Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

balance

DOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND

Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes! 

Ok, from appearances alone, this option may still appear inconceivable, but the “easier option” of Double Stag Handstand may be that variation of an inversion that offers us the fortitude to continue on the journey towards Straight-Back Handstand.

Of course, we are all individuals, so the opposite may be true for any one of us. If we’re in a position where neither Double Stag Handstand nor Straight-Back are a part of our practice, today’s video will outline some reasons why exploring this option first may be our ticket to success in ultimately conquering both variations over time.  

In addition, understanding that Double Stag Handstand incorporates more of a backbend position than Straight-Back will keep us on the right track.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

10-DAY HANDSTAND PROGRAM

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

  • Safe, systematic, and effective
  • 10-day training plan with guided daily tutorials
  • 2 livestream workshops: Replays are automatically included if you cannot attend live
  • Learn the most anatomically aligned and efficient handstand
  • Acrobatic training skills made easy and accessible for regular people
  • All levels appropriate
  • Build YOUR handstand, honoring your body and its unique strengths and challenges
  • No experience required
  • Variations for all levels, from 0 experience to professional hand balancers
  • BONUS: Zoom meeting (available to waitlist members only for the first 24 hours of registration opening): On Day 3, we will meet on Zoom for group coaching and personalized feedback!
  • SPACE IS LIMITED FOR THIS TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST SUPPORT POSSIBLE

SHOULDER PREPARATION

One of the most valuable lessons we learn along the track of preparing for an ambitious posture like Double Stag Handstand is how to dial back and prepare appropriately. 

 Here are 2 ways to prepare the shoulders:

Child’s Pose

Matt’s demonstration in the video outlines the importance of lifting the armpits up to make sure that the head of the humerus isn’t pinching into the acromion process, a bony projection on the shoulder blade. This will help to reduce the possibility of shoulder impingement.

Anahatasana Against a Wall

We can progress this patterning in our bodies by practicing the lift of the armpits at a wall in Anahatasana. In both Child’s Pose and Anahatasana, it can be common to drop into the posture by allowing the chest to fall through without lifting the armpits and activating the muscles of the shoulders, but it’s imperative that we strengthen the shoulder muscles before attempting to go upside down. 

WATCH THE VIDEO

DOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND: IS IT EASIER THAN A STRAIGHT-BACK HANDSTAND?

GROUNDWORK FOR THE LEGS AND SPINE

The chest moving ahead of the arms is important for the backbend quality Double Stag Handstand requires, but we also need to create the increased flexibility for deeper extension in the hips and spine.

Here are 2 variations of Low Lunge: 

Low Lunge With a Side Bend 

When practicing with Matt, we become very familiar with drawing the feet towards one another in postures like Low Lunge. This action creates a facilitated stretch. The strengthening aspect of this technique results in increased flexibility. The additional side bend and backbend encourage the lengthening required for the spine, even though the amount of backbend in Double Stag Handstand is not as extensive as in some other heart openers.

Anjaneyasana Preparation With Cactus Arms

Here, we develop the use of the transversus abdominis while training the backbend. In the video, you’ll see how Matt teaches us how to avoid compression in the spine.

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3 POSTURES TO FURTHER THE FOUNDATION

Double Stag Legs in Shoulderstand

This is a nice way to practice the positioning of the legs for the counterbalance in Double Stag Handstand. This counterbalance is arguably why it may be easier to access the ability to balance in a handstand.  

Double Stag Headstand

Here’s where we start to put a few of the foundations to the test. In the video, Matt emphasizes that keeping the leg that is on the same side as the front body a little lower will help to maintain a more optimal pelvic position. The strengthening of hip flexion and extension is valuable in this negotiation of balance.

Double Stag Forearm Stand

There’s a short demonstration in the video of this variation. This option is potentially more challenging due to the “tightness” required in the shoulders and the increased requirement of activation in the body for balance.  

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300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

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  • Expand your teaching skills
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  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

STRAIGHT-BACK VERSUS STAG HANDSTAND

Last week’s blog delves into the position of the pelvis for Straight-Back Handstand (posterior tilt). Due to the backbend quality of Double Stag Handstand, the opposite is true (anterior tilt of the pelvis). The positioning of the legs in Double Stag offers a broader body shape for counter balance and therefore more room for play and negotiation. Attempting to stay completely vertical in Straight-Back leaves us more vulnerable to favouring a lean to one side and potentially losing balance more easily. No matter what, it still comes down to our own individual experience.

Preparation for Double Stag may not be glamorous, but that’s not what it’s about. What’s truly glamorous are the benefits of a deeper understanding of our bodies and the strength and longevity we foster.

You can still register to embark on a journey of a deeper understanding of your body and its potential in Matt’s 10-Day Handstand Program.

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Inversion Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more
Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand DevelopmentinversionACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.   Whether a handstand is part of our...

read more
Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak the Twists in Your Yoga PracticepadmasanaTWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE The definition of "tweak" here is the following: to improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it. This perfectly describes a major part of what’s involved in the...

read more
Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

Lotus FoundationspadmasanaLOTUS FOUNDATIONS Lotus Pose requires a healthy amount of hip flexibility. For some, it comes easy. Reasons for this might be that the person is hypermobile in the hips, knees, and ankles and/or that many months or years of effort have been...

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT Healthy hip flexor muscles are associated with both stretch and strength. Although we’re going to focus more heavily on strength in this article, always note that both strength and...

read more

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Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

inversion

ACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT

Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.  

Whether a handstand is part of our regular asana practice or not, there is always room for improvement. Learning and understanding the intricate skill sets are imperative. These are the things that will expedite our development. This doesn’t mean that it will happen fast but that we are equipped with more knowledge to apply to our physical practice, which will enhance our results.  

There are a number of different areas for improvement when it comes to a better handstand, and one that might be overlooked is pelvic alignment. The drills and skills from today’s video provide the roadmap towards the final destination of a well-balanced handstand (pun intended lol).

 

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

10-DAY HANDSTAND PROGRAM

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

  • Safe, systematic, and effective
  • 10-day training plan with guided daily tutorials
  • 2 livestream workshops: Replays are automatically included if you cannot attend live
  • Learn the most anatomically aligned and efficient handstand
  • Acrobatic training skills made easy and accessible for regular people
  • All levels appropriate
  • Build YOUR handstand, honoring your body and its unique strengths and challenges
  • No experience required
  • Variations for all levels, from 0 experience to professional hand balancers
  • BONUS: Zoom meeting (available to waitlist members only for the first 24 hours of registration opening): On Day 3, we will meet on Zoom for group coaching and personalized feedback!
  • SPACE IS LIMITED FOR THIS TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST SUPPORT POSSIBLE

PELVIC ALIGNMENT TENDENCIES

In an upright position, knowing the difference between anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis may be easier to negotiate. At other times, it may be harder to determine. In the full class, Matt explains that many of us have the tendency to posteriorly tilt the pelvis when standing, which may be because we are trying to find the least amount of energy exertion by placing more weight into the hip joints. 

The opposite is true when upside down in a handstand. Here, the tendency may be to anteriorly tilt the pelvis (especially if there is a wall behind us). We might feel that the safer place to be is behind us, so the hips move in that direction. This tendency does not serve us in a balanced handstand away from a wall. In this case, the posterior tilt of the pelvis is a must.

WATCH THE VIDEO

ACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT: POLISHING PELVIC ALIGNMENT

SPHINX TO HOLLOW BODY & CRESENT POSE

To find balance in a handstand off the wall, we must polish our pelvic alignment. We don’t start by trying this in handstand; first, we must strengthen and train the appropriate muscles in other postures and drills. In today’s video, Matt begins by demonstrating 2 ways to implement this strengthening and training in our regular practice.

Sphinx to Hollow Body

In this demonstration, we are guided through 4 phases. It is a very slow and controlled process that not only strengthens the core and upper body, it also helps us understand how to effectively isolate and articulate the movements of the rib cage and pelvis.

Crescent Pose

Here we really learn to train and develop the tucking of the tailbone—the posterior tilt of the pelvis—against straightening and lengthening the back leg. When doing this, we’re activating the quadricep and gluteal muscles at the same time. This will translate well when transitioning upside down.

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200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

HANDSTAND WALL DRILLS

Included in the process of handstand development is the practicing of pelvic alignment when we’re inverted in the context of drills. The handstand drills in today’s video are done against a wall. They provide the opportunity to place our feet on the wall in order to focus on the placement of the pelvis into a posterior-tilt position.

  1. First, without any props, we gain the understanding of how important it is to push through the shoulders to initiate greater movement of the rib cage back, which initiates the desired “straight stacking” of the body. When the action of the posterior tilt takes place, our feet become lighter.
  2. This is the same drill with the use of a chair, which can assist by offering more control to get upright. The exit here can also assist in practicing a safer exit when we start practicing away from a wall.
300 hour teacher training online

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

PROCESS & TRANSFORMATION

We can never escape going through the processes our bodies need when we’re working towards a given yoga posture, and those processes are always individual. The muscles we need to train, the techniques we need to develop, and the knowledge we need to acquire will vary at different times throughout the process.  

Matt always says that a posture like a handstand is evidence that we have tapped into increased mastery of the understanding of our own bodies. This is the true gift of the process on the journey towards transformation, not achievement.

Matt’s 10-Day Handstand Program works to systematically expose our greatest potential.  

Transform your relationship with handstand by registering today!

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Handstand & Meditation Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more
Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand DevelopmentinversionACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.   Whether a handstand is part of our...

read more
Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak the Twists in Your Yoga PracticepadmasanaTWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE The definition of "tweak" here is the following: to improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it. This perfectly describes a major part of what’s involved in the...

read more
Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

Lotus FoundationspadmasanaLOTUS FOUNDATIONS Lotus Pose requires a healthy amount of hip flexibility. For some, it comes easy. Reasons for this might be that the person is hypermobile in the hips, knees, and ankles and/or that many months or years of effort have been...

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT Healthy hip flexor muscles are associated with both stretch and strength. Although we’re going to focus more heavily on strength in this article, always note that both strength and...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
  • exclusive online course discounts
  • exclusive blogs and videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak the Twists in Your Yoga Practice

padmasana

TWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

The definition of “tweak” here is the following: to improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it.

This perfectly describes a major part of what’s involved in the school of Chromatic yoga—it’s the fine adjustments related to the biomechanics of each posture that create a massive impact and transformative experience in our yoga practice. When we pay attention to each adjustment and learn to integrate it in a way that develops our intentions with a particular posture, we reap the benefits of expanding our potential. In Chromatic yoga, Matt shows us how to sequence yoga practices in a way that integrates knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and technique.

The postures and drills in today’s video show us how to properly co-activate the right muscle groups in order to maximize the benefits of twists through what Matt calls the “fire line.”  

 

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

ELEMENTS OF MASTERY 2024

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  • 20 hours in person with Matt, July 19–21
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  • Group lunch included each day
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  • Apply the Elemental and Chakra systems to your poses
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  • Debunk dogmatic “alignment” myths
  • Learn anatomy-informed Chromatic Technique
  • Hotel and spa: amazing pool area
  • Optional spa treatments
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WHAT IS THE FIRE LINE?

There are 5 elements in yoga philosophy. Referred to as mahabhutas, they are the following:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Space

Each element carries its own unique qualities, which go beyond the physical. Our focus today is on the element of Fire in a physical sense, but we can see how the qualities also lend themselves to our mental and spiritual development. Here are some of the qualities that represent Fire:

  1. Transformation
  2. Motivation
  3. Power
  4. Energy
  5. Presence

When it comes to the physical, Matt has developed a system that allows us to coordinate specific actions within specific muscle groups at the right time. The “fire line” refers to the coactivation of the “diagonal core line.” It creates a domino effect with these steps:

  1. Protraction of the scapulae (activating serratus anterior)
  2. Spinal flexion, then layering on spinal rotation (igniting the external obliques on one side and the internal obliques on the opposite side) 
  3. Flexion of the opposite hip (iliopsoas)

WATCH THE VIDEO

TWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE: CHROMATIC YOGA FIRE LINE EXPLAINED

CREATE THE CONNECTION

When it comes to twists in our yoga practice, it may sometimes feel easy to default to a more “relaxed” approach. What we learn from today’s video is the importance of timing and the coactivation of specific muscles that support strengthening the core for better twists. In the fire line, it’s all about cultivating power and front-body strength in the midline.

In order to begin understanding how to create the connection between twists and the appropriate muscles, we first see the following postures in the video:

  1. Revolved Crescent Lunge
  2. Revolved Crescent Lunge with Open Arms
  3. 2 variations of Revolved Chair

We start by creating connections through the actions of protracting the scapulae, spinal flexion, and rotation—the ability to move the upper body as a unit, rather than just moving or reaching with our arms.

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

  • Deepen your yoga practice
  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

DEVELOP THE TWIST TECHNIQUE

How do we further develop the technique for twists? Well, in the video, when Matt demonstrates Revolved Low Lunge, he emphasizes “flexing” our way down, rather than just falling with gravity. He stresses how we’re essentially resisting “the fall” by pulling the rib cage back to maintain the spinal flexion as we rotate.

The last piece of the puzzle regarding the fire line is hip flexion. As we move toward Boat Pose and “sock drills” in the video, we actually practice reversing the coactivation steps. The steps of muscle activation become the following in the sock drills:

  1. hip flexors
  2. internal obliques
  3. external obliques
  4. serratus anterior

The reversal of the steps amplifies our body’s ability to respond to the actions we’re asking it to perform.

300 hour teacher training online

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

AN ARM BALANCE WITH A TWIST

After masterful sequencing and the activation of the core, we can work towards an arm balance with a twist, like Side Crow. Again, instead of resting the hip and outer thighs on both arms, we can utilize the activations in the fire line to balance and rest on the triceps of one arm. This ability then becomes transferable to other arm balances.  

The techniques involved in these postures and drills create a stronger foundation and functional ability in our bodies overall, and this only scratches the surface of the fire line, not to mention the other elements.

Matt’s upcoming 30-hour hybrid immersion, Elements of Mastery, offers a unique opportunity to practice and learn both online and in person with Chromatic Yoga creator, Matt Giordano. This training will dive into all of the elements while immersing you in the studies of anatomy, biomechanics, and technique with a nondogmatic approach.

Secure your spot for this unparalleled opportunity!

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Breath Of Fire Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more
Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand DevelopmentinversionACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.   Whether a handstand is part of our...

read more
Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak the Twists in Your Yoga PracticepadmasanaTWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE The definition of "tweak" here is the following: to improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it. This perfectly describes a major part of what’s involved in the...

read more
Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

Lotus FoundationspadmasanaLOTUS FOUNDATIONS Lotus Pose requires a healthy amount of hip flexibility. For some, it comes easy. Reasons for this might be that the person is hypermobile in the hips, knees, and ankles and/or that many months or years of effort have been...

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT Healthy hip flexor muscles are associated with both stretch and strength. Although we’re going to focus more heavily on strength in this article, always note that both strength and...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
  • exclusive online course discounts
  • exclusive blogs and videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

padmasana

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS

Lotus Pose requires a healthy amount of hip flexibility. For some, it comes easy. Reasons for this might be that the person is hypermobile in the hips, knees, and ankles and/or that many months or years of effort have been put towards developing the capability in their bodies.  

If we push our limits to get into Lotus before our bodies are prepared, we can cause injuries that might have been prevented had we properly warmed up for such a deep posture. Implementing a “take a step back” mentality is key in moving our potential forward in the accessibility of Lotus.

Warming up doesn’t mean going straight into stretching and lengthening as much as possible. What we’ll see Matt demonstrate today is the importance of strengthening and contracting the muscles first.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

  • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
  • Nondogmatic alignment awareness
  • Inner thigh & outer hip flexibility
  • Increase active range of motion of the hips and pelvic movements
  • Learn anatomy of the hips as you practice
  • Strengthen the muscles for optimal balance
  • Postural focus: Flying Pigeon and Lotus Pose
  • Injury awareness: Avoiding knee & low-back strain/pain/compression
  • Use anatomy knowledge to debunk popular alignment
  • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano
  • LIVESTREAM DATE: March 30th at 10am Eastern Time (NYC Timezone)
  • REPLAY: Available immediately, lifetime access

STRENGTHEN THE EXTERNAL ROTATORS

Homing in on the foundations is the “step back”; it’s like pulling an elastic band as far back as we can before we let it go. The farther back we pull, the further forward it will fly.

In the video, Matt demonstrates two variations of Baddha Konasana to get us started.  

Variation I

This will activate the external rotators of the hip. Getting into the posture requires widening the knees and bringing the soles of the feet together. Pressing the feet down while lifting the hips initiates the engagement of the external rotators so that we can access maximum external rotation of the hips.

Variation II

This time, we internally rotate the legs and take the feet wider than the knees to do the lift. These actions will support the engagement of the tensor fasciae latae (TFL, an internal rotator) but will also continue to activate the external rotators.

WATCH THE VIDEO

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS: HOW TO MAXIMIZE HIP FLEXIBILITY

TARGET THE HIP FLEXORS

Targeting the muscles of the full circumference of the hips is essential when preparing for Lotus. Matt demonstrates 2 effective drills/postures to target the hip flexors.

Scissor Legs

Scissoring the legs will help us connect with the sensation of activating the hip flexors, but it’s the pulsing of the legs that builds more heat and stimulation of the muscles.

Happy Baby Pose Without Hands

Once again, we are in deep hip flexion, but it’s about more than just drawing the legs in close. Being intentional about actively pulling the feet in, as if we were holding them with our hands, while pushing the knees out is what produces the activation of the adductor muscles.

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

  • Deepen your yoga practice
  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

ISOMETRIC ENGAGEMENTS

One notable benefit of isometric exercises is that they help to recruit many muscle fibers at once.  “Most muscle strengthening exercises involve moving the joints, using the muscles to push or pull against resistance. However, isometric exercises involve holding static positions for long periods of time.”

Kandola, Aaron. 5 Isometric Exercises For People To Try. Medical News Today, June 26, 2023

This form of muscle contraction is commonplace in Matt’s classes.  In the video, he teaches us how to effectively use this type of engagement in the following postures when preparing for Lotus:

Crescent Pose Preparation

The action of drawing both feet towards one another and pressing down through the front heel will assist in activating the glutes and hamstrings of the front leg, while activating the hip flexors of the back leg.

Humble Warrior 

Pressing the sole of the back foot down and dragging it forward while pressing down through the heel of the front foot will assist in activating the back adductors and gluteus muscles.

Pigeon Pose

Pulling the two knees towards one another isometrically in the stretched position will help to activate the glute and hamstring muscles of the front leg and hip flexors and adductors of the back leg.

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AWAKEN THE OUTER HIP MUSCLES

Finally, we look at the outer hip muscles.  In a Forward Fold position, we push the back of the legs outwards.  This will ignite the gluteus medius and minimus.  We can layer on TFL activation by lifting each leg and pulling it forward to tap the back of each respective wrist.

Today’s postures may be part of a typical physical practice, but when we “dial back” and implement the actions that will strengthen and arouse the activation of the hip muscles, we can be more confident in moving towards greater flexibility and mobility to safely experiment with Lotus pose.

Matt’s upcoming workshop Hip Release will guide you towards a better understanding of how to maximize flexibility, strength, and mobility of the hips.

Register here to optimize your potential.

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Lotus Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
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Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

flying pigeon

HIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA

Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we can benefit from implementing techniques and drills that will support actual transformation and the development of strength, flexibility, and mobility. When it comes to a posture like Eka Pada Galavasana (Flying Pigeon), the spotlight is on our hips. Safely executing the posture requires deep hip opening, which itself requires great care and preparation. Incorporating the techniques Matt teaches in today’s video is the perfect start. However, beyond incorporating the techniques, it’s about HOW we implement them.

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“PUSH AND SUSTAIN”

One of the most impactful statements Matt makes in the full class is “Push and sustain, don’t push and forget.” When he says this, he’s actually referring to a glute activation technique, but his words can be applied generally to how we approach the techniques from today’s video.  

Sometimes we receive cues in a given posture or drill, but we then so easily revert back to what our bodies are used to, something that feels less “strange” or challenging in our bodies.

Eka Pada Galavasana requires hip strength to lock in the open position of the hip in the front leg and the lift from the glutes in the extended back leg. In the breakdown of each posture and technique, we’ll see the importance of finding and sustaining specific activations to increase strength.

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIPS AND GALAVASANA: TECHNIQUES TO UNLOCK THIS ARM BALANCE

GETTING THE HIP FLEXORS ACTIVE

The Lizard Pose variation and techniques Matt offers today are a great way to start the process of activating the muscles of the hips (more specifically, the hip flexors). This is particularly important in the first variation of Eka Pada Galavasana, where Matt demonstrates the “hugging in” of the back leg. We also learn how to “push and sustain” here. The technique that promotes both strength and flexibility is a facilitated stretch, that is, the activation of the muscles we are stretching. In the first variation of Lizard Pose, we use a facilitated stretch to activate the hip flexors by pressing the back knee down and forward. Sustaining the pull forward is the key to the effectiveness of this technique. When this happens, the muscle will release its tension and feel safe to lengthen while simultaneously strengthening. This will help with the hip flexion of the back leg. If we want to extend the back leg in Eka Pada Galavasana, lifting the back leg in Lizard while pulling the ball of the foot forward will also ignite our quadricep muscles. Activating the quadriceps will support the strength of extending the back leg. 

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PRACTICE THE HOOK

Opening our hips is paramount to practicing another important piece of the puzzle: hooking the front foot as high as possible above the triceps on the arm.

With the help of blocks, Matt sets up a Pigeon Pose variation. The blocks are stacked, creating enough height so that we can mimic the “hook” required to keep the foot in place. What actions are needed for this hook? In the ankle, we must dorsiflex and then layer on eversion of the ankle. The height of the block also supports the positioning (flexion) required in the hips.

While all this is happening, we are still encouraging the facilitated stretch of the hip flexors in the back leg.  

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300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

EKA PADA GALAVASANA VARIATIONS

The final preparations for the hips take place while we are practicing the Eka Pada Galavasana variations Matt teaches in the clip. Importance is still placed on activating the front hip while it is in deep external rotation. When setting up for the arm balance, we do this by pressing the shin down into our arms and pulling the back leg forward (facilitated stretch). As we set up the pelvic tilts and the placement of the front leg on the arms, we move towards one of the other extremely important pieces of an arm balance: leaning our body weight forward. Without getting the leg or shin in the right spot, however, we won’t be able to lean forward enough to find our balance.

In his upcoming workshop, Hip Release, Matt shares more insights into creating the required integrity in the hips for other arm balances. 

Register to learn more techniques and tips for your toolkit!

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more
Accelerated Handstand Development

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Accelerated Handstand DevelopmentinversionACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.   Whether a handstand is part of our...

read more
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read more
Lotus Foundations

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Lotus FoundationspadmasanaLOTUS FOUNDATIONS Lotus Pose requires a healthy amount of hip flexibility. For some, it comes easy. Reasons for this might be that the person is hypermobile in the hips, knees, and ankles and/or that many months or years of effort have been...

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

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Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT Healthy hip flexor muscles are associated with both stretch and strength. Although we’re going to focus more heavily on strength in this article, always note that both strength and...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
  • exclusive online course discounts
  • exclusive blogs and videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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