By Jenny Park
One part of the anatomy section in a yoga teacher training program to watch closely is why the skeletal system is so important during asana practice. In short, our bodies are uniquely different and our skeletons are almost as unique as our finger prints. As we age, our bones naturally become stiff and brittle. This makes getting around more difficult and much more painful. It is a little known fact that yogic exercise benefits the skeletal system. Yoga practice, which includes many standing, balancing, and inverted poses, has been proven to increase the density of our bones.
This is by resistance against gravity, which causes the bones to retain calcium better. As a result of mild stress during an asana practice, the bones then become a little more dense, which makes your skeleton much stronger. This is the main reason why it is beneficial to at least add asana practice in to your weekly workout routine. Therefore, even the most spiritual yoga teachers should devote time in asana practice.
Why Choose Asana Practice Over Other Physical Exercises?
Any form of exercise is beneficial, however the range of poses used in yoga allow for a full body workout that strengthens the entire skeletal system with low impact on the joints. This is unlike workouts such as running or bike riding that mainly work the legs. The gentle, yet deliberate, asanas and movements encourage increased range of motion especially in the spine. The spine’s shock absorption system is the discs between the vertebrae. Yoga is a method for decompressing these discs. A healthy spine increases vitality and encourages comfortable living, as many aging individuals tend to have back problems. Not only that, but asana encourages joint stability in other parts of our body that take a beating over time. You will have stronger knees, shoulders, hips and ankles through physical yogic practice.
Arthritis is another issue and is becoming more prevalent even in young adults. There is a fluid between most of the joints called Synovial Fluid. It provides a natural cushion for the joints during exercise and helps you move more effectively. During yoga training, the fluid is increased and this helps prevent pain of arthritis and osteoporosis. A gentle yoga training session is easy on the body, featuring fluid movements and gentle breathing (pranayama). Gentle yogic exercise is the best way for one to build up this essential fluid and stay healthy into their later years.
What a Yoga Instructor Should Know About Posture
If you teach yoga classes, you should know that the skeletal system has everything to do with our posture, bad posture decreases skeletal health. Poor skeletal posture will become a life of pain. When we have correct posture, the body is opened up and free to work how it was meant to. All of the body’s systems work together to keep us healthy. Muscles become toned and stronger, and support our bones relieving unnecessary pressure upon them. A yogic lifestyle also encourages weight loss, which is beneficial in itself. The less weight we carry around, the less stress we will have on our joints.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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