Hi my friends,
let’s take a look at a practical application for yoga poses.
When we’re honest, many yoga poses are positions we’re not really encountering in our daily life.
But when we pay attention, we can notice how some postures, especially transitions or elements of the pose are great preparations for improving daily tasks.
The example I want to look at with you today is chair pose, or utkatasana.
Here we lower our bodyweight into bent knees and hips. It is in the coming up phase, where we straighten knee and hip again, that we see the similarity to walking upstairs.
While some teachers like to emphasize what’s happening in the spine, in this video I like to point out a few actions in the lower body.
Chair pose can strengthen the lower front of thigh muscles. When we keep out feet and knees a little apart, rather than leaning the knees against each other, we also ask the inner and outer aspects of the front of thigh muscle, the quadriceps to chip into the action and activate.
Similarly varying the height of the chair broadens the range of fibre actions of this muscle.
So much for the knee. What about the band at the hip?
Checking quickly with your hand, if you’re not sure, you’ll notice the flexed hip comes with some engagement of the buttock muscles. This becomes especially evident when coming back up from the chair pose.
When you experiment around with different hip and back angles you can feel the varying use and engagement of your glutes.
OK, now we know glutes and front of thigh muscles are big players in the action of straightening the knees and hip joint.
This is exactly what we do when walking upstairs. The leg that is up on step has the knee and the hip bent. We then bring our bodyweight somewhat forward over the front leg, just like we do in chair pose, and use the same muscles, front of thigh and glutes mainly, to stand up straight again one (or more) step(s) higher.
Varying your chair pose practice not only will make that posture more manageable, it also helps you improve the ease of walking up stairs.
if you find this explorations interesting or useful, you can learn more from the AnatomyShow online courses. The course 'Pelvis Anatomy for Movement and 'Thigh & Knee Movement Anatomy' are both helpful to deepen your understanding on the areas discussed in this video. For whole body connectedness, you might find the 'Fascia in the Moving Body' course very useful.
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