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Deconstructing Down Dog Part 10 or 10 Structural anomalies

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Part 10 of 10...Structural anomalies or an orthopedic profile that has maybe changed because of life experiences. These will dictate the posture looming different. Once agin the posture conforms to the person. The ones that are most significant for down dog will be really long legs, short torso. These people will need blocks under their hands to helps them out if they want help. The next one will be scoliosis. Depending on the severity of the curvature will depend on what you see and most of the time just make sure their hands/feet are wide and knees bent. They will be able to help you help them. There are other structural differences that will have bigger impacts in different poses. I will post on those and maybe one of my students will let me take some pics of him in his down dog.

A structural anomaly that can be mistaken for a misalignment. Today’s post is about alignment for Utkatasana. Does she just not know how to set-up correctly? Does she have a tight adductor magnus? Or does she have a retro-verted hip? And yes the look on Taylor's face in the first picture is of pure discomfort. As you can see in the first picture Taylor’s knees have migrated inward, or have they? Inward migration would indicate cueing would simply solve the misalignment. This is not the case for Taylor Many instructors get stuck on the foot when aligning the knees in standing postures. The majority of the people coming to class this works just fine. But what about the clients coming in sub as Taylor? Taylor’s knees alignment is reflective of her hip structure. Taylor has what is called Retroversion of the hip. I’m not going to get technical in this post. People who have retroversion of the hip will like to have their feet turned out. Why their knees move inward as they bring their feet around to point straight ahead is because they have little internal rotation of the hip. Because Taylor is a woman I very rarely teach utkatasa with the feet together. A woman’s pelvis is in general wider than a man’s and feet together is not ideal for most woman. In reality we don’t do very much with our feet glued together like that except holding poop or pee in. Lol You will see in the next picture I have her rotate her feet back out and her whole body lines up and she becomes happy. She is also to find more depth. You can watch the video I did and I am talking about this as well. It’s not that I will ignore the foot alignment b/c it’s important. In this case it is not what is driving the misalignment. In my workshop I’ll be going over hip anomalies, ankle restrictions, and thoracic restrictions and how they affection your standing postures and how to adjust. Just because something is right for one person for the pose doesn’t mean it work for another. As an instructor it’s your responsibility to learn the differences so you can help the client find what’s right for them. I’m working on workshops to help you with just that!

For my down dog series the last video was about structural anomalies. It was short b/c it’s a fairly big topic and intricacies for alignment. I will have more posts as they come up. The previous post about Taylor position is actually fairly common and I find in class. Scoliosis is another common structural issue that you will come across in class. There are varying degrees of scoliosis. My student and friend Ryan has scoliosis which also creates other structure anomalies throughout his body. He has been very dedicated and patient with his body and practice and he has noticed changes in strength in his body. I had planned on going over anatomy here but again too complex for here and so individual and when we understand orthopedic profiles and allow ourselves to let the body talk to us to help the pose to conform to the body magic happens.

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