Day 2 of “The Art of Teaching One on One” with UK-based Yoga Teacher Kate Ellis

A few pictures to show particular techniques.

Tracking movement: Kate Ellis demonstrates eccentric front-loading of the leg in order to free up the fascia bindings along the leg that can prevent all of the muscles in the leg from fully engaging in the moment.

Inner and outer spirals: The interior-rotation of the inner limb and the exterior-rotation of the outer limb, with grounding through the four corners of the feet, create the eccentric contraction in the buttocks (mula bandha). The twist in the greater trochanter of the leg allows the head of the femoral bone to sit more securely in the socket of the hip joint, and prevents stress on ligaments. All of the muscles in the legs and feet are being worked (“cooked”) in the pose.

Hump on the foot indicates that the foot is in a high arch, a.k.a. foot supination. Keep the three middle toes lifted to correct the posture.

Lower back proprioceptive adjustment: Trunk adjustment. Tucking in the ribs.

Banana-back body type: Hyper-flexible body types have “banana back” characteristics, where the back tends to bend further backwards.

Kate Ellis teaches two types of forward bending, because there are two polar extreme types of people who seek physio-therapeutic treatment.

(1) Those who suffer pains from spinal bone protrusion applying pressure on nerves.

(2) The lower vertebral column is supposed to be curved. Those who are born with straight lower backs are more likely to experience herniated spinal disc, because of the additional stress on the lower back. More common in male body.

The two types of forward bending are:

(1) Into flexion: Keeping legs straight, and round the lower back. Benefits curved backs.

(2) Into extension: Keeping legs bent, while extending the back. Benefits straight backs.

In the picture below, I am demonstrating the version of forward bending pose into extension, which involves a partner or assistant to provide the proprioceptive adjustment on the lumbar marma trigger point to allow the muscle to engage to anteriorly tilt the pelvis. Sink the chest to counter the contraction effects of excessive upward facing dogs to allow the upper back also to extend.