Category: yoga

Apanasana and blocked hips

This term our practice is focused on staying in postures and allowing the muscles to relax in order for joints to release and open.  One of our counterpostures is apanasana – knee to chest pose.  Last night, in the later class we also worked with a gentle form of godhapitham – lizard pose.

Some people are finding the front of the hip of the bent leg is blocking movement.  This is a common experience for people with tight hip flexors (psoas).  I see it in my massage work and teaching yoga.

The psoas is attached to all the lumbar vertebrae (the spine from the waist area to the tailbone) and then travels forward over the hip joint to attach to the inside of the femur (thigh bone).  It’s not something i have tried to explain but having thought it through, there is a simple explanation.  The ‘block’ is probably coming from the movement of the lower spine as it rounds into position in apanasana and godhapitham.   

Lumbar spine and lordosis image

When the psoas is tight, the lumbar or lower back is held in extension (lordosis) as the muscle pulls on the vertebrae and influences the position of the pelvis.  By flexing the spine (moving in the opposite direction) we are asking the psoas to stretch.  As the vertebrae and the pelvis flex the psoas is stretched the muscle grumbles if it is tight.  Muscles never work in isolation, there will be other muscles in the mix.

I hope that’s clear … it’s a lot of words.  We can talk about it in class if the mood takes us.

Have a good week!


Yoga Classes and stuff …

(Click on the links for more information)

patanjaliA reminder that yoga begins next Wednesday for 6 weeks: Yanley Yoga Spaces.

We had a false start to Friday’s Early Bird Yoga this week.  It looks like numbers will be good for next Friday morning (0730-0830).  Deadline for booking-in is midday Thursday 7 November (minimum of 4 early birders).  I will confirm the class on Thursday afternoon: Friday Early Bird Yoga.  Numbers allowing, this class will continue until the end of November, returning Feb/March next year.

I’m exploring some ideas around yoga, practice and bodywork.  This is a mixture of personal study and attending lectures and study groups.  I am hoping to write a weekly blog about what’s been happening and how some of my experience, research and studies might be useful to you.

For those of you who missed the blog, the Morning Retreats return next year.  The February date has had to change due to me attending a course.  Details can be found here: Morning Retreats

I think that’s it for now.  Any questions, send me an email: Contact