerous way to move. Amy talks about “unhooking” from the attachment of getting a particular pose or movement right because this doesn’t necessarily equate to healthy alignment. She comments on how there are no flat surfaces in the body; that every joint is comprised of curved surfaces coming together which means there are an infinite number of ways to do a movement well or unwell.
Amy talks about how yoga teachers don’t necessarily need to know anatomy to be a “good” teacher, but if they chose to speak about anatomy, they better know what they are talking about! Rather, a teacher should facilitate opportunities for people to feel their movement experience and use language as a tool to understand how a student is feeling the movement in their body. The conversation is finished with a discussion on developmental movement and how to communicate with infants through body language and sound as opposed to language.