Yoga poses, working our bodies natural design

I’m standing on the beautiful beach in New Zealand. It’s 2010, and I’ve finished Donna Farhi’s yoga teacher training course.

I’ve signed up for four day walk in New Zealand’s South Island. With me on the walk is a group of American tourists. One of them is trying to do Warrior II. He’s trying hard to get the perfect pose. I can see him visibly making an effort and probably straining himself in the process. Thing is it looks really uncomfortable for his body.

He’s put his left foot at 90° to the other foot and he’s trying to put his pelvis so that he’s in one line with his body. And the problem is that our bodies are just not designed to do that. The average external rotation of the hip joint is 45°, he was trying for a full 90°, twice as much as the average range. Someone told him to do this and he was trying his best to do it.

No criticism or judgment about this, I often find myself doing things that other people have told me to do without really thinking them through. And the result is often discomfort or sometimes even strain. I’m getting a little better at stopping that kind of getting-myself-into-a-panice-trying-to-fit-into-the-class-movement thing because, well, it just hurts too much.

Some of the problem is just simple view point. Take a look at Warrior II from the side and it looks like the pelvis is completely flat.

Vector image from pixabay

But take a look from another perspective and it’s obvious that the pelvis is at an angle.

Warrior II, image from Flickr


And that’s the main theme of the workshop in 2 weeks, figuring out how to practice in a way that suits your body. There are still spaces in the workshop why not come along and just see how it works for you?

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© Kevin Saunders, Yogaground 2017

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