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Yoga Myths: 5 Kind Cues To Ignore

by Editorial
Yoga Myths: 5 Kind Cues To Ignore


When you’re transferring right into a pose and your yoga instructor provides you a type cue, it’s solely pure to take heed to what they are saying and attempt to do your greatest to observe it. Notably if it’s a cue that you just hear time and again.

However what if we informed you that there are some directions which are commonly rattled off with out truly being primarily based in kinesiology (aka the research of human physique motion)? You’d in all probability need to know what they’re, proper? We thought so. That’s why we chatted with train physiologist and yoga instructor Meredith Witte to debunk a few of the greatest yoga type myths as soon as and for all.

1. “Chill out the glutes”

Backbends (generally known as Urdhva Dhanurasana or wheel pose) are frequent in lots of practices, like Ashtanga. However Witte suggests approaching them with warning. “Our decrease again is designed to be steady, not cell, but most backbends require deep, passive hyperextension of the decrease again,” she says. If practiced commonly, they may result in decrease again ache.

Due to this, she says {that a} frequent cue that drives her loopy is to “calm down the glutes” or “soften the glutes” whereas in a backbend or in bridge pose. “The glutes are the first driver of your hips up away from the ground, so in case you calm down them, you’re simply dumping strain into your decrease again,” she warns.

“I hardly ever educate backbends, but when I do, I give a whole lot of cueing round extending from the higher again (which is anatomically designed to have far more mobility in relation to the decrease again) and interesting the glutes for help,” Witte says.

2. “Breathe down into your stomach”

All types of yoga incorporate conscious respiration and most occasions, instructors inform individuals to breathe into their stomach in an try and maintain them from lifting their shoulders and increasing their chests with shallower breaths. Whereas it’s true that you just need to be cognizant of the way you’re respiration whereas training yoga, Witte says that the “breathe down into your stomach” cue is usually misunderstood.

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“I’ve discovered that, notably with newer college students, if they’re being informed to ‘breathe into the stomach,’ there’s an inclination to tense via the stomach and create pointless intra-abdominal strain with a purpose to give the visible of an increase and fall,” she says. “That is actually the alternative results of what we’re aiming for in moments of calm, downregulating breathwork.”

With this in thoughts, Witte says she prefers to inform college students to place their arms on their ribcage and discover, with out pushing or forcing, if they’ll really feel their ribs increasing underneath their arms. “Once we are respiration, our lungs develop, our ribcage expands, and our diaphragm presses downward,” she explains. So, so long as you possibly can really feel your ribcage develop, and as long as you’re not taking shallow upwards breaths into your chest, you’ll be respiration into your stomach.

3. “Put a pillow underneath your butt.”

In the event you don’t have fairly sufficient mobility to comfortably obtain pigeon pose (wherein one leg is folded in entrance of your chest whereas your different leg is prolonged out behind you on the ground), thus leaving your hips within the air, your teacher could let you know to place a pillow underneath your butt.

“Whereas this may really feel extra comfy, the tissues in your outer [bent] knee, which are supposed to present stability, are seemingly overly stretched,” Witte warns. “I all the time counsel placing a bolster vertically in your mat beneath each your hip and knee, in order that the knee and hip are parallel, and your knee isn’t compensating for no matter mobility you’re missing in your hip.”

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4. “In the event you’re tight, you want to stretch extra.”

With a lot stretching included into yoga, in case you follow commonly, you may suppose that in fact try to be limber sufficient to succeed in all of the poses. In actuality, Witte says that when you have a devoted yoga follow and nonetheless really feel tight, it’s seemingly not due to a scarcity of stretching.

Many yoga practices focus primarily on stretching the again facet of your physique, however embrace little to no strengthening work, she says. “So, after years of training yoga and stretching your hamstrings, your physique will lack stability—oftentimes the feeling of tightness, particularly amongst yogis, is definitely an indication of this weak spot.”

With out the soundness and energy to help flexibility, the nervous system “tightens” as a protecting mechanism, Witte explains. “My greatest piece of recommendation to those that stretch on a regular basis is to attempt incorporating some energy work into your routine, particularly for the glutes and hamstrings,” she says.

5. “Don’t let your knee go previous your toes.”

Stated in numerous health courses, this phrase could really feel like a second-nature reminder you usually inform your self throughout squats and lunges. In response to Witte, although, it’s truly only a foolish, antiquated rule.

“Our knees are designed to bend 180 levels,” she factors out. “You’re going to must bend them 180 levels while you squat all the way down to roll up your mat after class, or while you sit down on the ground to place your sneakers on…so why can’t you do it throughout class?”

Actually, Witte says that by limiting knee motion, it could truly dampen tissue capability, which might make doing real-world actions like snowboarding and operating round with little ones tougher. So the following time an teacher spouts this supposed rule, know to your core that it’s primarily based on lore, probably not physiological reality.


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