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Digital Subscriptions > OM Yoga Magazine > September 2019 > The power of proprioception

The power of proprioception

What is the proprioceptive sense? Sue Heron explores the power of proprioception and how yoga can help children to achieve a greater level of body awareness, calm and stability
Dog pose

Proprioception tells us about our body position. This sense allows us to ‘know’ (without looking or consciously thinking) where our body parts are in relation to each other and where our whole body is in relation to the environment around us.

Proprioceptive-rich activities (bring on the yoga!)

Receptors for this sense (proprioceptors) are found all over our body, deep within our muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and connective tissues.

Proprioceptors are stimulated every time we contract, squeeze or stretch a muscle, each time we compress, or put traction on, a joint. ‘Proprioceptive-rich’ activities include those which: ■ Compress joints and work muscles hard e.g. jumping, running, hopping, skipping, doing handstands and cartwheels. ■ Put tension on joints and stretch or work muscles hard e.g. climbing, stretching, pulling, pushing, carrying heavy objects or lifting weights. Child-adapted yoga asanas and fun yoga-based activities provide a plentiful supply of proprioceptive input to the brain. For example: ■ Crab, dog, dolphin and snake poses, generally compress joints and demand muscles to ‘work hard’ to lift the body off the mat ■ Sun, starfish or giraffe poses place joints under gentle tension whilst slowly stretching muscles. ■ Even quiet little mouse pose compresses joints and encourages children to tightly squeeze their muscles.

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About OM Yoga Magazine

Happy birthday to OM! Just in case you hadn’t picked it up from the cover, this is a special month for us, as it marks our 100th issue. Yes, that’s right, it’s been 10 years since we began our own yoga journey…and what an incredible journey it’s been. In that time, the magazine has grown tremendously and is now read around much of the world, in English and in other languages too, spreading the yoga love far and wide. There have been so many highlights, so many amazing people, and lots of fun along the way. Now Britain’s top-selling yoga newsstand title, it’s humbling to know that OM has been inspiring students and teachers alike for a decade with its inclusivity message. We were pioneers in the coverage of men’s yoga in our OM For Men (OMFM) section and seek to do the same for other people, more recently with our Body Positivity column. OM continues to inspire many thousands of people, both on and off the mat, bringing a contemporary and accessible take on all things yoga each and every month. You can also feel the OM vibe at our sister show, the OM Yoga Show, which takes place next month (October 18-20) in London. It’s Europe’s biggest yoga event and and is a must-see if you’ve never attended before. But don’t think we’ve got carried away with all the cake-eating celebrations. This month, we’ve put together some more amazing new yoga inspiration for you. Inside, we’ve got a special report on yoga for children and pregnancy, focusing on babes, bumps, tots and teens, as well as their mums and mums to be. Start them young and yoga will be a gift that keeps on giving throughout their lives. We’ve also got profiles, stories and articles that illustrate the great depth and diversity of yoga today, from an interview with the founder of Curvy Girl Yoga, Devaki, to a review of a mesmerising shamanic serpent retreat.