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  • Writer's pictureShanti Kelley

The Stead and Relaxed Warrior, Understanding External Rotation of the Pelvis Part1

Did you know that the hips (pelvis) can't actually square in Warrior II?! It's true, to varying degrees, its anatomically impossible. It may be a surprise to you but its been an understood yoga premise for years. In general, the shape of the hip socket (the acetabulum) is shallower in the front and back than it is on the top; and when you put pressure on both hips simultaneously (like in squaring the hips) it forces the movement up or down the chain; either into the knee or up to the SI (sacral iliac joint or low back). If you've ever had a teacher tell you to square your hips in Warrior II and then ask you to fix your knee (which has now jutted inward) then you know what I'm talking about. Here's how Tiffany Cruikshank explains it in a Yoga Journal article called 7 Myths of Yoga Alignment; "However, the anatomical reality is that because the acetabulum (the part of the pelvis that the femur bone inserts into) faces slightly forward, it’s impossible even with the greatest hip flexibility to turn your knee to the side without moving your pelvis, which also rotates the spine." So whats to do, let the back hip soften forward and counter that by deepening the thighbone of the back leg into the hamstring or back to the wall behind you. This will give you both the stability, ease and opening you're looking for. For more on Yoga Anatomy and finding ease and power in yoga, find me around town, on my website or sign up for some of my upcoming yoga trainings. *I love this photo of BKS Iyengar, (the father of yoga alignment) in the Light on Yoga, demonstrating exactly what is meant. 

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