Questions from a fellow Yoga Teacher Carol

by Melissa West on

Yoga for Posture – Lining Up for Core Strength

Three-Yoga-teacher-questions:Today’s Question comes from Carol from the membership site:

Hi Melissa
How synchronistic! I just sent you a request for a back strengthener class and afterwards was drawn to do this posture class and LOVE how it addresses core strength through the bandhas, abdominals and back muscles!

(available on the membership site as well)

I do have a question, I am a little uncertain when you say to line up the hip, pelvic and pubic bone. I know it sounds simple, but I could use a bit more explanation. Also the tucking in of the tailbone is somewhat confusing as this can be taken too far. It’s commonly said by yoga teachers, but I wonder about the actually bit of low back curve that one needs to maintain as well. Finally, could you please talk about the distribution of weight in the feet. I also thought it was the “four corners” but my body seems to be telling me I’ve leaned too far into the ball of the foot, especially big toe, in standing poses throughout the years.

Dear Carol

These are fantastic questions and I am going to make a video blog to answer them for you one by one.

1) lining up hip, pelvic and public bone. Specifically this means lining up your iliac crests with your pubic bone – if your pubic bone is forward or back of your iliac crests, then likely the lumbar curve of your spine is compromised.

2) Definitely tucking your tailbone under can be taken too far to the point that the lumbar curve of your spine disappears. That is not what we want. So hopefully I am onely cueing tuck your tailbone under in cases where I notice my tailbone is swinging up and my low back is shortening. For example in bow pose or camel pose. People also often lose the integrity of their core strength in plank pose and get a huge dip in their low back – and so a pelvic tuck can help here. I’ll demonstrate in the video.

3) You are also right about even distribution of your weight through your foot. I like to use the cue of imagining you are on those old roller skates with 4 wheels and to distribute the weight into all 4 wheels. Sometimes it helps to lean from side to side front to back and exaggerate the poor distribution to find good distribution.


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