Skeletal Alignment - What Can Yoga Asanas Do? - Aura Wellness Center

Skeletal Alignment – What Can Yoga Asanas Do?

skeletal alignmentBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

Let’s be honest; not many of us have students who enter our Yoga school and say, “I really need to practice asana because I want to improve my skeletal alignment and my posture is poor.” People with bad posture usually aren’t aware of it until somebody tells them about it. Worse yet, even if their coworkers imitate their bad posture, they still might not ever take action. For anyone, of any age, Yoga asanas can correct poor posture; but a lifetime of bad posture is much harder to correct. For this reason, people of all ages need to practice some form of Yoga posturing exercise.


The Typical View of Asana Practice

“It’s for women or young people who are already fit and flexible.”Firstly, there’s a Yoga style for everybody these days, even if you can’t get out of the chair. As a Yoga teacher, you have heard all of the excuses by now. Secondly, some tough guys think they don’t need to practice asana because they lift weights, drink protein shakes, eat lots of meat, and create big stiff muscles. That’s not all weight lifters, but it’s the usual response. I don’t want to get in the way of a big guy who is hell bent on blocking his arteries, but I wish some people would read.  Yes, I know: A bad diet doesn’t have a warning label yet!

Back to reality: It’s really nice to have women in a Yoga class, but a lot of guys aren’t getting it, and many of them have the worst posture. Some of us have necks like buzzards. So, when it’s time to eat, they have to slightly lift their face off the table and slide the plate in between. It’s a perfect fit and my dog has better posture during meals. No worries about skeletal alignment yet?

Practicing yoga asana regularly helps people gain a level of fitness, unlike anything before, and achieve mental serenity. Many people, who practice yoga, don’t even realize the positive benefits that happen underneath their muscles in the skeletal frame. Yoga is known for having a more positive impact on joint function, as certain yoga poses strengthen the muscles by releasing fluids throughout the body. Here are some ways, for anyone to practice yoga, to improve their joint health and their overall skeletal alignment.


Yoga to Strengthen Joint Supporting Muscles

The isometric contractions that occur during asana practice train the smaller muscles that surround the joints to withstand more pressure, and it makes them work harder to stabilize the body properly. For example, poses that force people to balance on one leg, and change elevation, train the supporting muscles to work in ways for strict balance, stability, and improved skeletal alignment. The daily practice of yoga poses helps people improve their function and their overall activities throughout life.

Improving Flow of Synovial Fluid

Synovial fluid is a slippery liquid that occurs in the joint systems, and which allows bones to move in a smooth and painless way. Synovial fluid is in joints, such as the hips, elbows, and knees, where there is a lot movement of the bones. There are few joints in the body that do not have synovial fluid, such as sacroiliac joints on the pelvis and the discs on the back.  The synovial fluid is also important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the hyaline cartilage, which doesn’t have any source of blood supply. The poses in yoga allow the synovial fluid to reach different parts of the body, thus making the joints move more smoothly and skeletal alignment can be achieved with less struggling.


Weight Control

Oops! Did I write that? Look, I know there are so many scams out there for weight loss, but a yogic lifestyle is going to cause a practitioner to watch his or her weight. If people just ate their veggies first, they would lower their health risks and make life easier on the old skeleton. Let’s face it; extra weight is not good for your ankles, knees, or hips. It’s not good for the circulation of blood in our legs. For every pound of weight somebody puts on their body, it puts an additional burden on their joints.

Forms of exercise, such as jumping or running are good, but the impact may add up over time, especially if I am carrying extra body weight. The joints in the skeleton are made to support the entire human body. So, when individuals carry the extra loads via weight gain, then they’re gradually causing more serious joint problems throughout their lives. Yoga, walking, and a healthy diet can help individuals manage weight, which is putting unnecessary pressure on their joints and inhibiting their movements. I’m not saying, yoga is a weight loss remedy, but the lifestyle might keep some extra weight at bay.

With all that said, no other form of exercise can concentrate the muscles that surround the joints like yoga poses, while promoting a healthy blood flow throughout the body. As an added benefit, skeletal alignment is improved when we lose extra body weight. To be truthful, a look at myself sideways tells me that I should skip the mocha latte and the chocolate filled Danish. It’s either that or an hour long cardio routine. The extra benefit is skeletal alignment, but most people never think about it.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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