Yoga, as a tradition, is practiced for overall benefits in physical and mental health. The current posture-centric yoga practiced in the United States, however, claims flexibility as a primary outcome. The science of stretching is not well understood by yoga teachers and practitioners, which suggests the methods of improving flexibility in a yoga class may not be entirely beneficial. This comprehensive literature review of the biomechanical and neurological mechanisms involved in stretching provides a current discourse for fitness professionals and stretching enthusiasts. Both acute and chronic adaptations are reviewed, as well the effects of stretching on healthy versus injured tissues. Common myths are dispelled, current data is presented, and what remains unknown is highlighted. Future biomechanical research using ultrasonic imaging technology on flexibility exercises as they are practiced in a yoga setting is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of the postures.
|Commitee:||Calderone, Gina, Schroeder, Jan|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Kinesiology, Biomechanics|
|Keywords:||Biomechanics, Flexibility, Stretching, Yoga|
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