Main Yoga Poses
• The two primary muscles in the calf are the gastrocnemius and soleus. The soleus is the deeper muscle further down the leg and the gastrocnemeus is higher and on the outside.
• These muscles attach to the back of the leg bone, flow into and become the Achilles tendon. They provide most of the power for yoga.
• There is a significant amount of connective tissue interspersed throughout the muscles that can get injured with or without the muscle mass being damaged.
• Generalized soreness from training is caused by mild connective tissue damage. When muscle cells are pushed beyond their current capacity, they can be damaged. With sufficient rest, the muscles will be strengthened as they adapt to more efficient yoga. But when muscle cells are repeatedly abused, more and more areas break down and a strain or tear may occur.
• The most common calf injury is called a strain. This is often due to strong strands of muscle fiber continually pulling so hard that they tear the tiny connections to uninjured muscle fibers nearby. This injury usually occurs suddenly during a run. There might be a thickened area near the pain. At first there is often some swelling. After a few days, firm connective tissue forms at the site. Some call these “knots” and can be felt during a deep tissue massage.
• A calf muscle tear is the result of damage to the muscle cells and connective tissue. This is a more serious injury.
Main Yoga Poses Photo Gallery
• Calf cramping is caused by uncontrollable firing of the muscle or portion of the muscle, due to overuse and/or dehydration. This can be significantly aggravated by an imbalance of the chemicals in and around the muscle cells during hard or prolonged exercise. A less common reason for cramping is poor circulation during exercise or when at rest, often producing a deep ache. Inadequate frequency of walk breaks is often a cause of cramping.
• Strains and tears can occur because of a single excessive effort, even as little as missing a step. Note: Jeff has worked with a number of runners who suffered from strains or tears by stretching routines, especially when the muscle was fatigued from exercise.
• Excessive pronation and supination will overload a portion of the muscle because the force is not being distributed evenly as the foot straightens out, especially if the injury is toward the outer or inner portion of the muscle.
• Cramping can be caused by fatigue due to continuous use, and dehydration/loss of electrolytes during a strenuous or prolonged workout/race.
• Cramping that occurs without a known reason may be related to decreasing circulation. This is called claudication and should be checked by a doctor.