This week the theme in my yoga classes is the IT band (iliotibial band).
According to Prashamana Yoga, the IT band is a layer of connective tissue extending from the iliac crest to the knee and links the gluteus maximus to the tibia. (This is a good picture of the IT band, gluteus maximus and tensor fascia latae.)
We can reduce the pull on the IT band by opening our hips and stretching the quads and hamstrings.
There are many poses we can practice for the IT band, hips, quads and hamstrings.
One pose I discovered while doing research for this week’s sequence is Pigeon Wheel. I can’t find the picture or information on Pigeon Wheel from the other day. As I was scouring the Internets hoping to find what I found the other day I found that this pose can also be called The Z-Sit.
Since I can’t find the information from a few days ago I will refer to Deer Pose (a Yin Yoga pose), which is similar to the Pigeon Wheel I found, which I was able to find a photo portraying what I have been teaching.
Deer and Pigeon Wheel share benefits, such as being a nice counter pose to hip openers or any external rotation of the hips and are a balanced way to rotate hips, both externally (front leg) and internally (back leg).
I think Pigeon Wheel (The Z-Sit) is a great alternative to Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose).
My students have been really receptive to Pigeon Wheel. My knee people have easily been able to practice this pose. Another student who had stopped practicing Pigeon as it was hurting her knees said she would now practice Pigeon Wheel. (Usually the alternative to Pigeon is Figure 4, which is also a great hip opener.)
I love learning new stuff and sharing it with my students.