"Shoulder blades together and down your back." Ever heard that before? This is a common instruction for correcting the hunched over computer and driving posture so common in our modern world. This instruction primarily activates the rhomboid muscles which are important for a stable, centered posture.
But the rhomboids are part of a larger "train" of muscles and work in conjunction and opposition to the serratus anterior, forming the "track" for the scapulae, or shoulder blades and form part of the spiral line of fascial connections. The serratus anterior "pull the scapula forward around the thorax, which is essential for anteversion of the arm. As such, the muscle is an antagonist to the rhomboids. However, when the inferior and superior parts act together, they keep the scapula pressed against the thorax together with the rhomboids and therefore these parts also act as synergists to the rhomboids. The inferior part can pull the lower end of the scapula laterally and forward and thus rotates the scapula to make elevation of the arm possible. Additionally, all three parts can lift the ribs when the shoulder girdle is fixed, and thus assist in respiration. "
Complicated, huh? The upshot is that it's equally important to balance this "together and down" motion between the shoulder blades, and usefully enough yoga offers postures that not only help with this but when you focus on this opposition really come alive. We're focusing on those poses this week. This action of the serratus opposing the rhomboids is central to twists, jumping through, jumping at all and "anteversion" - or "reaching out."
Just remember that your practice helps you renew and gather your strength and inspiration so when you reach out you give from the overflow of your heart and give yourself your practice today. And every day.
Trying this practice? Have question about the little stick dudes? Leave a comment and share your experience and your questions.