Anatomy of Movement Training For Yoga Teachers
Anatomical terms of movement are used to describe the actions of muscles on the skeleton. Muscles contract to produce movement at joints – where two or more bones meet.
As in anatomical terms of location, the terms used assume that the body starts in the anatomical position. Most movements have an opposite – they have been paired up for ease of understanding.
Medial and Lateral Rotation
Medial and lateral rotation describe movement of the limbs around their long axis:
- Medial rotationis a rotating movement towards the midline.
- Lateral rotation is a rotating movement away from the midline.
Elevation and Depression
Elevation refers to movement in a superior direction (e.g shoulder shrug), depression refers to movement in an inferior direction
Pronation and Supination
This is easily confused with medial and lateral rotation – but the difference is that pronation and supination can occur only when the forearm in semi-flexed.
- Pronationmoves the palm of the hand so that it is facing posteriorly (your forearms are pronated when typing on a keyboard).
- Supination moves the palm of the hand so that it is facing anteriorly (your hands are supinated when holding a bowl of soup).
Dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion
Dorsiflexion and plantarflexion are terms used to describe movements at the ankle. They refer to the two surfaces of the foot; the dorsum (superior surface) and the plantar surface (the sole).
- Dorsiflexionrefers to flexion at the ankle, so that the foot points more superiorly
- Plantarflexionrefers extension at the ankle, so that the foot points more inferiorly
Opposition and Reposition
A pair of movements unique to humans, these apply to some additional movements that the hand and thumb carry out
- Oppositionbrings the thumb and little finger together.
- Repositionis a movement that places the thumb and the little finger away from each other.