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Balance in butterfly

 
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robyoga



Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Balance in butterfly Reply with quote

Hi Bernie and everyone else!

Very much enjoying the website and Youtube videos and am making some real progress in increasing my hip flexibility, so thanks to everyone involved for that - you're doing a great great service.

I have one imbalance which I want to explore, best illustrated in the butterfly pose, where my left thigh is able to fall much closer to the floor than my right. So, which connective tissues / muscles are likely to be causing this right-side issue and which yin (or yang) poses should I be exploring to try to increase my range of movement here? Swan seems an obvious one, but I wonder if my knees might suffer unless I'm very careful with blocks etc?

Thanks!


Rob
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1051
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:13 am    Post subject: What stops me? Reply with quote

Hi Rob

I am happy to hear that you are making progress. Your question as to why one hip is more “open” than the other is an interesting one. We are not symmetric. I too have my left hip more externally rotated than my right. But, this is not always something we need to fix. Sometimes it is just a result of the shape of our bones. But, if you are dysfunctional in some way because of your asymmetry, then maybe it does need to be addressed. The key question you have to ask yourself is “What stops me?” Why can’t your right hip externally rotate as much as your left?

The “What stops me?” question is addressed at length in the first half of my book, Your Body, Your Yoga. A brief description of this question is here. And, if you like, here is a video of me talking about this point (you have to scroll down to find my video as this is a post about a fascia congress with some other videos as well.)

So, what is stopping you? Is it tension? If so, your idea of more hip work could be beneficial. But if it is compression, if your bones are hitting and you are stopped because your right hip socket is more anteverted than your left, well—that is just you! You won’t change that. However, in internal rotation (think of Eagle Pose with the legs) you may find your right hip is the “better” hip. Usually if we are very externally rotated in the hip, we lose some range of internal rotation and vice versa (not everyone, however. Some people are great in both directions, and some people are poor in both direction. This is discussed more in the book.)

So, what is stopping you? Where are you feeling the resistance? Based on that, you may decide you have reached your limit and trying to get more open/externally rotated will just start to hurt your knees. Practice with both intention and attention.

Cheers
Bernie
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robyoga



Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bernie. I think there's a bit of tightness in the muscles / connectives (feels like a "pull" rather than a "blockage"), but I'm hearing your point about individual differences and imbalances within the same individual, especially as I've been told there's a bit of OA in that hip. Your point about attention is becoming more and more important as I continue my practice and I'm noticing all sorts of things which I wouldn't have got anywhere near even 3 months ago, so hopefully this will give me something useful in assessing this issue.

I'll be having a look at the books, and at least one should make it to my Christmas list!


Thanks again, Rob
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1051
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, Rob. By the way, most people have some OA in there hips, shoulders and spine but they have no pain or dysfunction. OA as we get older is actually quite normal, so don't let it scare you away from moving! It is only a problem if pain is present (and even then, it doesn't always turn out to be the cause of the pain.)

Cheers
Bernie
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