yoga anato

Yoga Anatomy

The class was divided into groups to research on various muscles of the body and as a topic wrap-up, we discussed the muscle actions required in some asanas. Feeling the struggle of analysing the asanas, I think that this is timely revision to post a blog entry regarding the breakdown of muscle actions for a select few common poses.

As a general rule, start working from the base to the top for a given asana. Just as a building is erected from ground up, the alignment to an asana also begins with a strong and stable foundation. The next point to note is the focus areas, namely: foot, knees, hip, spine, shoulder blades, shoulders, arms, elbows, neck. And last but not least, be clear about the specific actions each muscle can do.

Chuturanga

Location Action Agonist Antagonist

Ankles

Knees

Hips

Scapula

 

Shoulder joints

Elbows

Dorsiflexion

Extension

Posterior tilt

Protraction

Depression

Flexion

Extension

Extensor digitorum

Quads

Tensor Fasciae Latae

Serratus anterior

Lower trapezius

Pectoralis major

Triceps

Tibialis posterior

Hamstring

Iliopsoas

Rhomboids

Upper trapezius

Latissimus dorsi

Biceps

 

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Location Action Agonist Antagonist

Ankles

Knees

Hips

Scapula

Shoulder joints

Elbows

Dorsiflexion

Extension

Flexion

Upward rotation

Flexion

Extension

Extensor digitorum

Quads

Iliopsoas

Serratus anterior

Pectoralis major

Triceps

Tibialis posterior

Hamstring

Gluteus maximus

Rhomboids

Latissimus dorsi

Biceps

 

Sirsasana

Location Action Agonist Antagonist

Elbows

Shoulder joints

Scapula

 

Hips

Knees

Flexion

Flexion

Protraction

Depression

Posterior tilt

Extension

Biceps

Pectoralis major

Serratus anterior

Lower trapezius

Tensor Fasciae Latae

Quads

Triceps

Latissimus dorsi

Rhomboids

Upper trapezius

Iliopsoas

Hamstring

Learning about all these muscles certainly invoked in me a greater sense of appreciation towards our own bodies, a borrowed medium where our spiritual selves reside in. Last year, I underwent a series of physiotherapy sessions as it hurts quite badly whenever I lifted right arm. According to the physiotherapist’s simplified explanation, some of my back muscles were being ‘lazy’ and thus my right arm overcompensated for the inactivity. Over time, the overworked muscle accumulated stress and translated as pain. The takeaway here is that it is vital to strengthen our minor or assisting muscles to avoid injuries that can be prevented. Take care everybodi~!

Zheng Huaimin