Why Do I Feel Unstable In Revolved Side Angle?

July 4, 2023

Transcript below of: Why do I feel unstable in revolved side angle?

Hey Everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. This month’s question comes from Beatriz and it’s about feeling unstable in revolved side angle. And remember, if you’ve got a question that you’d like me to answer, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion.

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The Question:

“Hi David, I have special difficulty with parvritta parsvakonasana [revolved side angle] because it doesn’t feel stable and I’ve been wondering why for years. I have good torsion of the trunk and femur [and] humerus [which is] somewhat short in relation to the trunk. Also, anteversion of the pelvis and femurs rotated inward, [like] virasana, garundasana, triang mukha eka pada paschimottanasana, etc., are comfortable for me.

I think it would be better for me to support my hand further forward than the foot, in a vertical from the shoulder to the ground and not next to the foot, as they usually tell me. Although in this way I put aside the stability that placing [the] shoulder next to the knee [offers]. Not having enough stability there, I am not able to place my back foot with the heel resting inwards. Anyway, if you could help me I would be very grateful. I read your articles with great interest because I always learn. Thanks for being there.”

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The Answer:

Okay, all other stuff aside, I’m trying to imagine your parvritta parsvokanasana in my mind. And, the imagining that I have is what I often see when someone feels unstable in revolved side angle. That is, the hips are too high. The front knee is not bent enough. And, the back foot is across the center line of the posture. In my book, Functional Anatomy of Yoga, I have a complete breakdown of this posture with foot crossing and all this kind of stuff. So, I would refer you and anyone else out there who needs assistance in this posture—you should definitely read that section. Okay, that’s Functional Anatomy of Yoga.

Check your foundation

Now, the moment that things start to feel unstable, in a standing posture like revolved side angle, the first place to look is at the foundation. That means, how are you setting up your feet, okay? In this case, the hand is on the floor. That is definitely part of the foundation. And it may be that it needs to move a little bit further forward or back, depending on the situation.

But, what typically happens in this posture is, one, everybody takes parsva konasana, the side angle pose, and then they twist themselves to put the hand on the floor. And, in order to do that, what happens often is, as you go down, the hips go up. So, you see this line from the legs and a different line from the torso. That’s what I mean by “hips up.” So, leg, here’s the hip, the hip is higher than the rest of the body as it goes out this way, which typically means that the front knee is not bent enough. Okay, that’s that part of it.

Check your setup

Personally, I recommend putting the knee on the floor to get the hand flat on the floor. That’s kind of separate, but related to why you might feel unstable in revolved side angle. The bigger problem—and I think this is where this one is going wrong for you—well it’s a combination. One is, I have a feeling that your front knee is too straight, bent 90 degrees. The second one is, the way you set it up—coming back to foundation now—is that when you try to turn your foot—here’s your front foot—your back foot is across. That’s going to pull your hips out and make it harder to ground your hand, and all that stuff and it lifts your hip higher.

So, what I’m going to suggest to you is to double-check that back foot. Put that back foot out here, so that the inner heel to inner heel is lined up. I’m not saying this is wrong or right, depending on your body. If you have generally more internally rotated hip joints, which is what you kind of alluded to here with garundasana, virasana, and triang muka all being easier, and it might be a little harder for you to do external rotation. That’s all the more reason to have that foot a little bit wider to make things less unstable in revolved side angle.

Okay? That is probably going to help this. Just double-check that foot placement, then, bend that front knee a little bit more so the energy of the posture sinks down a little bit. Okay? Give that a try and see if you feel less unstable in revolved side angle. You can always send us an email and let us know if that helped. Or, put a comment in the video. Alright, anybody else, if you’ve got a question, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and I’ll answer it here on video.