Can you get your hips to face forward in Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)? Are you able to place your shin parallel to the top of the mat in Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)? Perhaps you find it difficult to lower your hand down your forward leg in Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) or bring your feet up to the opposite thighs in Lotus (Padmasana)?
Trying to obtain “perfect aligment” in an asana can be an exercise in futility because the ability to move the body through a yoga pose is not just about the flexibility of the muscles, tendons and fascia in and around the joint. The ability of a student to perform a yoga pose is also influenced by anatomical factors such as bone structure. For example, the shape of bones and the angles at which they articulate to form a joint.
External rotation, bone compression and asana alignment in Lotus (Padmasana)
In addition to flexibility, the ability of a yoga student to sit in full Lotus is also determined by the shapes and angles of their left and right femur (thigh bone) and acetabulum (hip socket). Sitting in full Lotus requires the ball-shaped head of the femur to rotate outward in the hip socket at about 115 degrees.
External rotation of the hips halts at the point at which the greater trochanter of the femur comes into contact with the superior rim of the acetabulum. Basically, your thigh bone will stop rotating part way into Lotus when it makes contact with the bone of the hip socket. This bone on bone contact is known as compression and prevents any further progression in that particular direction, regardless of flexibility around the joint. Accordingly, you may never be able to go deeper into certain yoga postures due to the shape of your bones.
Want to try a class at Absolute Yoga (Liverpool)? The first class is free for new students and then choose from…
Information for New Students at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)
- Please see here for a list of classes which we recommend for your first time on the mat with us
- You may also wish to read our FAQ on yoga and Pilates
Your first class is free and then you can choose from one of the new member introductory offers: £30 for 30 days or £40 for 40 days
See here to book a class
- For class descriptions, see here
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