Dandasana, staff pose, is a great assessment posture to determine whether or not a student will be able to skillfully practice seated forward bending postures like Janusirshasana and Paschi-mottanasana. The ideal alignment in Dandasana requires that the thighs are flexed 90 degrees at the hip joints with the knees fully extended, while maintaining the natural lordosis of the lumbar spine and the natural kyphosis of the thoracic spine. If a student has tight hip extensors this won’t really be possible, as the pelvis will posteriorly tilt at the hip joints, the lower back will round and the student will either just slump forward or overwork in their thoracic erector spinae muscles to maintain some semblance of sitting up straight. If you notice that a student is having quite a bit of difficulty sitting upright, you could have them transition to a supine position so that you can get a better idea about how tight their hip extensors actually are. In the following video...
which was taken during ASFYT-3: Anatomy of Asana, the class is just beginning to discuss seated forward bending postures, including:
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