A significant and necessary shift is occurring in the yoga world where teaching is evolving from the common standardization of yoga poses towards more individualization and customization. Functional yoga anatomy explores the uniqueness and variability in body structures and mechanics, and aims to inspire students/practitioners of yoga to engage their practices with an authentic approach.
Low back pain is an increasing issue in our society dominated by poor posture, sedentary lifestyles, and chronic sitting patterns. The source of low back pain can vary, but a great deal of these muscular dysfunctions emanate from the quadratus lumborum muscles.
Using drishtis (focal points) in yoga offers great benefits including enhanced balance, increased inner awareness and concentration, reduced distractions, and greater connection to breath. While some styles of practice have specific drishti points, we will look at some basic elements of setting focal points to insure that optimum benefits and quality in postures are being delivered.
Poor posture is often a combination of cascading, dysfunctional elements acting on our musculoskeletal system. This dysfunction is not helped by the fact we have a strong tendency towards a dominance of our internal rotators of the humerus (upper arm bone). As muscle tension imbalances set in across the shoulders and upper arms, the dominance of internal rotation places dragging tension onto the shoulder blades. This ultimately draws the shoulder blades forward that leads to inhibition and weakening of the musculature needed to counter dominant internal shoulder rotation. Let's look at all the various internal rotators to gain a better sense of these tension imbalances.