Top 4 Anatomy-Based Tips for Asana
You teach, you’re trained – and YET – you have serious questions about cueing / anatomy / alignment.
Or you feel like you’ve been taught cues or imagery that doesn’t feel like it works in your body – or your student’s bodies. Cues that create pain or excess tension, you find yourself holding your breath trying to make sense of an instruction or wrestling your body into it. Or it just doesn’t feel good – solid – sound – Alive and Dynamic.
You don’t want to teach what you were told – you want to teach from what you can feel, image and understand deeply in your own practice, right?
Here is Tip #3:
3) Asymmetry is Necessary
I love the pelvis. And my low back. And my hip joints. And I want them to last, thank you, so I can run marathons and ‘get off the pot’ independently when I’m old. You, too? Great!
The moment we leave Tadasana, Mountain Pose, and step one foot back or out – we then require asymmetry.
Heck, many of us don’t have pelvic symmetry when we stand in Tadasana to start with!
The pelvis itself has 3D actions that allow for force absorption (aka healthy movement) and as Yoga teachers we must do our best to embrace the asymmetry that is required for many wide standing poses, twists, seated poses. Our hips will rarely be square in space, are not square at all in reality, both sit bones may not always need to (or want to) be grounded, and this is perfectly healthy – provided we see the student or ourselves clearly and in context, of course.
The more I understand the subtle mobilities in my hips and pelvic anatomy, the deeper my seated and twist/bind practice is going – And I feel better than before I had that x-ray vision of my anatomy.
It also helps to be able to self-care for SIJ health and work with the growing number of teachers with SIJ instability. Some of them have had falls or other traumas, sure…yet too many yoga teachers have experienced SIJ issues from asana practice directly – or continue to exacerbate their symptoms instead of finding better function and healing.
We can change this. End soapbox.
Embodied knowledge is the best knowledge.
Hope this post is helpful!
Do comment with your anatomy questions or share your teaching tips.