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Karina: Body Alignment & Regressions 

As the weeks have passed with YTT, it’s been a relief to learn that regressions are permitted in yoga for parts of the body that aren’t ready or are too tight for completed asanas. Prior to taking on teacher training, I didn’t know much about regression options that I wish I knew about as a basis. 


Then again, I’ve realised this is why I’m in teacher training to learn about all aspects and alternatives to guide yoga newcomers and beginners as well as deepening my own practice safely and gently. 


Here are two common examples of regressions that I’ve come to appreciate and has helped my body with a deeper stretch:


  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) with bent knees 
    • For those who have tight calves, it may be initially difficult to press heels into the mat so the bent knee regression is a gentle way to get into the full straight leg stretch over time 
  • Full forward fold (Uttanasana) with bent knees
    • When the lower back is tight, it will cause the spine to bend over forwards  in Uttanasana rather than folding from the hips. By bending the knees, the chest can touch the thighs and gradually stretch the lower back over time until both legs can straighten and hands can touch the mat


We were also given an in depth explanation on different body types, spine alignment and posture with a clear analysis on each student including myself. We learnt how to observe and identify the following:


  • Feet placement 
    • Supination 
    • Pronation
    • Eversion
    • Inversion
  • Knees
    • Hyperextension 
    • Knock knees
    • Bowl legs as a result of knees
  • Mid-back
    • Flat back
    • C shape
    • Kyphosis
    • Scoliosis 
  • Lower back
    • Lordosis 


All of the above could provide causes of chronic aches or imbalance in parts of the body. Fascinating!

Feb’20 Weekend YTT