Messing about in the studio over the weekend and I thought I would see if my assistant 'Kev' could get into some of the more common asanas I teach in class. Here we see seated forward bend, Paschimottanasana.
It then struck me how useful this is in terms of understanding what is going on with the body.
This asana is one that some people will struggle with due to the tightness in the calves, hamstrings, weak core strength and stiff hips particularly.
Kev's hips are quite loose, he doesn't have the connective tissue, muscle,fascia holding him back so we can see really nice pelvic rotation over the femurs, one of the cues I use when I am teaching this posture.
Keeping the lower back straight and long is going to avoid injury so we want to avoid flexion in the spine, rounding, when we deepen the asana and finally gazing (drishta) on the lower legs to avoid straining the neck.
It is important for yoga teachers to know what is going on anatomically. Progression in, through and out of the asanas needs to be stable and safe. I will be asking Kev to try some other postures out in the coming weeks to help demonstrate good form for my classes.