So this month’s question comes from Jessica Payne and she asked a very simple question, well, she asked a complex question, but, it’s very simply written. What are the exact muscles you are engaging to do a crow or crane press to handstand?
Transitioning from Up Dog to Down Dog can be as simple as flipping your feet. Why not take advantage of this movement and develop a pattern that leads you to move from the core of your body?
Now that we have established some hand foundation in Part 4 of this sun salutation series, let me say something really obvious. If you don’t pour all of the weight into your hands before you try to jump back, it’s going to be difficult to get your feet off the floor. It will literally make your legs heavier.
Understanding the core muscles of the body is essential for any type of movement art. In Yoga it is talked about often but we only scratch the surface when we think of it in terms of muscular effort and strength. It also overlaps with stability, movement, and the esoteric bandhas!
The psoas muscle is extremely popular and talked about plenty. It’s still difficult for people to feel and find where the muscle is. Understanding the impact of what this muscle represents is well beyond where it attaches and what movements it makes you do. Let’s explore further!
This month’s “mucle of the month” is the iliacus muscle. Wondering where it attaches? What postures lengthen it? Which ones make it contract? Perhaps you’re wondering how it’s related to the psoas?
There is a pattern that has shown itself to me over the last few months. I don’t think that this pattern is a result of practice but probably an underlying pattern that already existed. As often happens, regular practice can uncover any number of problems or imbalances in our body. Hopefully the practice helps to create balance and “fix” them.
There are other possibilities for hip pinching. Please also read Is Yoga Tearing Labrums? [/alert]
Hip pinching can show up in parvrita parsvakonasana, ardha matsayendrasana, marichyasana C, or other twists. The sensation is anything from mild discomfort to an ice pick sensation in the front and inside of the pelvis. The most common description however is that it seems as though something is getting “pinched.” Others describe it as a “stabbing” pain.
The foundation of our bodies and our yoga practice lies at our feet. In order to incorporate both physical and energetic foundations, we must examine our body’s center of energy, movement and balance which begins near the psoas muscle– the pair of deep muscles extending from the sides of the spine to the femur that are activated in yoga postures like forward bending (paschimottanasana), Boat pose; and lengthened in poses like Warrior I and Bow.
In the last two newsletters I’ve covered both mula and uddiyana bandhas from an anatomical point of view. I feel the need to finish off these two articles with one on the breath. It seems to me that without breath, there are no bandhas. In fact, as the title says, from breath comes bandha. My logic works like this, if we’re going to try and control as well as use energy in our body, then we have to be bringing that energy in. In yoga, there is one way in which energy comes in and it is through the breath.
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