Have you ever found deciphering the anatomy of yoga poses to be confusing?
I certainly have!
Yoga poses are complex shapes that often involve a tangled assortment of limb positions and varying relationships to gravity, depending on the pose.
It’s a lot to try to figure out anatomically, and it’s easy to lack a clear roadmap for how to do so.
I’d like to share one simple trick I somehow figured out along the way 🙂 that has helped me a ton in this department.
Quick trick for deciphering the anatomy of yoga poses:
When I’m looking at a yoga pose and attempting to ascertain the main muscles working, I simply ask myself two questions:
1) What would happen if all of the effort in this pose ceased?, and
2) What would we need to do in order to get back into pose again?
And through this simple two-question method, I’m able to clearly see with my movement eyes which muscles are working in any yoga pose (or any movement in general, for that matter!).
This is then extremely helpful for informing my sequencing choices when I design a yoga class. It also helps me cue the yoga poses I’m teaching more clearly and accurately.
To fully appreciate this handy anatomy trick, you need to see it applied to a couple of asana examples.
That’s tough to do in written form here in this blog post, so I made a quick tutorial video in which I demo two different yoga poses and explain how this two-question method tells me exactly what’s working in each one!
Check out this video – I hope you find it helpful for your own yoga practice and/or yoga teaching!