A Yoga Journal article entitled “Alignment Cues Decoded: ‘Soften Your Front Ribs’” by YogaWorks teacher Alexandria Crow came through my Facebook feed yesterday and I decided to write a response to it. As you might know, I am very interested in seeing our wonderful yoga world update its traditional alignment cuing with the intelligence of biomechanics and modern movement science.
Once you’ve spent enough time studying the body and movement, you begin to develop refined anatomical eyes that can see patterns in the way people move that they can’t sense in themselves. One of these patterns that I see is that yogis tend to move where it’s already easy for their bodies to move while avoiding the work required where true positive change is needed.
When most people think of flexibility, they picture someone like a dancer, a gymnast, or a yogi – someone who can easily move their body into deep-looking shapes like full forward splits (hanumanasana) or yoga’s king pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana). But most people are operating under an incomplete definition of what
As a yoga teacher, I get lots of questions about the alignment of poses. Should I throw my head back in upward facing dog? Should I reach for my feet in a seated forward fold? Should I squeeze my quads and lift my kneecaps in tadasana? My best answer to questions like these is usually it depends on your approach to your practice. From my perspective, there are two versions of nearly every yoga pose: the traditional version and the biomechanically-updated one.
We talk a lot about “hip-openers” in yoga, but hip-opening is actually more complex than we often realize.
Forget the debate on mirrors perfecting your alignment, or even instructors for that matter, your shirt will show you the way! Move by Electricfoxy, the newfangled tank top from the future is ‘smart’ as in it employs sensor technology that hooks up to a mobile app and cloud-based database of yoga poses as well as a library of your own saved custom poses.