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
 

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