Practice yoga correctly by understanding the internal and external rotation of the hip and shoulder joints



The anatomy we need to learn to practice yoga correctly is on internal and external rotation of the hip and shoulder joints. Majority of yoga poses, the shoulders rotate externally and  there are just only a few weight-bearing poses where the shoulders need to rotate in internally. This is because the shoulder joint is more stable when externally rotated and firmly engaged.

Try this with downward facing dog, place your palm on the floor, finger tips pointing front, and try to close your armpit as much as possible rather than allowing it to shine forward. You probably won't see much change, but the feeling of going toward this position will wrap your triceps forward and externally rotate the shoulder. The real indicator is the triceps wrapping forward. In yoga we call this "closing the armpit." It can be challenging to externally rotate the shoulders as the palms cannot rotate here. Instead, all the rotation will come from a sensation of hugging the forearms in, wrapping the triceps down, aiming to close the armpit as much as possible, but staying engaged in the bicep in order to avoid hyperextension in the elbow. Just holding this position will strengthen the shoulder in external rotation.
 
These postures are not about changing results in your body but rather about changing habits. Learning to keep the shoulder externally rotated and allowing the trap to come away from the ear and give your neck space will protect the shoulder in lifts. It will also help keep the neck happy. Practicing this correction routinely in a yoga class in nearly every position builds a great habit for strength athletes to take with them into the gym. Like anything else, increasing your mobility will take practice. Be disciplined enough to either stretch every day on your own or attend a yoga class several times a week.
 

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