A question for the yoga guys and others who know body mechanics: What's not working for me in this posture.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2010 2:51 AM GMT

    I have taken some yoga classes and noticed that in one posture, locust pose, I can not get my arms comfortably on the ground palms down and under my body.

    Here is description of the pose.

    http://www.abs-exercise-advice.com/yoga-locust-pose.html

    In the first part of the pose, upper left in the diagram, I can not get my arms rotated with my palms down and have my arms and hands (palms on floor)close to my body. I can only do it when my arms are further away from my body.

    As a reference if a T formation of my body has a 90 degree angle between arms and body and a position with my hands down by my side were zero degrees, then I can get my arms to about 45 degrees, with my palms rotated to the floor, anything closer than 45 degrees starts to get tight and zero degrees can be almost painful on one arm. I can get my arms down to my side, I just can't rotate them so the palms and the front of my elbows are flat on the floor.

    The instructor actually would prefer that the students have their arms under their bodies with palms down on the floor below the students belly button.

    I work out and lift weights and I know I am tight and that is why I am going to yoga.

    My question to the more knowledgable members of the forum is
    what muscles are probably causing the problem and need the most work in terms of flexiblilty? Is it my biceps, my shoulders or back?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2010 6:45 AM GMT
    Sounds like the problem is in your shoulder girdle, possibly your rotator cuff muscles. Focus your post-workout stretching on that area to increase flexibility and range of motion.
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    Sep 10, 2010 2:51 PM GMT
    I had the same problem because my hip bone and forearm bone were crushing each other...Teacher said simply you have to just keep your hands under you but farther away from each other, closer and until you can get them comfortably under you.

    Is that whats kinda happening to you?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 10, 2010 3:08 PM GMT
    Where exactly are you feeling the discomfort? There's a lot going on in salabhasana, so it's hard to say without more detail about what you're experiencing.

    BTW, the diagram you linked to has really bad alignment of the head/neck - it should be an extension of the spine, not cranked back like that. Most people should be looking down and slightly forward, not looking toward the front of the room.
  • shirty

    Posts: 290

    Sep 10, 2010 3:11 PM GMT
    Hi there,

    I'm a yoga instructor but I've only been teaching for about 2 years, so the following is just based on my limited experience.

    From my studies and teaching I've learned that some movements in the body are related to flexibility and strength, while others are directly related to the way your bones are structured.

    It sounds to me like you may simply have less range of movement either in your wrist, elbow, or shoulder (or a combination thereof). This may have nothing to do with flexibility. Your bones may just not move that way.

    Sometimes when we see other people move a certain way we think that our bodies should be able to do the same thing. The fact is we are all structured very differently. For some of us, no matter how hard we train and practice, a pose will always look different.

    There are poses I will never be able to get into safely and comfortably, and so I will modify them or use supports such as cushions or blocks to ease my body.

    Some teachers approach yoga with the idea that we are trying to mold our students into these ideal poses. I'm not one of them.

    My suggestion to you would be to take your hands to a position that is comfortable and not be so caught up with looking the same as everyone else.

    Best of luck with your practice icon_smile.gif
    Nigel
  • ickymuffin

    Posts: 119

    Sep 10, 2010 3:36 PM GMT
    shirty saidHi there,

    I'm a yoga instructor but I've only been teaching for about 2 years, so the following is just based on my limited experience.

    From my studies and teaching I've learned that some movements in the body are related to flexibility and strength, while others are directly related to the way your bones are structured.

    It sounds to me like you may simply have less range of movement either in your wrist, elbow, or shoulder (or a combination thereof). This may have nothing to do with flexibility. Your bones may just not move that way.

    Sometimes when we see other people move a certain way we think that our bodies should be able to do the same thing. The fact is we are all structured very differently. For some of us, no matter how hard we train and practice, a pose will always look different.

    There are poses I will never be able to get into safely and comfortably, and so I will modify them or use supports such as cushions or blocks to ease my body.

    Some teachers approach yoga with the idea that we are trying to mold our students into these ideal poses. I'm not one of them.

    My suggestion to you would be to take your hands to a position that is comfortable and not be so caught up with looking the same as everyone else.

    Best of luck with your practice icon_smile.gif
    Nigel


    I totally agree with Nigel. Everyone's body's are different and depending on your size, shape, muscle density and joint structure your poses are going to be different from the yogi next to you. Just keep breathing and focus on elongating your spine and keeping your neck straighter than is depicted in the diagram you linked too.
  • LaYogi

    Posts: 11

    Oct 13, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    Just to chime in as another yoga instructor, and also a yoga therapist. I think Nigel hit it on the head. There is never a need to acquire poses. And there are other ways to get shoulder opening, back strengthening, etc that locust gives us. And there are many other more safe variations of locust. Personally I never teach locust with the hands under the body because I too do not feel comfortable that way.
    Keep exploring, and just listen to your body and do what feels right. And if the teacher tries to force you into a pose that isn't working right, I'd suggest finding a different teacher

    ~Trevor
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:53 PM GMT
    I agree with the guys here. Don't force your body to do something it's not ready to do, otherwise you'll end up injuring yourself. There are poses some people can do very easily that I can't imagine ever doing, and vice versa.
  • COyogabum

    Posts: 42

    Oct 22, 2010 3:18 AM GMT
    I am a teacher too and think you may have compression of the joints (bone on bone) and not a stretching issue. I would have to see you & have feedback from you to see. Food for thought - There are several variations of locust pose. I teach one like the one in your diagram and another separate pose that has you place the forearms with palms down under your your hips. I see them best as two separate postures or variations to set students up to be successful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCiSRVRHBSk
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2010 3:22 AM GMT
    icon_eek.gif

    So many people into yoga on here now, i'm feeling little left out lol
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 22, 2010 3:58 AM GMT
    I'm confused. The link has a picture of someone with her palms facing the floor. And has text saying the palms should be facing up. Which way should it be?
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    Oct 22, 2010 4:10 AM GMT
    It was mentioned before that the problem could be your rotator cuff. This is not so. The four muscles of the rotator cuff perform two movements: arm deceleration (as in slowing the arm after pitching a baseball), and scapular adduction (pinching the shoulder blades). Its ability to decelerate means the rotator cuff does rotate the arm upwards. (Extend your arm laterally with a 90 degree elbow. Now rotate your arm up so that your fingers point at the ceiling. That is kinesiologically equivalent to shoulder deceleration).

    Anyway. The motion you are wanting to achieve is called, "radioulnar" (lower arm) supination" (turning upwards). The problem is unlikely to be coming from the muscle that articulates this motion (creatively named the supinator. If you drew a straight line back from your index finger, it's the muscle on top of your arm inserting at the lateral (outside) side of the elbow.

    Instead, the problem is indeed likely in the shoulder. There has either be muscular tension preventing it, or a structural limitation preventing the motion. Muscularly, the insertion of the biceps, and the pectorali major will be stretched under radioulnar supination. Now, granted, the amount of tension, theoretically, should be much less than the viscoelastic nature of these big muscles should allow.

    You may consider proprioceptive training as a means to decrease your muscles propensity to tightness. If your muscle spindles are consistently assessing tension at the shoulder joint, they are going to prevent muscle stretching. If you want to discuss how to do this, let me know.

    Patrick
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 22, 2010 6:08 PM GMT
    I'm confused. The link has a picture of someone with her palms facing the floor. And has text saying the palms should be facing up. Which way should it be?

    Another instructor here. I noticed that contradiction as well. Palms face down. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2010 10:08 PM GMT
    I'm guessing that the problem will be fixed with practice. Stretching every day and repeating the exercise will mkae you better at it. Don't hurt yourself just very slowly push your limits.