Intense contraction of the rhomboids is essential for strengthening and Long Head of the Triceps does just that. By bringing the shoulder blades into full retraction on the upper back (watch for this cue at 0.34 in the video clip below), the alignment of this exercise demands that the rhomboids overdo their job, therefore bringing strength to the weakened muscle while dramatically stretching the pectoral muscles and challenging the cervical spine to retain its arrangement over the pelvis in spite of the tendency to jut the chin forward. Finding an aware tadasana stance after the practice of this pose can illuminate the balance between strong rhomboids and open pectorals, as well as imprint proper posture. Practicing this YTU pose will inform the body of the strength and stretch available in these muscle pairs and, over time, will bring the upper back into balance, enabling the upper arms to reside alongside the body, the spine to roll its curves out naturally and the breath to reach down into an open and supple chest – lifting the physical and energetic body upward into correct and inspired posture.
From the start, the practice of yoga did it all for me – fitness, awareness, breath, alignment and clarity of mind. My YogaWorks 200 hour training, with the divine Natasha Rizopolous, provided an exceptional foundation of yogic knowledge from which to learn, teach and cast a wide net for continued study. Yoga Tune Up teacher training refined my lens of understanding to shine it upon the anatomical and corrective aspects for practice – helping students, alongside myself, identify and address postural habits that impair efficient, effective movement in the body. Smooth joints, lean muscles and boosted proprioception make each visit to the mat an individualized, satisfying and fun exploration of the human body in motion and stillness.
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