This entry was posted on Nov 2, 2023 by Charlotte Bell.
I not too long ago wrote a submit on the widespread downside of sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction amongst yoga practitioners. Within the submit, I outlined a number of of the causes I’ve noticed over greater than 40 years of educating and training yoga asana. In right now’s submit, we’ll discover how you can forestall the primary of those causes of SI joint issues.
There might properly be extra the reason why SI joint dysfunction is frequent amongst yoga practitioners that I haven’t but encountered. (I welcome your ideas if you happen to’ve skilled SI joint ache from a motion apart from those I checklist under.) And there are actually different issues we do in our day by day lives that will trigger issues. For instance, actions comparable to improper lifting, shoveling snow and traumatic accidents can destabilize the joint. However there are particular actions we apply repeatedly in yoga that may trigger SI joint dysfunction.
Listed below are those I’ve recognized thus far:
- Tucking the tailbone
- Squaring the hips in asymmetrical standing poses comparable to Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and the Warrior poses, and in twists
- An excessive amount of concentrate on hip opening
Wholesome SI Joint Observe
Untucking the Tailbone: The hip system is made up of three joints—the hip joints, the SI joint and the pubic symphysis. The place of every of those joints impacts the integrity of the others. (The pubic symphysis is motionless besides throughout delivery, so I’m going to concentrate on the opposite two right here.)
For the sacrum to seat securely within the ilium, it ought to sit at roughly a 30-degree angle in order that the highest tilts ahead. Which means the pelvic rim must tilt ahead with the tailbone pointing again. When the sacrum is seated within the joint, the SI joint can carry out its most important perform of transferring drive from the legs to the higher physique and vice versa. After we tuck the tailbone, we lose that connection. As well as, over time, tucking the tailbone can destabilize the joint because the ligaments that maintain the joint collectively are overstretched.
The sacral/pelvic place has essential implications for the SI joint and for the hip joints, in addition to the backbone and the knees. After we tuck the tailbone, the heads of the femurs push up towards the anterior rims of the hip sockets. This will put on down the cartilage and labrum of the hip joints over time. As well as, once we tuck the tailbone and push the thighbones ahead, the knees hyperextend. Lastly, tucking the tailbone straightens out the lumbar curve.
How you can Decide Your SI Joint Place
Probably the most dependable technique to know whether or not your pelvis, and subsequently your SI joint, is in a impartial place is to develop an interior reference for what correct positioning looks like. An out of doors observer, comparable to a yoga instructor, can’t essentially choose your place just by taking a look at it. It is because the form of particular person sacrum bones is very variable. Sacrum bones may be huge or slender, triangular or comparatively straight sided, and the profile of the bone could also be curved or straight. So for instance, somebody with a curvy sacrum could look as if she is tilting the sacrum ahead however could, in truth, be tucking the tailbone. Right here’s an exploration to attempt:
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) together with your toes hips-width aside.
- Place your fingertips on the high of your thighs, on the hip crease.
- Tuck your tailbone and palpate the tissue on the hip crease. Word how this tissue feels. It is going to possible really feel taut and onerous.
- Start to attract the heads of the thighbones again, guiding them gently together with your fingertips. You’ll possible really feel as if you happen to’re sticking your butt out.
- Now palpate the tissue. In case your pelvis is in a impartial place, you’ll really feel a little bit of finish spring within the tissues on the hip crease. In case you tilt too far ahead, the tissues will really feel slack. So when the tissues really feel not too tight, or not too free, you’re most likely within the ballpark.
Wag Your Tail for Comfortable Hips
One other method of figuring out your sacral place is to verify to see if you happen to can “wag your tail,” shifting your buttocks facet to facet.
- First, stand in Tadasana and tuck your tailbone. Attempt to wag your tail. Your pelvis will possible keep stationery and your higher physique will transfer facet to facet.
- Then tilt your pelvic rim ahead to the purpose the place the tissues within the hip crease really feel springy however not slack. Now attempt to wag your tail. In case you can wag your pelvis backward and forward, your pelvis is probably going in impartial and your sacrum can sit securely within the joint.
Keep tuned for the subsequent in my SI joint sequence, the place I’ll focus on why to not sq. your hips in asymmetrical standing poses.
In case you’re involved in extra detailed information concerning the hips and SI joints, learn my most up-to-date guide: Hip-Wholesome Asana: A Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache. The guide consists of an efficient technique for academics to check pelvic place with their college students.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started educating in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each printed by Rodmell Press. Her third guide is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Purple Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.