Rotation pattern of the Primary Series

The term rotation in this article refers to the rotation of the thighbone (femur) in the acetabulum of the hip joint. These actions are important to keep your knees and hip joints healthy and in the long term to open the hip joints so that lengthy sitting in Padmasana and similar postures becomes possible.

These rotations need not be performed ad infinitum but only to the point of the thighbone reaching the “neutral” position. This is the position in which the previous opposite movement (i.e. the one that gets you into the posture) has been annulled.

Please read and understand this information against the backdrop of all other anatomical details given in my 2006 text Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy.

 

Downward Dog and Pada Hastasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Utthita Trikonasana

Internally rotate thigh of front leg and externally rotate thigh of back leg

 

Parivrta Trikonasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Internally rotate thigh of front leg and externally rotate thigh of back leg

 

Parivrta Parsvakonasana

Externally rotate thigh of front leg and internally rotate thigh of back leg

 

Prasarita Padottanasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Padmottanasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana and side version

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Utkatasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Virabhadrasana A

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Virabhadrasana B

Internally rotate thigh of front leg and externally rotate thigh of back leg

 

Pashimottanasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Purvottanasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

In all of the following postures the thigh of the straight leg is always internally rotated

 

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashimottanasana

Internally rotate thigh of bent leg

 

Triang Mukha Ekapada Pashimottanasana

Externally rotate thigh of bent leg

 

Janushirshasana A

Internally rotate thigh of bent leg

 

Janushirshana B

Externally rotate thigh of bent leg

 

Janushirshasana C

Internally rotate thigh of bent leg

Marichyasana A

Externally rotate thigh of upright leg

 

Marichyasana B

Externally rotate thigh of upright leg and internally rotate thigh of leg in half-lotus

 

Marichyasana C

Externally rotate thigh of bent leg

 

Marichyasana D

Externally rotate thigh of upright leg and internally rotate thigh of leg in half-lotus

 

Kurmasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Supta Kurmasana

Externally rotate both thighbones

 

Garbha Pindasana and Kukkutasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Baddha Konasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Upavishta Konasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Supta Konasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Supta Padangushtasana and side version

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Ubhaya Padangusthana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Urdhva Mukha Pashimottanasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

 

Setu Bandhasana

Externally rotate both thighbones

 

Urdhva Dhanurasana

Internally rotate both thighbones

About Gregor Maehle

Gregor Maehle started his yogic practices over 38 years ago. For almost two decades he yearly travelled to India where he studied with various yogic and tantric masters. Gregor spent 14 months in Mysore, India, and in 1997 was authorized to teach Ashtanga Yoga by K. Pattabhi Jois. Since then he has branched out into research of the anatomical alignment of postures and the higher limbs of Yoga. He obtained his anatomical knowledge through a Health Practitioner degree and has also studied History, Philosophy and Comparative Religion. Gregor lived many years as a recluse, studying Sanskrit, yogic scripture and practising yogic techniques. He has published a series of textbooks on all major aspects of yoga. His mission is to re-integrate ashtanga vinyasa practice into the larger framework of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga in the spirit of T. Krishnamacharya. He offers trainings, retreats and workshops worldwide.
Posted in Anatomy/Rehabilitation, Asana.

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