Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark

Aligning Hips and Knees

I'm relatively new to teaching yoga, but I have been practicing for nearly 10 years. Currently I teach a beginner's class at my company gym. Several students are having a hard time with "knees/chest/chin," and it doesn't seem to matter how many different ways I describe and demonstrate the movements. Any suggestions?

Read Maty Ezraty's response:

Dear Judi,

This is a very common problem in teaching beginners. I have discovered that many students do not understand how to set up for the pose, and therefore the chest and arms collapse.

Try this: From Plank Pose, have the student place the knees on the floor. Now clearly demonstrate that the hips need to shift back and align directly over the knees before she attempts to lower the chest. The student should be on all fours, hips over the knees and shoulders over the wrists. If the hips are not aligned properly, but are allowed forward of the knees, there will not be enough room to place the chest between the hands. The chest will collapse and move forward of the hands, and the student will fall on her belly.

Once the hips are over the knees, have the student lower the chest. Remind her to aim the chest right between her hands. Keep in mind that some students may be weak in the arms, so it could take time to build up the strength for this move.

Maty Ezraty has been teaching and practicing yoga since 1985, and she founded the Yoga Works schools in Santa Monica, California. Since the sale of the school in 2003, she has lived in Hawaii with her husband, Chuck Miller. Both senior Ashtanga teachers, they lead workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats worldwide. For more information, visit

Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark
Full Name
Address 1
Address 2
Zip Code:
Email (req):

Reader Comments

Add a Comment »

Your Name:


Stay Connected with Us!

Yoga Journal Live events
ep14 YJ LIVE! Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado
Sep 14-21, 2014
florida YJ LIVE! Florida
Hollywood, FL
Nov 13-17, 2014

More Events

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions