Chair Pose for better Posture

After studying the body, and Yoga for many years, I have come to the conclusion that this is one of the most useful poses to work on to help with posture. I have explored it inside and out, and realize that there are so many ways to strengthen within the pose and do to the structure of it, it tends to be very therapeutic for most people. While it is challenging, after practicing the techniques I offer in this video, you may too come to love this pose and feel its benefits! Enjoy :)

 

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Standing Hip Opening: Technique

While Hiking the other day we stopped for a little yoga to open the hips and release our low backs. I decided to create a short video of how you can do a hip opener without having to get on the ground! if you find the video informative please help share what you have learned with your friends!

I recently created a new FB page, Please “like”  facebook.com/theyogimatt if you would like to follow me, and get more videos and info on when I will be in your city.

Now, Get outside and enjoy Summer!

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Pigeon Pose: Out of the Knees and Into the Hips!

Over my time studying my body, as well as all my students’ bodies, I have noticed two main parts of pigeon pose that will create the majority of knee pain, and/or lack of increased flexibility in the hips for routine practitioners. This video highlights the importance of learning to articulate your foot in order to properly align the shin at the knee joint. with proper alignment at the knee joint, the hip stretch will deepen and the knee stability will increase! enjoy the video, please share, spread the word, pass it along! email me with any questions you have, if you have knee pain please be as specific as possible , and always find a teacher that you can get to in person that knows anatomy and therapeutics of asana.

 

 

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Tito is not Impressed

Home for a few days in between the Wanderlust festivals. Decided I would do some yoga at sunset since I have a 6am flight. Tito came along to watch but he gets board, he has seen too many handstands.

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A One Armed Yogi…

This class was one of the most special experiences for me. You just never know who is going to step into the class room, and what kind of attitude they will have. Far too often the ones who suffer the most are the ones that have all four limbs, a decent job, food on the table, and so on. The reality is that one aspect of suffering is simply a lack of appreciation and gratitude for all that we DO have. Focusing on what we do not have brings us down, and makes disable’s us. Here is a man that doesnt allow himself to be brought down by life’s circumstances, but yet lifts himself up, empowers himself to live fully with what he does have. He is living in Gratitude. So Beautiful!!

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Discoveries

SideCrockLeft

Much of my recent Yoga practice has been focused on developing a more personal relationship of the two sides of my body. I have been less “even” with my yoga practice in order to find a greater sense of balance in my body, and to really enjoy and appreciate my whole body in a deeper way. My fascination with One Arm poses has revealed wild imbalances not just from right to left but in muscle groups. I have been spending much of my time on a pull up bar to help balance what seems to be so challenging to get in the yoga practice. There is just a different relationship to gravity when you hang that brings out a whole different understanding in my body. Not long ago I couldnt do a sing pull up. Then I spent a day climbing on scaffolding and it lit up a curiosity. So I am excited to now be exploring all of this one arm Acrobatic poses that are helping me train my one arm handstand. it feels like I am learning my body at a rapid pace, which I havent felt since the early days of practicing yoga. I am inspired!

Bringing balance into the body is not an easy task. The very idea of it implies that something is out of balance, and therefor will require change. Change as we know is challenging mentally more than anything else, but in any case it means setting up new patters of movement and repeating them until they happen like a reflex-without thought. Importantly enough though is the fact that I recognize that just because something isnt strong, or flexible doesnt make it bad, just out of balance. I know it can be daunting to see imbalances in our body, or life and so we would rather not look. but the faster you see it, the faster you can work with it. That in itself is a wonderful pattern to build: look for room to grow, and take action in the direction of growth. While it sounds simple this is more challenging in practice.

I look forward to sharing newer videos soon as I am getting stronger faster, but for now I wanted to share my progress so far. The photo above is my left side that I have primarily been training, and the photo below is the right side that I have not practiced much because the muscles that are required for my body to form this shape on the right are already developed and at ease, so my work is on the left for now. If you are a teacher- working on the side that doesn’t make as much sense will help you develop the tools in order to break down the poses for your students, as it will require your attention, focus and study. (Which happens to be one of the upsides to injury-you really learn if you decide to)

sidecrockright

Below are some super quick recent videos of my practice recently:

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Live: Kelly and Michael

I just realized I never posted this hilarious and amazing experience. Such great fun that kicked off an absolutely amazing amazing amazing year

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Hand Placement for Downward Dog

I believe I originally learned this through my teacher Jill Miller, and later Paul Grilley. It has helped me become much more stable in all my arm balancing, handstands, planks, and downward dogs. I had been told for many years to turn the hands out in Anusara but it was never made clear why. As many of us know, when we understand the why then we will often put our hearts into it-whatever it may be- in this case all postures where hands are weight bearing. Hope sharing this helps you.

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2014 here we come

2014 is approaching and I am excited for what is shaping up to be an amazing schedule. I have two retreats already scheduled, one in January to Puerta Rico, and one to Umbria, Italia. I have 2 teacher trainings, one 100hr therapeutics starting in January, and a 200hr starting in March. Yoga Journal conference, wanderlust, performances in Las Vegas, and the list goes on! Check out the Workshops/Retreats/trainings link above for the most up to date offerings of the first half of 2014!

I am excited to take the adventure through the year as and see what life brings me. 2013 has been a tremendously special year for me both in my personal life and career. I learned so much and am so grateful for all the amazing experiences I have had and the people I have shared them with.

My plan

It is time to Create more online videos- tutorials, how to’s and so on. I know there is a high demand for students that dont live in new york that are hungry to learn, and I plan to provide some content for them/you.

I am also collaborating a lot more with other teachers, coaches, doctorcs, PT’s, Massage Therapists that I respect and think could help build a community of healthy loving yogis, athletes and human beings.

I want to break out of the walls of asana practice and continue to bring more elements of healing and athleticism into my teachings. In my life I go far beyond the typical Yoga poses when I learn about my body, and it has helped me tremendously, and I intend to share that on a bigger scale this year. I have already started in my classes around manhattan, and So far have received very positive feed back. The comment that moved me the most “I am 75 and I have never been able to balance well on one foot, today on one foot i felt so strong that i could just stand there for ever, thank you”.

I have many ideas in my head and while i know it will continue to evolve and I may not get to half of them in one year, I will do my best to share them all with you wherever we cross paths!

Much love and I hope the rest of 2013 is amazing for you!

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Light From Underground: A tale of Courage, Passion and Inspiration

Just got to be a part of an awesome train ride that could have been straight out of a cheesy holiday movie- the kind that you shed a tear out of happiness. As I’m walking past the first few train Cars I spot a girl with red dred-locks quietly strumming her guitar. I see the train car has a decent amount of people in it but everyone is clear of her area. I decide to walk in and sit down next to her and break the ice for everyone around. You could see it and feel in – everyone sort of annoyed that someone is playing guitar, some putting headphones in or turning up their music, others just facing away. you can feel people’s edgy nervousness with thoughts that probably sound something like “this is probably going to suck, but not enough for me to walk to a different train car”. Even my thoughts are doubtful, but the vibration of the guitar is pleasantly running through the subway bench soothing my back, so I stay figuring the worse case scenario is her voice is unpleasant and I have 2 min to tolerate it. I observe that thought and realize wow that is silly and decide to tune into the music. Once I am out of me head, stop observing my surroundings and start listening to her play I immediately can tell something special is about to happen, and I picked the best seat in the house. Doors close she introduces herself and starts singing with a time that would make Alicia keys jealous…the song is good too. I realize I don’t have a dollar as I am listening and feel a little bummed, but I decide a 5 is worth it for these 2 minutes that I wish would now turn into at least 30. I take a 5 out and notice the guy in front of me is digging for all his singles. The train ride ends and we hand her money, and I notice everyone is giving her $5 bills. 2 minutes of courage and faith in herself made her what looked like $50. We all smiled and thanked her- all of our days brightened and her very humbly smiling and thanking back. An hour later and I am still moved by the S train experience.
Share your passion- be courageous 

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