Weak Gluteal muscles are very common amongst yoga students and teachers alike and cause Sacroiliac pain and dysfunction, lower back pain and hamstring injury. Causes and symptoms are covered in the article on yoga butt and this post looks at the effects of various hip movement cues taught in yoga. Different instructions are required to address individual movement problems and it is up to the teacher to learn to identify problematic movement habits and teach useful corrections, because students can’t see themselves and are often unaware of their habits. This topic will be in two parts: the first looks at the role of the Gluteal muscles in bridging and back-bending and the second at how the hip muscles are commonly used in standing poses and forward bending. Continue reading
Sciatica is a name for a wide range of symptoms and has a variety of causes – it is often difficult for sufferers to find relief from symptoms that range from tingling and numbness to sharp pain in the hips, legs and feet. Although yoga can be helpful for relieving sciatic symptoms, it is also possible to develop sciatica from practicing yoga.
Any kind of nerve-related symptoms should be taken very seriously and assessed by a trained therapist because nerve damage causes degeneration of muscles and Sciatica can be a symptom of serious problems in the spine. Continue reading
It is common for yogis to develop painful sacroiliac joints, with serious consequences: dysfunction at the sacroiliac joint inhibits the hip muscles and starts a vicious cycle of hip instability and body misalignment. Painful sacroiliac joints must be treated and stabilised to avoid chronic pain and it is not advisable to continue with any yoga practice that causes sacroiliac pain. Successful treatment by a specialised therapist is life-altering for yogis suffering from sacroiliac dysfunction. Continue reading
‘Yoga Butt’ is a term for a range of symptoms frequently experienced in Ashtanga and other forms of Vinyasa or Power yoga after a few months of regular practice. It often starts as
- Pain or discomfort at either of the Ischial Tuberosities (sit-bones)
- Discomfort in all forward bending and a feeling that the hamstring won’t stretch
- Inflexibility or pain in Kurmasana and Supta Konasana. Continue reading
There are three particular movement habits in asana practice that either cause or indicate problems with the hips: These will be covered in detail in separate posts, to keep posts shorter
1. Allowing the hip to push out to the side and not maintaining a level pelvis in the horizontal plane – lateral pelvic tilt
2. Hinging from the hips when folding forwards from a standing position or returning to an upright stance from a forward fold.
3. Arching the back and maintaining anterior pelvic tilt in your movements Continue reading
There are three muscles in the legs that are collectively referred to as the Hamstrings – the Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus. All three Hamstrings attach to the Ischial Tuberosity of the pelvis – the sit-bone. At the knee, the Biceps Femoris attaches to the outside of the Femur and the knee and the Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus together are attached to the inside of the knee. Continue reading
There are many differing opinions about practicing yoga during menstruation. Menstruation is a bodily function, not a sickness, yet women experience menstruation in a large variety of ways and it is almost impossible to make generalisations about what practice is appropriate at this time. Continue reading
Reciprocal Inhibition is a process that the body uses to create movements. All movement is controlled by opposing sets of muscles, called Agonists or prime movers, and Antagonists that create the opposing force which returns the part being moved back to its original position. Movement is also aided by other surrounding muscles, called Synergists, and they mostly function as stabilisers, so that movement can occur in a controlled way. Continue reading
Sacroiliac problems are common in yoga – Chiropractors consider the Sacroiliac joint to be the most common cause of lower back pain, more prevalent than disc problems.
The Sacroiliac joint is believed to act as a shock absorber between the legs and the spine and although its movements are very small, restrictions at the joint cause great pain as well as difficulty in forward bending. Continue reading
There is some controversy amongst various branches of the health profession about the relevance of the Sacroiliac Joint in lower back pain – Chiropractors consider it to be a major cause of lower back pain, although many other branches of the health profession do not, because none of the body’s muscles are capable of creating movement at this joint and its movements are very small and difficult to assess. Continue reading