Should I pull the flesh away in seated forward bends?

Should I Pull the Flesh from Sitting Bones in Forward Bend?

Christine Yoga Injuries, Your Questions Leave a Comment

Transcript Below Of: Should I Pull the Flesh from Sitting Bones in Forward Bend?

Hey everybody! We’re on to the next question of the month. As you know, every month I answer one. If you want to submit your own, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and submit your own question. This month’s question delves into whether to pull the flesh from sitting bones in forward bend.

So this month’s question comes from Peta…hope I said your name right.

The Question:

“Many yoga teachers tell us to ‘pull the flesh away from our sitting bones’ when we are in dandasana for example. Other teachers say that this is not a good idea as the flesh provides protection to the sitting bones and could stretch the hamstring tendons too much? What do you think? Every teacher I know says that, but I’ve stopped doing it.”

The Answer:

I’m not totally sure on “Every teacher I know says that, but I’ve stopped doing it.” I’m not totally clear on which one you’ve stopped doing. But either way, a lot of teachers do say – are now saying – to not pull the flesh from sitting bones in forward bend. There is a huge increase in the amount of searches for sit bone pain and probably the occurrences of it as well. In fact, in the survey we did, sit bone pain came up a number of times as a sort of common injury, or hamstrings in a general way.

You know, I can understand the sense that if you pull the gluteus maximus away, because that’s the only thing that you would be pulling off and away, (gluteus maximus and whatever fat you have there) away from the sit bone, that the sit bone rests on the floor. I’m not sure that that’s a direct connection to then being more likely to cause injury to the hamstrings.

And if we just go back a step, the reason that we often feel that desire to pull the flesh from sitting bones in forward bend first is because what it does is it more clearly puts us on the sit bones and allows us to tilt forward more easily in our pelvis, which is a benefit of doing that. So, you know, if you have sit bone pain, you know, you might try it both ways. I’d be surprised if it makes any difference.

[David’s note: I’ve got a whole bunch of articles on site bone pain– I’ve even got a complete page dedicated to sit bone pain that even helps you figure out what the cause might be.]

I don’t think that – I’ve never made the connection that pulling the flesh from sitting bones in forward bend is the cause of that sit bone pain because I can usually bring it back to something else, be it an event where the hamstring popped and had a tear or it’s a trigger point in a muscle or some other thing going on or pelvic imbalance. I don’t think it matters. That’s my personal opinion. But if you do it and you test it and it makes a difference, then absolutely go ahead an do it.

So anyway, that’s my opinion on the matter. If anybody else has a question, go ahead and submit it: yoganatomy.com/myquestion

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This website is simply about delivering yoga anatomy to the yoga community in a simple and understandable way. It has always been about you, the reader, understanding the complexity and diversity of our own humanness as well as our anatomy.

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