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  • Dayna Culwell

Your Shoulder Girdle

Updated: Jan 17

Happy Tuesday friends and family. It is a beautiful day here in Austin, TX albeit with female Juniper trees blasting pollen to many unlucky allergy sufferers. As I look out my window, I see a huge squirrel hopping on to my “squirrel proof” bird feeder. It’s amazing to see his stamina. He can can get just a few bites by giving everything he has to cling on. When the big squirrel has had its fill and goes away, a little yellow breasted bird calmly nibbles replaces the squirrel. It is so beautiful to watch nature in action. I look forward to cedar going away so I can be actively enjoying the outdoors again. However, who can complain when we have such mild temperatures?

So, one change is possibly coming and I would like your input. My Thursday noon class, Perfect Posture Yoga, is not attracting many students. A few of you have reached out for an evening class. If I could be sure that an evening class would pull 10-20 of you in virtually, I’d do it. However, that is not usually what happens. Because my husband is now retired, it is not fair to ask him to stay out of our living area while I teach, once sunset approaches. And so, my first inclination is to cancel the Thursday class altogether. What are your thoughts? Is there another time that works really well for you and that you would commit to? Is there a different class format that appeals to you better? I also understand that some of you are already paying HOA fees that include access to yoga. Since I prefer not to teach at a studio these days, I must respect your decision. My guess is that I will cancel the Thursday time slot and open it up for private lessons. These lessons will be available in my studio, virtual, or on your own premises (for a small travel fee).

This March I will be celebrating my 10th year anniversary as a Yoga Instructor. That was for my first 200 hours of training. My Yoga Therapy certification required an additional 1000 hours and was obtained by 2015. Would you be interested in helping me celebrate with a special Yoga by the Lake Party at the beginning of March? Please respond by cutting and pasting the questions and answers and sending them to my email.

10th Year Celebration Party: Yoga at the Lake Party, early March or April?

Thursday class replacement: Best days and times for you?

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Wow, I am so blessed to be able to help you guys reach your personal fitness and mindfulness goals. Our human nature calls us to help others in some capacity. Wherever you are in your life, I hope you are able to access the calling to help others. Many of you help out with the grandkids. Some of you volunteer in the community or with your church. All of that is food for the soul. Would you like to share your story with our readers? May I highlight you?

This week’s study intensive

The Rotator Cuff

So, when I’m not teaching, I am learning. These few weeks, I have enjoyed an anatomy and physiology course by the Brookbush Institute. The more we learn, the more we must continue to learn and review. For this reason, I have chosen to review study on the Planes of Motion, on how the joints in our body perform optimally, the single and synergist muscle actions, and the various movement systems we are blessed to have. I have reviewed each of these systems since Christmas and am now studying the Rotator Cuff.

What I find very interesting is that our shoulder doesn’t really sit in a nice deep “socket”. It sits on a very shallow golf “T”.

What keeps our shoulder in its socket?

In order to allow for maximum freedom of movement in our shoulders, the socket is shallow but we have several muscles designed to stabilize the joint. Does the word seatbelt come to mind? An automobile crash with no seatbelt is a recipe for disaster. In the same way, if we do not properly activate our stabilizer muscles, the shoulder has a very poor chance of staying in its socket.

Which muscles stabilize the shoulder?

How do we make sure they actively support the shoulder at all times?

The most important shoulder stabilizers are:
  • S* supraspinatus

  • I* infraspinatus

  • T* teres minor

  • S* subscapular

Notice how the supraspinatus muscle starts in a little depression just above the clavicle. It then goes underneath the acromion to attach to the shoulder tip. This muscle raises your arm out to the side. It abducts the arm from the body.

The infraspinatus muscle covers the entire spine of the scapula. It helps pull the shoulder backwards, permitting you to open or externally rotate your shoulder.

The Teres MInor muscle sits just underneath the infraspinatus muscle to the outside. Do you see how this muscle can outwardly rotate the shoulder away from the body?

The subscapularis needs its own foto. Most of the inner surface of the scapula, filling the subscapular fossa from the vertebral to the axillary border

This is a really tricky muscle to understand. Imagine looking at your scapula from the front body, without your ribs in the way. Does that make sense? Now, because this muscle wraps around the lesser tubercle of the humerus, it actively internally rotates the arm.

The ability to assess which muscle should be targeted has more to do with their role as dynamic stabilizers and the ability of each muscle to contribute to glide, spin, roll, and compression in an effort to keep the humeral head centered on the glenoid fossa. In essence, these muscles keep the golf ball from rolling off the tee, and understanding which way the golf ball rolls off will dictate which muscle will slide it back into the center. In addition, note that these muscles are mostly type 1 fibers. That is they are designed for endurance.

Rotator cuff muscles have slow twitch fibers. Instead of always lifting heavy weights with a lower number of repetitions, gym rats should strive to work the rotator cuff muscles with higher reps and less resistance. CoreFirst bands, which we use in my private yoga therapy sessions, are designed specifically to enhance these stabilizing muscles. The best part is that you don’t even have to acquire the CoreFirst bands. I have 3 sets o CoreFirst bands set up in my personal studio. For those who DO choose to purchase the bands, you can take your workout on the road with me at any time and at any place. Don’t simply work by yourself. The social engagement is just as important. When we work together, we carry on conversation, we share new ideas, we challenge the brain, and most importantly, we have fun!

For those of you in the Lakeway, Steiner Ranch area, book a private slot with me at the studio. You will be amazed at how quickly you reach your 2023 goals. If you love loud crowded gyms with lots of noise and sweat, then carry on. If you want personal accountability, a highly motivational workout partner, and a wonderful, beautiful studio to work out in, call me now. Monday is just around the corner.

Speaking of Monday, let’s go to this month’s schedule. Thank you for reading this blog so that you know exactly what’s going on with Yoga by Dayna. The more you participate and invite your friends, the more you will see being offered in the future.

Start your 2023 with a whopping good deal! Purchase 10 of any private or group package and get 1 session free. You can save anywhere from $14 to $90! Packages must be used within 90 days so don't wait. Your private package can include CoreFirst bands if you prefer. CoreFirst bands are available for purchase online or in-person.


MONDAY 12 p.m. Delicious Deep Stretch

TUESDAY 12 p.m. Perfect Posture Yoga

WEDNESDAY 12:15 p.m. Delicious Deep Stretch

FRIDAY 10 a.m. Half & Half Yoga

HALF & HALF will satisfy almost everyone’s need for strength training and deep stretching. At 10 a.m., we will be doing standing stretches and warrior poses. At 10:30 a.m. we take a quick water break and then proceed to the floor. Relaxing, restorative poses will follow.

  • In studio & ZOOM

Yoga by Dayna Private Yoga Therapy Schedule

Spring is on it's way. I"m looking for a roommate to accompany me to the Dominican Republic for training April 20-24th. Do you need a get-a-way? We'd split the cost of the room for this all inclusive destination. While I train, you relax. PM me separately.

The stunning backdrop of the Hilton La Romana in La Romana, Dominican Republic where you will stay, play, create, film and learn. All-inclusive accommodations, food & alcohol are included in your package

JANUARY 16-20th 2023

MONDAY makes me smile

8 a.m. Carol & Chris @ studio

9:15 a.m. Judy & Andy ZOOM

10:30 a.m. Christine ZOOM

12 p.m. Deep Stretch *

1:30 p.m. N Austin private

4:30 p.m. OPEN

TUESDAY totally rocks

9 a.m. Christina @ studio

10:30 a.m. Brookdale Living (there)

12 p.m. Perfect Posture Yoga*

1:15 p.m. OPEN

4:30 p.m. Susan and Paula ZOOM

5:45 p.m. Christopher @ studio


9 a.m. Chris & Carol (there)

10:30 p.m. OPEN

12:15 p.m. Deep Stretch *

1:30 p.m. OPEN

3:15 p.m. OPEN

THURSDAY thrives

9 a.m. Christina @ studio

10:30 am Belmont! (there)

12 p.m. OPEN

FRIDAY flies

8:30 a.m. Paula and Susan

10 a.m. Warriors/Deep Stretch

11:15 a.m. OPEN (virtually or live in Fredericksburg)

Thank you for your loving spirit. You make my job a wonderful experience every day.

Dayna Culwell, C-IAYT

Owner & Instructor, Yoga by Dayna

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