Are You Half-Assing Your Asana?
I used to have a teacher who said, “99% right is still 100% wrong.” and while that statement isn’t rife with encouragement, it just might be the best advice I ever received from my yoga practice (along with “don’t hurt yourself!”). That does not mean your postures have to be perfect! Far from it, actually. What it means is that form matters…. a lot. Like weight lifting or running or dancing… technique is important for injury prevention and evolution in your practice. Knowing the foundation of the posture and how to modify is key.
Chaturanga…. it’s one of those postures yogis love to hate and often gets practiced halfheartedly or incorrectly for one simple term paper writing service online reason, It’s really, really hard. On one hand, it’s a wonderful posture for building strength in the core and upper body but the reality is you have to slay at your alignment in order to actually get those benefits and avoid injuring yourself. Here’s why this should matter to you: Lower back injuries are among the most common in the world, THE WORLD. with roughly 80% of people suffering from low back pain at some point in their lives. Followed by shoulders and then wrists. If you are practicing yoga to improve your health, this one particular posture can either help or hinder you on your journey. See for yourself.
Arms pinched in like “grasshopper legs”
Improved muscle control, tones the triceps and chest while helping to engage the core and strengthening your wrists (yay!)
Neck is long and Shoulders are down
helping to maintain that straight line along your spine for good posture (double yay!)
Elbows splayed out
This pinches the shoulders and over time can lead to injury.
Taking the elbows away from the body is not efficient in terms of strength work, either.
The head drops,
This strains the neck and shoulders, and cheats you of the strengthening power of the lowering down movement.
Your neck is an extension of your spine, keep it long.
Elbows are tucked in
Shoulders are over the wrists
(what you do not see: my knees on the ground!) Modifying builds strength and integrity in the pose.
The butt lift (which you can not see) sounds like a good thing, but it’s not.
This makes your shoulders work too hard, and if they end up lower than the elbows, you’re straining your joints.
increases the likelihood for rotator cuff injury and wrist pain.
Start from plank pose and begin to slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself halfway.
Careful not to let your hips drop and lower back sway! Too much compression, ouch.
Make sure your fingers are spread really, REALLY wide. Take up a lot of space and press into the entire hand.
Don’t ignore the decent and let gravity do the work for you. The lowering portion of the move builds strength, too.
Don’t rush! I know it’s tempting to just get it over with but instead of swooping right up into your up dog or barely bending your arms, try modifying with knees to the earth.
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