Our hips are one of the most mobile joints of the body thanks to their 'ball and socket' design. One of the primary movements of the hips is rotation. External (or lateral) rotation is facilitated by numerous muscles including the Piriformis muscle. This muscle has an interesting anatomical setup that requires some playful and purposeful isolation into order to functionally target it when stretching.
I was thinking yesterday of how experienced rock climbers (note: never actually done it myself) emulate how a yoga practice can be – highly saturated with a sense of mindful engagement and receptivity. The skill and agility applied in rock climbing requires a delightful balance of knowing how to engage regions of the body that require stabilization and strength while, at the same time, being able to remain free, open, and receptive to move through large, complex movements. Is this not what is required of us when moving on the mat?
A significant and necessary shift is occurring in the yoga world where teaching is evolving from the common standardization of yoga poses towards more individualization and customization. Functional yoga anatomy explores the uniqueness and variability in body structures and mechanics, and aims to inspire students/practitioners of yoga to engage their practices with an authentic approach.
The feet are a crucial point of foundation in the majority of our yoga postures. Without discernible awareness to the foundation from our foot connection to the earth, alignment issues can readily cascade through the kinetic chain of joints that interact with our feet. By mindfully engaging our feet, we can awaken this foundation and …