“. . . according to the Yoga Sutra (3.1), the term [Bandha] refers to the ‘binding’ of consciousness to a particular object or locus (desha), which is the very essence of concentration.”
Georg Feuerstein



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Trikonasana Part Two: Your Sacroiliac Joint

Hello Friends,

In this post, we continue our journey through Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) with a cue that connects the forward leg psoas with the back leg glutes, thus stabilizing your pelvis.

First, take a quick look at the cue from my previous post on co-contracting the psoas and quads of your forward leg. Engage the forward leg psoas and quads and then add contraction of the rear leg gluteus maximus (and quadriceps) as shown here in figure 1.


Figure 1: Co-contracting the psoas and glutes in Trikonasana.

The psoas creates a force that tilts the forward leg side of the pelvis (hemipelvis) forward (anteversion) while the gluteus maximus creates a retroversion force on the back leg side hemipelvis. You will feel how combining these opposing forces creates stability. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate this concept.


Figure 2: The opposing forces of the glutes and psoas and the posterior SI ligaments stabilizing the pelvis.

Figure 3: Opposing forces of the psoas and glutes and the anterior SI ligaments stabilizing the pelvis.

Click on the image below to learn more about the sacroiliac joint.

The ligaments of the sacroiliac joint.

Engage the muscles that create the form of the asana and the asana will emerge, along with its benefits. Learn more about this concept, along with other powerful cues for your practice from the Yoga Mat Companion Series and The Key Muscles and Key Poses of Yoga book series.

Thanks for stopping by. Check in next week for the next cue for Trikonasana…


Best,

Ray Long, MD

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Co-activate Your Psoas and Quads in Trikonasana

Hello Friends,

Sometimes doing just one pose can set you up for the whole day. Let’s look at Trikonasana or Triangle Pose and a powerful cue for stabilizing your pelvis and lumbar. Understanding tips like this one also sharpens your knowledge of anatomical and biomechanical principles.

The principle at work here is that of muscle co-contraction. This cue co-contracts or activates two separate muscles, namely, the psoas and quadriceps of the forward leg. As a consequence, you will feel a deep stability in your hip joint and a connection from your leg to your lumbar spine.

Here's the cue:

Extend your forward leg knee by contracting the quadriceps. At the same time, press down with your torso through the arm into the hand, and onto your shin. This activates your psoas (and iliacus), tilting the pelvis over the forward leg and, by lumbopelvic rhythm, drawing the lumbar out of hyperflexion. Feel how this connection stabilizes your pelvis and lumbar and awakens the forward leg in the pose.


Figure 1:Co-activating the psoas and quads in Trikonasana


In the beginning, it may be difficult to get the hang of activating your psoas. Get a feel for this by bending the knee and pressing down on the thigh through your elbow as shown here. Click here for an entire series of poses you can use to awaken your psoas.

Figure 2: Activating your psoas (and iliacus).


I hope you enjoy this cue. Think about what's happening biomechanically while you work with this. Thanks as well to everyone for your support of the folks in Panama City who were affected by Hurricane Michael. Check back next week to see how to integrate the back leg into this cue for Trikonasana.

All the Best,

Ray Long, MD