Pain is never part of the result to a great yoga practice. Aside from breathing, alignment is the key principle to yoga and a successful workout.
Here are a few pointers to keep it all aligned, pain-free, injury free and to experience far less joint strain, in every pose.
1.NEUTRALIZE / SURRENDER: Bend elbows and knees, soften the outer body, inhale.
2. Y WAVE: Draw your inner thighs up and out through the slightly widening sitting bones like a Y shape. This integrates and draws back your thigh bones and deepens your hip-creases and joints too.
3. GROUNDING WAVE: Press down with your feet, hands, sitting bones or whatever is on the floor.
4. PSOAS (so-as) WAVE: As you press down, lightly draw up along your FRONT lumbar (low back) spine. It's not a hard roll--keep your lower back in the same position you would while standing upright, just support yourself to rise from the front of your spine first, not your lower back muscles in the back.
5. LUMBAR WAVE: OK, now once your front spine has lifted you into the full pose and you're aligned, add in a little low back curve to keep it natural.
6. AXIAL WAVE: Add more length through the whole spine to the crown of your head, and make space and length from shoulders to fingertips and pelvis through your feet.
7. REFINE: Tweak the pose as needed to feel more strong but also spacious.
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