While there are many ways to practice trikonasana, the usual way of transitioning into it is with the front leg already straight. There's nothing inherently wrong with this approach, if a) your students have relatively flexible hamstrings and b) they have the body awareness and physical ability to laterally tilt their pelvis. However, what often seems to happen is that many students have difficulty laterally tilting their pelvis for one of the above reasons and as a result end up laterally flexing their waist in order to get their hand down to their shin bone or a block. So they end up looking more like the student in Figure A than the student in Figure B.
Part 1 of this 2-part post includes a discussion with images illustrating a unique way of transitioning into trikonasana that makes it easier for some students to finesse the perfect amount of hamstring stretch while maintaining strong lines of energy through the axial body and extremities. Part 2 is a 5-minute video that shows these steps, along with a couple of hands-on assists that accompany them. Enjoy!
In a previous video, we explored how the thoracolumbar spine can only rotate about 30-45 degrees, and discussed how trying to force it to rotate more could create stress at the intervertebral and costovertebral joints. While there is certainly merit to attempting to rotate hypomobile segments of the spine, "cranking" ourselves or our students into deep twists may in the end do more harm than good (check out the revolved triangle video).
In this video, we explore an alternative to "deepening the rotation" in a supine twist and instead choose to incorporate some release work for:
Should we "draw the shoulder blades down the back" when raising the arms overhead? Or "plug the arms into the sockets" when reaching the arms forward? "Melt the heart" in plank? Squeeze the shoulder blades together in eagle pose?
In this fifth and final video in our series on scapulohumeral rhythm we make the case that none of the above are very skillful verbal cues, and explore alternative cues and hands-on assists that support the natural, healthy rhythm between all of the joints within the shoulder joint complex.
If you missed the other videos in this series be sure to check them out! In the first video we explored the anatomy and movements available at the shoulder and scapulocostal joints. In the second video we explored how movements of the shoulder joint should be coupled with movements of the scapulocostal joint to ensure safe, efficient biomechanics at the shoulder joint complex that will help prevent injury. In the third video we explored shoulder impingement syndrome... some of its causes and recommendations for how to prevent it. In the fourth video we reviewed the muscles of the rotator cuff and offered a variety of ways to help strengthen them.
Your comments and observations are welcome. Please share with anyone whom you think might benefit!