The Keys to 3 Anatomical Planes of Movement

As yogis, the deepening of the Asana practice inspires us to better understand how we move—and as we become more aware, we head down a path toward even more curiosity and self-awareness. Understanding the three anatomical planes of movement can be the keys in helping you recognize patterns and imbalances in your body; allowing you to become more conscious, inquisitive, and ultimately, more knowledgeable of physical exploration. Having these tools of knowledge in your yogic toolbox will absolutely enthuse you to begin moving in directions that will awaken your fullest physical potential!

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Sagittal Plane: This plane dissects the right and left sides of the body as if the edge of a pane of glass were dropped down the center of your crown through your midline. Sagittal plane movements take place where this imaginary pane of glass sits—or parallel to it—meaning any time you’re in flexion or extension ( for example, cat and cow movement), you’re moving in the sagittal plane

Coronal Plane: This plane dissects the front of the body from the back. This time, imagine a pane of glass dropping through your midline and dissecting your front body and back body. Coronal plane movements occur where this imaginary pane of glass sits, meaning any time you abduct (move away from the midline) and adduct (move toward the midline).

Transverse Plane: This plane divides the body into upper and lower portions—as if the same imaginary pane of glass cuts through your belly button. All movements in this plane involve rotation, either inward (internal rotation) or outward (external rotation). In yoga, spinal twists such as revolved triangle and warrior two are movements that happen in the transverse plane