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Do This, Not That: Corrections for 3 Popular Yoga Poses

Yoga | Yoga Poses

Ever wonder if you’re doing that one yoga pose correctly? Do you do yoga at home by yourself more often than in front of your own private yoga teacher? Me too!

Even as a teacher, I’ve always found it challenging to see an instructor do a pose, then try to replicate that at home… mostly because I had no clue whether I was doing it right, or if I was doing something that would eventually require a few trips to the emergency room! I know you've been there!

To help you avoid that painful path, here are corrections for 3 popular yoga poses that you probably do most often.

Remember: this is not the end all, be all. Every single body is different, and though these tips have common “do’s” for proper alignment, your body’s proper form may be slightly different from mine or your BFF’s. So be patient and understanding of your own individual anatomy, and have fun!

1. Warrior II

Do This Warrior-II

Let’s demonstrate Warrior II on the left side.

  1. Bend the front knee deeply so that the knee tracks right over the second toe. If you look down, you should still be able to see the toes; if not, you’ve bent too far!
  2. Square the pelvis so that both hip bones are facing the long edge of your mat, directly between the thighs.
  3. Check the back hip and make sure it hasn’t popped up towards the ribs.
  4. Keep the control in the upper body without letting the arms fly up. Extend both arms out to the sides, drawing the shoulder blades down the back and lift up through the crown of the head.

2. Crescent Lunge

Do This CresentLunge

  1. Step the feet wide enough so the front knee is bent deeply and tracking over the heel or toes.
  2. Be sure not to extend the knee past the toes.
  3. Keep the back leg long and straight by squeezing the back thigh away from the floor, and press firmly into the ball of the foot with the heel lifted.
  4. Gently scoop the pelvis forward just to lengthen the lower back and lift the chest up towards the sky. Look wherever it feels natural. Most of the time, we run into trouble when there isn’t enough space between the feet. If you feel unnatural in this pose, try taking your stance wider and see if that helps. Having enough room between the feet makes the depth of your lunge much more fulfilling.

3. Pigeon

Do This Pigeon

Let’s demonstrate this pose on the left side.

  1. From Downward Dog, look forward and bring your left knee towards the outer edge of your mat.
  2. Instead of bringing the knee forward so it points straight ahead, bring it to a slight diagonal so the hip externally rotates.
  3. Square the hips off to the front of your mat so the hip bones face forward. If you have to keep the hips further away from your mat to accomplish that, it’s okay! Symmetry before depth; the depth will come with time.
  4. Reach through the back leg and kick through the top of that foot to help keep the pelvis stable.
  5. Avoid rolling that left hip open and rocking on to the left butt cheek. You can keep the chest lifted or reach the arms out in front of you.

Are there any other poses where you feel like you could use some alignment corrections? Share your story below!

Image Credit / Yogi: Erin Motz

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