In chapter 4 we saw that standing in unfamiliar and unconventi lal postures can be challenging when the force of gravity comes to bea on the joints of the lower extremities. Such challenges are magnified v en twisting is added to the equation. You may do fine with standing b •It-bends and forward bends, but add a twist to the posture and sudd nly problems emerge front and center.
The extent to which a standing twist is challenging depends 1 a number of issues: on how the feet are positioned (rotating the feet or out places torque on the ankles); on whether or not the knees are fl *ed (bending the knees places extra tension on its collateral and cru ate ligaments); on the extent to which the thighs are abducted (abdi ed thighs places extra tension on the adductors); on whether or not he thighs are rotated (rotating the thighs laterally or medially places e tra tension on the medial or lateral rotators respectively); on whethi or not the shoulders are in line with the pelvis (rotating the shouldei in either direction with respect to the pelvis will twist the thoracic s me and place torque on the lumbar region and sacroiliac joints); nd on whether or not the head is in the same frontal plane as the t< '~B° (twisting the neck tends to take your attention away from the res- of the body).
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Because standing twists present so many challenges, there are four basic rules that should always be honored: establish a solid foundation from the waist down; be aware of and make adjustments for aspects of the posture that are unnatural; appraise how easily you can get into the posture; and look at whether or not there are potential difficulties connected with your exit. Then act on your knowledge by practicing within your capacity. Soon you will be able to do difficult postures comfortably, and this in turn will improve your general strength and flexibility.
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