In certain poses on certain days our muscles seem to shake more than usual whilst we're holding them. There are various factors that may contribute to this, some physical and one is psychological.

Muscular shakes can begin when more dominant muscles start to grow tired. Muscles are made of two types of fibres, slow twitch muscle fibres, which contract slowly, but keep going for a long time and fast twitch fibres that contract quickly, but tire rapidly. Most of our muscles are made up of a mixture of both slow and fast twitch muscle fibres. When the muscle is used not all the fibres contract at the same time, some rest whilst others work and then they trade places. When the muscles are really challenged, the changeovers can create trembling.

Beginning yogis often shake quite a lot, as our muscles grow stronger from regular practice the more the muscle fibres develop and improve their ability to change between rest and firing. When we're in a posture our muscles aren't used to holding, or we're just not relaxed at that moment then shaking may occur. With time and consistency the postures embed into the somatic memory and we start to feel more relaxed and connected in the practice.

Trying too hard, the desire to do the pose correctly, i.e. working from the mental perspective can create tension in the body, which can generate shaking in the muscles. It's an indication to slow down, return to the breath and ease back towards comfort.

The last key to a steady practice is to maintain good nutrition and hydration. When the body is low on fluids the connective tissue is less effective at transmitting signals to the muscle fibres. We need fuel before a practice; low blood sugar can cause fatigue to come faster.

Even if our muscles shake a lot all we need to do is to adjust so that breath becomes slow and steady, feel and relax into the pose and let the muscles move in their own time.

Beth Wood tutors private yoga classes is Oxon and Bucks

« Previous | Next »

After more than 2 years of not practicing yoga, the way of your teaching and your calmness gave me great courage to restart and continue yoga. Thanking you again.

Bilge Zeren


Read more testimonials >