In Your Bones

For the next two weeks, we’ll be dancing a new-to-me routine called Sacred, choreographed by Nia Trainer Kelle Rae Oien. The focus of the routine is the bones with the intent of creating sustainability in the body. In my White Belt Nia training, I studied the bones for the first time, in part by using an Anatomy Coloring Book. In working with the routine, I deepened my fascination with the art of the bones: their names, their functions, their sculptured design. 


The word “sacrum” is from the Latin for “sacred” or “holy bone.” The obvious question is, why sacred? Here are some of the theories:

  • the pelvis is the container of the scared organs of procreation
  • the sacrum is the last bone to decompose after death so ancient people perhaps saw this as the bone from which the afterlife begins
  • the sacrum may have been used as a vessel for holding offerings or sacrifices

What do you think the sacrum resembles?

The xiphoid process at the tip of the sternum is made of cartilage in a child and gradually changed to bone by the time an adult is around 40.

The manubrium, connects with the clavicles or collarbones (we’ll look at those in detail next week!) and connects to the 1st pair of ribs. The body of the sternum, the gladiolus, connects with the next 6 pairs of ribs. Together, these 7 pairs of ribs are known as the true ribs, beneath those are two false ribs (indirectly connected to the sternum) and two floating ribs (not connected to the sternum at all).

The neurocranium is the part that is around the brain as opposed to the viscerocranium which are the facial bones.

The sphenoid bone is one of the most complex in the body due to its connection to facial bones, ligaments, and muscles. It’s in the middle of the skull near the front and forms much of the nasal cavity.

The ethmoid bone (Greek for sieve) is a small bone with a lacy construction (hence the name) separates the nasal cavity from the brain.

  1. Marion Robbins said:

    I love it, Susan! All my students should see this–can I copy and hand out? Tons of warm hugs!

  2. Of course! You are always welcome to use it. Please refer them to the blog and invite them to read along! Big love. 💜

  3. Margaret said:

    So interesting and beautiful artwork. Thanks for sharing your work with us!

    • My pleasure! Not only do I think it’s fascinating to learn about the body, I think that knowledge changes the way we live in it! Thank you for reading. ❤

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