Biometrics of Yoga
We have made our best effort to create the ultimate guideline system that will assist your practice, keeping all that is necessary while eliminating everything that would distract your attention. The image above represents all lines together - in reality, the mat you have chosen will have a selection of them, have a look at the three different designs below. And read on to find out what the lines do for you.
A: The top vertical dashed lines are placed at an estimated average person´s shoulder width, 37 cm apart, guiding hand placement on the mat. Positioned 31 cm apart, the bottom vertical dashed lines represent an average person´s hip width, and do the same job but for your feet. Since no two bodies are the same, the lines should not be used for absolute positioning, but as reliable reference points.
B: You will also find the prime stance between hands and feet when the mat exhibits the double horizontal dashed lines. Glancing down to note where in relation to the lines your body parts land makes adjustment easy. If your practice is uneven, you will also notice and be able to correct it.
C: The dotted 45 degree lines will help you find the desired feet angles in warriors, triangles and all other postures that are not perpendicular to the centre line. Once you have landed in an asana, you can look down to correct in a split second.
D: The dash-dot centre line is used to find heel-to-heel or heel-to-arch alignment. Place your hands and feet at equal distance from the line, or adjust according to asymmetrical body needs. The centre line also serves as a guide for squaring of hips to the front or finding parallell feet in standing forward folds.
A tip from the coach to find your own individual shoulder and hip distances:
Get hold of a friend and a measuring tape. Have your friend stand behind you and measure the distance between your acromion bones - the pointy bits at the outer edges of your shoulders. Write down the number. Then have your friend walk around to the front and locate your the pointy bits on the front of your iliac crest, in other words, your hip bones, and measure the distance between them. Take down that number too. Now you know the optimal distances between your hands and feet in a vast number of postures. If you take a position on the mat, you will see and remember where in relation to the lines your body parts should optimally land!