Gaining external rotation range through yin

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Skyland2001
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:57 pm

Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Skyland2001 »

Hey everyone
Is it possible to actually increase external rotation of the hips by yin yoga? I am trying to achieve a sitting posture for meditation so that it allows my spine to be in natural position easily. I know that for that knees should be on the floor and the pelvis higher than knees.
Using props to elevate the pelvis doesn't really help entirely because there is still some curve in the lower spine. So I am more prone to posterior pelvic tilt in sitting posture than a normal person I guess.
Are there some poses in yin yoga to solve either of these or both issues out?
Thanks in advance
Bernie
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Re: Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Bernie »

Hi Skyland.

This is a favourite question for lots of people. You may want to check these threads...

Hip stretches for an absolute beginner
Balance in Butterfly
A Yin Yoga sequence for knee problems
Square pose with extremely tight hips

But, the short answer is — it depends! There is no "should" here because every body is different. Some bodies will never get their knees to the ground because the amount of external rotation available to them by the shape of their bones is very limited. There is also no "normal" person; there is you in all your uniqueness. You may wish to first answer the "What stops me?" question — why can't you get into the pose the way you would like? The answer is either tension or compression. If it is tension, over time this can be reduced. If it is compression, where the body is hitting the body, that won't change with more yoga, but a different posture could go around that point of compression.

Cheers
Bernie
Skyland2001
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:57 pm

Re: Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Skyland2001 »

Hi Bernie
Thanks for the answer. 8)
I get what you say. I am going to just continue practicing some yin yoga poses everyday and see what happens.
By the way is opening of the hip externally supposed to be a long process? How long? I guess it depends on lot of things doesn't it?
Thanks again and cheers
Bernie
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Re: Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Bernie »

You asked, "is opening of the hip externally supposed to be a long process? How long? I guess it depends on lot of things doesn't it?"

The answer is — it depends!

It depends upon what is stopping you. If you are feeling compression in the outside of the hips when you try to bring knees down while in Butterfly, sitting cross-legged or in Shoelace, this is most likely the neck of the femur impinging upon the rim of the hip socket (acetabulum.) If compression is stopping, you are never going to get your knees down...the process will be infinitely long (or at least until your next lifetime :wink: ). However, if what you are feeling is tension in the inner groins, that is likely stiffness in your adductor muscles or other fascia there. Overtime, and it may take months or years, that can be worked on and reduced.

Everyone eventually hits bony compression and that is the end of the game. But until then, you can continue to work on reducing tension in the muscles and fascia which may slowly improve your range of motion. But, pay attention. When you start to feel that compression arising at the back of the hips, it is tome to stop trying to go further. You will have reached your ultimate limit.

Cheers
Bernie
Skyland2001
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:57 pm

Re: Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Skyland2001 »

Thank you for your reply
I understand everything you said. One thing I will add about myself is that I can't get into shoelace because I feel pain in the groin in the process of getting the other leg over, so I have hip impingement there I guess. But I don't think it will become a barrier in achieving sitting posture because I don't feel impingement in other poses where I don't have legs adducted so much. I will just continue with other poses.
Also does the feeling of boney compression and deep tissue tension differ very much? Can one certainly recognise and tell them apart?
Also how can I contact you if I have a detailed question? Do you use Gmail?
Cheers
Bernie
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Re: Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Bernie »

Yes, many students are challenged in Shoelace due to the requirement for hip adduction: their legs get in the way. Fortunately, Square pose (with neutral hips) and Butterfly (with hips abducted) still allow you to externally rotate the hips. However, you may wish to try Shoelace lying down. Without the hips being flexed as much as while sitting, you may be able to do the pose that way.

If you want to continue to learn more about tension and compression, I would suggest you get either The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga (2nd edition) or Your Body, Your Yoga. In these books there are explanations on how to tell the differences between tension and compression. [Here is one excerpt from YBYY that may help you.] I would also suggest, if you want personalized guidance that you seek out a teacher to work with you one-on-one.

Good luck!
Bernie
Skyland2001
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:57 pm

Re: Gaining external rotation range through yin

Post by Skyland2001 »

Hi Bernie
Thank you I will read both books for more information.

Peace
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