Recently a member of my Patreon community asked about binding yoga poses. Bound side angle is one of my favorite binds so I used this pose as an example to explain three reasons why you can’t bind your yoga poses. Remember that there may be more going on than just flexibility in this yoga arm bind!
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Why you can’t bind your yoga poses
The major thing to think about as to whether or not you are able to bind your yoga poses is limb length. While we all like to think we’re made the same even people of the same height can have differences in composition. Long torso, vs longer legs, or short arms. These are things that cannot change no matter how much you stretch. So learn to modify and adapt the pose to the structure of your body.
The second and third reasons you can’t bind your yoga poses are connected, quite literally. It’s tightness in the chest, and lack of shoulder mobility. These two things often go hand-in-hand. Shoulder mobility is something I’ve discussed in previous posts, and it’s a major factor in not being able to bind.
If the lack of shoulder mobility is due to injury or illness, this needs medical attention and rehabilitation. Then shoulder mobility is something we can work on improving within our yoga practice. It could be that working on releasing tight chest muscles improves the mobility of the shoulders too. A chicken and egg situation can occur, which came first tight chest or poor shoulder mobility? Use straps if needed to keep the openness of the chest and avoid collapsing. Practice the bind seated on the floor (shown below) to see if the bind is even feasible for your body.
At the end of the day binding yoga poses doesn’t make the pose ‘better’. There is no “right way” to do a yoga pose. There is simply the way that works for your body while keeping the integrity of the pose. Don’t let your ego get in the way of modifying poses, or using props.
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- Have you ever really looked at the proportions of your body?
- Do you have tight chest muscles or poor shoulder mobility?
- Can you bind any yoga poses?