DEEPER FORWARD FOLDS: PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA
It’s not unusual to feel “stuck” in our yoga practice at times. We may come to a place in our physical practice where we are not experiencing our full potential. One of the common areas we may feel “stuck” is with our flexibility.
In my previous article, Healthy Hamstrings, I discussed a technique Matt shows us to create more flexibility in our bodies: facilitated stretching. There is yet another technique to encourage a flexible body, which I want to discuss more here. That’s reciprocal inhibition.
Reciprocal inhibition is doing the opposite of what a facilitated stretch asks us to do. It’s true that we are still activating muscles in order to achieve greater flexibility, but we are now activating the muscles that oppose the muscles that are stretching.
In today’s video, Matt demonstrates how to explore these actions in Prasarita Padottanasana: Wide-Legged Forward Fold.
PRASARITA PADOTTANASA: WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD FOLD
In Prasarita Padottanasana (an open-hip posture), our legs are in abduction, while we also flex at the hip. This position requires flexibility in our hips, adductors, and hamstrings, and there are also key areas to explore activation of potential strength. These areas include adductors, abductors, quads (including the rectus femoris, which is also a hip flexor), and hamstrings.
Activating the adductors and hamstrings supports the facilitated stretch technique because those muscle groups are already being actively stretched. On the other hand, activating the abductors and quadriceps generates the reciprocal inhibition technique, because those muscles oppose the adductors and hamstrings. In this video segment, Matt demonstrates why and how to activate the quadriceps and one of the abductors, called tensor fasciae latae, or TFL for short.
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