One argument that I've heard with respect to tensegrity is that "all movements have to be tensegral". I'd just shared a post about fluid tensegrity with an introduction "Tensegrity at the joints means that movements and postures can have tensegrity or go without it."
That was actually the point of the fluid tensegrity article, to show how tensegrity is maintained in the body at the level of the joints no matter what the body as a whole was doing.
One of the ideas that occurred to me during the construction of the fluid tensegrity article is that perhaps it would help to think of posture and movement as forces and changes applied to the system of bones and joints.
It would be as if there where two different systems, the bones and joints and the muscles that help to maintain tensegrity in the joints, and then the muscles, and the weight of the bones and organs that can apply various forces to the bones, joints and muscles. And even though they are one system it could help to draw a line, a border between the two systems. Since muscles affect both ligaments and joints, we could imagine each muscle in potentially two parts, one that works on the joints via the ligaments and the other that works on the relationship between bones via the tendons.
It could be a little like muscle suits that you read about in sci-fi novels (I'm thinking of Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton in particular.) These muscle suits can be removed, but when put on they interface with the body so that they act as an extension of the body. Movements of the body affect the muscle suit and in turn the muscle suits accentuates or accelerates those movements.
Our own muscles, the layer that connect to bones via tendons could be viewed similarly, as an external suit that fits over the bones and the layer of muscle that connects ligaments and joint capsules.
The inner layer, the full-time-protective-tensegrity layer, could work at maintaining tensegrity in any and all configurations of the body, and during any and all relationships with gravity and other external forces.
The outer layer, the phasic-tensegrity-potential layer, would be part that inflicts change on the inner layer, holding it in position or moving it through various positions. This outer layer is the layer that we control or learn to control doing yoga, tai ji, using tools computers, doing art, making love etc.
While not a full time tensegrity, this layer at least has the potential to act like a tensegrity should we choose it to. One of the main reasons for this being an optional tensegrity is the shear multitude of shapes and movements that the outer shell can adopt. And so one of the ideas I'll put forward here is that the outer body is made up of a bunch of overlapping structures that can potentially act as tensegrities. When transitioning from one shape to another, one structure hands off to another.
The idea here is that tensegrity can be smoothly maintained when moving or transitioning from pose to pose, or tensegrity can transition to non-tensegrity and back again, or non-tensegrity can transition to non-tensegrity. Throughout all of these tensegrity is maintained within the inner body at the joints so that the joints remain viable. They withstand the forces inflicted upon them by the outer body just as any tensegrity structure would.
Going back to the sci-fi muscle suits, the suits would ideally be designed so that at no time did they act in such a way to damage the body within the suit. The outer layer of our body could have similiar controls in place to limit outer body movements so that they do not endanger the integrity of the inner structure.
So then the question might be, why (and how to) work towards tensegrity when posing or moving the body?
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
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The standing forward bend yoga pose can be used to stretch or strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. It can also be used to stretch and strengthen the calves and as a balance exercise.
Yoga forward bends includes forwards bends for the hips and spine. Forward bends for the hips include both bent and straight straight positions.
Your iphone needs power in order to sense your touch. Proprioception needs muscle activity in order to sense your body.
Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
This sequence of seated yoga poses includes lotus and virasana variations, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
These hip flexor stretches open up the fronts of the hips and can be used as a preparation for front to back splits. Bent knee hip stretches can be used to focus on rectus fermoris.
Strengthen your hands, your arms, glutes and hamstrings with these standing forward bend variations.
The small actions in this standing psoas stretch can be used to stretch both the upper and lower fibers of the psoas muscle.
Variations of the standing psoas stretch that use the same basic actions.
Here's a break down of the steps of Ashtanga Yoga Surya Namaskar A to make this sun salutation easier to learn and remember.
A reclining psoas stretch I learned from a Richard Freeman Workshop. The better you understand your anatomy the easier it is to work on your body effectively.
The hip stretches included on this page can be used to stretch and improve flexibility of the hip flexors, hip extensors, adductors and abductors.
Friction and pressure are two simple techniques that I use to help my students get stronger and more flexible. These simple techniques also offer a roadway into not only learning how to activate your muscles, but getting a feel for them and your body. Three challenging yoga poses that I use these techniques in are chaturanga, front splits and side splits. While they might not help you get all the way down into the splits, they'll help you feel stronger, and more integrated as you work towards them. And because I've got to pay for my daughters schooling this week, I'm offering a discount on the frictional muscle control videos. (First 100 people only can save over 30%).
Active stretching teaches you muscle control to not only improve flexibility but also body awareness. You'll learn how to adjust postures for better feel as well as more control through a broader range of motion.
Standing exercises for low back pain plus anatomy that can affect the low back and how to use that anatomical understanding.
Experience your body (and understand it) with sensational yoga poses.
Is it a bad idea to heel strike while barefoot running? What are the possible benefits of heel striking? When should you not heel strike?
These yoga poses for abs work on the abdominal muscles (and hips) in both standing positions and seated positions.
Here are the Ashtanga Standing Pose Vinyassas, with inhale movements highlighted in red.