The 12 Normal TCM meridians are linked in a network with a specific pattern of flow. Both the meridians and the associated elements can be used for guiding the order in which parts of the body are stretched and strengthened.
Meridian stretches uses TCM meridians to guide either a complete stretch of the body or a focused stretch. Both meridians and associated elements can be used to guide the order in which you stretch the body.
Learning to balance on one foot can be made easier if you focus on poses where the legs aren't touching or "bound." With the standing leg free you can practice stabilizing the hip, ankle and foot while moving in and out of standing on one leg balancing positions.
Balancing on one leg in yoga poses like utthitta hasta padangustasana, dancer, tree pose, half bound lotus and eagle, the lifted foot is either bound or held by one hand or the legs in some way contact each other. This can make balancing (or staying balance) a little more challenging.
Yoga Ab exercises include standing and seated positions as well as belly up and belly down yoga poses. You can exercise (or train) the abs by working at keeping the midsection stable or by using the abs to move the ribcage relative to the pelvis and vice versa.
Seated yoga poses can be used to help isolate your spine, hip joints and pelvis. Feel and control your spine while seated, to make these same movements easier while standing.
Eagle yoga pose combines balancing on one leg with hip flexibility and shoulder stretching. To make eagle pose easier to learn and you can focus on the leg crossing element in isolation. Then you can intergrate the arms.
Learn how to work towards the arm position from eagle pose. If you first get the hang of eagle pose arms in isolation you can then combine it with various leg positions including eagle legs.
The sensational yoga pose index lists standing yoga poses in the following categories: symmetric, single leg balancing pose, asymmetric forward facing standing poses and asymmetric lateral standing yoga poses.
Use standing side bend yoga pose to stretch your outer hip, side of the waist, side of the ribcage, lats and shoulders. Use your feet to push your pelvis one way and reach your ribs and upper body away from your pelvis.
If you have tight knees (i.e. you can't knee with your bum on your heels) and/or tight ankles, a simple way to work on improving knee and ankle flexibility is to lean forward while kneeling and slowly sit up. Then lean forwards again.
Why improve body awareness? So that you can become your own mechanic and fix problems yourself. Instead of being able to fault find and fix your own car, the idea is that you can fault find and fix your own body.
The idea of counterposes is to help bring the body back into balance. Here's a look at several different ideas for counterposing yoga poses.
Marichyasana B is a forward bending binding yoga pose with the non-marichyasana leg in lotus. One way to prepare for this position is to use the janusirsasana C foot position.
One of the ideas of self mastery is that the easiest thing to change is ourselves. This can start by becoming aware of our habits and the way that we think so that we can begin to change them.
Here's a look at the forward bending and twisting marichyasana yoga poses with an emphasis on learning how to bind. I've included two simple marichyasana variations that can make binding easier, even for those with limited flexibility.
If you are new to yoga and aren't sure where how to sequence poses, the standing series of ashtanga yoga poses offers one possible model. I've included vinyassas, the steps for moving in and out of each pose, at the bottom of the page.
Why learn to feel your body? So that you can become your own mechanic. Instead of being able to fault find and fix your own car, the idea is that you can fault find and fix your own body.
This is a step-by-step introduction to "bound" headstand using a wall. Like L shaped handstand, the idea is to use a wall to get comfortable being upside down, and also to help get a taste of balance by learning how to take the feet off of the wall.
Obturator internus is one of four "hammock" muscles that can be used to create space with in the hip joint. While standing it can be used to lift the pelvis off of the thigh bones. While seated it can be used to move the thigh bone(s) out their hip sockets.
The action of "creating space" in the hip socket is small but perceptible.
Obturator internus lays along the inside of the lower part of the pelvis. It passes out the back of the pelvis via a gap called the lower or inferior sciatic notch. It wraps around the back of the pelvis and from there passes forwards and up to attach to the top of the thigh bone.
Where it passes through the sciatic notch, it is joined by the superior gemellus and inferior gemellus. The superior gemellus originates from the ischial spine which separates the lower sciatic notch from the upper sciatic notch. The inferior gemellus originates from a point of the ischial tuberosity just below the sciatic notch. Together all three of these muscles reach forwards and up to attach to the top of the thigh bone.
The obturator externus mirrors the oburator internus but starts on the outside of the pelvis covering the outside of the obturator foramen. It to passes backwards along the side of the pelvis but travels up under the neck of the thigh bone to attach to the back of the thigh bone. With the obturator externus attaching to the front of the pelvis and the obturaor internus and the two gemellii effectively operating on the back of the pelvis these four muscles together can be used to lift the pelvis off of the thigh bone or, from another point of view, pull the thigh bone out of the hip socket.
For medical illustrators, or people who enjoy drawing anatomy this can be helpful because it gives a clue as to how to place the acetabulum with respect to the ischial spine and vice versa.
The ischial spine has to be slightly below the center line or the bottom of the acetabulum in order for the gemelli and the obturator internus to reach upwards in order to attach to the top of the thigh bone.
All of these muscles acting together can cause the thigh bone to rotate external at the hip socket. In order to create separation at the hip joint the thighs need to be held stable. While standing with both feet on the floor the thighs are naturally stabilized and the obturators and gemelli can then be used with impunity to lift the pelvis off of the thighs.
While seated with the knees straight and the torso upright, it may be helpful to keep the knees pointing upwards by using either the tensor fascae latae or gluteus maximus (booteus maximus), which can both be used for internal rotation. Then the obturators and gemelli can act in sync to push the thigh bone away from the pelvis. However, even if the thighs are allowed to externally rotate, the obturators and gemelli may still have enough room to contract and create space in the hip joint.
So how do you actually cause these muscles to activate? One easy way is to focus on pushing the knee away from the pelvis. If you are more body aware you can focus on feeling the head of each femur. You can focus on reaching the head of the femurs away from the hip joint. In either case what you should feel is some tension or muscle action around the hip joint.
While standing you can do the same action but instead of reaching the knees away from the pelvis focus on reaching the pelvis away from the knees.
Actually, either visualization may work. The action in both cases is the same, all that differs is whether the pelvis moves or the thigh moves.
One of the interesting things about the obturator internus is that the fascia that covers it (obturator fascia) serves as a point of attachment for some of the pelvic floor muscles. Both iliococcygeus and pubococcygeus attach to this tendon, which is called either the tendinous arch or the obturator tendon or covering. It may be that by activating the pelvic floor muscles you can assist or encourage activation of the obturator internus. For more on activating the pelvic floor muscles check out the sacrum.
Once you've practiced activating the pelvic floor muscles, you can then try activating the pelvic floor muscles first, including piriformis. While sitting if you then try to create space in your hip joints what you may notice is that your lower back pulls forwards slightly indicating that your psoas is active. A similar reaction can occur while standing.
If you keep piriformis inactive while activating your pelvic floor muscles and then activating your obturators and gemellus, you may notice a slight difference in feeling as compared to when just creating space in the hip joint. For myself the feeling when both are activated together is one of stability and strength.