In the context of yoga, it is important to know and understand the difference between tendons and ligaments and how these tissues facilitate the interaction of bone and muscle.

A Description of Tendons, Ligaments and Muscles |

Tendons are tough bands of connective tissue found in the joints. They connect muscles to bones. Each muscle has tendons attached at each end. Tendons are designed to only stretch a small amount. Their job is to transmit force between the bones and the muscles. For example, when the biceps muscle on the front top of the arm contracts, the tendon attached to the biceps muscle and elbow bone helps the muscle to pull on the elbow bones so the joint can bend.

Ligaments are made of the same material as tendons. Ligaments connect the bones to each other, and are designed to help stabilize the joints and provide a structure for the bones. Since they have limited stretching ability, they limit how far a joint moves to help protect against injury. As the elbow joint bends, the ligaments stabilize the elbow bones so the arm can move with control.

There are three main types of muscles: skeletal muscles, which can be voluntarily controlled, involuntary smooth muscles, such as those that control breathing, digestion and other functions, and involuntary cardiac muscles, which control the function of the heart. Skeletal muscles travel across the length of joints and stretch between the bones. All muscles in the body contract or shorten when they receive nerve signals initiated by the brain.

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