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lengthen, until it is almost as long as the left. This would
lead to the unexpected cue for the last two examples to
'lift the underside rib cage away from the hip' - length-
ening the right upper LL to allow the body to go more
deeply into the pose.
A deceptively important part of this pose lies in the
forward leg. The obvious stretch is in the Superficial
Back Line (hamstrings and gastroc/soleus complex).
The twist in the hips, however, pulls the ischiopubic
ramus away from the femur, resulting in a strong stretch
of the Deep Front Line (specifically the adductor group
and the associated fascia) of the medial leg. This pose
calls for an ability to lengthen the adductor group, and
the thigh's posterior intermuscular septum between the
adductors and the hamstrings. In 10.41C, the inability of
the right inner thigh to lengthen results in strain and a
slight medial rotation, as the fascia pulls at the inner
right knee. (Teachers will commonly remind students in
this pose to keep both knees laterally rotated to prevent
collapse, strain to the medial collateral ligament, and
eventual injury.) In 10.41 B, the back of the adductor
group is more stretched out, allowing the ischial tuber-
osity to move away from the femur. The anterior (flexor)
part of the adductor group, however, is keeping the
pelvis from rotating away from the femur; consequently
the pelvis in 10.41 B faces the floor more than that of
10.41 A, which is rotated left, more toward the viewer.
In the trunk, the right Spiral Line, from the right side
of the head to right hip via the left shoulder, is being
stretched, while its left complement is being contracted
to create the pose. The ability to lengthen this line is
expressed in the ability of the head to turn toward the
ceiling (though it is possible that the models in 10.41B
and C simply forgot, in the heat of battle with the camera,
to turn their heads ceilingward). A much more telling
mark of the inability of the right SPL to lengthen is in the
angle of the sternum. The rib cage in 10.41 A points directly
at us. In B, and to a lesser extent in C, the sternum is still
turned toward the floor a bit, consistent with the inability
of the pelvis to rotate to the left away from the left thigh.
We can also see the inability of the SPL to lengthen in the
angle of the left shoulder and arm, which of course sits
on the rib cage. It could be that the left Superficial Front
Arm Line (pectoralis major to the palm) is short, but in B
and C, the differences in the angle of the arm proceed
from the inability of the right SPL (and/or deep spinal
rotators) to allow the rib cage to rotate to the left.
In summary, Figure 10.41 A demonstrates an ease in
extension of the lines, as well the strength necessary to
sustain the body, which allows the pose to be entered
completely and beautifully, with opposing lines bal-
anced. Barring any genetic anomalies or limiting inju-
ries, achieving such a balance for 10.41 B and C is simply
a matter of practice.
Fig. 10.42 Parivritta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Lateral Angle
pose) as performed by (A) an experienced teacher, (B) an
experienced student, and (C) a neophyte student.
enced teacher to neophyte student, we see a number of
compensations in the lines involved.
The twist through the pelvis requires length through
the Deep Front Line. This is available in Figure 10.42A,
but in 10.42B we see the inability of the right leg to fully
extend due to shortness in the deep hip flexors. In
10.42C, tightness in the deep lateral rotators and ham-
strings prevents the left hip from flexing fully, leaving
the lumbars in a posterior (flexed) position and the head
turtled into the torso.
In 10.42A we see the ability of the Superficial Front
Line to lengthen evenly from the right mastoid process
Revolved lateral angle pose (Fig. 10.42)
The Revolved Lateral Angle pose presents some of the
same challenges as the Triangle pose, but some different
ones as well (Fig. 10.42). It is primarily a strong rotation
- a left rotation in these photographs - of the thorax on
the hips. Looking again at the progression from experi-
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