I clearly see that my yoga training will bleed into my professional work as an exercise physiologist. I can't seem to shut that part of my brain off. Biomechanics and proper form will forever be a part of how I practice and teach yoga. In this week's practice I started to question one of the most fundamental poses in yoga and how it would work for those I typically work with.
Psst - I never actually found the answer!
Yet a small gift followed my questions without answers. I practiced (essentially was led to...) a modified pose I had never done nor even knew existed. Bonus!
Here we go!
First, as I started today, I was instructed to stand in the most basic upright pose with feet together (moreso than in mountain pose, tadasana) with legs touching.
Okay - simple, right?
I've written before about my physical body. Even referred to my legs as tree trunks with a tendency to lock out my knees (technically, genu recurvatum). It stems from my synchronized swimming days but also for my compensation of getting my feet and legs together.
I can't stand with my feet together without wobbling through my knees...either they are flexed or hyperextended. The width of my calf is too wide to allow my legs to be together. The flexed knee allows for the knees to narrow and the lower leg to press together. Thus, allowing for my legs to be together. The alternative is to hyperextended the knees and lower legs fold back and legs can then be pressed together.
Ideal? I don't think so.
I know I am not the only person in the world who cannot have their feet together and legs together too. I foresee those with larger legs due to lymphedema, swelling or excess weight will find it very difficult to stand upright with feet AND legs together.
What is the modification? I don't know. Feet apart to allow the widest girth of the legs? Knees bent to allow feet together? Something I know I'll need to figure out!
Second, today was the practice of modified warrior II - half warrior. Beautiful and graciously done from the knee. Say what!?!
Yep - started in a low lunge and transitioned into an opening at the hips where the back leg counter balanced the weight! Too cool. So for those with minimal leg strength (but can handle kneeling on their mat), this is a great option! Watch the video at 9 minutes.
I learned a new modification this week yet I still need the answer to the other conundrum. Not just for future participants but also to better my practice as well.
To more modifications to come,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.