Rehab Your Asanas
By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT
When first practicing breathing, one should learn how to align the spine properly to maximize the free flow of energy and the proper muscle activation for breath control. Our spine has 3 natural curves: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. We lose these curves over time with prolonged standing, sitting, and poor sleeping postures. Your breathing patterns can also become disrupted. A lot of us tend to be chest-only breathers, which limits the ability to fill the lungs. When you address spinal alignment and base all of your physical movements on the correct posture, you place your body in the best position to strengthen the stabilizers, protect the spine, and to breathe correctly. The inability to properly control spinal movement and breath can contribute to injury, re-injury or delayed recovery. Our postural muscles, transverse abdominals, and respiratory muscles are slow twitch muscles that are used for endurance. In contrast, fast twitch muscles are used for short bursts of movement. Slow twitch muscles are typically closest to the spine, and are deep and internal. They form our architectural support structure and are controlled at an unconscious level. Typically postural muscles are only supposed to engage at approximately 15-30% effort. When they are fatigued from injury/pain/nerve damage, fast twitch muscles could take over causing spasms and compression.
Yoga is a great way to activate our slow twitch fibers when it’s performed correctly! Read More