The Yoga Anatomy Interview
Hi, I’m gonna say that this is to love yoga anatomy. And this is a first collaboration with purple Valley. And we’re here with David. Kyle Kiel. How do you say? Which one is it? Kyle? Kyle. Pretty official record, Kyle. And super. Next me. Burnett to me often.
I’ve been taught to point out that there’s only one aspect of his fully rounded yoga knowledge. Thank you.
And yeah, super excited to be here and happy to be here grill you with all these questions. Okay, why not? janish has C. And so to bend destiny.
Just see. those are those are my two favorite postures actually. Yeah, yeah. Those are my favorites. just seem
You know, there’s a fragility there.
increased risk of injury. Do you think I’m right in saying that on that
They’re definitely further towards the edge and level of difficulty right there. They’re moving up if we,
if we made a scale of difficulty of postures, starting at zero ending at 10, you know, those, we would be getting up into the seven, eight range. And they’re in primary, right?
So, john knew See,
that’s a tricky one. But here’s where the all or none, right or wrong kind of thing comes in. People take the approach that either they’re doing it fully completely, or they’re not. They don’t allow themselves to be somewhere in between and let it evolve. And that’s where the trouble comes. Oh, you know, when when
either a student is being rigid on themselves or teachers being rigid, and it’s like, No, your knee has to be down. No, your heel has to be up or no, all of your toes have to be on the floor for a total beginner. You know, of course, that’s not gonna work. I’m not saying most teachers do that. Hopefully they don’t. But how do you make yourself comfortable and in a place
With a posture like john, do you see where there’s some sense of progression? Like, you know what direction you’re going with it, even though you’re not there? And the hardest part is to be okay with that. That’s the thing is because we all want to do it be done with it.
You know, feel like we have accomplished Johnny shear shots, Tennessee. Yeah.
And it’s the work is then to be okay with not having accomplished it and still going on with your practice.
I suppose the issues I have with the other
external rotation of the tibia relative to the
I think, you know, the tibial rotation at the knee is it’s always more externally than it is internally, so it’s designed to go more in that direction anyway, like if we had to flip it back around the other way, that would be really crazy.
And the external rotation opens up the inside of the knee.
But I think the the bigger problem and we can talk
about this when we get to half lotus or full lotus, which I’m sure we’re going to get to.
is all of these types of postures come back to the hip being open enough here.
So what did you see the key movements then inside Genesee chestnut, see what should be happening at the hip? What should be happening at that knee ankle?
if we start with
the foot, your Achilles tendon actually needs to be open enough for the toes to get on the floor properly. That’s a restrictor that people miss out on all the time.
People think their ankle rotates. I’ve heard that before your ankle doesn’t rotate, just so everybody knows the ankle doesn’t rotate.
If I because if I go into it, this to get the knee down actually requires the
and I just do it for a second.
I always start with the knee up because that’s a less
position for the knee, whether it’s half lotus or this type of posture anyway. So for the toes to get down, you’re going to have to rotate at the at the knee. So there’s external rotation,
less pressure, higher, more pressure as it goes lower. But in order for it to lower, you can see the Achilles tendon has to lengthen. Yeah, so that doesn’t make them then that’s gonna float, and then people will fall over onto that side. And then it’s imbalanced, it’s not grounded, and all that, that’s more likely, and then it’s stuck in some position, and there’s a lot of tension, and then you try to go forward on it. And so it’s the combination of things. So somebody has to be comfortable with this. And we, you know, as a rule, we don’t use props in Ashtanga, which then, you know, sometimes means that we’ve got that knee floating in the air, whether we’re going forward or not. I mean, one of the rules I’ve always heard is like, Okay, if the knee is not on the floor, then don’t go forwards. But if it’s in the air, even if you’re sitting there, it’s
it’s vulnerable to somebody coming by and pressing it down. Right. It’s,
it’s it’s certainly more vulnerable than if it were on the ground. There’s no question about that. But it’s being held intention.
So I’m not sure that it’s so I would I would worry more about the energy of trying to bring it down towards the floor coming internally. Yeah. While it’s in that position, yeah, too soon. So letting gravity rather than in engaging to draw it down? Yeah. Especially in that one. Yeah. That I that’s what I would think. Yeah. I just I, you know, like you said, it’s not typical to use blocks and bolsters and straps and all of that stuff. And Ashtanga.
you know, it’s meant for the teacher to basically be the blocks in the bolsters, which I do a lot of, but, you know, sometimes blocks are just helpful.
I use them. But
if you’re going to choose to do that you have to choose to know. With whom, when and when to take it away. Yeah, that’s, that’s good. Yeah. Yeah. You have to? Yeah, you have to set a tone that this is not long term. This is not forever. But if I’m not here, what are you gonna do?
such a fantastic no neck extension, weight bearing, neck extension weight bearing, okay, so said to been desna, I think is really important to look at in terms of sequencing.
So last pose, from a traditional point of view, you wouldn’t be doing that pose until you’ve done every other pose successfully.
So if we go backwards in the sequence, and this is how I really like to look at Ashtanga is where things live relative to other things. Because I think it says a lot about what we need to work on.
We’ll take it back to boot up dossena
chin is supposed to touch the floor, most people go to the top of the head, I think it’s a mistake. I think people end up or like
touching, lightly touching, I would rather see somebody you know, lightly touching their forehead then rolling onto the top of their head and over that, because then all the weight goes into the head and they push back and then they fall on their bottom. But anyway, if we look at it, how it’s supposed to be done, let’s say we’re gonna go idealistic, traditional chin, and if you’re extending your chin forward, at that moment, you’re strengthening the back of your neck, but not in a weight bearing way.
And then go korma center, same
neck is in full extension like a tortoise. Then you start working with leg behind head, which strengthens the back of the neck.
Get a little stretch in garba and then continue on. You’re doing all of this next year rolling on your neck. Right so there’s this whole sequence of rolling onto your neck rolling off your neck, extending
Your neck that happens before it. And if you can do all of those things correctly.
Hopefully, you’ve strengthened your neck for something like said to been dossena. I suppose when I’ve seen people do it, you know, like 90% people doing it. The hinge thing, you know, that’s not much of a, because they’re not open enough in the chest. Hmm. Then they get the lift, thereby hindering the neck. So there’s not a nice curve. Yeah, you know, and it just looks, it looks precarious, anyway. Yeah. I mean, putting your leg behind your head to the average person looks pretty precarious anyway. I think too many people make it into a backbend.
And I think it’s more like,
like a low arch. Yeah. Because the legs are straight, not supposed to be bent. So it’s only supposed to get so high. I think too many people keep their knees too, too bent and therefore everything gets higher as opposed to staying low.
A hinge moment. Yeah, maybe it. I mean, it’s a difficult posture. I can’t say I’m in love with it. But then, you know, General people have had whiplash injuries or neck issues, that sort of thing, but they need to be more careful for sure. No doubt about it. I mean, often in those types of injuries, you know, compressing the neck in that direction is usually more trouble, just because that tends to create more of a herniation or something, if there’s one there then exacerbated.
But still weight bearing on on the head, you know, should be looked at carefully for those people on an individual basis. Yeah. So maybe we should backtrack a little bit because we sort of started
wham, bam, into the middle Hamlin, why not? So let’s think about just in the whole sphere of things, yoga anatomy and and
if people are seeking a knowledge of yoga anatomy, how is it gonna help them with the practice? How’s how’s that gonna translate in in their practice?
In what ways do you see that? Yeah, it’s a good question. I asked it of myself. rapidly. I mean, I teach it. Yeah. Actually in in
when I did the yoga anatomy videos in 2008, I actually say that in the introduction. Yeah. And I remember the editor was like, you’re, we’re taking that out, right? And I’m like, No, no, leave it. Because
one should be asking a question of why they’re doing what? sure what it’s for.
I think I say there, you know, so it’s a sincere practitioner of yoga and the big picture, they don’t need to know any anatomy. Yeah.
I teach it, so I have to make a good argument for it. That’s how it
It’s like, it’s almost like being a chef and growing your own vegetables and your own
herbs and spices. Yeah. Right. There’s an appreciation then for the food.
That you’re cooking and making and how you’re preparing it and the energy and the love you’re putting into it. And so, you know, with us in a practice, you know, you’re using your body. And if you look deeply into the body becomes very spiritual. I mean, just look, somebody, you know, go ahead and look up, you know how a muscle actually contracts,
like on a cellular level, I mean, it’s just unbelievable. It’s like magic. Yeah. And so it gets you very close to spirituality, just like anything you look into, as it should. backing out from that. There’s the practical side of it as well and stuff we’ve already talked about, you know, this, this more objective point of view of what’s going on in your body and making decisions based on that is definitely fed by having a good understanding of your own anatomy.
Right, like, what is it that I’m actually doing? Where what is the effect of that? Yeah, because then you have these visuals in your mind
of what fits together and how and how it functions together.
And hopefully it’s an integrated way of seeing the body because if it’s piece by piece, you’ll be missing all kinds of stuff. Yeah. But when you have those sort of visuals in your mind, you can imagine what’s going on in your body, you might accentuate certain things or D, the accentuate, right? accentuate the word. Yeah. Which make them up as we go. We typically do in America.
And it’s even more important as a teacher, because I’m looking at students bodies, and I’m trying to see them for who they are. Yeah. You know, before I start imposing all of my ideas of how the practice is supposed to be I, I really need to observe their anatomy.
Because I’m watching the move. So that’s what I’m seeing, you know, as, as objectively as possible. How does their anatomy move or not move? Or in what way does it move? Is it integrated? Is it unintegrated so everything I’ve learned about anatomy is you know, tied into
how I see the house
I see people practicing, and then what I decide to do, hopefully based on that objective point of view of who they are, and less on my biased point of view of how I think the practice should be. Yeah.
I like to think it happens for me as a practitioner as well, because I, I also strive through the anatomy to have an integrated practice integrated movement, efficiency of movement, not not that the anatomy isn’t there to sort of tie you into thinking about what’s right or what’s wrong, or what’s good or what’s bad. But,
but feeding your experience, the practice, I know my wife, she says to me, I can see you’re analyzing too much in the postures, you know, I can almost see your brain working. And I can see that myself. And I think that’s the resistance that some people feel about. They take on too much information. It’s gonna spoil their stillness in the posture or their focus, and I can sort of see that in myself.
I’m constantly thinking, Okay, externally rotate that. I
can’t do that. So that’s pretty cool. So you just you take your knowledge and subconsciously, you just do it. Well, the body’s gonna move. Yeah.
It’s more like we’re expressing the postures with our anatomy. We’re not trying to make our anatomy fit into a particular posture.
That’s where trouble starts to happen. You know, it’s, we want to embody the posture in a way that we’re expressing it with our own anatomy. Because what happens is, otherwise you get stuck in this idea that there’s always something wrong, or there’s always something to fix, perhaps, that something’s wrong. But maybe everything’s just fine the way your head is, you know? Yeah, I mean, I mean, this is where most people intersect with anatomy, like even those who really don’t want to do it, you know, relative to, you know, thinking about things too much. And I can say more about that, but they want to intersect with it when they’re injured, or when they can do yes
Those are the points of intersection. Yeah, that are most common. That all the sudden people start googling stuff and they start self diagnosing themselves. And it’s unfortunate. Sometimes they get it right. Mostly they probably get it wrong. But
it? Yeah, it’s for people who think it’s gonna cause them to think too much.
They might have a habit of thinking too much already. I wouldn’t need to, I suppose. Yeah.
I’m thinking about that, instead of thinking about what I’m going to be shopping or whatever, right. I guess I’d better step in the right direction. Yeah. It’s just I think sometimes when you’re thinking of fasteners, and you look at the detail of an ESA and you say, Okay,
this is a chicken esna, for instance, and maybe you’ll disagree with what I’m going to say anyway. But let’s,
let’s say we’ve stepped forward with our left leg and we might say that, okay,
if we externally rotate our right here, it might allow us to stack our hips better want to
But the other. And so then that involves some sort of conscious thought process, you know, to, which then takes us a little deeper into the posture. I think everybody goes through this process of figuring out the posture. Right? When you first start, you have to think about everything you had, you don’t have a choice.
Right? There’s no way not to, because you haven’t done it before. So you have to figure it out. Maybe you’re not using anatomical words in your mind, but you’re feeling it out or thinking about it. Or maybe you’re somebody says, try to turn your foot that way or that way. It’s the same thing. But once you establish a pattern of doing that can drop the thinking part.
Okay. You said I think you said it wasn’t kept the patterns going. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And then, like, relax into it for a while. Like and that means like a year in my mind, at least. Okay. And then then you’re really exploring it.
too quick. And
in terms of thinking too much
yoga isn’t about not thinking.
It’s about it’s about content. It’s about many things really
having knowledge that you have behind you, as you go into practice. Are you trying to make something happen? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’d be like saying, you know what, Guruji shouldn’t have read too much philosophy.
Because then he’d be thinking about it too much when he gives, you know, conference. Yeah. I mean, that’s not true, right? You’re building on your knowledge base, something that you draw a lot of stuff subconsciously, like you were trying to, like the same before. It’s in there and it’s, you’re drawing it, you don’t necessarily have to process it in the front of your mind, right? Or it might be the difference of, you know, there’s mental knowledge. And then there’s experiential knowledge. So we always use that mental knowledge as a base to have an experience from then tested in the real world.
So in that sense from subconscious to conscious in a way so once you learn it all you know, it doesn’t mean you have to think about everything all the time it but it will color your experience nonetheless. Yeah. So this ask you then fresher Next, you know that’s you know we have these things in yoga circles don’t wait something bubbles to the surface something one time it was like mutation consultation sacred. We’ve had, we’ve had a discussion about that. If anybody’s here that might come up again. But at the moment there’s a lot of in bodywork circles as well about fascia and maybe that influences the way we should do our practice. How do you first of all, maybe explain for people what fashion is as you see it, and then how it relates to the practice maybe? Okay.
Well, first, I think it’s in the forefront of everybody’s mind because there’s been more research in the last like, five to 10 years on fascia than there ever has been in the history of man. Yeah, right.
Now there’s a national congress that meets every two or three years or whatever it is, which which is great, because they’re discovering all kinds of things and disproving all kinds of other things. So
well, fascia is a type of connective tissue. Most people will substitute the word fascia for connective tissue.
not technically right, it doesn’t really matter. And they do that because it’s the most abundant type in the body. And so fascia is this specific type of connective tissue that is in and around muscles. So it’s highly abundant in the body but there’s other tendons are whether almost related to muscles anyway, but ligaments are a type of connective tissue. You know, there’s another layer under the skin and you know all there’s all kinds of types of connective tissue going on in the body
and related to practice.
Again, if we start going too far off into the science, then we’re going to lose some of the spirituality so it’s, it’s finding this balance of the two. The intersection is because fascia
can restrict movement. If it’s gummed up if it’s stuck if it’s tight if you have scar tissue, which is another type of, you know, connective tissue.
And so that’s where we’re kind of intersecting with it. It’s where we deal with our attention and our tightness. A component of that is the fashio or the connective tissue. The other part of that is the nerves related to the contractile function of muscles. So these things start mixing together because, you know, a muscle is created by
tubes of fascia filled in with proteins. So when we stretch a muscle, we’re stretching the connective tissue or the fascia, as well as asking the muscle isn’t well, not always but usually asking the nervous system to stop stimulating that muscle so we can lengthen it. Yeah. And that’s never going to be 100% off anyway. But we’re dealing with all of those things, to buy into the three dimensional model of fashion in a permeating right way through the body.
From the superficial Oh, through the muscle, yeah, everywhere. Yeah, I buy that. Okay. Cool. And so feeding on from that there’s some talk about the fact that fascia takes longer to respond or needs longer potentially in a stretch then a muscle death.
You know, so would we change the way we practice too? So, are we going into yoga? Maybe No, I don’t think okay. Not that far. No into holding postures that Yeah.
But maybe also just different. I’ve heard talked about you know,
don’t be not being so linear around the joints exploring many of the different angles around the joints, you know, because it will help spread and open in many more directions and anything like to linear. That’s where I’m going. Okay.
there’s different movement techniques and different exercises and stretching
programs and yogas lives in some big body of movement related.
Art, slash science slash spirituality stuff. Yeah.
There’s something to be said for a tradition and and again, when we get out on these edges of things, and we start to then change what the tradition was sometimes for the better sometimes because we just think we’re doing it better.
You know? Yeah. Should you have fluid movement around the entirety of your joint? Yes.
So, instead of thinking about a practice as linear than you, internally, you can access different parts even within a particular posture, turn things on, turn things off. Or you can just flop into it and be in it. Yeah.
And it’s another place where, you know, I guess you could use anatomy to think about how you’re
putting pressure into particular joints. But in terms of the responsiveness of connective tissue I, to be honest with you, I’d have to see, you know what research was saying what yeah, I mean, my personal experience of connective tissue is, it doesn’t take much more than about unless it’s really stuck within about five to 10 seconds of having pressure on it, whether that’s coming from fingertips or coming from bodyweight gravity and tension being added to it by like, you know, holding your foot and pulling yourself forward, within five to 10 seconds, it starts to loosen and give how long you need to stay there for effectiveness. You know, that’s holding a stretch has been debated for a very long time now. And the average number that always comes up is about 30 seconds, which is quite sort of about five breaths isn’t 565 to eight breaths. Yeah, somewhere in there. And I mean, look at, look at the result. You can watch people do Ashtanga where they only hold it for five breaths and you see people’s body
Change. Yeah. Within one year. Yeah. And it’s much more to do with consistency of practice. And it is with that the fact that they’re holding it for a short amount of time versus holding it a long amount of time. Yeah. So if you do a long held posture once a week, yeah.
Doesn’t mean you know, anything’s gonna change now. You touched on it just now we’ve talked about the nervous system, physical body.
How much of
we call it we can only call it range of motion around the joint or flexibility? How much is that governed by the nervous system? And how much is b? So now we’re not talking about in within the five breaths, we’re talking maybe about six month program, right? How much is about the reprogramming of the nervous system, shall we say and how much of it is about physical change to the muscle and
what do you think? Do you want to include connective tissue and bone structure as well? Yeah, why not? Okay.
Well, I mean, you have to you want to look at it in as from the point of view of all of the possibilities that could be restricting range of motion. Right. So how far can we move a joint? The deepest level, potential level of restriction is the bone structure. And I know a lot has been made out of bone structure, and
it’s certainly a possibility.
Most of us live in range of motion. That’s average. And then there’s a few outliers in both directions. You know, it’s like a typical bell curve, you know, there’s 5% out who are super flexible. Yeah. 5%, who are their bone shape just won’t allow them to do something. Yeah. And then on top of that is the ligamentous structures that allow for restrict movement at joints. So it’s possible that you know, if ligaments are particularly tight, they add to restriction if your ligaments are generally loose, they’ll allow for more which gets into the connective tissue and things.
And then at that point, I would say you’re dealing with the neuromuscular relay.
Shift the nervous system feeding the muscle creating tension. And then that kind of cohabitate with the fascial tension at that level.
Regardless of which one it is, the only one we can change is really the neuromuscular fascial component.
That’s the only one we can do anything. Yeah, and the ligament, probably not a good idea to overstretch too many ligaments, because then the joints move around too much. And they were in arthritis and all that kind of stuff sets in.
It’s something I talk a lot about in the workshop, which is, you know, neuromuscular patterns. We all have sort of patterns of movement, ways of moving from things that we’ve done if we’ve tried to be a footballer or play tennis or golf or dance or gymnastics, whatever that is, you’re training your body to move in a very, very particular way. Probably the most common patterns are running in cycling, and I usually pick on the runners and the cyclists a little bit not because I don’t like running and cycling. I know
Do it. But just because? Well, it’s it’s very
contrary to yoga, especially because of the hips and how open, we really want the hips to be in our yoga practice.
So we’re up against these old patterns, and we’re trying to retrain those patterns. So there’s a component of letting the patterns go. And then feeding the opposite muscles in terms of strength.
To help create balance there, again, we always want to look at both sides of that equation. It’s not like we’re just trying to stretch stuff. We’re also trying to strengthen stuff. And how can we do that in our practice? How do we because I’m very mindful of that, that, you know, people quite often get injured because of, they’ve got too much flexibility and not enough strength around the same sort of areas that can control that flexibility.
Yeah, I would say I’ve worked with a few students this way. I don’t let them go all the way into postures. I make them hold before the edge of
The posture so that they have to engage the muscles. Like they don’t have a choice. Yeah, cuz otherwise they’ll just be flopping into the end of their range of motion. They’ll just be feeding that that flexibility but not working on this. So just I pulled them out a little bit. Okay. Make them engage strongly working as gravity. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s the I don’t know what else I could do. Some postures are gonna feed it in one direction. Other postures, feed it in another direction. Some questions or feel that strength component to it. Okay. Yeah, of course inversions, handstands, oh, you know, all that kind of stuff you would definitely feel. It’s like I look at every pose is made up of a combination of strength, flexibility and technique. The technique is broad, you know, it could be include breath and monda and all that stuff. But it’s always some combination of those things. I remember like the first time we met, I said to you, I said, you said to me, we’re going to talk about them. And I said, Well, you know, we want to talk about healthy practice safe practice. That’s what
thing. I seem to think I remember you saying I don’t call it three major things we need to you need to be thinking about Am I dreaming that three means I was dreaming. Yeah.
Who knows when I said then yeah, I changed my mind probably.
So regularly, I hope Yeah, which is development. You know, if we want to other things that we should be thinking of alignment wise,
healthy practice wise as sort of globally maybe, that we take throughout our whole practice just to make our practices long and, and sustained as possible.
First and foremost, is don’t ignore things in your body that are talking to you like pain, like, like pain. And, you know, that’s not a simple it’s an easy thing to say. But we’ve all had the experience of experiencing different types of pain and
sensations in our body. So my general rule for it is
things that are like in a very specific spot, pay really close attention to things that are more generalized and broad, you know, little yellow flag goes up, but no, just be mindful of it. And the other thing is to not to fool yourself and think that, you know, very strong asana practice is only magically healing somehow, and that you can’t possibly get injured doing this yoga, because it’s yoga. Exactly. You can get injured very badly, in fact.
So you need to listen to things. You know, I’m not saying to not try, I’m not saying to not, you know, put, you know, put your energy in and, you know, go for it, go for it, but go for it. And also pay attention to what’s coming back from your body. What it’s saying to you, it might not even be while you’re practicing. Yeah, you know, if you’re completely wiped out for the rest of the day, that might be telling you something because the more that builds up
Yeah, that leads to, you know, injuries long term. On the injury side, one of the and I’m sure it’s probably the same on your website, one of the most hits we get is articles about yoga. But, you know, I’d ask somebody what yoga bug was, I thought it was some new trend in the gym or getting your butt ready for the beach. So it’s nice and
shallow Boston? No, no, no. So like, for those that missed that issue tuberosity pain so like, the basic bone is hanging on your phone.
And I, why is it happening potentially? Did you see Did you see any commonalities between the types of people what happens in and B, what is the best way to deal with it? Once you call it?
There’s gonna be other ways, but maybe from experience.
I try to take the broadest point of view of this, because there’s not one specific cause anyway, yeah. If you start to
Look forward as one specific, you know, you’re gonna miss all kinds of stuff, right?
One reason it happens, I think, is
right side left side dominant tensional patterns that are just there naturally because we are right handed or left handed or right side or left, if you will. And what often goes along with that is, one side of our pelvis is naturally tilted more forward or backward than the other. So that creates tension in the hamstrings in a different way. layered on top of that is the majority of activities that we do require us to use our hamstrings because most of the activities we do involve walking or running, you know, and now we’re talking to like the average everyday people who’ve built up tension over long periods of time. Yeah. Whether it be running or cycling or gymnasts. Oh, the whole list of things that we do.
hamstrings get tight. They’re there for walking. That’s what they were designed, running. That’s what they were designed to be for.
So if they’re tight
We start doing a lot of forward bend, neck and also irritate you know, the tendon at the end of the hamstring or, or on the bone itself, you know where the connective tissue wraps on to the bone.
I’ve also found a lot of people who end up with
pain in our sip bone from trigger point in the gluteus minimus muscle. Okay, so that’s sitting on the side of you, is quite distinct. Yeah, yeah, you can you can Google it. Yeah.
Yeah, deep gluteals can also refer into there. There’s other muscles that refer into that zone as well. Anyhow.
So depending on which one of those causes it might be, we might do different things with those people. So if we determine that it’s gluteals, maybe we do more pigeon, double pigeon stuff to stretch those tissues. For instance, if it ends up being because of a torn hamstring, which is another reason why you
Stretch the hamstring in one moment and it makes a nice popping noise and some pain is there.
I have a whole article about this, but the number one common thing people do wrong in that particular situation is to keep their knees bent when they’re doing forward bends. Yeah. I say this with some caution, because it doesn’t mean that you should have really rigid legs and go super far after you tear your hamstring. So perhaps explain a why why this thing about bending the knee is advised for people with aggravated district tuberosities. Well, it might be appropriate for other reasons, assuming it’s not like a torn hamstring. Okay. Here’s the thing is you are being taught to do it in the first place. Well, I think it seems logical that if you shorten the hamstrings, there’s less tension on them. So by bending the knee, by bending the knee, you shorten one end of the hamstring. But the drawback is you lengthen the opposite end.
Bend the knee when you’ve torn your hamstring near the ischial tuberosity you’re actually loading more stretch into the torn end and you’re avoiding stretching the other end.
So what I suggest is keep the legs straight, just don’t go as deep
and the activation going on yeah and the front of them like for the neck strongly inner thighs Sure. Make sure the foot is straighten the leg is straight as well. Yeah. And sometimes
the sit bone pain is from adductor magnus tears Yes, but they’re feeling slightly more medial aren’t they? Well, either that or the difference will be they feel the sit bone pain when they do a wide leg forward bend but not when they do it with their legs together. Sorry booster can ask
Rita if you feel it there, but not when you do Patan Gustafsson it’s it’s adductor magnus and then bending the knee doesn’t even matter. Yeah, because they don’t cross yeah yeah.
You mentioned just now feet rolling out. You know, I see that all the time people would forward any janeshia shares now and that legs over there somewhere. And
is that just mindfulness? Or will it actually alter the posture dynamically to?
Everybody seems to be out to just put it straight back, it does seem to be that it’s drawn out there through restriction. Yeah, it’s just, it’s more like a lack of engagement that allows it to roll out. I think very naturally, when we fold forward are the head of our femur likes to externally rotate a bit to make more space for the pelvis to come forward. And that’s where it’s coming from. But if we engage it then so just straight awareness. Yeah. Yeah, just some awareness and attention to it. It’s very common, and if somebody has particularly tight hamstrings and the body is also rotating the leg to avoid that tension, yeah. Unconsciously Of course, on the other side of things, I quite often see people with their foot inverted. So with the surface
Have the foot more ameliorated towards the center. And then that seems harder for them to get it back. And also, then when they do things like stress and the feet behind, it seems hard for them to get that little toe down on the floor.
It’s a little tough to be down.
For this level, I think I’ve been doing that wrong.
And the first part of Okay,
I think that comes back to that there’s still tension in the hamstring. Okay, or secondarily, the bone shape at the hip joint, okay, which is one of the most variable that in the shoulder the most variable. I’ve seen images, and it’s just like a tremendous amount of angle differences you can have in this way. Is that right? Well, there’s, yeah, there’s like three different angles actually coming together and all of them have variability. So if you go to the extreme of all of them in your body, then you know, you might never put your leg behind your head. Yeah. Yeah, cuz you’ve got the socket, which can tilt down or up.
Or sideways or front and then you’ve got, you know, you’ve got the angle of the head, which can be at a quite a quite an angle. And then there’s another angle going sideways hard. Yeah, the QA. Exactly. Cue angle. Is the femur coming down. Yeah, that’s it’s true, isn’t it? Yeah. And then the length and there’s the length of the neck, which is a, you know, factor as well. Yeah. But I think the foot rolling in, I think if you look closely, you’ll find that the femur is externally rotated. Okay. And that’s like the tension trying to like, hold on, and pull it back. Yeah. Going back to stress maketo. Well, the femur and hip are in some way out of it because you’ve bent the knee. Yeah. So then it’s rotation of the lower leg anyway. So when you were saying, pinky toe doesn’t need to be there, well, just seems a square foot gives you like a stable base on what if you have a different shape foot than the other person?
A few toes tip toe off. Yeah, put a toe extension on there. I mean, cuz like, you know, my toes kind of line up.
I know people have their pinky toe way out here. Yeah.
So look at the, what I would look at is the quality of are they able to press their foot into the floor? Yeah, the detail of the pinky up pinky down. Yeah. You know, what if they were high toed shoes for a long time in their pinkies tight, you know, I don’t know it. I suppose I’m thinking rather than the middle toes like that, that this part of the foot here. Can you see that? Okay, when this part of the foot is actually flat on the floor as against maybe the foot being like that? Yeah. Yeah, I mean, again, in general, I would look for the midline of the foot to the floor. And yeah, if a toes floating or not. Yeah, I personally said the anatomist. I don’t care. I don’t care. Everybody else you can care. They can care about you. They can care about pinky toe. Yeah.
So we sort of touched on this. Maybe in the chat at the beginning about what to do. If you
Notice a restriction in your body which side between one side or the other? And is it that one side is more open? Or is it the other side is being restricted? And but also, this one is that just
quite often for many people, they seem to be one body part. That’s not cooperate. And you know, it doesn’t. It doesn’t want to open yoga teachers that know what they’re doing. And they’ve got, they’ve got tight hips, in external rotation, shall we say? And they’ve had them for 20 years, and they’re doing openers, and they’re doing stuff. Everything else is changed, but that’s not changing. Maybe their point is just bone shape. Bone shape, you think? 20 years since here, dedicated daily practice and it hasn’t changed. Yeah, what else could it? Well, sometimes I take those people and I do like a PNF stretch with them. So post isometric stretch, and change changes. But then there’ll be back. You know, it’s just seems like it’s
You go for the emotional muscle relationship thing could it be that’s where they’re hiding the secret? Somebody said to me once, that’s why I must be hiding my secret. Yeah, yeah.
Yes, hamstrings, just like
rock. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of those. So it’s not changing but everything the hips are opening up a pack is opening. Yeah. I mean, it seems like everybody’s gonna have something they’re gonna run into.
A good teacher. Yeah, that part of your body. Yeah.
I mean, if you can do a particular technique, and change it, then it then that would say to me then No, it’s probably not bone change. There’s got to be, you know, something else going on. And maybe they are hiding a secret. Maybe it’s some emotional spiritual karmic thing that has stuck in their body. I definitely see relationship between emotions and
Body areas and body parts set. Yeah, for sure. put people in certain positions and they’ll just cry. Yeah, I got seems to be lots of do chest hips.
Yeah, yeah, well, I mean hips are quite naturally tight from ambulation from walking. Yeah.
And it’s what needs to open.
I’d bring everything back in anatomy to.
Basically you want to open up your spine. And in order to open up your spine, you have to open up your hips and your shoulders. So you got to get through the hips and the shoulders so you can be in your spine more comfortably, more fully, etc. And of course, hips and shoulders give us trouble because that’s, you know, the shoulders, how we manipulate the world. And our hips is how we walk through the world.
So they’re naturally going to run into trouble and be tied or you know, hips tight, especially because
when you mentioned it just now spine, opening the spine and I remember reading this, so I was reading that you sent me a link to the mutation cancer mutation sacred
And in that there was discussion about this business, but there was also somebody mentioned about the fact that it’s business. What is this business? He went,
Oh, the new patient counter nutrition business. Oh, yeah. Because also, somebody mentioned about the fact of
too much upper back opening, potentially flattening the natural kyphotic curve of the upper spine, the thoracic spine.
We do quite a bit of if you’re doing prep work and stuff we do, you know, for those people that are tuning in, certain parts of the spine are more adept at flexion. extension in lumber, forensic, more rotate rotation. Yeah. Because of the superior inferior articulating processes, right. Yeah, one of the things and so is it right for us to try and increase the amount of extension available in an area which is designed basically more for the rotation
By doing the simple answer is yes. Okay. And the more complex answer, which we could do three hours on fine, which we’re not going to do.
If you don’t put any emphasis or energy into the upper back, then it means all you’re doing is working with your low back. Yeah. And therefore potentially wearing it out.
Energetically in, in the practice, physically Yeah, literally. Yeah. No, I didn’t. Yes. I didn’t mean sorry. Yes. Energetically in the practice, we’re thinking about.
Yeah, spreading the load. But I’m also talking about, you know, doing specific openers for the upper back in order to increase movement there to take some of the stress away from the low back. Yes, to create more of an even curve. Well, it’s never gonna be in any way. No. So with that, to that degree, definitely not.
Most people from the average daily life
You’ve got plenty of room to go in your thoracic spine to bring it into upright posture. And then even beyond that, there’s there’s room to go. And the other thing is the way those four set joint Yeah. Or it’s like a nice, yeah, the way they’re oriented with the back bend, they just slide towards each other this way. It’s not like in the lumbar when they when you try to rotate the lumbar, eventually they compress this way. I mean, it happens at some point there as well, but it’s sliding a bit first. And so
yeah, I don’t have unrealistic expectations about opening the upper back. But certainly it’s possible. You know, you’ve got 12 joints there. Yeah, it is. The way I say it is if you if you gain one to two degrees of extension in each one of those, multiply it by 12, that’s 24 degrees.
That’s the average and the each one won’t move that much necessarily. The ones that are closer to the lumbar will move more than the ones up in
In the middle and because of the way the spine is processes pop off and how they touch potentially.
But still you want to distribute the load. And that’s, that alone is the reason to work on the upper back. And then you got the shoulders following right behind the upper back, which have a very difficult time going in that direction. Usually.
Shoulders well on shoulders, then
we just jump right to shoulders. Like I said, shoulders, tight, shoulders leave, do not getting in the spine, tight hips also lead not to getting to not getting in the spine. How do we work that external rotation? If you’ve got any cause that we need that to take our arms back we need it is difficult to get in there with even with, even with openness to get, get that movement going. It’s much easier to work on internal tension. Yeah, it’s true our body isn’t really designed to very powerfully go into external rotation
comes down to
muscles to externally rotate our arm to rotator cuffs and the back portion of deltoids. That’s it. Everything is designed to make it go the other way. A lot more muscles.
Yeah, big muscles. Yeah, big muscles. So
part of it might simply be doing the back bends. Right. That’s part of it. I like to tie it into many more things in that there’s a very particular action required that since we jumped off from back bends into shoulders back was that we’re coming back. We’re coming back around for a moment. Yeah, because
there’s, there’s an arm movement in back bends that most people don’t allow to happen.
Because of the tension that you’re describing. It can’t Yeah, but you can do that action in other places where there’s less pressure and tension going into the joint. So down dog arms are the same
Potentially as back bending arms, right? So you can work on the external rotation that mixed with the mid rotation in the lower. Yeah, yeah, it’s gonna be that way and yeah, yeah.
which ties in to working with your serratus anterior. So we’re not far off the shoulder. We’re still in the spine somehow.
But engaging this radius in a way that brings the shoulder forward already increases the amount of external rotation. Yeah, slightly, but it does.
It brings it around in a different way and then it gives you access to latissimus in a different way, which is probably the number one restrictor for the back bends, and externally rotating the arms. Because when you lay on your back, yeah.
And you put your hands like this, you’re already engaging serratus to bring your scapula around the front more. Yeah.
If that doesn’t happen enough, the hand doesn’t go flat. Or if your tricep just tight, your hand doesn’t go flat.
So having worked in other postures, the same arm position, then there’s potential for there to be more when you get to back bending, just coming. Yeah.
Perhaps we can, can we know you’re gonna say yeah, because you can’t look at back bending shoulders without looking at the front of the legs that’s allowing the pelvis to move. Yes. So as hip flexors, so as hip flexors, really big at the moment, I knew.
But I do love myself. A lot. Tell us about
the practice, but I was gonna say rectus femoris, I think is a really big one for because across the hip, because it crosses the hip, and it pulls on on the front of the pelvis. And makes for that restriction, although back often in back bend, which then prevents us from pushing further with our knees to allow us to work into the upper back in the shoulders. So it’s a huge chain of joints. And back bending is a huge discussion with this.
I think I think from the beginning, we’re thinking about it wrong anyway.
Well, we’re calling it back bending. What’s the Sanskrit for back bending? Yeah, rather than front opening, because the postures name is Earth vagina rasa, which is Upward Facing bow. There’s no implication of.
I mean, it’s sorry, there is an implication of bending your spine. But when we say back bending, we focus on Yes, only they are squashing the back bend, instead of focusing on opening the front. Because a friend of mine Currently, we were saying that when she started to
focus or be aware of the size and it was there and what it was actually doing, sort of changed her practice,
as it should. So and don’t need to say more. You do. They want everyone wants to know how now and why now.
another big subject. Let’s see how we can
Put this really tightly and succinctly.
The size is the epitome of the core.
abdominals get included, but they’re out on the superficial layer of our body. So if you really look at the core, it’s the spine and then the muscles closest to it, which includes so as
the other thing that it does is it surrounds sits on either side of our center of gravity. This is the key to so as in terms of movement.
Because it surrounds your center of gravity, it has a very powerful effect on it. In its in its basic function and its more advanced function basic function, walking, walking is a series of throwing the leg forward and letting your center of gravity fall into that foot and over that foot and then switching to the next one and switching to the next one and switching to the next one.
A lot of what we do in the practice is move our center of gravity around
So carlina said that because she’s doing Ashtanga, jumping back, jumping forward, jumping through whatever the case may be, what we’re really doing is we’re taking our center of gravity. And we’re asking it to fly through space.
And the muscle closest to it to control that center of gravity is this LS.
And it’s a hip flexor and the way that we it functions when we jump back and jump forward. It’s active in both of those, even though one it’s getting longer when it’s getting shorter, which has to do with changing our body relative to gravity and then resisting the body weight falling through gravity. Yeah, when we jump back is
is also as how can we tune into it because for some people, it’s almost been desensitized as another muscle sort of take over. And yes, sort of weak and it doesn’t do its job. Yeah. So there’s a couple of ways of looking at it. It’s a deep muscle. It’s not superficial. So it’s very hard to feel
from the felt sense internal
all sort of receptors, sensing and contracting is not so easy. It’s much easier to feel your and see your quadriceps or you know, feel your soul. So that makes it Yeah, that makes it more difficult from the beginning.
So then it usually comes to a part of the conversation where people talk about either it’s weak, or it’s, they need to strengthen it, or they need to open it. So which one is it? Do you need to strengthen it? Do you need to open it, stretch it, lengthen it? Well,
most people, it’s probably too tight. And because it’s so tight, it’s weak.
And it’s tight because people sit for most of the day we all do. Right? And don’t do anything about it, then it doesn’t get lengthened.
So instead of focusing on stretching it or strengthening it, I tell people to try to build a relationship with it. So how do you build a relationship with it?
you focus on it.
You try to imagine
Pretend that all of your movement is coming from right there. Yeah, everything forward, bend from it, reach your arms up from it, jump back from it, jump forward from it, reach, stretch, length and do everything from it. And this is where it’s kind of overlaps in a way with, you know, who Deanna.
Not literally, who Deanna is energetic, the size is very physical.
But it draws our attention to our center
to our core,
which, you know, the main circulation point for energy always is somewhere below your navel and above your pelvic floor.
And so it is with yogic philosophy, the conda is where all the bodies come out of, right? The serpent, Kundalini sleeps at the base of your spine, so you’re putting your attention and intention there, and then you’re moving from the core outwards.
That’s how you relate to so as you see
Talk about perfecting size because of the shirt close attachment of the diaphragm to service on the spine. Yeah, they overlap each other. Yeah. Physically, therefore, factually as well. And the entire internal container of our abdomen, pelvic floor. So as spine all has one common layer of connective tissue, and then you hit the connective tissue layer that surrounds the organs. So yeah, tight diaphragm can lead to a tight so as an opposite as well.
pelvic floor tension is related through the so as into the diaphragm. Sure. Yeah, everything’s connected through connective tissue.
And if we circle back around to back bends, we sort of talked about what in and there were talked about the relationship with SOS rectus femoris. To Yeah, to our back band. how’s that gonna affect What’s happening? Well, what happens is when the size is really tight, or the other hip flexors, I would include all of them. I’m big on rectus femoris at the moment, I’ve got my
Little, my little story I’ve got going at the moment.
When those are tight, and you start to lift your hips up into the air, yeah, their restrictive tension pulls the pubic bone down,
or prevents it from going up higher. And as a result, if your pelvis is going down and forward, then it means the lumbar is compressing more.
So we’re looking for restriction it again to the body, you got to look for the restriction at the leg end of the body. And it you know, it’s one of the postures where you need the hip flexors to be open already. As you go into it. I mean, doing more back bending certainly helps that anyway. But if you’re trying to do more back bends, and you’re at a state where all you feel is compression in your low back, look to your hip flexors, including so as rectus femoris, adductors, all of it potentially.
We take another side issue. You mentioned Stratos earlier. And I’m thinking
Good, good. serratos activation rhomboid activation.
A lot of people have problems with the winning scapula. Yeah, for me, it’s difficult because mine have always just, I think if they just sit on your back quite often, you’re not even aware how you make them sit there. But when so for me, it’s never been a problem. They’ve all just always just set on my back and that’s been fine. In Toronto. We’re talking. Yeah, so yeah, generally speaking, as well. Yeah.
But uh, so for those that are having trouble controlling the, the lifting of the scapular away from the thoracic ribcage
How can they turn it on activating the muscles keep it sort of sucked onto the, onto their back and why do they need to do that? Or do they need to do that?
Yes, they do need to curl
up they get
serratus as one of two muscles in what I refer to as the size of the upper body, okay? And so radiuses function is it’s really, I mean it has its movement, it makes you bring your scapula around the front of your body and rotate it upward.
But the other thing that it does is it stabilizes the scapula. And so you’re talking about swinging the scapula and there’s actually a medical condition called winged scapula, where if your serratus gets injured or the nerve that feeds Raiders gets injured and the muscle atrophies and gets weak, yeah, then even at rest, forget Chaturanga your scapula will be popped off on the inner edge. You see that sometimes in this walking down the street in summer when people got loose flowers. Yeah, backless back so you can see some if you see the scapula sitting way off the back, very weak serratus anterior, yeah, maybe injury maybe not maybe just like abuse possible.
So as it’s a stabilizer, it helps stabilize the scapula in place. And when we lower down in tension,
Wrong, of course, we are scaffolds are going to move towards one another. This is a it’s a really tricky one and I did it here in the Sharla.
When we go horizontal,
are sort of named movements in the way muscles function shift slightly.
And in this case, it’s really important to see how the shift happens. We’re going horizontal, and we’re stabilizing our arm in our scapula. Yeah, because our hands are on the floor. Yeah. And if you connect all those bones together, it ends on the scapula, right? Yeah.
So what happens is when the trade is isn’t engaged, the rib cage falls through the two scapula. Yeah, it’s not even. It’s not necessarily just the scapula popping up. Yeah, it’s at the rib cage has sunken and you can see that you can see it. Yeah. And so what happens is serratus his fingers are holding on to the ribs, because the scapula is stabilized because it’s connected to the arm which is connected.
To your hand to the floor. Yeah, those fingers lift the ribcage up. So that’s the real action to look for. Even when you get to high plank if you like, if you know when you lower down, you have trouble and you want to work on it. Yeah. Stay in high plank and really draw your chest through and push from your scapula. Yeah. And you can, you can subtly distinguish, if you pay close attention, you can straighten your arms and push from your triceps and your upper arm. And then you can add on to that from the scapula. Yeah, so that’s a good exercise is to distinguish between the straight arm pushing and the scapula doing the movement as well. Yeah, that’s a good way to focus on it. And so when you lower down into Chaturanga, you want the action of the scapula is coming around the side. Yeah, to stay, it’s going to give up, it’s gonna, they’re still gonna move towards each other, but you want to pretend like you’re going to keep it going in that direction as you lower it, and that’ll force it into the triceps.
And anybody that’s wondering what serratos looks
I look at a boxer
called the boxers muscle. Yes, it’s nicknamed a ginormous something. Yeah. Big little fingers coming. Big little thing. Big fingers sticking up over here. Yeah. Okay, so, I mean, it’s so great for me to be here with you because it’s like we didn’t even get to do a proper intro but you like the anatomy superhero sort of thing. But, but, you know, obviously, that’s only one dimension of what you do for sure. But it’s for me, it’s great to be at this purple Valley, which is like a Mustang paradise and then doing all this so this is cool. So it’s like Christmas Christmas, like only a week early or something. And shattering Chaturanga is my way of getting back to Chaturanga Chaturanga. How far down to how far forward because I’ve got like every video on the planet as far as the saying goes and I look at you know, swings.
JOHN Scott even keener they’re all like this far from the floor at the bottom of their Chaturanga yet we often talk about
Keeping the alarm when you save money when maybe not then
is it kind of like they Yeah.
So some people talk about
keeping the upper
no lock no deeper than parallel to the floor, which would mean like 90 degree angle elbow up
is that you go with that or you say no go down.
I say let it be a process. Okay, and when you’re a beginner
keep the right form don’t go down as low Yeah.
For the majority of people I would say elbow is behind the wrist or not on top of the wrist This is once once you move past beginner stage. No, okay, we’re back up again the stage even at beginner stage Yeah, I think what happens is people think the elbow
is is should be aligned like the knees should be aligned and they go with this 90 degree angle and anything below that is possible.
I don’t I don’t think that’s true. In fact, I think if the elbow goes back behind the line of the wrist, you actually reduce the wrist angle. Yeah. So it’s less pressure on the hand in the wrist. Yeah. What about
and then at the shoulder, it means that the shoulder is pulled back closer to the hand, which is supporting it.
Sometimes you look at people though, then they got that low shutter angle, it looks like you can almost see the top of the humerus pressing against the skin, those forces coming forward. And I wouldn’t say that a beginner should just plop down into that either. So you got to tie together what we talked about was serratus. stabilizing the scapula. Yeah. So that when you lower down you’re not going you know, yeah, as that. Of course. That’s a problem. Yeah, because there’s no stability there. Yeah. And then things are much more likely to get injured. Yeah. But if you’ve created the stability as an advanced Practitioner with like all the people who you named, yeah, have a very well developed serratus anterior because
We’ve seen them all do the handstands, and the arm bounces, which means serratus is there. Yeah. So
the shoulder is stabilized. Next to the scapula. Yeah, it’s not a problem. Okay, beginner.
Okay, I think this 90 degree angle and taking the shoulders too far forward. Yeah. I say play with it for a moment. Yeah. Put your hands do the 90 degree thing. Yeah. Go forward into your shoulders and then go backward and see which puts more pressure on and stress on the shoulder. The exception that I find is people with shorter upper arms. They’re 90 degrees and quite happy. Because you got to look at this is like a, it’s like the pelvis. Right? It’s like a big area of body mass. Yeah. So you if that’s further away from the foundation, in this case, the hand Yeah, then it’s going to require more muscular effort. The closer it is the less Yeah.
I you know, when I do I do experiments in my anatomy workshops. Like I asked the question, I’m always asking
Is this true for how many of you Is it true? Yeah. So for 85 90%, they say, elbow back is more comfortable. And then there’s some 15 to 20% that they feel more comfortable that way. So, okay, those of you who are the 1520 do it that way. I mean, it’s definitely a lot of work to take your shoulders forward. Yeah. But is that make it you know, is that the same as uncomfortable? just means you’re working harder? Yeah. But you’re working harder at a joint that’s more vulnerable.
So you gotta be mindful of that part. Right? Because the shoulders are fairly vulnerable joint. Yeah. Yeah.
But something’s always interested me as some teachers say about the fact that in their marriage chestnuts so for instance, Mary chestnut, a
and and more like B and D knots doesn’t really come into so much with see that this, the hip bone, so for instance, on this side would be the right hip bone should be grounded.
You move forward, whereas it tends to come up. What are your feelings on that? Where do you go with it?
Well, it’s a forward bend.
So I believe in bending forward. Yeah.
Because you’ve bent one leg, you’ve made the pelvis more asymmetrical.
The part that
we only are we limiting this to a mix around throughout the
day is like really evident is really evident. So, yeah.
The post is asymmetrical because you’ve, you bend your knee, yeah, right and you’ve got your foot there.
What happens if my lower leg is longer than my upper leg proportion proportion.
So the longer this is relative to this, the higher the sit bones gonna be, or the longer this is relative to how short This one is, the more grounded that sit bone will be
I’ve heard this if this has been happening for like the last three to five years, I’d say, I have no idea where it’s come from. There’s no tradition to support it. Somebody had the idea that sit bones on the ground need to be grounded at all times. no exception, somehow. Yeah. And the same thing is true for B and D. I would say, if you do B and D, with your sit bone down, most people are then going to have their other knee floating in the air. So you’re choosing one over the other. So you’re gonna you’re gonna have to have a good reason why Yeah, because if you look at traditional images of it, if you look at Guru Ji or Schrott doing it sit bone is up, sit bone is up. Yeah. David Swensen said bone is up. Yeah. I think the exception is somebody like Richard Freeman. Super open hips. Yeah. Long limbs. Yeah. And so his proportions and openness help him. If you are an advanced Practitioner with really open hips. I don’t think it’s a problem. If you can do both the sit bone down and the knee down and say, marry chest and a D. I don’t know.
I’ve seen it done and it’s nice. It’s cool. Yeah, for most of us, yeah. Not gonna happen and and putting your sit bone down first and then trying to draw your knee towards the floor puts a lot of stress on the knee. Yeah. And I think is I think it’s a bad idea. No, first Yeah. I look at you know, the traditional adjustments that grudge interrupted. And they always put the knee down, then laid their leg on top of it. They never they know. Yeah, kept it there. They never tilted any back onto their sit bone. Yeah. So I’ve never, nobody’s ever given me a really good anatomical reason for it. philosophical reason for traditional reason for it. So I’m not a fan of it. I don’t I don’t agree with it. So the same proportion is not an issue, which is I mean, it’s an issue but we just say that we’re we’re starting our practice. We’ve been doing two years sit bones up, but that somehow that our proportion isn’t the thing that’s stopping us. So we noticed that the
sipan is coming down over a period of time. What is it that needs to release to let that happen is it the bent leg had happened Messner hit or something around
the other leg? It’s both, okay. It’s both the padmasana the inner part of that padmasana leg would have to get really long for that side to drop down because
you’ve got the femur of the, of the half lotus, and then you’ve got the pelvis tilted up, the pelvis has to tilt down at that joint.
So adductors rotators. All of it has to be super open. Yeah. For that to come down. Yeah. And again, I’m,
I wouldn’t disagree with if you have your front knee down and your sit bone is up, to intend it down in order to create the opposition of lengthening your spine and twisting. I’m not I’m not opposed to that at all. No. So the intention is there, but it’s not a not a requirement. Yeah.
I think what’s happened is some advanced practitioners who have opened their hips through, say, third series and fourth theory, whatever, or naturally had that type of body. Yeah. have started applying that to beginners. Yeah. And I think I think it’s a mistake. Okay. So if we, I don’t know, I don’t know where it started, but it started somewhere. Yeah. I mean, it didn’t make sense to me. So that’s why I thought I’d bring it up with you doesn’t make sense to me. Yeah. So that’s another thing we agreed on. We actually agreed on like 90
do I think I can be friends.
If we go back to a,
as you come forwards more, it can it can be that that it lifts up more Yes. And you start to lean over to the nervous so Is that okay? Or
are we kidding ourselves that we’re going forward more by leaning that way? Oh, no, no, we’re not kidding ourselves.
I said this already, but they wouldn’t have heard it. Yeah. Every posture has its process. Yeah. And the Ashtanga practice is very much about the form. Yeah. Following the function. Yeah. Not the function following the form that comes. JOHN Scott said that to me, and I was like, you know, light bulbs going off. Yeah, of course it is. It’s about creating the openness in the joints. And then it cleans itself up. Yeah, that’s the thing is, we’re always trying to fix it. And we’re going on that assumption that something’s wrong. There’s nothing wrong. Everything’s fine.
Check crescent moon.
saying to you off camera that my body work is 99. Okay. We say 100% Yogi’s and they odd person, a friend of a friend managed to get under the neck but near enough it’s all Yogi’s. And I see quite a few people with upper trap spasm knots directly attributed to dodgy Chuck resna.
Yeah, because I felt it happened during that. So what goes wrong for them? What what are the key things to watch that you don’t do?
Well, I have a particular way of teaching it.
The first thing that needs to be in place is a hollow center
with the toes tucked under.
I’ve heard teachers say, to engage and press the head into the floor. I completely disagree.
This is the beauty of yoga, to disagree. It should be totally relaxed. The leg should be straight. I think that the difficult part for most people is timing, the rolling the movement, the hand placement and the press. It’s it’s complicated, right? So what happens is either they don’t if they don’t put their feet on the floor.
Then what happens is their feet are floating and when they go to lift up, yeah, they’re actually trying to press their entire body up into the air. Yeah. In a very you
When you’re in this position your triceps is at its weakest, because it’s so lengthened. So you can’t lift. So then what happens is you stress, and then your neck tightens up, and then you land on it again. Yeah. Right, because you come back down to the floor. I think some people give it a flick with their head as well to help them over which is like, Yeah, no, I don’t, I’m not a big fan of that. There’s and I would say there’s two truck grassiness. There’s the rolling over the head nice and easy onto the feet and coming into like a short down noggin and stepping your hands forward. And then there’s the advanced version where the feet don’t hit the floor. Yeah. And you just roll through it and your feet don’t hit the floor until your head is away, right? Yeah. So again, there’s a progression of postures and development of postures. So when people are like, in between those two, they don’t know what to do, or they’re mixing those two together. Trouble often happens. They’re trying to do the advanced version of it and they’re not ready. They don’t have the strength, or the openness in their neck and then everything tightened, right cuz once you get scared, you freeze
out the anxiety builds this all happens instantaneously, then everything contracts. Yeah. And then you start. You’re on your neck while it’s tightening. Yes. It’s unfortunate. Okay, so while we’re on the subject of things that can go wrong and I think it’s important to say no to say that we bring issues with us, don’t we to the yoga mat no jority of the time, totally from our daily lives. And that’s why a lot of the stuff is happening. It’s not that Yoga is dangerous per se, or that you can hurt yourself quite often you you’re bringing a shit with you to the to the mat onto the mat totally.
And, but, you know, some things may be more easy to relate to yoga such as SI joint instability or pain, that sort of thing. And if people are suffering from
SI joint issues, what can they do in their practice to take some stress of it and maybe that’s the
rewind that and say, What are the postures or the things to look out for that you might be doing that you’re going to be throwing stress into the SI joint stuff.
There’s three places where
the most amount of stress goes into the SI joint. rotations. Yeah. Because Because as the spine goes down
as the spine goes down and rotate the last joint that it hits, right, you go l one, l two l two, etc. You get l five to the sacrum and then the next joint down is the sacroiliac joint.
And then the joint down from that is the hip joint. So in most twist, you’ve pinned your femur into place, and then you’re rotating your spine, the spine gives the hip joint gives the pressure goes inward towards the center joint of that chain, which is the SI joint. So deep twisting is
Very common place to feel SI joint dysfunction if you especially if you’re coming with it already Yeah.
And then the next two places are deep flowerbeds and deep backbend. Essentially for the same reason when to maximize the range of motion in the hip joint and the lower lumbar spine. The SI is sitting in the middle of those two things. So deep back bending, puts pressure in the SI joint, potentially deep forward bending, same thing just in the opposite direction. What can I do in twists to,
to try to date it? Yeah, but also to stop it happening in the first place. The Deep Twist, I always think of is like those banners have been forgotten if it’s if it’s dropping down into the SI joint. It could be that tight in that thoracic spine. Yeah, but one don’t go as deep Yeah. To is, if you’re blocking movement in your hip joints to accentuate twist in your spine, then allow the hips to move and be a little bit freer. That that’ll help accommodate the pelvic movement because if you keep it too
rigid, then you’re putting more pressure in, right if you keep the pelvis fixed and then rotate the spine and go more in so let the hips do some of the movement and some of the rotation as well. And warrior one, that’s another one that can be a bit dodgy on the SI joint.
Yeah. Usually because people think
if they, if they’re putting their back heel on the floor, that they have to square their hips. Yeah, good luck. Yeah, unless you’ve got very special open hips. Yeah, 90% of people can’t do that. But the striving to do that can put a lot of force and pressure into the SI joint. So you do one of two things. If you want to go on traditional, you lift your heel up, and then you can square your hips. Yeah, you let go of the idea of squaring your hips and put minimal amount of effort into doing that. And the third thing is widening your stance, which allows the hip to then come around. Most I’ve been doing that recently that I really is so comfortable to have that wider stance. So we talked about a wider stance with ways not limited
Right. And it just feels really nice. Yeah. Because there’s, you’re not loading the leg with tension in the same way. Now, somebody could argue the opposite side of that. Well, you’re not working. Yeah, the back leg in the same way through the front of it. Yeah. So you have to find the balance of the two. That’s, that’s the thing. So if you wanted to play with that wide leg thing, stick your hand up behind your, your 70 foot up behind your hand, rather than into the middle. Is that yeah, I think most people cross their feet too much in going back through other standing postures as well, relative to how open their hips are. Yeah, right. We live under this rule that the front foot the heel is supposed to line up with the inner arm, but but that’s somebody else’s body. That ain’t mine. Yeah. So you need to be realistic with where you are. So any of that whether it’s warrior or let’s say we do, twisted triangle, which is kind of a similar setup. You should be able to square your hips first. Yeah. And if you can’t, then you might have to step
glider? Yeah, that’s it. That’s a good rule as well. So you can either do the back foot, or as you said, stepping the front foot and to the hand as opposed to the center center. Yeah. Because I’m becoming close to running out of time. So I’m gonna get through these in while I can. I’ll try to answer
That always seems to be a, an, I don’t know, a question that I’m in and I think what the hell am I doing here? Okay, it’s, you know, not quite sure I’m here, lying there. But I don’t really feel like I’m ever doing anything. What actions should be going on? Or are we just should be just there thinking over here embody the posture stiff?
Well, interestingly, if you go back to the question about set, you’ve been dossena in the neck. Yeah. So you’ve now done when by the time you get to Super konasana. Yeah. You’ve now done a series of postures where you’ve had your head and your neck extended this way, tightening the back of your neck to reach your chin out
to counter stretch.
Look at it that way, if nothing else,
or Yeah, that’s a good one, or it’s preparatory rolling for who by upon Gustafsson a nerva, mocha Shima konasana
is just a sequence of rolling postures that are coming.
Something I almost forgot was the fact that you’ve got a book coming out in March, which I’m really excited about is an exam. I asked you again, off camera I said, you know, there’s anatomy books out there at the moment isn’t a yoga anatomy, but I’m sure a bunch of them I’m sure yours is going to be like, different. So how, how is it gonna be different? Yeah, I mean, you’ve got years of practice with your Stanger, this massive knowledge base as far as anatomy goes. How does that evolve into a book? Right? What can we expect? Well, I didn’t write an anatomy for a shunga book. No, I didn’t.
Part of me wanted to, but I didn’t know
there are a lot of books out there.
Good books as well. And definitely I’m not one to just do what everybody else is doing. And I’m kind of glad I’ve waited to see what everybody else has done.
And so the way I went different and what I what I feel, is always lacking in the delivery of anatomy is making it simple and understandable, making it delivered in a way that people feel like they’re being guided on a journey. As opposed to like, splat, here’s a bunch of anatomy now figure it out. And
so it’s kind of like the first half of my book is like that. It’s like a journey through the body, major joints problems, some postures mixed in here, there’s examples.
The second half is more posture based.
But instead of going through every single posture and talking about what muscles supposed to be working in, which one’s supposed to be turned off and all that, which has already been done, that’s great. Nothing wrong with that. So nothing wrong with it.
As an anatomist, it’s not what excites me about anatomy. I mean, I feel like anybody willing to do the work could open any kinesiology book, any one of them not related to yoga and figure the same thing out. Yeah. And is it helpful? I sometimes I read these things, and I’m an anatomy geek, you know, and I read it. And I think, what is interesting to me, but how do I even begin to apply it to apply? Yeah, yeah, I think
it’s an it’s it becomes a simplification of the posture. That isn’t very realistic, because the postures are much more integrated, and the anatomy is way more integrated. And I agree, what, what usually happens is, people start to associate very specific muscles with a specific posture because they look at it, it’s very complicated. So they simplified in their own mind by just picking one muscle that’s really interesting. One little part of it, and the whole is lost, the synergy of the whole thing is lost. So hence why I did this.
Second half of the book The way I did, which is, instead of looking at individual postures, I looked at interrelated anatomical patterns. So I, so I went off of that. So there’s a very common pattern of external rotation in the hip. Yeah, happens in standing happens in seated postures. Yeah. So what postures do we see it developing in? What is the beginning of it? What is the like penultimate posture that? Yeah, exemplifies external rotation of the hip. Yeah, I did the same for back bending and forward bending and twisting and arm bouncing. Yeah. So they’re like families of postures. They’re not not a sequence. I’m not making a new seat. But so you start to see the interrelationship of movement and postures. Yeah. Yeah. That to me is the application of understanding the anatomy doesn’t Yeah, then you can apply it, as in when, yeah, and in many poses, as you say, include external rotation of the hip or shoulder or whatever. So whenever you see external rotation of the hip going on, you know that it’s this related movement. Yeah.
So once you understand that, then you can apply it in many places. Yeah.
Something again, I’m drawing from the bodywork here, really, I’ve had people come to me
that they, they’ve got a lot of tension. So but pick the quads. They can feel it. They’ve got tension in their quads. Yeah, it feels like hard lumps and the rest of it. And so I say, okay, spin on your stomach. And we’ll we’ll just see what range of motion you’ve got. And they’ve still got fantastic range of motion, you can take there, they’re healed there, bam, you could take it outside of their parameters if they were doing the casting, or whatever. So they’ve still got a massive range of motion, yet they’ve got this tension in the muscles. So we might think maybe it’s being taken up in the tendon or whatever. But how can they How can they work it that’s the problem they come to me with, you know, they say, but I do. I do this, I do that, how can I do that? I’m not clear on what it is. That’s bringing them to the point of conclusion that they need to do something about it. Thank you.
Cuz they it doesn’t hurt. I think they can feel it. Yeah, they can feel that this doesn’t feel like the rest of their body that they are holding tension here. And it’s hard as against soft. So they can they can feel the difference in the quality of the muscle in relation to other muscle, other muscle on their body. Yeah, I was gonna say some people are naturally more dense. Yeah, it’s hard.
I mean, it could be leftover patterns from some other activity that they did. That’s now layered in on top of the mat, like you said, bringing stuff to the mat.
Yeah, you know, a lot of a lot of the practices letting go or just as much
letting go as it is striving and trying to make something happen in a posture. You got to find the right balance of those two things. So that might even be you know, more of an attitude. Like,
you know, trying so much that in places where they don’t need to yeah
And you know, it’s kind of another little principle or theme of at some point, you only need to use the minimal amount of effort to do something. Why maximally contract something if it’s not necessary? This is my whole thing with like squeezing the buttocks in in backbend or Yes, Gordon, tell us greenbacks. Do you need it?
Do you need it at all? Well, you might need it to lift up initially, of course, because that’s what gluteus maximus is built for extensive. It’s, it’s not just a hip extensor Yeah, it’s it’s a hip extensors specifically for powerful hip extension, where the joint is at the most egregious disadvantage mechanically, right? If I,
when I walk, I don’t use glute max, but when I run, I use it. So it’s for that like added extra power. Or if I sit, if I squat low, I’ll use it. I just bend my knees a little bit. I’ll use it less
So do we need it to initially get up into backbend? Yeah, sure. Maybe. Does it need to be on the entire time at 100%? effort?
It’s a big use of energy.
And it tends to rotate the legs out as well. Yeah. Right. So it’s a good example because what happens is when you use a muscle like and this one I’ve seen much more than, let’s say your example of quadriceps, yes. People with really tight glutes Yeah.
And you watch them do up dog, and super hard. Yeah, backbend super hard. And then you know, that’s going to relate to that power in the hip extensors has to be balanced with the hip flexors. So what soI is doing, it’s got to work with that. So it’s got to build and strengthen and tighten against it sometimes then you start creating imbalance in the body. That’s a to me use it to get up and then use it minimally. That’s saying 100% off even.
But same thing maybe is happening with the quads for that person.
And he’s just I don’t know. Yeah, individual basis, but
I think it was more about how to work with that when you’ve already got a lot of flexibility there. So get into it suddenly yourself. Yeah. Cool. I think that’s all we got time for. I got a million more questions. I haven’t quite filled the book, but there’s there’s plenty in there. Yeah. And, you know, great for your time and this fantastic place. We’ll do more next year. Yeah, for sure. Cool. Cool. Thanks, dude. Yeah, okay. Cheers.