Put the planes into practice
Want to get comfortable with these anatomical planes and expand your movement range (or teaching skills)? Start here:
STEP 1 Make lists of your 10 favorite, and 10 least favorite, poses. Consider which poses you tend to practice at home and which ones you avoid.
STEP 2 Determine the primary plane for each of the poses on your lists.
STEP 3 Name the planes in which you seem to be most and least comfortable.
STEP 4 Create a list of poses from your least favorite plane, and plan to practice these poses several times a week. Are these poses challenging for you? Are they easy? How do you feel when you practice more from the plane in which you’re least comfortable? Get curious.
STEP 5 After a couple weeks of practicing your least favorite poses, go deeper with your line of questioning: What has practicing movements you’d been avoiding revealed? (Yes, I am talking poses—and anything else you tend to avoid in life.) If you’re a teacher, take these same steps when it comes to assessing your go-to sequences: Look at the poses you teach often, as well as the themes that you choose for your classes. Which plane is overrepresented? Which one(s), if any, are underrepresented? Do you tend to teach the plane that is your personal favorite and avoid the one that’s your least favorite? Finally, whether you’re teaching or simply moving through your own home practices, commit to creating sequences that include poses that highlight your least utilized plane. How do you feel when you practice (or teach) them? How does your body feel after a few weeks of moving in your less utilized plane? Do you feel more embodied? Are your movements more balanced in all three planes? See if these simple inquiries help you feel more awake and whole.