Today’s blog is going to be all about alignment principles mainly for injury prevention. Something to really be mindful of, especially if you’re women. We tend to throw our pelvis forward; our head is forward, shoulders are forward, everything is pooched out. Essentially, we’re just hanging on our bones and we’re just walking around with no awareness of the posture.

I want you to push the pelvis back and respect the lordotic curvature of your low back. When you do that, you’re going to almost throw your ribs forward, flaring them forward. Pull the ribs down. When you do that, don’t throw your shoulders forward because that’s going to create this flection of the spine. But I want it to come down and feel the lifting of your spine.

It is very hard to stand upright and to retrain our trends versus abdominis, the multi-fit eye on the back. Of course, the pelvic floor is going to meet the intra abdominal pressure based on the diaphragm. This will result at making up for the four core musculature.

What Are Kinetic Chains?

Therefore, I want to start out by telling you about kinetic chains. We study a lot in physical therapy, kinesiology, and static motion. We’re never just static because we’re meant to move. I need you to focus on the heaviest part, the aphonic region of the pelvis.

A typical pattern is this hips forward. It’s almost a fashion-forward way to stand for like models because that’s how they walk right on the catwalk. But I want you to pull it back, create this nice curvature of your lumbar spine, pull the shoulders down.

Also, pull the tailbone slightly down toward the floor, it’s going to give you this surge of a lift. We want the body to be integrated because the shoulder girdle. The shoulder girdle is also a ball and socket joint. As well as our hips. They are all connected to our spine or our core. Our shoulders up here through the scapula or the shoulder blades and the hips through our pelvic bones, these are something that I will mention when the center of gravity is thrusted forward and everything is not lining up. It’s going to create alignment and dysfunctions. 

Alignment Check

In this modern world today, we routinely get alignment and suspension checks in our car for the tires. You have all run over a bump or so, and it tends to misalign the tires. When it does that one side of the tire, one of the four gets worn out quicker. We’re advised to rotate the tires and to make sure that they’re balanced or else it’s gonna wear out faster. 

Think about that in the context of yoga. We’re not only asking yoga to stand with our feet straight vertically, but it’s a dynamic motion. We’re asked to put weight on our hands most of the time. 

How Important Our Foot Functions Are

Let’s talk a little bit about our kinetic chain. Remember that a lot of people have knee issues. Most of the time, it stems from the dysfunction of the ankle and the foot. If you look at the surface area of your foot supporting the full weight of your body, it goes to show how important our foot functions are. A lot of us end up with flattened arches where it’s supinated. Supinated is an open in the pelvis because it is stretched forward.

It’s almost an issue in the United States because a lot of us are women of child rearing ages. Wherein, we gave birth and stayed external. We leave rotated at the hip so much so that our feet are now either worded. It’s almost in a super unaided position so we sort of walk like this. It’s the thumping action and we’re just really giving into this gravitational force. Something I want you to remember about the foot is it’s designed to absorb shock. Hence, we want to be light in our feet when we walk and that’s all being supported by the core.

The Four Core Muscles

The four core muscles are designed for endurance. There are slow twitch fibers that are supposed to hold us up against gravity. That is in order to have this decompressive force in our spine. Why that’s important is because the spine runs electrical circuits from our central nervous system. This body of ours is so magnificent. We’ve got hardware and software to run this circuit, but nobody’s born with the ability to manually operate our body.

Hence, it gets programmed by poor habits, motor lies, and postural wisdom. We have these adaptive mechanisms where everything becomes so insufficient in the posture perspective. As a result, we’re not able to detoxify properly to create such a toxic system within. Then, you come to a yoga class and you’re asked to do all kinds of poses without proper awareness. 

Powerfully Healing Yoga

I believe yoga is powerfully healing. No matter where you start, there is never a right or wrong way to do or practice yoga. To be very mindful and be infused with the knowledge enough to handle your body. Also, to minimize and prevent injury because the motor functions will catch up with you. However, only if you bring awareness to the dysfunctions that you’re living with, and then the adaptive patterns that you recognize now will help you to correct so that you can align yourself better.

It’s like you’re doing an alignment check in your tire system to make sure that you’re straight and upright. So a little bit of a fact check is in our foot, there’s 26 bones. Then, there are 33 joints and 107 ligaments to support our local motion. 

How Women Are Affected

If you’re a woman, we all have owned a pair of stiletto heels. We’re always lifted on the back. I’m petite so I like the platform shoes though. Going back, we get shortened and we have adaptive shortening. In yoga, the inner arch or arch of the foot is already dropped. We have flat seated people with plantar fasciitis issues. It then ultimately goes up to the kinetic chain to affect your knees and your hips. 

I know a lot of women who have knee issues. It’s not just isolated at the hip and at the knees. We have to look at the whole kinetic chain and it’s almost always a dysfunction of the hip. Hormonally, we’re affected because it affects our flexibility into our joints. It can cause stiffness, cycles, hormone cycles can do that as well.

What Is Fascia?

The extracellular matrix, the fascia being a part of that, creates lots of a snotty-like tissue. If you can think about a fascia as a very important tissue with a lot of nerve endings receptor sites, to be aware of the tightening and then the restrictions, and then the additions that we all have, it’s very prone to inflammatory processes.

Think about your body as both physical, with the laws of physics that apply to it movement-wise.

But I want you to also understand the biochemical basis for muscular contraction super important, because we need the electrolytes. We need the nourishments for the muscle fibers to contract and relax. We have these biochemical reactions that need to occur for that to take place.

The Proper Position On The Mat

Being properly balanced and positioned on the mat is very impor. Looking at our feet, I want you to make sure to learn how to grip the mat with your feet. Standing nice and tall, please put your feet together. That’s really gonna minimize your base of support. The way you’re standing. Hopefully, by now you understand that you don’t push your pelvis forward and just hinge on your bones.

Women, Listen.

With women, it’s the left hip that gets the wear and tear when we have babies. I was one of those women too. I used to have a baby in the left hand to allow me to do everything else with the right. So that’s how we sort of adapted. When we adapt a certain posture, we create imbalances and asymmetrical motor patterning. Affecting the whole spine up the chain down the kinetic chain. 

The pelvic region is supposed to be anchoring us down and rooting down. Also, this region is what we’ve got holes down there to allow us to deprecate and urinate, right? That needs to be rooted down. But from the navel to the crown of the head, I want there to be a surge up.

I want you to see if you can pull the shoulders down in a way and feel this lift. 

Lordotic Curvature And How It Affects Your Alignment

One more thing, I want to say is lordotic curvature. Respect your normal curvature, place your pelvis over your knee and your ankles. Also, your rib cage does not flare forward, but pull it back without thrusting the shoulders forward. Your shoulders have to roll back and down the right shoulder blade into the left joint pocket, left shoulder blade into the right joint pocket, pull the shoulders down and feel the surge and the energetic pull from the navel up to the crown of the head. I want you to think about that.

Then I want you to list, look down and lift your toes up. Let’s have your feet, shoulder width apart, and then see if you can lift your toes up, okay. All five toes and then place them down. But I really want you to flare out all five toes and then place them down. When you do that, you create this arch underneath. Then, think about that place under the big toe and the place under the pinky toe. Follow that line on the middle of the foot, towards the heel, extension of the big toe down to the calcaneus on the mid middle of the foot. That’s the fourth, the third point, and then follow the pinky toe back towards the heel. 

Always Think About Those Four Points

See if you can bring awareness to those four points and make sure that they’re even keel, that you’re not really standing on the outsides of your feet because that’s going to lift the big toes up. When you do that, you’re going to feel an imbalance in your hips and not just at the foot. When you turn and place the big toe down and lift the pinky side up, you’re going to feel the inner thigh chain going down from the pubic bone all the way down. I want you to think about the four points of your feet in the evening and think about it all the time.

When you do yoga, you can lay the toes down, but I want you to see if you can grip your mat with your toes enough to where not only do you have stability in through your feet. All those muscles and ligaments are a little bit activated to support you so that you can stand tall.

Core Activation

The other thing that I want to talk about is when we activate the core. It’s less loading into our hips, into our knees and into our feet. As the joints go down, notice how it gets smaller and smaller and more fragmented as you get into the feet because remember the pelvis is the biggest bone, which is connected through the pubic bone at the front, and then the sacrum sacroiliac joint on the backside. Then, it’s connected to the biggest joint, which is our hip acetabulum. 

The concavity region of our pelvis joins with the head of the femur. That big goes down to meet the patella, as well as our fibula on the outer side of our shin. The tibia on the inner side, going down to make the malleolus the little bone that sticks out on the right and the left to be out on the middle and fibula on the right. As you can see, it kind of breaks down big bones of the femur and tibia and fibula. Then down into our feet, you have to understand that this is designed not to bear the way, but to absorb the shock. 

The Adaptive Shortening

Another thing I mentioned about the feet is that we wear shoes all the time until we start yoga. All of a sudden, we’re asked to take off our shoes and learn proprioception through our feet and learn to have sensory integration enough to have proper posture without really learning what proper posture is in yoga. 

We’re so focused on the poses that we forget all the adaptive shortening and then the imbalances and poor postures that we bring to the table to seek yoga. When it’s supposed to heal us, never cultivating that proper awareness yet we’re asked to learn all the esoteric aspects and all. A lot of the teachers will assume that position and the role and the power of yoga teachers are so huge. 

Body Awareness Alone Isn’t Enough

I’ve seen three great Vinyasa teachers that are super popular. They have great body awareness but they have very little anatomical understanding that they’re thrusting their bodies in ways that’s not aligned properly. It might look beautiful today because it’s something that we all want to be able to do, but you have to realize that a lot of them are moving their bodies in ways where it’s causing adaptive shortening and adaptive lengthening, where our muscles get stuck in those positions.

What I See In Physical Therapy

When we have links, let’s say some people have extensive flexibility and they have length in their hamstrings. For example, sometimes the muscles are supposed to contract and they’re supposed to link them. It is a phenomenon with adaptive shortening. Some muscles get stuck in a shortened position while some muscles get stuck in the lengthened position. This is what I see in physical therapy. We do what’s called a static postural assessment. We do a dynamic assessment and we test for strength in individual muscles and joints. That is a problem for many of them anyway. 

Postural Assessment

Hence, I’m going to bring it back and talk about what I was talking about adaptive shortening and lengthening, and they get stuck in that lengthening position and then shorten the position. I was going to show you a classic thing in physical therapy. I was telling you how in a postural assessment, it’s a static assessment where they’re not moving. We just assess their posture.

Most of the time, I see forward head forward shoulders and a posterior tilt, it’s the puking of the pelvis. When you’re doing that, the posterior chain on the backside is completely lengthened and weak. Then the friend side, a major, super tight, and then the scaling’s sternocleidomastoid near and around the sternum super tight. This adaptive shortening is here and we’re doing all kinds of yoga things — that’s where we create a lot of injuries. 

The Lengthened Core

Having said that, I want you to pull your head back. Let’s interlace our hands and put it behind your head and see if you can bring your elbows forward and then pull them way back to where you can’t go anymore. See if you can learn to bring awareness to your pelvis or your rib cage, to where, when you pull the elbows back, that you’re not thrusting and getting the range from the thoracic spine by compressing your lumbar lumbar spine. Pull the rib cage down, but still push the head back to strengthen that area between the scapula, lengthen the area, drawing the tailbone down, strengthening the core.

The core is typically lengthened and then the shoulders are forward. The space between the scapula is typically lengthened and this area is super tight as is. The low back is a typical thing that I find in almost any patient. It’s a spectrum. Some people are a lot more so some people are just slightly irritating. This is where I want you to bring awareness to your proper postures.

Mindless Alignment vs. Mindful Alignment

When you have mindless alignment, this is filling out your sheet, your life goes like a rag doll, and there’s no juice. Juice means electrical circuits from your spine to intervene the muscles, to activate those muscles, to shine on, to create that contraction, lengthened, synergistic, activity in the body to give it juice to the body. That helps with our vascular nerve supply lymphatic system, which helps our immune system.

Everything is sort of interconnected. I want you to think about integrating those principles. I called this hanging on your bones. When you hang on your bones long enough, like a ragdoll, not only does your muscles atrophy, but the connective tissue like the ligaments and the bursa is they start to tear that the fascial structures that they start to tear creates a lot of receptors, that to cause pain. Eventually, when you go visit your orthopedic doctor, they’re going to want to do surgery on you. It’s not what you want.

Activating The Proper Muscles

The pelvis pushes forward or side to side, like I told you, minimize that and make sure you learn to stand on both feet, bring awareness to your feet and understand that from the navel to your feet down is rooting down by activating your muscles.

We’re asked to lock out our knees a lot, especially when we’re standing on one foot. I want you to lock out your knees and then, come out of that, lock me a bit, and then really try to push the knee back, but activate your, activate your quads and hamstrings isometrically. Slightly bend your knees, and then straighten and see if you can squeeze your quads and your hamstrings while doing that. Press up with all five toes and play them out and talk, think about the sole of your feet underneath the big toe sole of your feet underneath the pinky toe.

Where Are The Two Points?

One on the inner arch and then one along the outer and then come toward the heel of your feet. On the middle side is one point and on the outer side is the other. Think about the four points and see if you can push back and then push the hips back forward enough, but back enough to where shoulders can line up with your pelvis, draw your head back. 

The job bone can line up with your pelvis as well without arching your back, pull, draw the rib cage down without pulling the shoulders forward. Pull the shoulders back and down that sort of the awareness that I want you to have. As you move dynamically, things will shift and things will change, but at least you won’t be hanging on your bones. You’re able to mindfully activate the proper muscles to be able to engage with them. 

The Goal

Once you learn the proper ways to do that, you’ll be able to have better cues to therapeutically fix people that come into your classes with adaptive shortening. More importantly, you’ll have the ability to train your eye, to assess those patients or clients that come into your class.

When the hips or pelvis is posteriorly rotated like this, the hips, if you touch, it’s very laxed, there is no juice to it, but when it’s active and pushing down and engaging my core, the hips, the gluteus Maximus, minimalism medias, they’re able to lock on and, allow for a balance between the, so as the muscle, the hip flexor on the front side, along with the hip extensors to protect the low back and drawing in the transversus, abdominis provides the lift in the spine to provide more connectivity from your central nervous system to the respective muscles.

Mindful Practice Of Yoga

I know it’s a lot and I tend to hone in on this because it’s an important concept you need to know. Learning to stand mindfully aligned is very humbling because habits are so hard to break and you’re going to learn that that’s the case and our bodies are designed to go in the path of least resistance.

It’s going to resist the changes that you’re trying to make because it hangs on the bones when it’s effortless versus effortful to learn new neuromuscular pathways. But you must be mindful in doing that. You can still look great doing yoga while winging it. Because again, we’d like to compensate and go really fast and just hang on our bones, but it can cause long-term injuries that you’ll ultimately end up in the doctor’s office.

Keep Your Joints Healthy

Yoga injuries are huge. I’ll never be out of a job if you keep doing that. But when mindfully aligned our core activation is kicked in from drip cages, threaded in and the navel is pulled into the spine. Okay. This creates a lift of the spine and crown of the head reaches up everything I said, right I just want you to refer to the worksheet. So this is regurgitated information that I want you to really, really get.

At first, the body will resist mindful alignment because it loves efficiency. And the path of least resistance when our joints are repetitively used without proper muscle activation, they’ll start to wear and tear like the tires of our cars. Our joints are meant to last us for life. So it’s in your best interest to keep them healthy as long as possible. That means learning to activate, put some juice into them. I like to use the example of a door hinge.

The Benefit Of Mastering A Mindful Alignment

Mindless alignment is like a door hinge with loose screws. You open the door and close it and it’ll open and close. One of the screws fails, falls off, and then it’ll be harder to open and close. Then, other screws will try to dissipate the gravity of the evenly displaced screws. Eventually, you can’t even open and close that door anymore — that’s what happens to our joints. It’s important to keep in mind, not to mention when you damage, your joints are very painful. When you master mindful alignment, the joints begin to float into poses because less strain to the joints. It is also because the body is aligned when your body’s aligned, these yoga poses become very effortless because you become so much more efficient.

Proper Way Of Posing With Your Shoulder Girdle

I promise you, this can be a hard road ahead, or it would be seemingly very difficult, but I need you to be internally so connected that you can externally look and be really responsible at engaging with your body in ways you haven’t been doing before.

Let’s go over a few poses and let’s learn it in our body. The first thing that I want to speak about is the shoulder girdle. A lot of people come with carpal tunnel injuries and a lot of people just like to put weight into that area. The wrist joint, how you get away from that is to make sure on hands knees. I want you to see if you can bring your elbows. You spiral the biceps forward and triceps back by bringing the, soft or the inner arm or forearms sort of together.

This cubital fossa or the elbow faucet here, they are facing each other, why are you having your hands planted. Then, your wrist joint needs to be right under the shoulder. I want you to see if you can create the arch of your hands by putting more weight on the base of your metacarpal base of your fingers, then putting weight through the finger tits to have sort of that arch under the hands. That’s going to help you to dissipate the weight onto the wrist. Not only that, if you are sinking into the shoulders, that’s hard, because I’m hanging on my bones. But if I can lift and really create this lift from my core and align my joints, then it’s less of an issue to be on my hands. 

How To Properly Execute The Down Dog Position

Many of you are too weak to be doing downward dogs or even especially Chaturanga. We’re going to kind of push back into our down dog. Let’s talk about our hand position in our feet creating this lift because we want the downward dog to be going from the issue of tuberosity that sits bone all the way down to the heel. When we do that, a lot of the time, if you’re too tight and your lumbar fascia is too tight, we’re going to round our backs and kill our shoulders in this way, alignment wise, he’ll start to lift up and this is not so good for your low back.

I advise in my classes to bend your knees a lot, to create this anterior tilt. From there, leave the lumbar fascia out of it and get the stretch where you need. The anterior tilt is what you need, push the floor away and then lower one heel down at a time without rounding your back. Cause when you round, but look what happens to my shoulders. Everything gets misaligned.

Hence, I want you to bring the heel down one at a time until you’re able to do this with the anterior tilt of your spine. Not only that, look at your hands to make sure that you create this arch along underneath the surface of your hands and push, push, push, continue to spiral your biceps and triceps back and push the floor.

Actively create this anterior tilt. Even if you have to bend your knees a lot, this is what I want you to create. Then, learn to link them with the breath to try to change the myofascial stretch so that when you, when you do that safely.

Understanding The End

Mindfully, you get this permanent lengthening safely and you’re not tearing anything. Take it slow because intentional stretching is so much better when we’re thinking about fascia and adaptive shortening.

We want to create this anterior tilt of our pelvis to allow the hamstrings to lengthen. Because again, our spine is something that we want to protect and we see a lot of hamstring pools and terrors. That’s because the muscles and the fibers in the fascial structures get so weak and that repetitive injury, just gets so weak. It’s stretched out like a micro tear over time. It creates those collagen fibers to be so weak. That one day, when the rubber band is stretched out one day, it’ll just be so easy to snap. That’s how we are, I want you to think about your muscles. Hence, don’t feel like forcing yourselves into a stretch, a split or anything like that is a good thing.

If you’re structurally not able to have that kind of length, it’s something we can cultivate and understand our structural limitations to allow for ease of movement. Understanding the end. The goal is to safeguard the longevity of our joints. If you can have that overarching goal for yourself and learn the process of yoga is your healing journey. That will be a great thing for you to understand. 

The Forwarding Folds

Now, I want to talk about forwarding folds. A lot of the times when we’re moving forward, people are stuck here because again, what do a lot of your clients do? We’re seated at the computer. We’re completely posting yearly tilt because when we’re sitting, we’re like this and we just get so much in our head that we forget about that. 

Almost always, I want your focus to be, to get them up into an anterior tilt, getting this nice lumbar curvature. To do a forward fold this way, keeping that chest open, not having a localized, the bend, and then stretch has come from higher up because if this is tight, it’s going to try to get it up the chain. That means higher up in the thoracic cavity, almost always. A lot of the time they’ll just really force it. But what they’re hurting is their low back, their shearing, their spine. It’s gonna cause some irreversible damage. 

The way we teach it in our studio and our center and teacher training is to keep your shoulders back and then have contact with the front by, and then sit there for a bit and then breathe using the breath. See if you can continue to have the contact between the belly and the front die and go forward that way. If you can’t even do that, I’d much rather you be back here because again, if you’re so close, you’re tilted that you can’t do that. 

Pelvis As A Key Indicator For The Kinetic Chain

The other thing is I’ll bring a block in a minute, but I want you to lean back and practice, have them practice going into anterior and posterior your tilt that way, using their dominant muscles.

Inhale, chest up, exhale down and teach them the ranges in the pelvis. They are aware of the alignment in the pelvis as being the key indicator for up the kinetic chain and down the kinetic chain into our hips, knees, and ankles and up the chain, like it’s super important, the pelvic region. 

The other thing that I’ll teach you is you can get a block and you can sit on it. From this place, they might have to be wider. Feet, knee might need to be wider, but this immediately allows them a lot of room in this pelvis to where they can have this anterior tilt. This can go for why they get forward fold as well because it opens up the pelvis to allow for this anterior tilt. From here, they can perhaps keep their knees a little bit straighter and then go this way.

Do you see how it’s easier? I want you to try both and make sure you understand how to use the blocks in this way. If you can elevate their pelvis in this position, this is really, really good. When you’re going forward, I need you to be squeezing the front chain to release the back. 

Be Cautious

Our body’s always pushing and pulling. There’s this polarity going on at all times. One of the pillars of our alkaline method is understanding this polarity at play. If you can squeeze the abdominal muscles, it’ll help to release the back in the same way in the thigh bone. If you can squeeze your quads, it’ll help to release the hamstrings. 

Then, you can use your breath and make sure you’re mindful of your toes. A lot of the students are externally rotated.  It’s a torque in the hip in such a way to get potentially some damage into the bursa. It’s not what you want. Always know how to align when the toes are up, you’re going to feel the more the fascial stretch on the back. It’s more of the nervous stretch, not the muscular stretch, but it shouldn’t cause any pain. Then, you start to extend and try to activate the quartz strings and just breathe through it. When you do that with gentle intention, you never have the ability to rip, you go slow and it’s able to make permanent changes. The link comes back and of course you want it to retract the back. That’s how muscles work. 

It’s not that you wake up and all of a sudden you have so much length. If you do, you should be cautious. 

Understand How Your Body Works

I know a lot of flexible yogis that have hyper-mobility issues, which they’re creating. They’re pairing their fascial areas, especially on the backside so much. If you look closely, either their paraspinals are so tight to accommodate for that. But there’s compensation going on because when you have too much flexibility in one area of the body. There has to be a compensated mechanism. Adaptive shortening for the body to sense that it’s dangerous to be too booze in the opposing areas. 

I hope those concepts are alluded to a bit far beyond the understanding and the context of this lesson today. I want you to understand sort of how our bodies work. If you don’t know that you need to take the time to understand it, you don’t get the full benefit of the yoga practice. 

The Forward Fold

Now, let’s talk about a forward fold. Coming forward up until here, I want you to think about it’s the hinge of the hips that creates this forward fold. But what you see a lot is a lot of the times people are doing this. You have to really understand that that’s a lot on your low back. One day, the disks will slip and slide and cause shearing long enough with tight, fascial structures here with not enough core stability on the front chain that it’s going to tear something up.

You want to push the hips back, creating this anterior tilt. Again, the same concept draws the navel or the soft part of your belly down. It’s in contact with your front thigh and then you have your hands, or you can use the block to have them be here. Then from there, I want them to be here. Release the low back. What did I say I want you to really pull in the core to release the low back, understanding that the hinge comes from the hips and eventually yes, your low back will round, but it will round like this where it’s causing a local life sharing in the thoracic spine. As you come down all, ultimately you won’t be straight flush. 

Not Designed To Fold In Half

If you do see that in some yogis, they probably have compensated story patterns because our bodies are not designed to fold in half. I want you to continue to push your hips back. Then, squeeze your thighs from thighs to release the back and then squeeze the core to release the back muscles. Next, see if you can bring the toes up to kind of light up the backside of the fascial structures and you feel that psychotic nerve and then the fascia stretching before you feel the muscle stretch and you kind of want to breathe into that space.

Again, from here, you want to go ahead and kind of come down, take a breath and alternate, straightening the knees to allow for gentle release of your low back down. If that makes sense. Now, we’re going to come straight up, not long lever arm up this way, but come up, roll one spine up at a time.

The Chair Pose

I’m now teaching you the chair pose. Once again, I want you to stand with your feet, shoulder width apart, and knees bent. When you bend your knees, I want you to think about it because it’s the relationship between your feet, your knee and your hips. Whenever you sink your hips down, you don’t want your knees going forward because again, that’s a shearing force, you’re going to be at a mechanical disadvantage. You’re going to blow out your ACL meniscus or anything else in between. It’s just not a smart way to do that. 

When you do the chair pose, I want you to stay higher up until you’re able to keep the knees behind your toes. I almost always think about the four points of your feet. Push down more towards the inner arches of your feet. I ask my clients to always raise their toes up because when you do that, it activates the front chain of your shin, which is your interior. It really makes a difference in really creating that arch and activating the muscles of your feet.

Alternatively, I want you to push the feet down and see if you can grasp with your toes and the mat and see what that does. That’s going to really create more activation on the backside of your, or post your chain of your thighs and your calves. Sinking down, I want the hips to go way back. There’s this anterior tilt, pull the rib cage down, tuck your tailbone slightly under, and it really should take your breath away.

Make Sure Of Your Safety

If you do the chair pose correctly, pull the shoulder blades back without thrusting your rib cage forward. It really finds all the musculature to stabilize you. When you look down, your knees are behind your toes and practice putting more weight towards the inner arch of your feet. That really creates a lot of activation through my thighs quads as well as the hamstrings and comes up nice and slow. 

You can practice that and make sure that all those things line up. I’m not going to talk too much about flexibility. 

The Warrior One

Let’s move on to Warrior One. I want you to step forward with your right foot. I want you to make sure that the pelvis is squared forward. The back foot will almost always need to be internally or slightly out. What I started to say is that it needs to be slightly internally rotated at the hip with the toes slightly in, and then the front foot needs to be straight forward, like parallel with the side edge of the map. I need you to look at your knee and make sure that that knee does not go past your toes because I see this a lot in yoga and that’s so bad. You should pull it back.

Even if you have to have a wider stance in warrior one, I want you to torque the pelvis forward and understand the torque that you’re feeling into your hip. Don’t go down too far because as you go down too far, you’re going to create this hyper arch of your thoracic spine if you don’t have enough stability in your hip. Pull it in, really get the core engaged, get your alignment in order. I want you to be in this position, don’t go too far, place your right hand on the outside of your knee and just make sure that the patella is tracking with the second toe. It lines up with the second toe and really lights up your legs as well as your core. Your thoracic spine and your rib cage is straightforward and your pelvis is straightforward. 

When You Do Them Properly, Guess What Happens?

Some of you might have restrictions to where this needs to be a little bit far, but I always say in the direction of the pool this way, energetically always aim to go forward this way. It might help to bring the feet closer and not go down too far, meaning don’t bend your knees all the way down. You can adjust your range of motion, the depth of the pose. As well as to bring on a little bit more awareness, to turn on the muscles in less of a deeper pose so that you can bring in a connectivity into those areas where you know you’re doing it properly.

You just start to sweat like I am, and you really feel it in your muscles in ways. That makes a huge difference. Like you are strengthening the proper muscles and getting a proper balance. 

We’re going to hinge forward and sync our hips. Make sure you’re not sinking forward. Pull back, always left in the right side will always be different. Recognize that tracking the left knee now with the second toe and then going down and making sure that that stays right above energetically.

The back hip is pointed forward, drawing the rib cages down, but don’t bring your shoulders forward. Pull them down in back. 

How To Activate Your Core While Observing Mindful Alignment

I just want to kind of wrap up in talking about how you’ll have the core activation. You learn not to hang on your bones, make sure that the pelvic structure lines up with your ribs and that ribs stay threaded down to support your pelvis. Your head is in line with your pelvic bowl to not displace the weight or a center of mass forward or back in ways where you cause adaptive shortening in your body. 

The main thing to remember is the kinetic chain from the heaviest part, how it routes down from the navel to both feet and then the Navel to the crown of the head going up. You want to be mindfully connected with your posture, knowing your body in space so that you can preserve the longevity and the health of your overall body, as well as your joints. It helps with your metabolism, respiration and everything else. I hope this was helpful.

Thank you so much for staying with me until the end of this blog!

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