Blog Written by Chris Saudek
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In this asana class focusing on the hips and pelvis, you will learn some of the anatomy to understand how your hips and pelvis are connected to your back from above and to the lower limb from below. You will be taught to observe asymmetries and how to work with them. You will become more aware of how you move your hips and pelvis and what is involved with that movement. You will discover how you might be able to create more freedom and stability to move more gracefully and continue to walk through this life with firmness of the body, steadiness of the mind and confidence that you can stand on your own two feet!
There are just two bones that make up the hip joint. And yet there are dozens of muscles, including some we would describe as back or abdominal muscles, that are involved in movements of the pelvis and hips. If you have been in yoga class for some time, you have probably already realized how important your pelvic area and hip joints are. You probably also have an opinion as to whether you have flexible and/or strong hips. But what you might not have realized is how the muscles surrounding the hip joints are not only responsible for the strength and flexibility of your hips. They are also greatly responsible for your overall posture, the strength and flexibility of your lower back, your knees, and shoulders. Through the chain of muscles connected to other muscles, to tendons, ligaments, and bone we never really isolate any part of the body in yoga classes. We never neglect one part of the body to work another. And we try, at all times, to be aware of everything happening all over our body and in our mind. So it might be better to call this class an Iyengar yoga class with emphasis on pelvic and hip awareness! You will not be doing poses that are only for your hips and pelvis. As those of you who come regularly to classes that I teach know, I can teach the same pose, or even the same sequence of poses one week and emphasize the shoulder and chest area and another week concentrate on the hip and pelvic area. There are no poses that affect only one joint or one area of the body. As Prashant Iyengar always emphasizes, how you do the pose depends on why you are doing it. We will be doing poses to gain a better awareness of the pelvis and hip joints. Still, nothing will be neglected!
This class is for those students with at least one year of Iyengar yoga experience. Though some hip issues will be addressed and adaptations made, students who have hip replacements or other hip dysfunctions that have been diagnosed should know their own limitations and work responsibly. Props are an important aspect of this class so students should have available the following: mat, yoga chair, two wooden bricks, a bolster, 3-4 blankets, one extra- long strap and a shorter strap OR two shorter straps that can be hooked together and a towel, tie or a third short strap.