Biomechanics – The Anatomy & Physiology of Flexibility & Stretching for Yoga Teachers


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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we explore the relatively complex perspectives related to the anatomy and physiology of flexibility and stretching.


Understand what limits flexibility (including connective tissue and the nervous system) and gain a deeper understanding of stretching.


Define flexibility and factors that may limit flexibility. Explain what happens to a person’s muscles when anesthetized and the significance of this. Describe what happens when personal ROM limits are reached. Define three possible muscles states. Explain what is meant by “a tensile load” and provide the benefits of stretching. Define and give an example of the following types of stretching: passive / passive static, active / active static, dynamic, resistance and PNF.

Questions Answered Here

  1. Define flexibility.
  2. Flexibility may be limited by muscles that are shortened, tight or in a contracted state. Name four or more other factors that may limit flexibility.
  3. When anesthetized, what happens to a person’s muscles? What is the significance regarding our knowledge of flexibility?
  4. What happens when we reach our personal ROM limits?
  5. What are the three states that a muscle may exist in?
  6. What are the effects of stretching?
  7. Stretching may be defined as “a tensile load.” What does that mean and how is tensile strength different from compressive strength?
  8. In addition to the basic effects, what are the benefits of stretching?
  9. What is passive / passive static stretching? Give an example.
  10. What is active / active static stretching? Give an example.
  11. What is dynamic stretching? Resistance stretching?
  12. How are facilitated stretching and PNF related?
  13. What is PNF?
  14. Give two examples of ways to practice PNF stretching.

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