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Can cross one leg over the other comfortably but not the other

chazzis
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9 years 10 months ago
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05/29/2012 - 6:39am
Can cross one leg over the other comfortably but not the other

I have trouble crossing my left leg over right for probably 15 years - I know this is due to my tight IT Band/Hip Flexor mobility.  After spending years doing IT band, quad, hamstring stretches, the problem still persists. 

At work, I attempt to cross my left leg, even though uncomfortable, in order to help "stretch" the IT band.  What can I do to help aleiviate this problem?  Is it simply a stretching issue? (It seems like all the stretching in the world still doesn't help).

Thanks for your help, Chris

charlenehannibal
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12/15/2010 - 7:51am

Hi Chris, 

Well, it could be a number of things.  Without seeing you, it's hard to say.  However, to be honest, crossing your legs is not always the best way to sit comfortably in good posture.  It's not impossible to sit well with crossed legs, however in our experience most people don't have the type of hip mobility to keep an anteverted pelvis while crossing the legs.  I woud encourage you to let the legs externally rotate with the knees aligned well over the feet (which are also slightly turned outward).  If you love to cross something, try crossing the ankles rather than the legs.  

External rotation of the legs helps the pelvis settle well.  Also, by letting the legs open, it can aid in circulation to and from the feet.  And, it could be that after working with your primal posture for awhile, your ability to cross your legs might improve!  Although it might not be as desireable as it is now...and if you MUST, then cross while Stretchsitting.  Your back will have some protective length, so it will be safer.

Best of luck to you, 

Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Teacher, Palo Alto/San Francisco

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07/05/2009 - 7:54am

Hi Chris,

As this has persisted for many years it may not be a simple stretching issue and may be related to an alignment issue in which case, before applying stretch, it would be good to understand this. Reading the "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back" book is a a good place to start understanding what good alignment looks like. Seeing a Gokhale Method teacher would be better still. In the meantime let comfort guide you. It is possible that either a short or over lengthened IT band can feel tight, it is difficult to distinguish just on how it feels in the moment. However if you apply stretch to an already over stretched IT band it tends to aggravate the situation, maybe immediately maybe a few hours later or next day - in which case stop. 

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