HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE

 Hamstrings

 

Hip And Hamstring Flexibility

Why Is Hip Mobility Important?

Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. It may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our daily lives. How many times have you heard someone say “I can’t even touch my toes anymore!” Or maybe you have said this yourself. Now, touching our toes does not define our worth; the awareness of this limitation, tightness, or even tension in this area of the body simply provides opportunities for us to investigate. Too often, this investigation leads to wanting to repeatedly stretch the area with the desire to lengthen it and hopefully release the tightness. However, continuously stretching the hamstrings will likely not provide us with the flexibility we desire. In fact, it may cause further tension, pain, and/or injury to the hamstrings and other areas in our bodies. In order to increase flexibility while maintaining the health of the muscles, we must incorporate facilitated stretching into our yoga practice.

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

HIPS AND HAMSTRINGS IMMERSION

  • Increase range of motion of your hips and hamstrings
  • Learn techniques such as facilitated stretching
  • Release stress patterns, discomfort, or pain in your hips, back, and knees
  • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
  • Learn postures: Pigeon, Lizard Variations, Lotus, Eagle, Hanuman, Fire Log, Seated Straddle Splits, and more!
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

WHAT EXACTLY IS MUSCLE TIGHTNESS?

First let’s discuss why muscles become tight. Muscle tightness results from an increase in tension through active or passive mechanisms. Passively, muscles can become shortened through postural adaptation or scarring; actively, muscles can become shorter due to spasm or contraction. Regardless of the cause, tightness limits range of motion and may create a muscle imbalance.

Page, Phil. “Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation.” International journal of sports physical therapy vol. 7,1 (2012)

What is facilitated stretching, and how can we utilize it to increase flexibility in our hamstrings?  

What Is A Facilitated Stretch?

This occurs when we activate/contract the muscle(s) while we are stretching them.  There are 2 types of muscle contractions (isotonic and isometric): “An isotonic contraction is a voluntary muscle contraction that causes movement … An isometric contraction is a voluntary contraction in which no movement occurs.”

Charland, Jeff & McAtee, Robert E., Facilitated Stretching Fourth Edition, 2014

The latter is the action we adopt in a facilitated stretch. This is important because this is how we maintain the health and integrity of the muscle. If we don’t engage our muscles, eventually they might lose their ability to contract. Losing this ability can lead to imbalances in our bodies; when these imbalances are significant, we can experience a decrease in range of motion. This decrease can lead to injury or chronic pain.

 

 

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IMPLEMENT FACILITATED STRETCHING

How can we cultivate this in our practice?

One of the best ways to incorporate facilitated stretching into our practice is to go slowly and to utilize props that will support the process. Matt demonstrates the use of a facilitated stretch in Forward Fold, using a chair. He breaks it down into 4 digestible actions.

4 Actions to Utilize Facilitated Stretch in Forward Fold

  1. Lean forward into the big toes
  2. Press the back of hamstrings apart
  3. Move sit bones up to the sky (will pull up on the hamstring and start to straighten the knees)
  4. Move sit bones down towards the heels, but don’t move your pelvis

 

STRATEGY FOR HEALTHY HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY

You may also enjoy the original blog that is paired with this video, called “Avoid the Yoga Butt”

Suggested Immersion: Hips and Hamstrings: 12-Class Immersion

WHAT IS PNF?

Facilitating these actions may also be referred to as PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation).  

“Multiple studies have shown that PNF stretching is superior to traditional static stretching in terms of improving active and passive range of motion. It can be used to supplement daily, static stretching and has been shown to help athletes improve performance and make speedy gains in range of motion. Not only does it increase flexibility, but it can also improve muscular strength. What’s more, PNF stretching is believed to repair the microscopic damage that typically follows a high-intensity workout.”

Wicke J, Gainey K, and Figueroa M. A comparison of self-administered proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation to static stretching on range of motion and flexibility. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2014; 28(1): 168–172.

Sharman MJ, Cresswell AG, Riek S. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching: Mechanisms and clinical implications. Sports Medicine. 2006; 36(11): 929-39.

All that being said, it’s important to also consider the amount of activation we utilize. It’s recommended that we only engage roughly between 15% – 20%. We want to stay on the side of a more conservative amount of force so as not to channel too much force to the joints, thus minimizing injury.   

To more fully understand this, click here for Matt’s 12-class immersion

Hips & Hamstrings, which took place in June 2021. To help you explore and uncover the strength in your own body, Matt’s new 12-class immersion, Strength, starts in October. Sign up today for lifetime access.

Written by Trish Curling

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

HIPS AND HAMSTRINGS IMMERSION

  • Increase range of motion of your hips and hamstrings
  • Learn techniques such as facilitated stretching
  • Release stress patterns, discomfort, or pain in your hips, back, and knees
  • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
  • Learn postures: Pigeon, Lizard Variations, Lotus, Eagle, Hanuman, Fire Log, Seated Straddle Splits, and more!
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

Continue Learning

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE Hamstrings   Hip And Hamstring Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. It may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our...

read more
Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

YOGA JUMP BACKS & JUMP FORWARDS  THE DREAMY, MYSTICAL FLOATSIDE ANGLEdreamy yoga jump backs and jump forwardsWe’ve all seen those yoga teachers and/or practitioners who float through the transitions of jumping back from Uttanasana to Chaturanga and/or jumping...

read more
Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE  ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINSSIDE ANGLESELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE -- ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS Glute gains! Who doesn’t want those, right? When we think about glute gains though, our minds may go...

read more
deepen your yoga practice

deepen your yoga practice

DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?DEEPEN What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, "This will deepen your practice"? Of course you have. Every teacher training,...

read more
Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEETBALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and...

read more
Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

read more

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Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

YOGA JUMP BACKS & JUMP FORWARDS 

THE DREAMY, MYSTICAL FLOAT

SIDE ANGLE

dreamy yoga jump backs and jump forwards

We’ve all seen those yoga teachers and/or practitioners who float through the transitions of jumping back from Uttanasana to Chaturanga and/or jumping forward from Downward Facing Dog  to Uttanasana. They seem to have hang time like Michael Jordan going in for a dunk. It can be absolutely mesmerizing to watch the ease with which they execute these transitions. There’s no magic pill to take when it comes to building these transitions into your practice. It is also important to note that it absolutely does not have to be a goal to build the “end result” into your practice, but the drill we see in today’s video (“The Slide Back”) can be done simply with the intention of  building strength and awareness in our practice overall.

Like anything else, it’s revisiting drills like these repeatedly over time that helps us to see transformation in our bodies and in our practice as a whole. What we ultimately gain is a deeper awareness of our bodies. This awareness shows us what we need to strengthen and where we need to place our bodies in space.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO STRENGTHEN?

When jumping back into Chaturanga, it’s true that we must cultivate strength throughout the body as a whole unit, but there are some key areas where we need to bring our focus and attention.

Wrists
We’re required to bring our wrists into extension in order to stack our bodies above our hands and to bear the weight of our bodies. We also grip our fingers into the floor in order to recruit and strengthen the forearm muscles.

Serratus Anterior
Pushing the floor away and creating fullness in your back creates protraction of the scapulae. The activation of the serratus anterior slows the descent of the body into Chaturanga, where the scapulae will then find retraction.

Pectoral Muscles
Placing our hands wider than shoulder width apart and turning the hands out as if turning two knobs away from one another (along with the protraction of the scapulae) helps to turn on (contract) the major pectoral muscles. This happens when we find external rotation of the humerus while the elbows rotate in. This helps to draw the energy in towards the midline of the body.

Triceps
The triceps also play a role in stopping you from bending too soon. The triceps help to oppose the action of the joints (i.e., elbows bending too much and too soon).

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5 STEPS TO FOLLOW

“Slide Backs”

For this drill, you can use a blanket or towel on a hardwood  floor. Alternatively, you might wear socks or use sliders on a carpeted floor.

  1. Place hands on the ground wherever they go (might be far out)
  2. Turn hands out
  3. Lean forward with chest and grip the fingers
  4. Grip the ground and slowly slide the blanket back to a plank position
  5. Slowly pull it forward: “Jump Forward”

SLIDE BACKS LEAD TO JUMP BACKS

The slide back drill is great preparation for the “dreamy jump back” because of all of the pieces we have to put together in order to execute. But it’s in this process of self awareness, reflection, and inquiry into the body where we build a deeper relationship with our own individual yoga practice.

You can continue to explore strength and the ways to slowly cultivate it in Matt’s October 2021 Immersion, Strength

Practice with Matt live and get lifetime access to:

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  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

See you on the mat!

~Written and Edited by Trish Curling

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  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

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Continue Learning

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE Hamstrings   Hip And Hamstring Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. It may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our...

read more
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Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

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read more
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Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE 

ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS

SIDE ANGLE

SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE — ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS

Glute gains! Who doesn’t want those, right? When we think about glute gains though, our minds may go directly to the aesthetic appearance, when in reality, what we really need is the health and strength of that group of muscles (gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus) in order to have functional strength, balance, and endurance. We have the ability to create this reality within our bodies by way of adjustments and focused muscle activation in our physical yoga practice.  

When we think about adjustments in a yoga context, it can be quite a lengthy discussion with many layers. Receiving adjustments from our yoga teachers can be a wonderfully supportive experience, while for some, it may be the complete opposite. There may be an aversion to touch for many reasons; no matter what the reasons are, they are to be 100% respected.  

STRENGTH

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  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

SALE PRICE: $138.00 $98.00

The Power of Self Adjustments

Now, we happen to be in a time where so many of us are still not practicing in studios or in person with our private teachers. We are participating in virtual classes more than ever. If you weren’t utilizing self adjustments before, this unique time provides an opportunity to incorporate them. This can be a transformative addition to your physical practice, whether in the studio or at home.  Self adjustments offer more than you may think they do. They can be a really great way to connect with our own bodies. When we maintain awareness of the breath and connect with the specific action in the self adjustment, we can truly transform the experience we are having on the mat.

Incorporating adjustments is more than just placing our bodies into a specific alignment. Taking gradual steps through the process helps us to feel safe, therefore helping us to progress.

3 STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE SETTING UP YOUR SELF ADJUSTMENT

  1. Pay attention to your breath, maintain a rhythm that sends a signal to your brain that you are safe and that you are ready to sync the next action with your breath.
  2. Find stability first.  If you need additional support in the posture, then gather the props you may need. Utilizing blocks, a chair, and/or a wall may be just the thing that helps you to find the sensation or connection to the muscle activation.  
  3. Go for it! Perform the self adjustment. First, find the appropriate alignment in your body and then apply the action/contraction in the muscle with your own assist.

In today’s video, we can see Matt take all of these steps for glute activation in Side Angle Pose. In his preparation for the posture, he has set himself up on a chair, making himself more stable, and then he presses the knee of the front leg out into his bicep in order to turn on the abductors and gluteus muscles. He adds the action of pressing down through the heel in the front foot to turn on the gluteus maximus. These actions completely change the experience in the posture.

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

The 3 Main Benefits of Self Adjustments

  • Gain a sense of awareness of where we are in space (proprioception)
  • Develop muscular strength
  • Gain access to increase range of motion

With better proprioception (body awareness), we have a better chance of activating our targeted muscles. In the example of Side Angle from the video, the act of pressing into the bicep provides feedback into the brain and body to activate the abductors. We can understand the sensation of this activation so much more. This feedback shows us how to come back to this activation with more confidence whenever we revisit this posture in our practice. The act of that isometric contraction in the targeted muscles builds integrity and strength in the muscles and surrounding tissues. With more strength, we find an opportunity to increase more active range of motion. With better active range of motion, we in turn unleash our access to new postures. We can truly see that self adjustments provide so much more than stacking bones and joints. We are changing our experience on the mat and in our bodies as a whole.

If you want to develop more strength in your yoga practice, check out Matt’s October 2021 Immersion, titled “Strength  

If you’re ready to unleash your true potential and develop greater strength in your yoga practice, then Matt’s new Immersion Strength for the month of October is perfect for you.

In this immersion, you will gain access to:

  • 12 Classes: Each class targets a specific muscle group
  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice.
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to reach your practice goals.

~Written and Edited by Trish Curling

STRENGTH

Yoga For Strength: Strengthen Your Weaknesses • Maximize Your Physical Potential

  • 12 classes: Each class targets a specific muscle group
  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

SALE PRICE: $138.00 $98.00

Livestream Class Packages

STRENGTH

Yoga For Strength: Strengthen Your Weaknesses • Maximize Your Physical Potential

  • 12 classes: Each class targets a specific muscle group
  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

SALE PRICE: $138.00 $98.00

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

SHOULDER REVELATION

Strength•Mobility•Biomechanics

  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • Decrease risk of injury
  • Release shoulder tension
  • Learn anatomy and biomechanics
  • Access a wider range of postures
  • Stabilize the rotator cuff muscles
  • Learn binds, heart openers, and arm balances
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $138.00

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

VITALITY

RIGOR & RELEASE

  • Get back to feeling energized
  • Vinyasa-style approach, accessible to everyone
  • Hips, twists, heart openers, shoulders, core, & more
  • Guided meditations to de-stress, increase focus, and gain mental & emotional clarity
  • Strengthen and lengthen the most essential muscle groups
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $108.00

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

BALANCE

INCREASE & AWAKEN YOUR BALANCE

  • Learn over 12 balance postures
  • Muscle strength and reactive patterning
  • Increase proprioception and deliberate weight shifting
  • Tree, Standing Hand-to-Foot variations, Warrior III
  • Half Moon variations, Handstand, Side Plank, Headstand
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $128.00

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

Hips & Hamstrings

RECLAIM YOUR ELASTICITY

  • Learn over 12 hip openers
  • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
  • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
  • Pigeon, Eagle, Fire Log, Lizard
  • Lotus, Flying Pigeon, Splits, Straddle
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $148.00

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

ARM BALANCES

FREEDOM OF FLIGHT

  • Learn over 12 arm balances
  • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
  • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
  • Crow, Side Crow, Titibasana, Ashtavakrasana
  • Forearm Stand, Koundinyasana 1 & 2, Handstand
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $128.00

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

HEART OPENERS

DISCOVER THE JOY OF BACKBENDS

  • Learn over 12 backbends
  • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
  • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
  • Bow Pose, Camel, Dancer, Full Wheel
  • King Cobra, King Dancer, King Pigeon
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $148.00

Yoga Alignment and Flow

MOVE • BREATHE • RELEASE

YOGA • BREATHWORK • MEDITATION

  • YOGA: TRANSFORM YOUR BODY
  • BREATHWORK: REJUVENATE
  • MEDITATION: AWAKEN YOUR MIND
  • THE TRIFECTA OF YOGA
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $128.00

Yoga Alignment and Flow

THE DANCE

ALIGN • REFINE • FLOW

  • MOVEMENT TRANSFORMATION
  • ALIGNED TRANSITIONS
  • TARGETED STRENGTH
  • DEEP HIP OPENERS
  • 12 CLASSES: INTERMEDIATE

$298.00 $148.00

back health online yoga classes

THE PULSE

BALANCE • STRENGTH • FLEXIBILITY

  • SHOULDER STRENGTH
  • HEART OPENERS
  • HAMSTRINGS & BUTTOCKS
  • INNER THIGHS
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $128.00

2020 IMMERSIONS

back health online yoga classes

HIPS • HEART • HANDSTAND

  • HIP OPENERS
  • HEART OPENERS
  • HANDSTAND TECHNIQUES
  • BUILD COURAGE & STRENGTH
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $148.00

boundless freedom

  • SHOULDER & NECK RELEASE
  • SHOULDER BIOMECHANICS
  • BALANCED STRENGTH
  • INCREASE RANGE OF MOTION
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

$298.00 $128.00

BIRDS OF PARADISE

  • FLEXIBILITY OF INNER THIGHS
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • LEADS TO BIRDS OF PARADISE 
  • COMPARTMENTS OF THE MIND 

$298.00 $128.00 

BEST STARTER PACKAGE

  • 6 YOGA CLASSES
  • 2 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 6 PEAK POSTURES
  • 6 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

$148.00 $78.00

back health online yoga classes

THE SPINAL RESET

  • BACKBENDS & SIDE BENDS
  • TWISTS AND FORWARD FOLDS
  • SPINAL BIOMECHANICS
  • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

$298.00 $128.00

JOURNEY TO BLISS

  • PHYSICAL MEETS SPIRITUAL
  • EXPLORE THE KOSHAS
  • MIND-BODY TENSION RELEASE
  • FOUR GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • 12 YOGA CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

$198.00 $118.00

BACK, NECK, & SHOULDERS

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

$178.00 $128.00

October Livestream Yoga Classes

THE BREAKTHROUGH

  • HIP OPENERS
  • HIP BIOMECHANICS
  • EMPHASIS ON ARM BALANCES
  • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $128.00

JOURNEY TO THE HEART

  • FULL BODY RESET
  • INCREASE BALANCE
  • ARM BALANCES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • ELEMENTALLY THEMED

$298.00 $118.00

KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

  • FLEXIBILITY OF HIPS
  • SHOULDER & SPINE MOBILITY
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • 12 INTERMEDIATE CLASSES
  • HAMSTRING RANGE OF MOTION

$198.00 $128.00

Continue Learning

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HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE Hamstrings   Hip And Hamstring Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. It may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our...

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Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

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YOGA JUMP BACKS & JUMP FORWARDS  THE DREAMY, MYSTICAL FLOATSIDE ANGLEdreamy yoga jump backs and jump forwardsWe’ve all seen those yoga teachers and/or practitioners who float through the transitions of jumping back from Uttanasana to Chaturanga and/or jumping...

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SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE  ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINSSIDE ANGLESELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE -- ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS Glute gains! Who doesn’t want those, right? When we think about glute gains though, our minds may go...

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DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?DEEPEN What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, "This will deepen your practice"? Of course you have. Every teacher training,...

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Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEETBALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and...

read more
Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

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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deepen your yoga practice

DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?

DEEPEN 

What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?

Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, “This will deepen your practice”? Of course you have. Every teacher training, retreat, and immersion uses this descriptor. I say this about both my 200-hour and 300-hour teacher trainings. The question is, what does that actually mean?

What Is “Your Practice”?

In order for us to discuss what deepening your practice means, we have to define what yoga practice is. This is important. There is debate about this among modern practitioners around the world because most practitioners and teachers are not actually educated on what the purpose behind yoga actually is. So let’s break it down in a way that is easy to comprehend but also maintains accuracy.

According to the lineage of Tantra yoga, we have five layers to our being, and yoga practice is the cleansing or awakening of each of these layers. 

The Five Layers:

  1. Body: all things physical — muscles, bones, fascia, ligaments, organs, etc. 
  2. Life Force or Energy: the energy that animates the body, allowing the heart to beat and air to flow through our lungs 
  3. Mind: our experiential digestive system. Thoughts and emotions that help us process, express, and participate in life through this human body 
  4. Bliss: the deeper knowing that life is a gift, and while it’s filled with pain and challenges, it is still worth waking up each day and participating in it
  5. Awareness/Consciousness: The core of our being, the infinite intelligence that lives within, the observer or witness. The part of us that does not judge right or wrong but simply notices what is 

200 HOUR TEACHER TRAINING

  • DEEPEN YOUR PRACTICE
  • LEARN ANATOMY, BIOMECHANICS, AND TECHNIQUES
  • MEDITATION, BREATHWORK, AND TEACHING TECHNIQUES
  • GET CERTIFIED TO TEACH YOGA

Most humans are very familiar with their own body and mind, or at least they are aware of their existence. However, many of us have never done the practices that connect us to ALL the layers, and as a result, we remain disconnected or unfamiliar with them. 

For example, while we all know we have a body, EVERYONE has body blindspots — muscles that are weak, or joints that we don’t have full control of. Your physical practice of yoga (asana) will help illuminate your blind spots, paving the way for you to physically deepen your yoga practice. 

In the same way, we can become aware of our mind layer by observing our thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns. Through practices of meditation, contemplation, self-inquiry, and guided discussions with a teacher (satsang), it is possible to become more awake to our inner experience and eventually make changes to our mindset and behaviors. This is how to deepen your yoga practice at the mind level. 

The same is true for life force. Through practices of breathwork (pranayama) and other forms of energy observance and deliberate action, we can gain awareness and control over our energetic system. 

By appropriately utilizing these practices of asana, meditation, and pranayama, we naturally peel back the layers that otherwise veil our inner self: Bliss and Awareness. AWARENESS is at the core of our being, and for us to “deepen” our practice,  it’s imperative that all practices are infused with becoming more aware — more aware of body, breath, mind, bliss, and awareness of awareness. 

BE DELIBERATE

It is not enough to practice routinely; we must be deliberate with our practice. You walk every single day, but when was the last time you really got any better or more aware of the way you walk? Unless you have spent time deliberately assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and walking patterns, you likely have not deepened your walking practice. The same is true on all levels of yoga practice. To deepen it, you cannot expect that just showing up for the same yoga practice every day will get you anywhere. YES, the initial year or two of doing so will bring about rapid change, but you will plateau if your practice isn’t asking you to seek out your blind spots physically, mentally or emotionally.

Do You Want to Deepen Your Practice?

If the answer is yes, then I have three ways you can do so: 

  1. Monthly Immersions: Join one of the monthly immersions focusing on an area of your practice that challenges you. 
  2. 200 Hour Teacher Training: This is designed to transform your physical practice and kickstart your breathwork and meditation practices while providing you with the skill set to share that with others. 
  3. 300 Hour Teacher Training: For those already certified to teach and who want to take their practice and teaching to the next level, this will certify you at 500 hours of training. 

Co-written and edited by 300-Hour Chromatic Yoga Teacher, Donna Morin. 

200 HOUR TEACHER TRAINING

  • DEEPEN YOUR PRACTICE
  • LEARN ANATOMY, BIOMECHANICS, AND TECHNIQUES
  • MEDITATION, BREATHWORK, AND TEACHING TECHNIQUES
  • GET CERTIFIED TO TEACH YOGA

Continue Learning

HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

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HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE Hamstrings   Hip And Hamstring Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. It may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our...

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Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

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YOGA JUMP BACKS & JUMP FORWARDS  THE DREAMY, MYSTICAL FLOATSIDE ANGLEdreamy yoga jump backs and jump forwardsWe’ve all seen those yoga teachers and/or practitioners who float through the transitions of jumping back from Uttanasana to Chaturanga and/or jumping...

read more
Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

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SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE  ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINSSIDE ANGLESELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE -- ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS Glute gains! Who doesn’t want those, right? When we think about glute gains though, our minds may go...

read more
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deepen your yoga practice

DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?DEEPEN What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, "This will deepen your practice"? Of course you have. Every teacher training,...

read more
Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEETBALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and...

read more
Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

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Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

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.

Still Have Questions? Email Matt Directly

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES

FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEET

BALANCE

You Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the Feet

Standing balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and awareness of the difference between each side of the body often develops into a narrative that we have a “good side” and a “bad side.” Being aware of these differences, however, actually creates opportunity. Awareness deepens our understanding of where we need to focus our attention, so that we can develop and transform the experience we have in our bodies and shift the narrative. Over time and with consistent practice, we build strength and, eventually, better balance.

When it comes to the biomechanics of any posture, the magic lies in the most subtle movements. In my experience, there are 3 key components for building confidence and ease in standing balance postures. In this tutorial video, we will look at how these components apply to the Ardha Chandrasana set-up.

Improve your balance with yoga

BALANCE

Improve your balance on your hands and your feet through this 12-class immersion targeting the muscles of the forearms, shoulders, ankles, hips, and core.

  • Tree Pose, Standing Hand-to-Foot Variations, Half Moon, Side Plank
  • Handstand, Headstand, Warrior III
  • Exercises and techniques to strengthen the stabilizer muscles of the ankles, hips, hands, and shoulders.

    SALE PRICE: $198.00 $128.00

    Doing The Groundwork

    Doing the groundwork means exactly that. The foundation of our postures is built from the ground up. Once we understand this, we can slowly build upon this foundation. When it comes to finding steadiness in our standing balance postures, we must look at what’s happening with our feet. The position of our feet, strength of the ankles, and recruitment of the buttock muscles translates to stability in the hips. But how can we do this, and what does it look like?

    LET’S SET IT UP

    With your shin bone vertical to your ankle, lift all your toes up and away from your mat; this will help to activate and strengthen your tibialis anterior (the muscles in front of your shin bone). While doing this, be mindful not to send unequal weight into either side of your foot. Send equal weight into the earth. This is the first step in creating awareness and an imprint of this action into your body.

    3 Key Components You Might Be Missing

    1. Pressing down through the big toe (and big toe mound) creates eversion of the foot. This builds sensation in the fibularis group of muscles (muscles in the outer shin). 
    2. Pressing down through the pinky toe (and pinky toe mound) creates inversion of the foot, which helps to create a “fanning” of the three middle toes.  Lifting these 3 toes helps to activate the tibialis anterior. When these actions are put into place, we will find that the tibialis posterior muscles also activate (muscles inside of the shin).
    3. Pushing down through the heel recruits the calf and buttock muscles. 

    All of these actions together create maximum support around all four sides of the ankle joint, unlocking our ability to transform our balance experience.

    These are the foundations we can build upon.  It’s also important to understand that we come to our physical yoga practice with an awareness that not all pieces of the puzzle always fall into place right away. Visualizing the process is a powerful first step that helps to build a neurological pathway. Then we take action, and we can even help ourselves by applying our own assists. We can get curious about parts of the body not responding to the signal from the brain quite yet. It doesn’t mean that it will never happen; it just means that it may require more patience, consistency, and time.

    200 hour online yoga teacher training

    200 HOUR ONLINE TRAINING

    If you are not a teacher yet but a yogi ready to dive deeply into your yoga practice and get certified to share this practice with others, then the 200 hour training is your next step!

    • Deepen your practice: Learn technique, biomechanics, anatomy, and alignment breakdowns for the most important poses
    • Build confidence: Awaken your voice, increase your body awareness, get over self-doubt
    • Learn to teach: Learn effective verbal cues and to masterfully sequence classes and cater to students’ needs

    How do we put this into practice with standing balance postures? We lift the 3 middle toes up with one hand while pressing the big and pinky toes down. We visualize the middle toes remaining lifted off the mat, even if they’re not quite ready to do that on their own. You can practice this part of the process alone and slowly build it into other postures like Anjaneyasana or Virabhadrasana II before exploring postures like Digasana or Ardha Chandrasana.

    If you want to dive deeper and you’re ready to transform the way you feel in your balance postures, you can sign up for Matt’s BALANCE Hands & Feet – July 2021 Immersion by clicking here https://www.theyogimatt.com/shop/july-2021/

    Matt’s ability to guide you into the freedom of your own practice in his 12-class immersions is beyond what you’ve ever experienced. Sign up today to get lifetime access.

    Written & Edited By Trish Curling

     

    Shoulder Revelation

    The September 2021 Immersion includes a full-length class to Wild Thing Pose as well as 11 additional classes emphasizing shoulder techniques and biomechanics. In this package, you will get twelve 75-minute yoga classes to help you gain maximum strength, flexibility, and range of motion of the shoulders. You will also learn how to release neck tension and reduce the risk of shoulder and neck injuries.

    If you want to feel better in your shoulders, this is THE immersion to practice!

    SALE PRICE: $198.00 $138.00

    Livestream Class Packages

    STRENGTH

    Yoga For Strength: Strengthen Your Weaknesses • Maximize Your Physical Potential

    • 12 classes: Each class targets a specific muscle group
    • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
    • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
    • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
    • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

    SALE PRICE: $138.00 $98.00

    Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

    SHOULDER REVELATION

    Strength•Mobility•Biomechanics

    • Increase strength and flexibility
    • Decrease risk of injury
    • Release shoulder tension
    • Learn anatomy and biomechanics
    • Access a wider range of postures
    • Stabilize the rotator cuff muscles
    • Learn binds, heart openers, and arm balances
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $138.00

    Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

    VITALITY

    RIGOR & RELEASE

    • Get back to feeling energized
    • Vinyasa-style approach, accessible to everyone
    • Hips, twists, heart openers, shoulders, core, & more
    • Guided meditations to de-stress, increase focus, and gain mental & emotional clarity
    • Strengthen and lengthen the most essential muscle groups
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $108.00

    Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

    BALANCE

    INCREASE & AWAKEN YOUR BALANCE

    • Learn over 12 balance postures
    • Muscle strength and reactive patterning
    • Increase proprioception and deliberate weight shifting
    • Tree, Standing Hand-to-Foot variations, Warrior III
    • Half Moon variations, Handstand, Side Plank, Headstand
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $128.00

    Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

    Hips & Hamstrings

    RECLAIM YOUR ELASTICITY

    • Learn over 12 hip openers
    • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
    • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
    • Pigeon, Eagle, Fire Log, Lizard
    • Lotus, Flying Pigeon, Splits, Straddle
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $148.00

    Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

    ARM BALANCES

    FREEDOM OF FLIGHT

    • Learn over 12 arm balances
    • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
    • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
    • Crow, Side Crow, Titibasana, Ashtavakrasana
    • Forearm Stand, Koundinyasana 1 & 2, Handstand
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $128.00

    yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

    HEART OPENERS

    DISCOVER THE JOY OF BACKBENDS

    • Learn over 12 backbends
    • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
    • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
    • Bow Pose, Camel, Dancer, Full Wheel
    • King Cobra, King Dancer, King Pigeon
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $148.00

    Yoga Alignment and Flow

    MOVE • BREATHE • RELEASE

    YOGA • BREATHWORK • MEDITATION

    • YOGA: TRANSFORM YOUR BODY
    • BREATHWORK: REJUVENATE
    • MEDITATION: AWAKEN YOUR MIND
    • THE TRIFECTA OF YOGA
    • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

    $298.00 $128.00

    Yoga Alignment and Flow

    THE DANCE

    ALIGN • REFINE • FLOW

    • MOVEMENT TRANSFORMATION
    • ALIGNED TRANSITIONS
    • TARGETED STRENGTH
    • DEEP HIP OPENERS
    • 12 CLASSES: INTERMEDIATE

    $298.00 $148.00

    back health online yoga classes

    THE PULSE

    BALANCE • STRENGTH • FLEXIBILITY

    • SHOULDER STRENGTH
    • HEART OPENERS
    • HAMSTRINGS & BUTTOCKS
    • INNER THIGHS
    • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

    $298.00 $128.00

    2020 IMMERSIONS

    back health online yoga classes

    HIPS • HEART • HANDSTAND

    • HIP OPENERS
    • HEART OPENERS
    • HANDSTAND TECHNIQUES
    • BUILD COURAGE & STRENGTH
    • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

    $298.00 $148.00

    boundless freedom

    • SHOULDER & NECK RELEASE
    • SHOULDER BIOMECHANICS
    • BALANCED STRENGTH
    • INCREASE RANGE OF MOTION
    • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

    $298.00 $128.00

    BIRDS OF PARADISE

    • FLEXIBILITY OF INNER THIGHS
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • LEADS TO BIRDS OF PARADISE 
    • COMPARTMENTS OF THE MIND 

    $298.00 $128.00 

    BEST STARTER PACKAGE

    • 6 YOGA CLASSES
    • 2 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 6 PEAK POSTURES
    • 6 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

    $148.00 $78.00

    back health online yoga classes

    THE SPINAL RESET

    • BACKBENDS & SIDE BENDS
    • TWISTS AND FORWARD FOLDS
    • SPINAL BIOMECHANICS
    • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
    • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

    $298.00 $128.00

    JOURNEY TO BLISS

    • PHYSICAL MEETS SPIRITUAL
    • EXPLORE THE KOSHAS
    • MIND-BODY TENSION RELEASE
    • FOUR GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • 12 YOGA CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

    $198.00 $118.00

    BACK, NECK, & SHOULDERS

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

    $178.00 $128.00

    October Livestream Yoga Classes

    THE BREAKTHROUGH

    • HIP OPENERS
    • HIP BIOMECHANICS
    • EMPHASIS ON ARM BALANCES
    • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
    • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

    $298.00 $128.00

    JOURNEY TO THE HEART

    • FULL BODY RESET
    • INCREASE BALANCE
    • ARM BALANCES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • ELEMENTALLY THEMED

    $298.00 $118.00

    KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

    • FLEXIBILITY OF HIPS
    • SHOULDER & SPINE MOBILITY
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • 12 INTERMEDIATE CLASSES
    • HAMSTRING RANGE OF MOTION

    $198.00 $128.00

    Continue Learning

    HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

    HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

    HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE Hamstrings   Hip And Hamstring Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. It may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our...

    read more
    Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

    Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

    YOGA JUMP BACKS & JUMP FORWARDS  THE DREAMY, MYSTICAL FLOATSIDE ANGLEdreamy yoga jump backs and jump forwardsWe’ve all seen those yoga teachers and/or practitioners who float through the transitions of jumping back from Uttanasana to Chaturanga and/or jumping...

    read more
    Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

    Side Angle Self Adjustment for Hip Strength

    SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE  ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINSSIDE ANGLESELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE -- ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS Glute gains! Who doesn’t want those, right? When we think about glute gains though, our minds may go...

    read more
    deepen your yoga practice

    deepen your yoga practice

    DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?DEEPEN What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, "This will deepen your practice"? Of course you have. Every teacher training,...

    read more
    Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

    Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

    IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEETBALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and...

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    Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

    Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

    Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

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    Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

    Crow Pose Tutorial

    UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE 

    SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTH

    FULL WHEEL

    CROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITY

    Finding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at the beginning of class to ground ourselves in the breath first.  Finding fullness means creating space and expansion in the body and mind.  In this tutorial, we find this fullness first in the breath and then in action in the shoulders, more specifically with the shoulder blades (scapulae), called protraction, while setting up for Bakasana (Crow Pose).  

    It’s through movement of the scapulae that we begin to understand what is available to us, not only in Bakasana, but in so many other yoga postures, including more advanced arm balances and, more importantly, in everyday functional movement.

    Arm Balances

    ARM BALANCES

    Learn 12+ Arm Balances while expanding your knowledge of the body and increasing your body awareness.  All Classes are 75 minutes and ALL levels appropriate 

    • Crow Pose, Side Crow, and Variations
    • Flying Pigeon, Koundenyasana 1 & 2
    • Titibasana, Bujaspidasana
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    THE ANATOMY OF CROW POSE

    The scapula is a sturdy bone that is flat in shape. “Flat bones provide protection and a place for broad muscles to attach.” (Long, Raymond A. MD, FRSC, The Key Muscles of Yoga, Bandha Yoga Publications LLC, 2006, pg. 11)

    This is where we find our rotator cuff muscles (subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor). The rotator cuff muscles are responsible for stabilizing the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) within the shoulder (glenohumeral joint).

    The shoulder, like the hip, is a ball-and-socket joint allowing for a great deal of range of motion. It allows for an even greater range of motion than the hip because of the upper arm bone’s shallow placement in the shoulder joint. This extra range of motion comes with a price — it leaves our shoulders vulnerable, with limited stability. That doesn’t mean game over. With awareness of this area and activation of the stability within other parts of the body, we can create a more balanced relationship between mobility and stability in the shoulder.

    The scapula, on the other hand, is stabilized by the muscles of the serratus anterior and the rhomboids.

    There are 4 main movements of the scapula:

    1. Retraction — through the actions of trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi muscles
    2. Protraction — through the actions of serratus anterior, pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor muscles
    3. Elevation — through the trapezius, levator scapulae, and rhomboid muscles 
    4. Depression — through the force of gravity and actions of the latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, pectoralis major and minor, and trapezius muscles 

    Cowan PT, Mudreac A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Back, Scapula. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531475/

    (There are other movements of the scapula, but in this tutorial, we focus on protraction.)

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    CROW POSE ACTIONS

    As Matt is setting up Bakasana, we see how important it is to find this fullness when we go into protraction of the scapulae. This fullness extends beyond the shoulders, all the way into the arms and even into the fingers. Here, our breath body meets the actions of our physical body through the fullness and expansion at the back and into our fingers, strengthening not only the posture but the serratus anterior muscles and the shoulder girdle.

    With increased stability and strength, we actually find a lightness that Matt talks about and demonstrates so that we can find the elevation required to sustain Crow Pose.

    If you are yearning to broaden your understanding of the mechanics of the shoulder, you won’t want to miss out on Shoulder Revelation! Here, you’ll find 12 all-levels, technique-based yoga practices to develop great awareness, strength, range of motion and capability in the shoulder girdle. In these live practices with Matt, you will work through the mechanics of bound postures, heart openers, and arm balances as well as some imperative drills to maintain healthy muscles and joints.

    SHOULDER REVELATION

    Strength•Mobility•Biomechanics

    • Increase strength and flexibility
    • Decrease risk of injury
    • Release shoulder tension
    • Learn anatomy and biomechanics
    • Access a wider range of postures
    • Stabilize the rotator cuff muscles
    • Learn binds, heart openers, and arm balances
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $198.00 $138.00

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    Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

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    IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEETBALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and...

    read more
    Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

    Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

    Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

    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.

    CONTACT

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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