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Yoga Anatomy and Alignment Blog

Why Bridge Pose is NOT the Best Prep for Deep Backbends

Bridge pose, a.k.a. setu bandasana or setu bandha sarvangasana, can be used in a physical asana practice for a number of distinct purposes. For example, a physical therapist or personal trainer might use it to strengthen gluteal muscles, quads, hamstrings or lower back muscles, just to name a few possible targets (with small tweaks to the exercise […]

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Should You Keep Your Shoulders Back and Down?

arrow action of scapula in adho mukha svanasana

Check out the Heal Your Shoulders episode of the Yoga Talk Show podcast where Yoga Anatomy Academy founder Dr. Ariele Foster chats with Yoga Body founder Lucas Rockwood in more detail on the subject of the shoulder in yoga. Ever heard the cue “Keep your shoulders back and down”? This action can be helpful during many yoga poses, but […]

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How to Lift the Arch of the Foot

lift the arch of the foot, flexor hallicus brevis, posterior tibialis, tibialis posterior, yoga, yoga teaching, cues, medial arch

One of the most common cues heard in yoga classes is “lift the arch of the foot”. To some, this action comes naturally, and / or makes kinesthetic sense. To others, not so much. We’d like to clear something up before going on: there are all kinds of learners out there, and all kinds of […]

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Should Your Spine Be Shaped Like a J?

yoga anatomy workshop lumbar spine, SI joints, and pelvis - sacroiliac stability, alignment

Should we have a J-shaped spine? NPR aired this story back in June: “Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain,”. It went viral (at least in the Facebook feeds of physical therapists, yoga teachers and the like). The piece shares the perspective of Esther Gokhale, an acupuncturist who, after suffering severe back pain […]

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What’s so special about Psoas?

Psoas is a deep lumbo-pelvic muscle that can curl us into the protective fetal position or quickly engage to hurl us forward in a run. There are fascinating articles out there on the emotional role of this muscle, but I’m here to talk about its biomechanics in yoga asana. Psoas is a multi-articulate or multiarticular muscle — one that […]

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6 Tips for Teaching Yoga to Hypermobile Students

ehlers-danlos, hypermobile, hypermobility, hyperflexible, too much flexibility, yoga

As a physical therapist (or physiotherapist, for those outside of the USA), this is how I most frequently work with patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): In addition to skilled hands-on techniques to improve boney alignment and specific muscle fiber recruitment, I prescribe very specific strengthening exercises that stabilize joints, and I teach patients self-myofascial release. An […]

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