One of the MOST common biomechanical breakdowns that we see in yoga asana practice is a lack of pelvis-hip dissociation. When this happens over and over in standing poses, it can lead to repetitive stress injuries of our hips, pelvis, sacroiliac (SI) joint, low backs, and all the way up the kinetic chain to our cervical spine and down to our toes.
WHAT IS PELVIC-HIP DISSOCIATION?
It is the movement of the hip joint without excessive movement of the pelvis and lumbar spine.
The hip joint moves in 5 directions, flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and circumduction. When control or mobility is compromised, the movements of the hip joint will include excessive movement of the pelvis.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HIPS ARE NOT SQUARE OR LEVEL IN A LUNGE, DOWNWARD DOG SPLIT, WARRIOR 3.
When poses are performed once or twice without dissociation, our bodies should be ok, they are resilient. Done hundreds, thousands of times in yoga classes over years, and our bodies will break. Hip joints will degrade, muscles will spasm, tendons will fray.
Learning how to teach dissociation and why it is so difficult is the responsibility of the yoga teacher who is invested in the safety of their students and the long term injury prevention of yoga as a practice and philosophy.
For more, please check out this clip from our 100-hour advanced teacher training in NYC.