May 22, 2017
The quadriceps, or “quads”, are a group of four muscles located on the front (anterior) of the thigh. The four muscles include the rectus femoris, the vastus lateralis, the vastus medialis, and the vastus intermedialis. All of these muscles attach on their bottom (distal) end to the tibial tuberosity by the patellar ligament. On their top (proximal) end, the vastus medialis and lateralis attach to the back of the femur. The vastus intermadialis attaches to the anterior surface of the femur. The rectus femoris is the only muscle that crosses the hip joint.
All four muscles participate to straighten (extend) the knee joint and support the patella. You might see the quads working, or contracting, in chair pose, warrior I, or standing from the squat position. Great postures to lengthen the quads include frog pose, dancers pose or hero pose.
Common injury to the quad can include various levels of contusion. This occurs when force is hit up against the quad to press it against the femur. If this occurs, an individual may feel symptoms similar to a strain or tear, including sharp immediate pain. Swelling and bruising typically occur depending on the severity of the hit. Another common injury is petellofemoral joint syndrome. This is thought to be caused by weakness or fatigue of the vastus medialis. Symptoms include front or back knee pain especially when squatting or going down a stair case. Strengthening the vastus medialis is typically part of the recovery process, along with legs up the wall (as always)!
This week you can strengthen your quads in our hustle room with slamballs, mountain climbers, cycling and more! Find length through the poses mentioned above in our flow room. Yoga 4 athletes is where it’s at!
Sign up for classes here.
May 2, 2017
The shoulder girdle is the most mobile and arguably the most vulnerable joint in the body. It’s mobility was designed to help us climb, hang and even crawl. As we age and are accustomed to the western lifestyle, our shoulders typically tend to move in one direction – forward. We spend the majority of our day on a computer, using our cell phones, driving or pushing a shopping cart. The result is that we are not consistently taking our shoulder through its full range of motion. This repetitive forward reaching causes certain muscles to become overactive while weakening others. According to Jill Miller (a Yoga Journal contributor), this creates chronic misalignments of multiple muscles in the shoulder complex and eventually leads to pain and injury.
The shoulder is made up of more than a dozen muscles. We will focus on the four that make up the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff surrounds the glenohumeral joint and helps negotiate the position of the humeral head within it’s socket. The muscles that originate on the scapula and latch onto the humerus are:
Subscapularis: Located on the front side of the scapula; internally rotates the arm.
Supraspinatus: Located on the top side of the scapula; initiates abduction – lifting the arm away from the body.
Infraspinatus: Largest muscle located on the back side of the scapula; externally rotates the arm and stabilizes the shoulder joint.
Teres Minor: Smallest muscle located on the back side of the scapula; externally rotates the shoulder.
According the Yoga Journal – To keep the rotator cuff injury free, it’s crucial to stabilize the entire shoulder girdle when you place weight on your hands – like in High Plank. The two key muscles that stabilize the scapulae against your rib cage at the scapulocostal (ScC) joints are the serratus anterior muscles (which protract the shoulder blades, pulling them away from the spine) and rhomboids (which retract the shoulder blades, pulling them toward the spine). While the serratus anterior and rhomboids have opposing actions, they work together to help keep your scapulae from winging off your back and wreaking havoc on the rest of your shoulder joints and muscles. You can find this motion in our Hustle room THIS WEEK! We work scapular stability during our active rest stations.
There are two very prevalent shoulder injuries that occur in most athletes – rotator cuff bursitis/impingement and biceps tendinitis. Rotator cuff bursitis/impingement typically refers to inflammation caused by excessive use. If the shoulders are out of alignment repeatedly in weight bearing poses and exercises, the supraspinatus and its bursa can become impinged. The result is pain. The answer is FMS. When pain exists in the front of the shoulder, it can mean the biceps tendons are irritated. Again, this is probably due to misalignment in movements such as chataranga. You can achieve proper alignment and injury prevention through any of our classes at YAX. Not sure where to start? Schedule an FMS screen or give us a call today! 346.204.5711
April 1, 2017
YAX March Madness Challenge is OVER!
How has March come and gone so quickly?! Feels like yesterday we were preparing for March activities and now we are gearing up for April. March was a great month for us here at Yoga Athletex! One of our biggest activities we had going on this month was the March Madness Challenge. Our March Madness Challenge has come to an end and WE ARE SO PROUD OF ALL THE TEAMS who participated!!
For those of you reading this and aren’t sure what I’m talking about, I’ll catch you up. In March, we created our own version of March Madness. This challenge took place over a three-week span (March 13th – 31st); each round started on a Monday and ended on a Saturday. Individuals formed teams of two to three, and then those teams competed against one another in order to advance to the next round. Teams received points by attending group classes in either the Hustle or Flow Room. Teams were able to score a “double double” by attending a class in the Hustle Room and Flow Room on the same day.
Round one took place from March 13th – 18th. First round we had all 6 teams competing against one another. At the end of week one four teams moved on to the Winners Bracket and the bottom two teams moved to the Consolation Bracket. So no teams where completely eliminated during round one.
Round two of our March Madness Challenge took place from March 20th – 25th. Four teams competed in the Winners Bracket – those teams being; Vintage Yoga, April the Giraffe, Team Facial, and Team Killin’ It. Then two teams competed in the Consolation Bracket – those teams being: Team One and Team Three. Round Two was a competitive week amongst all the teams but only two teams from the Winners Bracket would move onto Round Three competing for the Championship and the other two would move to the Consolation Bracket. Those two teams moving on to the Championship round were: April the Giraffe and Team Facial. While the Consolation Bracket only had one team moving on to Round Three – that team being Team One. So the three teams competing during Round Three of the Consolation Bracket are Team One, Vintage Yoga, and Team Killin’ It.
Round Three was held from March 27th – 31st. March 31st was the last day members could get in the studio and receive point(s) for their team!! We had two teams competing in the Winners Bracket and four in the Consolation Bracket.
Drumroll please……………….The CHAMPIONS of the YAX March Madness Challenge is April the Giraffe!! Congratulations Janelle and Debbie!! The WINNERS of the Consolation Bracket is Team Killin’ It!! Congratulations Jenafer, Dale, and Josh!! You all will be receiving a FREE TEAM PARTY class! That means your team gets to pick a class of your choice, invite ALL your friends to take a class at YAX. We’ll do the rest! We’ll be emailing you shortly with the procedures. WAY TO GO guys! You earned this!
YAX wants to thank every single member who participated in the March Madness Challenge, Y’ALL ROCK! We’ll see you next week in the studio!!
In health you instructor,
April 1, 2017
Gluteus Maximus – The Booty
The gluteus maximus is one of the largest muscles in the human body. It is also one of the more commonly known muscles. It lies superficial (closest to the surface) in the gluteal region and is largely responsible for the shape of our buttocks.
The gluteus maximus originates from a broad area on the posterior surface of the ilium, the posterior gluteal line, the rough area of bone superior and inferior of this line, upward to the iliac crest, the aponeurosis of erector spinae, the dorsal surface or the lower part of the sacrum and the side of the coccyx, the sacrotuberous ligament, and the fascia that cover the gluteus medius.
The gluteus maximus is an extensor of the hip joint meaning that it produces the back swing of our leg while walking and provides most of the lift when stepping up, like climbing stairs. The gluteus maximus generates its maximum force when the thigh is flexed at 45-degree angle to the trunk. The gluteus maximus abducts our thigh meaning it aids in swinging our thighs out laterally and superiorly away from the trunk. This muscle also elevates our trunk after stooping, prevents our trunk from pitching forward during walking or running, and helps stabilize the femur on tibia.
See you in the studio! Sign up here!!
In health your instructor,
March 31, 2017
(5 Foam Roller Exercises Below)
Foam rolling is a technique that is fully embraced by professional athletes and fitness fans that want to experience its almost instant benefits. These benefits one can experience are improved posture, performance and flexibility of fascia, a connective tissue present throughout our entire body. This technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues- the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles.
Most individuals have “trigger points” (sweet spot / knots) that are located where there is a natural tendency for higher amounts of tension or inflammation. Trigger points may also be a result from a single trauma to a muscle or from repetitive minor trauma over time (overworked). Theses areas which may be felt as “knots” are not getting the proper blood flow which means they are not getting essential nutrients and oxygen. In order for these areas to get the proper nutrients you should be rolling out the area(s) in which you are feeling tension for one to two minutes (where applicable). It is important to not just focus on the “trigger point”. You should also be rolling out the areas around that trigger point because your fascias form a seam structure that is threaded throughout your entire body, so working on one area impacts the whole. It’s all interconnected. The speed that you should perform each roll is vital; it should be performed slowly! Rolling out any area(s) of tension should be done on a regular basis.
Below you will find a few rolling methods (for different muscle groups) you can perform on your own. If you find that I didn’t cover an area you need focusing on, leave a comment below, or better yet you should join our 30 minute Mobility class every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30PM. We’ll see you then!
In health your instructor,
Soleus & Gastrocnemius Roll (calf muscles)
Place the foam roller down at the base of your ankle (roller should be perpendicular to your leg), extend your leg, and put the other leg on top so it applies downward pressure on your calf. Sit up straight with your hands just behind your hips and lift yourself up. Shift your body weight forward so that the roller rolls up towards the back of the knee but stop before getting to the knee joint. Make sure you go slowly to ensure the roller has time to do its job. When you have covered the length of your calf, reverse the process.
Sit sideways on the roller and lean forward, bracing yourself with your arms. The leg being rolled should be extended straight back. Cross the non-rolling leg over, knee bent and planted on the floor. This may be the most painful of all the moves, but try to keep the roller moving very slowly so that you get a prolonged period of pressure against the muscle. When you get close to the bony section of the knee, change directions and repeat.
You can only roll one piriformis at a time. Sit on the roller with your weight only on your right buttock, your left leg slightly bent, arms planted behind you. Shift your weight forward until you feel the roller get close to your hipbone. Then shift your weight back until you feel the roller get to the crease where your leg and buttock meet. Repeat other side if needed.
Rectus Femoris of Quadriceps Group (quads and hip flexor)
Start by lying over the foam roller with pressure on the front of your thigh just below your hipbone. First, roll backwards (this movement is generated by your arms and chest) so that the roller moves up toward your hip until it stops touching muscle and feels like it is only touching your hip/pelvic bone. Now switch directions (roll forward) so the roller travels slowly down your quadriceps until you are just slightly above your kneecap. Switch direction again and repeat.
Get into position with your buttock on the floor and your knees bent. Place the roller behind your shoulders (but not against your neck). Cross your arms across your chest. This not only get them out of the way, but also get your scapula out of the way for when the roller passes over it. Lift your hips up then slowly lengthen your legs so that the roller moves down the length of your back until it gets close to your buttock. You may get all the way down, but remember being slow and controlled is more important than the distance at this stage. Roll back in the other direction going slowly and even pausing over any particular “trigger points”.
March 31, 2017
Mantra: What does it mean and how are we supposed to use it?
Here at Yoga Athletex we are big on implementing weekly mantras. You may have seen our weekly mantra written on our board in the Hustle Room but if you haven’t make sure to pop in there to check out each weeks’ mantra!
Many of you may be wondering what a mantra actually is or how you as an individual are supposed to implement it into your life. Well, I am here to explain to you what it is and how you can benefit from weekly or even daily mantras!
A mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid you in your concentration while training, meditating, taking an exam or even driving down the road. The word mantra can be broken down into two parts: “man- to reflect, to think, to be aware” which means mind, and “tra”, which means transport or vehicle. Imagine the word mantra being an instrument of the mind – a powerful sound or phrase that you can use to enter a deep state of focus.
A mantra can also be thought of as a seed for energizing an intention. Much in the same way you plant a flower seed, you plant mantras in the fertile soil of your practice. You nurture them and over time they bear the fruit of your intention(s). Mantras are like affirmations and help to keep you connected to a particular state of mind.
At the end of the day, the mantra is meant to bring you back to the simplistic approach to life and focus on those things that inspire you and truly make you happy! Now that you have more of an understanding on what a mantra is now you too can find a way to start implementing mantras into your life. Here’s a mantra I believe we can all implement in our lives today, “I am thankful for what I have, even if it’s not perfect”.
I hope you enjoyed this read! If you have any questions, comments or would like to see something in particular featured on our blog, please comment below!
I’ll see you in the studio!
In health your instructor,
March 29, 2017
YAX is looking for highly motivated individuals with interests in volunteer hours, resume building, customer service, sport management, coaching, fitness, yoga and an affinity to learn! In exchange for hours worked, these individuals will receive a free unlimited membership at YAX!
This is a great role for high school and college students in the Houston area. Duties might include greeting and checking in clients, offering creative ideas for challenges and events, facility + equipment cleaning, answering the phone and assisting all staff when needed.
We are looking for individuals who can work a minimum of 6 hours a week for a minimum of 3 months, in exchange for this membership! Join team YAX as a Karma Yogi and you’ll enjoy unlimited free yoga & group fitness classes in exchange for your time and hard work! Email us at email@example.com to apply!
March 23, 2017
Yoga found Elizabeth 5 years ago during a bumpy chapter in her life journey. In search of “Zen”, she decided to try a class. After just a few classes, unexpected benefits like inner strength, courage, and positive outlook started to bloom. Now she loves to share the benefits of Yoga with others.
Earning her 200 hr. teaching certification a year ago, Elizabeth believes that Yoga is ALWAYS able to “meet you where you are” – in her class you’ll be encouraged to BE YOURSELF, regardless of what brought you to the mat that day.
March 23, 2017
Haley first began her yoga practice in 2011 as a way to combat stress and anxiety in her adolescence. Since then, yoga has been her medium to discovering inward revelation. As a teacher, Haley is most interested in the various ways that bodies move through space, and the ever fascinating connections that can be created both internally and externally during classes. She aims to create a complete body-mind-soul experience. She also enjoys a physical challenge for her students, creative transitions and new perspectives in yoga philosophy. Haley is a fine artist (drawing and painting), a health coach, a rock climber, and an outdoor enthusiast!
March 23, 2017
Since 2011, Jenn has been a passionate student of yoga. She has experience in the following forms: Ashtanga, Baptiste, Boustany Hatha Yoga (Pralaya Yoga), Hatha, Hot, Kemetic, Power, and Vinyasa Flow. The classes she teaches include a mix of elements from this variety.
Initially she was drawn to hot and power yoga for its physical demands and benefits, but she quickly embraced the emotional and rejuvenating qualities of the practice as well. Additionally, many other rewarding qualities including health, happiness and patience have come to Jenn as a result of practicing yoga.
She is enjoying a beautiful lifelong journey and a fresh lifestyle that have emerged out of her commitment to yoga. She became certified in October of 2013 in Hatha Yoga by Lex Gillan, founder of The Yoga Institute in Houston, Texas ((National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers (NACYT) and 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)). Her decision to become certified developed out of a desire to give others the opportunity to fall in love with yoga as she did. She feels privileged to have found something that will never feel like a routine, something that will always be magical, alive and mindful.
In July, 2015, she completed the Aerial Yoga Teacher Training program offered by Your Body Center (YBC), facilitated by Ernesto Cardenas (Owner, YBC) and Amanda Field (200 RYT).
She is currently working toward her 500 hour RYT in the form of a 12-18 month apprenticeship with Robert Boustany (The Pralaya Yoga System).