The rotator cuff is a combination of four muscles: the subscapularis, the infraspinatus, the teres minor and the supraspinatus. The subscapularis and infraspinatus have opposing actions and function as antagonists. The teres minor is a synergist of the infraspinatus and is not covered in detail here.
humeral head, stabilizing it within the shoulder joint.
As with the deep pelvic muscles, we are unaware ofthe rotator cuff, even though we use its muscles constantly in our daily life. Certain yoga postures awaken our consciousness of these muscles. Once awakened, their contraction and relaxation can be used to refine other postures.
The shoulder (glenohumeral) jointis composed of a ball (the humeral head) and a shallow saucer-like socket (the glenoid of the scapula). The shoulder joint enjoys the greatest mobility of all the joints, but also has the least stability and is the joint most frequently dislocated. (Like a yin-yang, greater mobility means lesser stability.) The rotator cuff encircles the
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