Joints - keep your joints juicy!
I am going to write in the next few months about yoga and joints. If you subscribe to my email list, I will send you the first article I wrote on ankles and the importance of yoga for our feet.
No doubt that our joints are important, and painful joint movement can be frustrating! Joints are where two bones meet and allow our bodies to move in many ways. The greater the range of movement, the higher the possible risk of injury. Therefore, it is important to balance flexibility with strength. We have about 360 joints in our body. To apply anatomy in yoga, I group them into 9 major groups in my yoga teacher training.
Joints are lined with cartilage which cushions and enables the joint to move smoothly. Most joints contain a synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant. The cartilage can wear and tear, with osteoarthritis being the most common form of arthritis causing pain and stiffness. We can sprain our ligaments, and they can become inflamed.
There are different ways to be around a joint, and each way has a different effect. We will learn and discuss/experiment this further in my next yoga teacher training starting in June (when allowed to meet again) this year! It is important to stabilise the joints to bear weight and balance. We can achieve this by co-activating different muscle groups around a joint. This action is also important when a particular joint is injured. It's like you put knee or wrist protection on.
Four ways to be around a joint complex
So, what are the 4 ways?
1) We can relax both the agonist and the antagonist muscle groups. That gives us freedom around the joint but does not stabilise the joints. Also, the first stretch reflex might switch on.
2) We can tense the agonist and relax the antagonist muscle groups. Therefore, we strengthen the agonist muscle groups in a shortened position and lengthen and relax the antagonist muscle groups. Blood flow is increased, and we generate heat. This is happening as we move actively from the core in everyday life.
3) We can tension the antagonist in its lengthened (stretched) position and strengthen the antagonist muscle group in a lengthened position, increasing the stretch and subsequently leading to better relaxation of the antagonist muscle group. This action also increases blood flow. Tune in to my next online class, and we will explore this.
4) Simultaneously activate agonist and antagonist muscle group activity (or co-activation of opposing muscle groups around a joint that stabilises the joint and helps regulate circulation and improves strength, flexibility, and the ability to relax all muscles involved.
Want to learn more? Join my next teacher training. Find out more here. Send me an email, and I will send you the dates. This course has 10 weekends (Saturday and Sunday) in a yoga studio in Hove and one weekend at a luxury retreat centre close to Brighton in 2022.
The early bird price of £2470 is until the end of March. I will only accept 5 people on this course, so be quick to be one of them! It is a self-development course where you will learn lots of little tricks to make your exercise regime more efficient and live life more authentically.
Alternatively, I invite you to come to my weekly classes on Zoom every Wednesday at 6 pm. I also hope to start with outdoor classes again from April onwards. Keep tunes and send me a message.
Yoga and Joints: I will go through the 4 ways in the next couple of weeks to protect wrists, shoulders, neck, lower back, hips, knees and ankles. If you subscribe, I will send you an article on ankles, and you will get regular updates into your inbox.