YOGA ALIGNMENT: WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY TO DO THE POSE?
Yoga alignment has long been regarded as a way of keeping our bodies safe, but what is it and is it actually effective and important? Let’s first discuss what alignment is in the physical sense. Alignment is how we choose to hold our bones in relationship to one another in any given shape. The key word there is “choose.” The problem that we have fallen into as a yoga community is that many believe and have preached that their way is the right way to do a posture, claiming it will keep you safe, or simply saying “this is the right way.”
Truth is, there are very few wrong ways to do a posture and hundreds of correct ways. What is correct and incorrect based on? More often than not, it has been based on a shape, an aesthetic that may or may not be appropriate for any one individual. In my opinion, it would be better to focus on developing awareness of what our bodies need in order to find greater balance in the muscular system. I like to look at everything as more of a spectrum rather than an incorrect or correct. This way, if something falls far over on the scale as potentially harmful, I can simply make the decision to avoid it. Take the risk of shoulder impingement when dropping the shoulders in down dog. While it may not be wrong, it’s simply not worth the potential harm to the shoulders. For more clarity, please check out the two blogs below:
- Stop Relaxing Your Shoulders Away from Your Ears
- 3 Steps to Avoid Shoulder Impingement in Downward Dog
IS ALIGNMENT IMPORTANT?
Alignment may not be very important if your only concern is the external shape of the pose, or if you want some fancy Instagram photo. HOWEVER, If you use alignment as a way to reflect upon your muscular patterns- i.e. strengths, weaknesses, areas of tension etc.- then alignment can be a powerful tool in the transformation of your body. Trying a posture with multiple alignments will provide a platform for your self-inquiry, and this is what a yoga practice is all about.
THE TWO STEPS
There are only two things you need to do if you want to bring health to your muscular system and advance your yoga practice!
- Learn your personal muscular patterns. This requires that you seek out your weak, tight, and overstretched muscles, and develop an understanding of how your joints are interacting with these muscular patterns. Sounds complicated, I know. This is why yoga has never been a self-taught practice and we have teachers to guide us. This is why I offer the Livestream Immersions each month – to help you develop your physical awareness, advance your practice, and ultimately transform your body.
- Once you establish an understanding of your movement patterns, learn which ones are supportive and which are not. Non-supportive patterns will require that you do exact opposite movements. Repeated over time, these new movements will bring balance back to your body. Balance in our muscular system allows our joints to ALIGN more optimally, giving us a greater range of motion in our joints without the collision of compression and friction that happens when our muscular system is out of balance with itself.
The February 2020 Immersion titled “The Dance” is a unique immersion focused on helping you seek out movement patterns that may be holding you back from flowing gracefully in your yoga practice. If you want to re-pattern the way you move on your mat, this is the live stream immersion for you! See All Livestream Immersions
Each month you have the oportunituy to enroll in three weekly classes! You get lifetime and unlimited access to each of the classes. Once you enroll, you also have the oportunity to view all classes live as they stream. Each month has a physical focus to help you gain targeted techniques and advance your body awareness.
Be a part of the community! After enrolling, you can connect with members through our exclusive Facebook group where you can get tips directly from me, Matt Giordano. You are encouraged to share photos and videos of your practice for personalized support.
I look forward to sharing this practice with you and helping you develop in a big way!
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THE LIVE IMMERISONS
Matt‘s classes are phenomenal- if you ever have the ability to practice with him, make use of it!! He has a very unique talent of combining anatomy, yoga philosophy, and his own perspective into a super intense package of knowledge which is fun AND easy to understand. I enjoyed the April immersion a lot as it was a great way of deepening my own practice and broadening my horizon, especially as the lifetime access allows you to take classes as often as you want- trust me, you will want to take them again! I can’t wait for next month’s classes and highly recommend everyone to take the May pass and joining in on the journey.
Covid-19 bought Matt into my home and my yoga practice. This last month I have learned so much. It has deepened my practice and my understanding of anatomy & biomechanics and how we use both in every asana we practice. He has also helped in my teaching, ie asking my students to think about the foot as a tripod “big toe, pinkie toe, heel.” I never imagined I would learn so much from the immersion.
ALIGN, REFINE AND MASTER YOUR FLOW
- 12 ALL LEVELS LIVESTREAM CLASSES
- WATCH ANYTIME WITH LIFETIME ACCESS
- SHARPEN YOUR SKILLSET & ADVANCE YOUR PRACTICE
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