Wednesday Q&A

570. Wednesday Q&A: Carrying Angles, Kneeling, & Nerve Pain in Yoga

Aug 10, 2022


Welcome to Wednesday Q&A, where you ask questions and we answer them!


In this Wednesday Q&A, we answer your questions about carrying angles, kneeling, and nerve pain in yoga. 


Your questions:

  • There is a popular yoga teacher who preaches about how the carrying angle of the forearm means that most people need to place their hands wider on the mat, thus wider than their shoulders in poses like down dog and plank. My logic is telling me this… yes, when the arm is in anatomical neutral, the carrying angle makes the hands wider than the shoulders. But when the forearm pronates like it does when you put the palms on the mat, does that mostly erase the carrying angle so that we should still align wrists under shoulders generally? What are your thoughts?
  • My students really struggle with the transition from quadruped to half kneel and can’t spend much time in any kneeling posture. Any tips or transitions through quadruped or to help them spend more time in a healthy and supported way on their knees? We use double mats and blankets under the knees as much as possible, but the limitations remain.
  • I’ve been a yoga teacher since 2017 and an athlete my entire life. I had a tubing injury in 2012, and I do think that’s impacted my SI joint. I always had issues as a hockey player, but the nerve issues only got bad with yoga. I took time off during COVID and my nerve issues improved, so I knew yoga made it worse. Getting back in, I practice now. I was more mindful in twists and bends, etc. But last week I had a severe episode and my osteopath told me my sacrum was rotated left. She did some work on it and my pain is now one out of ten, instead of ten out of ten. I couldn’t sit, stand, or lie down without pain through my left lower back and glutes. I listened to some of your podcast episode episodes on anatomy. I’m curious how I can better protect myself from this happening again and often. I think backbends are the main trigger, but also deep forward folds and poses like half pigeon, extended slight angle with a bind, and even single leg airplane pose, and half moon on that side. In the warrior series, should I keep a wider stance and turn the back toe more toward the front and in warrior two, etc.? I appreciate your insight.


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