Posts Tagged ‘anatomy’
Counteraction is the key to stabilizing our joints.
The movements of the shoulder blade play an integral role in the stability of your core, but many of us have very stuck shoulder blades. Cat/Cow is a great way to mobilize AND strengthen this system to become a better foundation for all of the poses which bare weight in your hands. Read on for the breakdown, so you can build up your Cat/Cow. Read the rest of this entry »
Ah…The ultimate question. It is a complex, or at least multi-layered question to answer. In many ways it depends totally on the approach of the particular practitioner you are asking, therefore I will respond generally and in sections:
- Muscles and Fascia
- The Nervous System
- Emotional/Energetic Release
While all of these areas overlap at some point during your treatment, they are more easily understood separately at first.
Part 1: Muscles and Fascia
First let’s consider the tissues we work on directly: Skin, muscles, fascia (connective tissue) and joints. Treatment massages often address all of these tissues because they all tend to be connected. Most of us are familiar with all of them except fascia. Fascia is the web in which all of our cells are suspended. Made mostly of water Read the rest of this entry »
Mightily espoused by yogis world-wide, and most commonly quoted as the fundamental reason yogis “should” be vegetarian, it is one of the more clearly stated ethical boundaries adopted by those on the eight-fold path of Yoga. Clear in it’s message of kindness, and yet one I see thrown to the way-side in so many classes in which I participate.
Violence. A word that is endemic in this modern world: wars, gangs, crime, abuse, neglect, and every -ism you can name. Sometimes it makes headlines that make us cringe, or headlines that make us think. Many times violence is obvious, overt, in-your-face. These forms are easy to denounce, to rail against, to decry. Our practice on and off the mat is often used to counter the social atrocities that surround us: fund raisers, festivals, concerts, seva. Service. We offer our bodies and our hearts and our voices and our dollars at the alter of doing good for others.
And yet as we step on the mat each day, so many of us step right into the arms of Violence against ourselves. We come to the mat for solace, for effort, to burn off our stressors and dive deep within. However, this act can become unkind when pursued from a place tainted by competitive ego. We can move too fast, we can push too hard. We can refuse to listen to our inner voice when it whispers to us and only hear it when in screams at us from a truly deep injury.
Our asana practice is a tool to bring us into deeper alignment with our true Nature. If we approach it with a blind eye and deaf ear, we are no longer in a practice. Our asana can work against us if we don’t have a basic understanding of the Nature of our body, for our body is what we bring to the mat first. We cannot focus only on our muscle and bone, but neither can we discount it.
My own practice is deeply rooted in this physical exploration and though I have studied anatomy and physiology for going on two decades, I am still surprised and amazed by observations being made across the physical industries. This article by Michael Boyle MA, ATC, “Is Rotation Training Hurting Your Performance”, references just such observations with respect to twists in the low back. I found it eye-opening and gut-clenching all at once. Drawing from the research of Shirley Sarhman and her book, Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, it describes the importance of rotating our spine at the Thoracic level (mid-upper back) instead of our Lumbar levels.
This article was a wake-up call to me that even as closely as I observe and converse with the inner workings of my body, that I was ignoring some very basic functional anatomy and inflicting violence upon it with many of the movements in my practice. I have since made adjustments and found that my lingering back pains have disappeared.
This article also made me begin looking deeper at my spine in practice from top to bottom and along the way I have made some rather startling personal discoveries. As I teach these new alignments to my students, they are discovering their own new levels of freedom and strength. I will be offering intensives on this work in the months to come, so STAY TUNED.
Not only do we need to pay attention each time we step on the mat, but we must remain aware that new information is available for us to feed our knowledge base and grow in the intelligence of our asana. It’s not always about going farther or holding longer. Making those distinctions is part of our practice of Ahimsa. Be kind to your body.
Immerse yourself in the details of the spinal tissues and functions, strengths and weaknesses, relationship to our energetic body and nervous system, and how our Asana practice impacts this magnificent feat of engineering.
Sunday, January 29th, 2012; 10 am-2 pm $65 @ Lionheart Yoga Training–3102 30th Ave S., Seattle
Through a combination of Lecture and Asana Practice we will uncover the deeper workings of the spine in our practice to bolster the quality of our teaching. We will outline and discuss the tissues that build the spine, hold it together, and allow for such an amazing range of motion. We’ll cover the common ailments of the spinal tissues and how to best avoid them.
Using 2- and 3-dimensional visual models we will examine the musculature that supports this boney frame and creates the dynamic movements we take for granted each day. Identify the most vulnerable points in the spinal column and learn in detail how to fire the correct muscles to support these places.
Take control of your practice by inviting in a more detailed view of your internal terrain. Observe your own limitations and hypermobilities to improve the quality of your personal practice, and learn to look for them in your students.
While this course is designed for yoga teachers, it is open and appropriate for yoga students eager to gain deeper knowledge of their Asana practice.
Space is extremely limited, Pre-Registration is mandatory! Use this Body Of Knowledge Registration Page to save your space. Only registrants who are paid in full will be guaranteed a slot.
You may submit registration and payment via check payable to Unity Therapeutic, c/o Lionheart Yoga Training, 3102 30th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
In my last workshop we looked at the anatomy of the hip and discussed some of the risks involved in over-opening this joint. It is rare to think of the hips as having hypermobility, but in the case of advanced practitioners who work diligently at excessive extension and extreme external rotation in this joint, laxity is a common result.
Too much length in the ligaments that hold the joint together, coupled with a lack of direct strengthening of stabilizer muscles may result in degeneration of cartilage tissues and eventually bone. In the most extreme cases, hip replacement will be necessary. The video I have inserted below illustrates the procedure in beautiful detail, showing exactly what a patient will experience in the case of an Anterior Hip Replacement.
While this is done in computer illustration, it is still a powerful representation and may be too graphic for some viewers. I recommend caution in viewing for yourself. I do believe, however, that a more accurate understanding of the potential consequences of our actions in practice, may guide us toward a slower, more observant practice on our mat.
I would love your feedback on this post, as I plan to use more material of this sort in my quest to open up the world of anatomy and physiology to my community of heartfelt asana practitioners.