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Forward Bends

Devlin72010-07-05 13:33:57 +0000 #1
Hi I have just starting teaching yoga at a local studio. The studio is lined with mirrors and I noticed that while performing a forward bend that my left leg was bent slightly even though my right leg is straight. I had an accident many years ago that crushed my right knee. I figured that one leg is shorter/longer than the other which is very common. My question is ...Is it better to work both legs being straight and upset the balance of the hips or have the hips level during forward bends. Obviosuly this is more of an issue when performing standing forward bends, when seated there is nothing preventing one foot being an inch or two different.

Do we learn to adapt with what we have? How can I ask my students to straighten through the legs when I can't demonstrate it myself?
yogiforlife2010-07-05 13:36:25 +0000 #2
Quote:

Originally Posted by Devlin7



Hi I have just starting teaching yoga at a local studio. The studio is lined with mirrors and I noticed that while performing a forward bend that my left leg was bent slightly even though my right leg is straight. I had an accident many years ago that crushed my right knee. I figured that one leg is shorter/longer than the other which is very common. My question is ...Is it better to work both legs being straight and upset the balance of the hips or have the hips level during forward bends. Obviosuly this is more of an issue when performing standing forward bends, when seated there is nothing preventing one foot being an inch or two different.

Do we learn to adapt with what we have? How can I ask my students to straighten through the legs when I can't demonstrate it myself?

I've often wondered this as well. I use a mirror whenever I can and notice when i do forward bends that one leg seems to be extended farther, never occurred to me that one leg might be longer than the other, just assumed one was tighter than the other which I notice in other poses.
xela2010-07-05 14:09:03 +0000 #3
My right leg is 3/8ths of an inch longer than my left so I almost always can feel and notice the difference.
Sunflower2010-07-05 13:55:32 +0000 #4
I am not that good when it comes to yoga, but I do know a thing or two about hips and uneven legs.

Almost all of us have one leg longer than the other, and almost all of us have hips/pelvics that shifts slightly to one side (either to the left or right, or it can be slightly "rotaded").

I know that my left leg is longer than the right, and my right hip is tighter than my left and slightly shifted forward compared to the left one.

What has worked for me in yoga (and in horse back ridning which has a lot in common with yoga) is to keep my hips level, because if I work with both legs straight (or in the saddle; with my stirrups equally long) I create tention in my back, since the shift in the hips goes up all the way through the back.

This may not affect a more well trained person as much as is affects me, but I am a firm beliver in keeping the base of the body, which for me is the hips/pelvics, level as much as you can.

So I would say that you should keep the hips level in the forward bend, and work on the extention of the legs individually.

How ever, I don't think that the one-leg-longer-than-the-other-thing is an issue for all of us even though none of us have eqaully long legs, but if the difference is so big that you can see it, then I think you should pay it some attention.

I really hope that some of what I written makes sense, it's hard to write in these things in English.

/Jenny

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