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