Before you start working with these principles in practice, take some time to get to know your butt muscles:
- Muscular Energy For finding optimal alignment in the hips you need to tone the upper inner thighs (adductors) and the outer hips.
- Inner Spiral turns the inner thighs in, back and apart (this is achieved by the strength of the adductors) and sets the head of the femur bone into the acetabulum (hip socket). The sitting bones widen, and the buttocks muscles soften their grip in order for these smaller muscles to create the inner spiral rotation. In asymmetrical poses the back leg needs more inner spiral.
- Outer Spiral initiates from the action of the tailbone scooping under, and also wraps the outer hip back and toward the midline of the body. This involves the strong lateral hip rotators (piriformis, gluteus maximus, and other smaller rotators). When you engage Outer Spiral, make sure that the action of the butt muscles doesn’t override the alignment action of inner spiral. In fact, you’ll probably feel that the inner thighs have to work even more to keep the energetic flow back as you add the action of Outer Spiral. In asymmetrical poses the front leg needs more outer spiral
- Organic Energy creates space in the joints by powerfully extending from the focal point toward the periphery. When the pelvis is the focal point the pelvic bones and tailbone move downward towards the earth, and the lower back and low belly lift up toward the sky. Gluteus medius is one of the key muscles involved in the rooting action of Organic Energy, and it creates enormous space and stability in the hip, especially when you’re balancing on one leg.