Yoga is healthy for the mind and certainly the body as well. When yoga is taught by a qualified personal fitness trainer, certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the benefits are now greater than ever before! Expert trainers have a deep understanding of the muscles and joints of the human body, knowledge of how the muscles work, and the muscles primary tasks during movement (Kinesiology). The implementation of kinesiology to age-old poses is what takes yoga to the next level. Professional trainers go beyond teaching correct poses and take the time to explain why it is correct and what effect it has on the muscular tissues involved with any given pose. With the right instructor, yoga can help to correct muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances are often exposed during these poses and can be corrected through the regular practice of yoga in conjunction with a well-designed fitness plan. Understanding the muscle groups responsible for posture and how to control them is essential for elevating your functional well-being. A trainer can guide your poses to help you achieve your goals quickly and safely by selecting poses that match your specific functional needs.
The various poses, known as asanas, utilize muscle groups in a very yoga-anatomy specific and purposeful way. Many of these asanas date back more than 5,000 years. Long before there were corporate gyms, we were strengthening and lengthening our muscles through these poses. The ancients had an amazing connection with their physical bodies. Proof of this lay within the asanas which utilize the same mechanics as many of the fitness training techniques used today. Take for example a pose known as Warrior Three (Virabhadrasana), which is essentially a single leg dead-lift. The pose requires control of the knee, hip, and core to be performed correctly—the same basic requirements of the dead-lift. The process of mastering poses directly translates to better, safer performance in and out of the gym which is what functional training is all about. Yoga increases body awareness helping to develop better posture throughout the day. Standing in Mountain pose (Tadasana), is an effective way to practice optimal postural alignment. You can practice Mountain pose in a yoga class or in line at the grocery store. You can adjust both posture and muscle balance over time with the help of movements that realign and balance the body’s structure. Strengthening the weaker muscles while lengthening the tighter muscles can help you to develop balance within the muscular structures of the body.
Using the principles of kinesiology, yoga taught by a NASM certified trainer will focus on proper form. The trainer will watch for muscle imbalances during poses and seek to correct them, allowing you to get a safer more efficient yoga session that directly translates to real-world benefits, such as reduced back and knee pain.