(Copyright 2016, Simona Z.)
Full or partial reproduction of this article requires permission from the author.
One of the many benefits of the practice of Yoga postures is body awareness, i.s. awareness of the muscles, joints and bones that contribute to the execution of the posture. This article will focus on the muscles' action.
Getting into and holding a Yoga posture requires a series of actions that are performed by contracting certain muscles and relaxing others. Each posture requires its own peculiar combination of muscle release and contraction.
Identifying the right combination will prevent discomfort in the execution of the posture ad maximize its benefits.
As you begin to practice a posture for the fist time, you start exploring the posture and scan your body to identify which muscles will actively participate (contraction) in the execution of the postures and which will passively participates (release). It is a trial and error process and it takes various attempts to figure out the correct balance of release and contraction.
The process requires a strong focus on your body as well as a slow pace of execution. An experienced Yoga teacher will guide you through the process by pointing out the muscles that are relevant for each posture.
It is important to inform your teacher of any pre-existing injuries as this may affect you ability to execute the posture correctly and, in some cases, exacerbate your injury.