Things I Love About Yoga

Biomechanics of the Human Body

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One thing I realized when I started practicing yoga was that I had no idea how to move my body in it’s most optimal alignment. I quickly began to realize that certain patterns and tendencies in my body that caused me to move the way I did. Once I began to become more in tune with my body, I learned how to do important internal adjustments, such as internal and external rotation of my thighs and arms, lengthening my tailbone, etc. When I began to learn how to do these things, I began to be able to come out of the tendencies that I had carved out in my body. When I took my first teacher training, I learned that these internal forces and the effects that result in the body are called biomechanics of the body. The science behind biomechanics can be kind of confusing and requires knowledge of human anatomy, but the way it applies to your body in your asana practice is so interesting! Just image standing with your arms overhead, if your feet are slightly turned out and shoulders are hunched toward your ears. If you’re standing this way it’s possible that you are hyper extending your knees, your femurs will not be firmly rooted into your pelvis, causing glutes to be engaged which tightens your SI joint, this commonly translates into rounding in the upper back which explains your shoulders be up by your ears. This stance is very common, but also not comfortable and certainly not optimal alignment. Now imagine this same pose but this time with your feet sit bone distance apart and parallel. Your femurs will be more rooted from the internal rotation of your thighs, this makes your glutes relaxed which creates space in your SI joint, from this space your spine is free to lengthen giving you more of an opportunity to draw your shoulder blades together, your arms are free to externally rotate so that your shoulders are not hiked up toward your ears. It seems so obvious, but it’s so much easier said than done, our jobs, lifestyles, and society in general cause us to create these inefficient tendencies in our bodies. We do yoga to come out of these tendencies and find our optimal alignment and that’s one of the MANY reasons that I LOVE yoga!

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