Anatomy for Yogis: Terminology

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anatomical position
tadasana (mountain) - the starting point for all descriptive terminology, location/position or motion
frontal (or coronal) plane
divides the body into front and back
sagittal plane
divides the body into right and left
transverse plane
divides the body into top and bottom
anterior
location: toward the front
posterior
location: toward the back
medial
location: toward midline
lateral
location: away from midline
proximal
location: near the point of attachment
distal
location: away from the point of attachment
superior
location: above/toward the head
inferior
location: below/toward the feet
superficial
toward the surface
deep
away from the surface
supine
lying face up
prone
lying face down
flexion
motion: bending or decreasing the angle at a joint, moving in an anterior direction (exception: knee flexion moves in a posterior direction); sagittal plane
extension
motion: extending or increasing the angle at a joint, moving in a posterior direction (exception: knee extension moves in an anterior direction)
abduction
motion: away from midline in the frontal plane
adduction
motion: toward midline in the frontal plane
internal (medial) rotation
motion: toward midline in the transverse plane
external (lateral) rotation
motion: away from midline in the transverse plane
horizontal adduction (shoulder)
anterior movement in the transverse plane (from 90 degrees of abduction)
horizontal abduction (shoulder)
posterior movement in the transverse plane (from 90 degrees of abduction)
lateral flexion
motion of the Spine: away from midline/side bending
anterior pelvic tilt
the pelvis tilts forward
posterior pelvic tilt
the pelvis tilts backward
supination (forearm)
motion: Palm up (holding a bowl of soup) or palm forward (anatomical position); radius & ulnar are uncrossed
pronation (forearm)
motion: Palm down or palm backward; radius & ulna are crossed
dorsiflexion
motion: top of the foot toward the shin (foot flexed)
plantarflexion
motion: top of the foot away from the shin (foot pointed)
inversion
motion: sole of the foot toward midline
eversion
motion: sole of the foot away from midline
supination (foot)
motion: combination of inversion and adduction, raises the arch
pronation (foot)
motion: combination of eversion & abduction, lowers the arch
elevation (scapula)
motion: in a superior direction (shoulder shrug)
depression (scapula)
motion: in an inferior direction
protraction (scapula)
motion: away from the spine (anterior/lateral movement)
retraction (scapula)
motion: toward the spine (posterior/medial movement)
upward rotation (scapula)
motion: movement of the inferior angle of the scapula (bottom point) away from midline
downward rotation (scapula)
motion: movement of the inferior angle of the scapula (bottom point) toward midline
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