This entry was posted on Nov 16, 2023 by Charlotte Bell.
The previous few weeks, I’ve shared posts on this weblog concerning the sacroiliac (SI) joint, part of human—significantly feminine—anatomy that tends towards harm in yoga apply. This submit introduces the joint, and this one explains how one can work with one of many problematic alignment cues that may contribute to SI joint dysfunction.
At the moment’s submit will tackle one in all yoga’s most persistent, and probably damaging, alignment cues: squaring the hips. I first heard this instruction within the Nineteen Eighties, in quite a few Iyengar-based lessons and workshops. Again then, squaring the hips in asymmetrical standing poses similar to Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) was considered wholesome alignment.
However the reality is, it’s unlikely that anybody’s hip joints are designed to do that. If you attempt to sq. the hips in asymmetrical standing poses, one thing has to provide. That “one thing” might be the knee and/or the hip joint of the entrance leg. After which there’s the SI joint. If you attempt to sq. the hips in standing poses, one facet of the SI joint jams collectively and the opposite stretches open. This places asymmetrical pressure on the joint that may destabilize it over time. (Keep in mind that for the SI joint to operate correctly, it needs to be steady.)
How To not Sq. the Hips in Standing Poses
As a result of each particular person’s hip joints are totally different, there’s no one-size-fits-all cue for the right pelvic angle. In the identical means that untucking the tailbone appears to be like totally different for various folks, the rotation of the pelvis will look totally different for various folks. So you must develop inner cues.
Warrior II is the pose the place I found the significance of rotating my pelvis. For a few years I hated the pose as a result of my entrance leg would shortly get fatigued and develop into shaky and unstable. It’s because all my weight was dumping onto the entrance leg. Whereas on a 30-day silent meditation retreat within the ’90s, I started experimenting with my pelvic place whereas in Warrior II. After I allowed my pelvis to rotate inward, abruptly my again leg clicked in and started to provide assist. Then my entrance leg not needed to do all of the work. I discovered that I might hand around in Warrior II for minutes at a time and never really feel drained. It was a revelation. From then on, I’ve practiced all standing poses this fashion. Not solely has it made my standing poses a lot stronger, but it surely has additionally helped alleviate persistent SI joint ache.
An SI Joint-Pleasant (Warrior II)
Right here’s how I instruct discovering the optimum pelvic rotation. I’ll use Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) for example.
- Stand on a nonskid yoga mat along with your ft vast aside—2 to three ft—and parallel. Place your palms in your pelvic rim.
- Flip your whole proper leg—your foot, shin, knee and thigh—outward 90 levels, in order that your foot is pointing towards the top of your mat.
- Flip your whole left leg—your foot, shin, knee and thigh—inward about 30 levels. Really feel how your again foot is grounding.
- Actively attempt to floor your again foot. Now slowly rotate the left facet of your pelvis inward, till you’re feeling the again foot rooting extra firmly into your mat. That is prone to be your optimum pelvic rotation.
- One other inside reference that works for some folks is to rotate the pelvis till they really feel each heels aligning with their respective ischial tuberosities (sit bones).
- Lengthen your arms outward out of your shoulders in order that they’re parallel to the ground.
- Now floor your again foot as you bend your entrance knee, monitoring it out over your entrance foot. In case your pelvis is in its optimum rotation, you’ll really feel your weight evenly distributed between the suitable and left ft. In case your pelvis isn’t in its optimum rotation, you’ll probably really feel most of your weight in your entrance foot. Be happy to discover your pelvic rotation when you’re in Warrior II to seek out the rotation that permits your ft to simply assist your weight evenly.
- Take 5 to 10 deep breaths within the pose.
- Floor your left foot and push along with your proper to straighten your knee. Flip your ft to parallel and relaxation for a couple of breaths.
- Transfer to the opposite facet.
If you happen to’re excited by studying extra about your hips and SI joint, take a look at my most up-to-date e book, Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started educating in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Conscious Yoga, Conscious Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third e book 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 folks sextet Crimson Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.