Ever wonder if you’re doing that one yoga pose correctly? Here are some quick tips for common yoga poses. Every body is different, and while there are common do’s for proper alignment, it’s important to listen to your own limitations. Be patient and understanding of your own individual anatomy, and have fun!
- Step the feet wide enough so the front knee is bent deeply and tracking over the heel or toes.
- Be sure not to extend the knee past the toes.
- Keep the back leg long and straight by squeezing the back thigh away from the floor, and press firmly into the ball of the foot with the heel lifted.
- Gently scoop the pelvis forward just to lengthen the lower back and lift the chest up towards the sky. Look wherever it feels natural. Most of the time we run into trouble when there’s not enough space between the feet. If you feel unnatural in this pose, try taking your stance wider and see if that helps. Having enough room between the feet makes the depth of your lunge much more fulfilling.
Let’s demonstrate this pose on the left side.
- From Downward Dog, look forward and bring your left knee toward the outer edge of your mat.
- Instead of bringing the knee forward so it points straight ahead, bring it to a slight diagonal so the hip externally rotates.
- Square the hips off to the front of your mat so the hip bones face forward. If you have to keep the hips further away from your mat to accomplish that, it’s OK! Symmetry before depth; the depth will come with time.
- Reach through the back leg and kick through the top of that foot to help keep the pelvis stable.
- Avoid rolling that left hip open and rocking on to the left butt cheek.You can keep the chest lifted or reach the arms out in front of you.
- Stacking the feet over the shoulders is best for balance and for protecting the neck.
- Don’t let them fall forward, you’ll only risk straining the neck and shoulders because your weight won’t be evenly distributed in the upper body.
- Bring the belly back towards the spine, and lightly tuck the tailbone up towards the heels.
- Keep the shoulders firmly engaged so the pressure stays in the arms and not in the neck.