citta vrtti nirodhah

Right femoral triangle highlighting femoral neurovascular anatomy © Kryski Biomedia Right femoral triangle highlighting femoral neurovascular anatomy
© Kryski Biomedia

In yoga, we have a love affair with internally rotating the legs. Down dog: turn the legs in. Standing forward fold (uttanasana): turn the legs in. The list goes on. It goes to the point of where internal rotation of the legs is seen as a panacea–a cure-all for aches, pains, misalignments and imbalances– and external rotation of the legs, as a consequence, is seen at best as mostly undesirable.

The reality, as always, is quite more nuanced than that. Simply mechanically turning the legs in, which in my opinion has little to do with the muscles of your inner thighs (also known as the adductors), produces a bunch of unintended consequences.

Further, simply turning the legs in like that, from the outside if you will, strains and compresses the femoral triangle–home of  the femoral nerve, femoral artery, femoral vein…

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