That Mysterious Muscle

In Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose),
• The shoulders are flexed
• There is an upward rotation of the scapula (shoulder blade).
• You will notice that the scapula is pulled away from the midline.
The scapula shoulders the weight in this asana, thus the muscles that support scapulae must be strong and stable.
So which muscle enables the upward rotation of the scapula? The prime mover for this upward rotation is none other than the Serratus Anterior. The common muscles that most people are familiar with and can easily locate are the quads, biceps, triceps and lats. To be honest, I never knew that the Serratus Anterior existed until 200hrs YTT. This muscle is mysterious to most because it’s difficult to locate, see, feel and it’s oddly shaped.
According to Ray Long, the Serratus Anterior “originates from the superior borders of the upper nine ribs, inserting on the medial border of the scapula from the inside.” When contracted, it draws the scapula forward and away from the midline. The Serratus Anterior is the prime mover that will allow this upward rotation of the arm and produce the rounding of the upper back by pulling the scapula away from the midline, enabling one to stabilize in Pincha Mayurasana. Of course, there are other muscles that are engaged when getting into the pose.
Getting into Pincha Mayurasana:
1. From downward dog, place your forearms down, shoulder width apart, parallel to each other, ensure elbows do not splay out and keep your palms grounded.
2. Heels up and tip toe forward until your shoulder leans forward. Here, the triceps contract to stabilise the upper arms and shoulders.
3. Lift one leg off the ground and do a kangaroo hop on the other leg. The kangaroo hop is made possible by the contraction of the gastrocnemius of the leg that kicks off the ground. As you hop up, relax your legs so that you feel light. This makes stabilizing in the pose easier.
4. Once you are off the ground, PUSH your arms/ shoulders against the ground to stabilise. Here, the serratus anterior is already at work.
5. Round your upper back

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200hrs YTT Vinyasa Flow

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