Part 3 – The Muscle Works

Want to master a pose? It is not good enough if you only know the technique of the pose, you should know how to let your body translate the technique to each part of the muscles – use the right muscles to do the poses properly and use different poses to work on different parts of muscles. 

For example, when I’m practising Downward dog (my favourite pose, refer to Part 2), I used to struggle how to transfer the instruction into a beautiful and proper downward dog pose. Like now, I know that this pose is not just using hamstrings but also includes other parts of muscles such as deltoid, triceps brachii, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus, quadriceps, gastrocnemius and even intrinsic foot muscles. In the practice, I learnt how to gain the awareness for each part of the muscles, so I would know which muscle is being activated for the pose.

Downward Facing Dog requires a lot of work on shoulders and chest which relates to the deltoid and triceps brachii. In my practice, I would try to feel these areas that I need to work on and because of that, this pose leads me to widen and open up my chest and shoulder. In addition, understanding each muscle also helps me to understand the purpose of each pose such as downward facing dog. I think one of the benefits of this pose is to help in releasing the lower back pain as the muscles such as latissimus doris, attach from the ribs and fascia of the lower spine into the arms, are all being lengthened.

Guess this is one of the reasons that I am really committed in this 200 YTT training program, it is not only just teaching the proper asanas and sharing the knowledge of anatomy with us. This creates a deeper understanding of each pose and my own body structure.