How Do I Work With A Long Torso And Short Femurs In Yoga?

June 5, 2018

Transcript of: How do I work with a long torso and short femurs in yoga?

Hey everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. If you want to submit a question, by all means, go to and submit it and I’ll try to get to it on video. So, this month’s question is from J Chiang.

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The Question:

“Thank you for posting video on long femurs in handstands and jump throughs. My problem is the reverse. I am a 50 year old man of Chinese heritage, i.e. long torso in relation to the lower limbs compared with white men. How do I overcome this anatomical deficiency [long torso and short femurs in yoga] when I practice postures like scorpion and backbending from cobra to raja kapotasana?
Thank you and regards,

The Answer:

Okay, so what comes up for me is, and I don’t know if this is a translation thing, but anatomical deficiency is not the way to be thinking about this. There’s no anatomical deficiency. It’s an anatomical difference. It’s only a deficiency if you’re seeing it relative to how other people do postures and you’re trying to make your body look like theirs when you have a completely different body, as you point out. You have a long torso in relationship to the lower limbs, which are shorter. You’re not going to fix your anatomy in that sense.

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In fact, it’s incumbent upon you to do the posture differently based on your anatomy. So, there’s no point in even going into these specific postures. It seems like the real issue here is you letting go of this idea that there is something wrong with how your proportions are relative to how other people’s proportions are and how their postures look. This is really important and it’s not even just for you. It’s for lots of us because we know that asana has become very popular and lots of people are comparing themselves to other people on social media and other avenues and venues and whatnot.

So, this is an important question: How do I work with a long torso and short femurs in yoga? It’s not an important question from an anatomical point of view, because what are we going to do? Are we going to somehow shorten your torso and lengthen your femurs or your lower body? No, that’s not going to happen. You’re going to have to do postures differently than everyone else. I wish there were a different answer, but there’s not.

Alright everybody, if you’ve got a question, send it my way: