Intermediate/Advanced Class with Donald Moyer 1/4/08

I was in Berkeley last week, taking class with Donald Moyer at the Yoga Room. Here's what I learned:

Ideas


1. Pubic Bone and Thighs

Even though the two pubic bones are fused to the fibrous pad of the pubic symphysis by adulthood, there is still a certain amount of movement possible in the joint. Working with that movement can help to create strength around the pubic symphysis and space around the hip joint.

In asymmetrical standing poses, the pubic bone can drop forward and down, limiting the range of motion of the out-turned leg. Thus in, say Utthita Trikonasana to the right, lift and turn the right side of the pubic bone off the inner thigh, while turning the left pubic bone down into the thigh. The working of the two sides of the pubic bone against each other will create strength around the pubic symphysis.

In symmetrical poses, create space around the hip joint by lifting the pubic bones (left and right) off the tops of the thighs. Stack the pubic bone up, moving forward and lifting off ankle bones creating a resist so as not to collapse into the hip and hamstring. If there is an imbalance between the two sides of the pelvis (one iliac crest shifted up or titled back relative to the other) make sure both are evenly lifted. This means that the higher one will have to be rolled down, the lower one rolled up.

Some people might tend to overly inward rotate, some to overly outward rotate in symmetrical poses (standing, seated and forward extensions). People who overly inwardly rotate might benefit from turning the pubic bones towards the abdomen in their poses (lifting), whereas people who do not inwardly rotate enough might benefit from turning the pubic bones towards the thighs (turning them down).

In Baddha Konasana-like asymmetrical seated forward bends—such as Janu Shirshasana—lift the pubic bone off the thigh of the straight leg while broadening the other side out towards the thigh of the bent leg.

In Virasana-like asymmetrical seated forward bends—such as Krounchasana—do the opposite. Broaden the pubic bone away from the straight leg and lift it off the bent leg.

Bear in mind that we want to keep the pubic bone/pubic symphysis approximately parallel to the floor. You might find that on one side the pelvis lists laterally and the pubic bone collapses sideways into the femur. In that case, emphasize the broadening of the bent leg side pubic bone over the lift of the straight leg pubic bone (in the case of Baddha Konasana-like poses, the reverse in the case of Virasana-like poses) to bring the pelvis back into balance.

2. Strength of the Pubic Symphysis

We want to use the pubic bone/pubic symphysis as a place to find the strength of the front line of the body). If the student is stiff in that region (a tucker), the symphysis is set back and narrow, the hip creases tight. Bring the symphysis forward and strengthen it by broadening both it and the hip creases. If the student is overly flexible there (a tilter), the symphysis will be in front of the plane of the body and needs to be brought back into line and firmed to find strength.

Once the symphysis is in the plane of the front line, then stretch the legs/arms/trunk away from it to strengthen the entire line.

3. Femurs and Hip Sockets

In symmetrical poses create room in the pelvic region by broadening the femur heads away from each other. This will help to broaden the sacrum and gluteal wall.

In asymmetrical poses, line the weight-bearing femur head in the hip socket and broaden the other away from it.

4. Lower Abdominal Wall and Face of Sacrum

Instead of gripping the lower abdomen, create depth between the lower abdominal wall and the face of the sacrum. Balance the weight between these two walls.

5. Rhomboid Wall and Armpits

Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.

Stretching evenly from inner and outer armpit.

In Shirshasana: lengthen the inner armpit up off the inner elbow; lengthen the outer armpit down into the inner elbow.

6. Heads and Sockets

Turn the shoulder sockets around humerus head and the acetabulum around the femur head.

Turning inner clavicles either toward or away from head. (Comparable to pubic bones?)

7. Collarbones and Sternal Notch

In forward bends, deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the inner collarbones away from the head.

In poses involving arm strength, bring the sternal notch to the surface and turn it away from the arms.

Sequence


Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Raise arms over head.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Exhale and fold forward.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.
• Broaden and expand rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

Tadasana
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.

Utthita Trikonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.

Padangusthasana/Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• In Uttanasana, turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Utthita Parshvakonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Prasarita Padottanasana 1
(Arms extended forward, then classic pose)
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Stack the pubic symphysis up over the inner thighs, move it forward into the front plane of the body and stretch the arms forward from it.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall into the elbows.

Ardha Chandrasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Set the hip socket directly over the femur head and lift it.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Move the pubic symphysis forward, strengthen it and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Set the hip socket directly over the femur head and lift it.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Move the pubic symphysis forward, strengthen it and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Parshvottanasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• Move the pubic symphysis into the front plane of the body.
• Balance the lift of the pubic bones up off the inner thighs.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and balance the stretch of the inner and outer armpits.

Shirshasana 1
• Lift the pubic bones into the thighs and the thighs up off the pubic bones.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Stretch from the outer elbow towards the outer armpit to the ceiling.
• Stretch from the inner armpit down into the inner elbow.
• Move the sternal notch towards the front body.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• Move the pubic symphysis into the front plane of the body.
• Balance the lift of the pubic bones up off the inner thighs.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and balance the stretch of the inner and outer armpits.

Halasana
• Lengthen the outer triceps towards the elbow and lift the inner triceps towards the ceiling.
• Turn the shoulder socket around the head of the upper arm.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body and turn the collarbones towards the head.
Sarvangasana
• Lift the thighs up off the pubic bones and the pubic bones up towards the thighs.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs up from them.
Eka Pada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.
Halasana
• Turn the pubic bones either towards the thighs (if the thighs do not turn in enough) or away from the thighs (if the thighs turn in too much).

Janu Shirshasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift the right pubic bone up off the right thigh and turn the left pubic bone out towards the bent leg.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the right leg forward out of it.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head.

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift the right pubic bone up off the right thigh and turn the left pubic bone out towards the bent leg.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the right leg forward out of it.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head.

Parivrtta Krounchasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Balance the weight between the abdominal wall and the face of the sacrum.
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thighs and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden and turn from the rhomboid wall.

Krounchasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Balance the weight between the abdominal wall and the face of the sacrum.
• Soften the lower abdomen.
• Cup the right hip socket up under the femur head to support the leg.
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Pashchimottanasana
• Lift the pubic bones off the thighs, balancing the lift if there is an imbalance.
• Turn the pubic bones up if the thighs turn in too much, turn them down if they need to turn in more to facilitate the pose.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs forward.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Marichyasana 1
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis by either moving it deeper into the body or towards the surface of the body. Experiment, as this action may be different in this pose.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Upavishtha Konasana
• Lift the pubic bones off the thighs, balancing the lift if there is an imbalance.
• Turn the pubic bones up if the thighs turn in too much, turn them down if they need to turn in more to facilitate the pose.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs forward.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Keep the pubic symphysis in the front plane of the body. Do not let it push to far forward or collapse too far back.
• Lift the right pubic bone up of the right thigh, turn the left pubic bone out and down towards the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the right side of the body (the side closest to the ground).

Child’s Pose

Shavasana