How to work with a bendy body

(please see link at the bottom for videos that come with this post)

As a yoga teacher I am very passionate about helping people with bendy bodies. Coming from the dance world, I used to really hang into the joints for my first years practicing yoga.

I am focusing on a few different standing poses in this post. Use Tadasana as a blueprint pose for all the other poses and notice what tendencies you have. For bendy bodies the tendencies are often in Tadasana or Utthita Hastasana (lifting the arms up) to tilt the pelvis into an arch and popping the front ribs forward. This will also be your tendency in pretty much all the other poses.

So your focus will be firming the other hips into the midline, lifting the frontal hipbones up to the lower ribs and dropping the sit bones down to the floor and softening the front ribs back AS you lift through the back ribs.

I am trying to show the direction with my hands in the video. Do not tuck the pelvis, pelvis is neutral. All though your direction will be towards tucking, apply the pelvic wheel actions (see pic 4). When working with different actions think more about firming the muscles than tensing up and gripping. This is an important difference between how we work in yoga compared to fitness. You want to find just the right balance (sthira sukha). This is not easy and of course sometimes we have to overdo it to then find the balance. I am trying to exaggerate a bit in the video so it’s clear.

I will not go into hyper extension here for knees and elbows but that’s also something you need to be aware of so you are not putting pressure on the joints.

For the standing poses, remember Tadasana in your upper body, front and back body and side body equally long. When using a block, try using it on the inside instead of the outside. This will help you to even out the bendiness. Think of taking the front body into the back body.

Instead of going so far into the pose, try backing off to properly work the actions. Please let me know if you have questions.

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WordPress won’t let me post videos anymore so please see this link to my instagram




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