KICK UP INTO HANDSTAND

KICK UP INTO

HANDSTAND 

Master 3 Key Actions 

alignment

HANDSTAND—3 KEY ACTIONS

“Squeeze in, turn in, tuck the tail.” These are the 3 key actions for handstands that Matt explains are a must. These may sound like simple cues, and they may even be easy to execute if you’ve already mastered kicking up into a handstand; however, if the pose is brand new and/or you’ve been working at it but still can’t “crack the code,” doing these 3 key actions in addition to all the other steps to prepare yourself may be what you’re missing. Layering on the specific techniques and muscle activations that Matt lays out for you is an essential part of your journey to kicking up into Handstand.  

It’s impossible to skip the steps required when the intent is to kick up into a handstand position. This actually pertains to any posture, but if you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll know how much he stresses that it’s the foundations and the repetition of those foundations that really prepare the body for the desired outcomes. When you repeat these actions over and over again, you build the patterns into your body so that when it comes time for more robust movements and shapes, your body will respond.

 

Handstand and meditation online yoga classes

HANDSTAND & MEDITATION

ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

BREAK THROUGH MENTAL & PHYSICAL BLOCKS

  • Learn the most effective drills to safely build your Handstand
  • Practice essential meditation techniques to break through mental barriers and build confidence
  • Improve focus and breath support right side up and upside down
  • Build strength and the necessary skills for balancing Handstand
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HANDSTAND PREPARATION 1 & 2

Here are the steps for Handstand Preparation 1: 

  1. Place your hands on the ground
  2. Set up your blocks behind your forearms
  3. Straighten your elbows 
  4. Elevate the scapulae (push the floor away and bring your shoulders up to your ears)
  5. Lift your heels as high as you can

Handstand Preparation 2 is a continuation of the process and includes lifting one leg up.

Here are the steps:

  1. Inner leg lifts up to the sky as high as you can
  2. Look up to the lifted leg; when you do this, it’s common for your weight to shift back. Your weight needs to go forward
  3. Lean forward into your fingers (or more specifically, into the metacarpals)
  4. Lift the bottom heel as high as you can 
  5. Push through the arms (lifting the shoulders up)

What muscle engagements are happening? The gripping of the ground leads to activations in the muscles in the forearms. The elevation of the scapulae leads not only to the activation of the muscles of the shoulders (deltoids) but also to the contraction and use of the trapezius muscles. 

This action of elevating the scapulae also helps you avoid shoulder impingement.

As you lift the shoulders up, you are getting longer through the sides of your body, which creates length and stretch through the latissimus dorsi; however, it’s the upper fibers of the trapezius that you want to strengthen in order for you to rely on the strength there rather than on the stretch in the latissimus dorsi. Additionally, contracting the abdominals will assist in bringing the ribcage back and into better alignment, reducing excessive spinal extension. The action here is to contract the abdominals while expanding. You can do this by pulling your front ribs down as you continue to push strongly through your hands.

WATCH THE VIDEO: KICK UP INTO HANDSTAND

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

HANDSTAND PREPARATION 2 WITH A CHAIR

Before we dive in, be sure to use a chair that is stable and steady on the ground. Matt can use a rolling chair due to his many years of experience in the posture. This is important, because once you set your hands on the ground, you place 1 foot on the chair prior to the required muscle engagements. The chair should be secure for you.

Once you have 1 leg on the chair, Matt walks you through the same steps as in Handstand Preparation 1 & 2. However, there are some slight differences when you use the chair. Matt cues you to feel as though you are pulling the chair towards you, while the top leg stays away from the wall.

online classes for anatomy of arm balances

ANATOMY OF ARM BALANCES

MAY 2022 Immersion

  • Anatomy of 12+ arm balances
  • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
  • Visualize your movements internally
  • Improve balance and proprioception
  • Sensation-based practices
  • Learn empowering modifications
  • Access appropriate variations for your level of practice
  • Active, passive, and isomentric Stretching
  • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
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KICKING UP INTO L-POSE HANDSTAND

When your foot returns to the ground, it’s easy to feel very heavy towards your foot, so leaning forward into the hands is imperative.

Now, Matt stresses that the ability to balance in “L-Pose Handstand” is a must. This means keeping 1 leg low. If you can balance there, this can translate into sending both legs up to the sky. Remember those 3 Key Actions for Handstand from the beginning? 

  1. Squeeze in
  2. Turn in
  3. Tuck the tail

What do these actions mean, and why are they important?

Once you’re in a handstand position, you have to stop the movement of your hips; otherwise, you will be thrown off balance. In this stage of maintaining your balance, squeeze in means squeezing your legs together (activating the adductor and abductor muscles). Turn in means to internally rotate the thighs (activating TFL, pectineus, and hip flexors). Finally, tuck the tail (posterior tilt of the pelvis) helps to activate the hamstrings, the glute muscles, and hip extensors). Doing all of these things will help to stabilize the legs in Handstand.

With all of this, there is still so much more to this posture. Matt’s next immersion, Handstand and Meditation, begins September 7th. Gain deeper insights into what is required of both mind and body by registering for the immersion.

See you on the mat!

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

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Anatomy Of Arm Balances

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

Continue Learning

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Downward Dog Shoulder Alignment

DOWNWARD DOG

SHOULDER ALIGNMENT 

How Yoga Props Enhance Your Downward Dog

ADHO MUKHA

ALIGNMENT QUESTIONS IN DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

How many times have you done Downward-Facing Dog in your yoga practice? I can’t answer that either. It’s a posture that shows up in a yoga class quite often. It just becomes part of the foundation of a physical practice after a while. When you started your practice, you may have been told that it’s a resting posture, but it doesn’t always feel like that, does it? It takes some time for it to feel “right” or even “comfortable.” You’ve most likely navigated through things like the following:

Should my heels touch the mat?

How far apart should my hands be from one another?

What about the direction of my hands?

How far apart should my hands be from my feet?

Should my wrists feel this way?

Is it ok to bend my knees?

This list goes on. 

Over time, you start to develop a deeper understanding of the pose and to develop and integrate patterns in your body that feel “right.”

As you continue to learn and grow in your practice, you may also reach a point where you begin to wonder if these patterns are actually serving you. This wondering may come from pain and/or injuries that arise, or simply from exposure to different practices and/or teachers. What often happens is that once you get comfortable with “the way you’ve always done it,” the challenge may be to consider a different way and/or to add on some new actions to actually improve not only the posture but also the health of your joint placement/alignment in the posture.  

It is important, however, to be open to the process of “unlearning” and the process of developing new patterns. The important perspective to take when you encounter times like this in your yoga practice is to understand that it is all a part of growth and your specific journey to learn more about your own body. It’s actually an opportunity. Approaching your practice with an openness to opportunity often leads to the unraveling and to access to new breakthroughs in your practice. 

SHOULDER REVELATION

Strength•Mobility•Biomechanics

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WHAT IS SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT?

“Shoulder impingement is a common condition believed to contribute to the development or progression of rotator cuff disease.” 

Ludewig, Paula M, and Jonathan P Braman. “Shoulder impingement: biomechanical considerations in rehabilitation.” Manual therapy vol. 16,1 (2011): 33-9. doi:10.1016/j.math.2010.08.004

Shoulder impingement and/or a pinching sensation in the shoulders is a common complaint when it comes to the execution of Downward-Facing Dog. You might feel this in early attempts to do the posture or after repeating patterns like drawing your shoulders away from your ears, which may cause pain or irritation in the posture.

In the video, Matt explains quite nicely by saying that when you draw the scapulae (shoulder blades) away from your ears, the upper arm bone (humerus) collides with the acromion process. This action and collision is what creates the impingement, or “pinching.” This pinching can create pain or discomfort or may even lead to injury. From a visual standpoint, how do you know this is happening? Matt explains that you can see what looks like a “dimple” in the shoulder when the humerus is pulling down away from your ears. For further information for proper alignment in Downward Dog, you can also check out Matt’s blog 3 STEPS TO AVOID SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT IN DOWNWARD-FACING DOG.

WATCH THE VIDEO: DOWNWARD-DOG SHOULDER ALIGNMENT

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

USING A ROLLED UP YOGA MAT FOR DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

Rolling up a yoga mat and using it as an additional prop provides excellent feedback and even assists you in the execution of the steps to set up Downward-Facing Dog. It helps to create new patterns in your body to avoid shoulder impingement in this foundational posture.

 Matt details exactly how to use your mat by following these steps:

  1. Place a rolled-up mat horizontally across the top of your mat.
  2. Place your hands in front of the rolled-up mat.
  3. Move backward into Downward Dog (bend your knees and send your tailbone to the sky).
  4. Lifting them up, move your armpits forward toward your hands. 

What’s happening here is that this action will activate the rhomboids, and the upper trapezius will activate from the lift of the armpits. This will also support the movement of the top of the shoulder blades going inward while the bottom of the scapula are protracting.

This step also provides a great opportunity to check in and get some feedback within your body. If you’re putting a lot of pressure into the yoga mat, then you know you’re dropping the armpits down and are causing the sub-acromion pinch. Matt offers the cue here of reaching through the outer lines of the arms so that the scapulae upwardly rotate.

 “During normal motion, the scapulae will upwardly rotate and posteriorly tilt on the thorax during elevation of the arm in flexion, abduction, scapular plane abduction, or unrestricted overhead reaching.”

 Ludewig, Paula M, and Jonathan P Braman. “Shoulder impingement: biomechanical considerations in rehabilitation.” Manual therapy vol. 16,1 (2011): 33-9. doi:10.1016/j.math.2010.08.004

5. Externally rotate the humerus (biceps face forward, and pinky edge of the hand pulls bottom portion of scapula around).

After these actions are put into place, you may feel like the inside edge of your hand is pulling up, so articulating the next step is important.

6. Turn your palms down (the radioulnar joint pronates the forearm, and this is a separate action that happens specifically at the forearm, separately from the action of the external rotation of the humerus).

7. Turn hands out a little more and wider (this also helps to create less chance of shoulder impingement).

8. Heels of the hands are lifted (again, creating that lightness and less touch against the yoga mat). 

Not only will this create less impingement, it will also strengthen the flexors of the wrist, which will feel better and allow you to feel more safe.

12 Online Yoga classes to Learn Anatomy

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APRIL 2022 Immersion

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  • Improve mobility and stability
  • Get VERY geeky

$168.00

 

SIMPLIFY THE STEPS FOR MASTERING DOWNWARD-DOG SHOULDER ALIGNMENT

In the video, Matt offers what’s called a “Mock” or “Modified” Downward Dog on your knees. Here are the steps:

  1. Lift armpits 
  2. Lengthen — shoulders to the ears 
  3. Go up and back
  4. Externally rotate the arm bones (biceps face forward)
  5. Lift heels of the hands (carpal tunnels)

Integrating these new actions may feel quite awkward once you start to gradually implement them. They may not feel quite “right.” This is that process of “unlearning” and creating new neuromuscular patterns in your body.  Eventually they will start to feel more “comfortable,” and you will notice the change in the development of your strength. Setting this foundation will help to support your journey in other postures in which it is necessary to utilize strength and balance from your shoulders, forearms, and hands.

If you enjoy diving deeper into the potential of your body and of the yoga practice as a whole, you can deepen your studies in Matt’s 200 and 300 Hr. Trainings.  

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS.

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

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: 300 Hr. Training

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

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hamstring stretch technique for wide legged forward fold

WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD FOLD 

INCREASE YOUR FLEXIBILITY WITH RECIPROCAL INHIBITION

PRASARITA

a safe approach to increasing flexibility

It’s not unusual to feel “stuck” in our yoga practice at times. We may come to a place in our physical practice where we are not experiencing our full potential. One of the common areas we may feel this way is with our flexibility.  

In one of my  previous articles, Healthy Hamstrings, I discuss how Matt demonstrates how to create more flexibility utilizing a facilitated stretch technique. There are, however, more ways than one to create more flexibility within our bodies. We can also achieve greater flexibility with reciprocal inhibition.

Reciprocal inhibition does the opposite of what a facilitated stretch asks us to do. It’s true that we are still activating muscles in order to achieve greater flexibility, but we are now activating the muscles that oppose the muscles that are stretching. 

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

    HIPS & HAMSTRINGS

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    EFFECTIVE STRETCH TECHNIQUE

    In today’s video, Matt demonstrates how to explore these actions in Prasarita Padottanasana: Wide-Legged Forward Fold.

    In Prasarita Padottanasana (an open hip posture), our legs are in abduction while we are flexing at the hip. Placing our bodies in this position requires us to find flexibility in our adductors and hamstrings. There are also key areas both for potential strength in this posture and where we can explore activation at different times. These areas include adductors, abductors, quads (including the rectus femoris, which is also a hip flexor), and hamstrings.

    Activating the adductors and hamstrings would support the facilitated stretch technique, while activating the abductors and quadriceps generates the reciprocal inhibition technique. In this segment of the video, Matt demonstrates how and why to activate the quadriceps.

    WHAT IS THE FIRE LINE?

    If you’ve been following Matt and/or practicing with him, then you are familiar with his Chromatic Approach to yoga. Regarding the physical practice, we understand this approach as systemic with a deep awareness of how we move our bodies and progress to a “peak posture.” Something Matt created is the  idea of  the “Fire Line,” which he describes as a kinesthetic chain of muscle activation, or a co-activated line of muscle, or a co-ordinated engagement of several muscles in order to gain greater access to balance, strength, stability, and flexibility.

    MUSCLE ACTIVATION IN THE FIRE LINE

    Matt starts off by explaining that we first bring our attention and awareness to the serratus anterior on one side of the body, which funnels into the external obliques through the linea alba, then traveling underneath the external obliques on the other side of the body to the internal obliques, which then go down to the opposite hip bone.  

    The Fire Line branches off “like a river” in 2 directions. The 1st branch goes to the outside of the gluteus maximus down through the IT band and connects to the outer shin. The 2nd branch goes from the inside of the hipthe iliacus and/or psoas muscle, which is on the inside of the bowl of your pelvis and attaches right at the inner thigh, where it meets the pelvis inside of the femoral head (inside of thigh bone). This all travels in the same direction, where we find the adductor group, which runs at the inside of your leg; some of the muscles in this group attach down at the shin.

    We draw a thread of connection all the way through. Through Matt’s dedication to practice and his experience with his own body and with teaching and observing his students, he realized that activating this line allows the yoga practitioner to execute a variety of different twisting postures with great integrity and ability.

    He highlights that the “center of the fire” is right at the core. We must recognize that the fire goes inward and creates a rounding through the back of the body. The key is to bring awareness to this rounding by exaggerating a pulling back of the ribcage.

    With all of this in mind, we can see why strength plays a key role. Instead of just “dumping,” or forcing our bodies into a twist, we very thoughtfully engage the muscles in this Fire Line to more safely and deeply experience a variety of twisting postures.

    online yoga immersion for the spine

    SPINAL AWAKENING

    November 2021 Immersion

    • Twists • side bends • forward folds • heart openers
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    $148.00 $118.00

    REVOLVED CHAIR POSE

    Take a close look at Matt’s deliberate actions in today’s video.  What we see is not only the chromatic approach, the build, the preparation; but we see the activation of the fire line in order to avoid the collapse into Revolved Chair Pose.

    When we approach twisting postures with strength as the anchor, not only do we execute twists with more purpose, but overall we feel more empowered in our bodies and our practice.  What a beautiful outcome.

    Imagine getting this type of insight on your practice on a regular basis, and being able to integrate it into your mind and body. Online Immersions with Matt are the perfect way to get techniques like the fire line into your practice. Each immersion consists of 12 all levels classes so you can advance your body awareness and deepen your practice.

    If you have been practicing with the immersions than you know exactly how powerful and effective they are.

    But what if you want to share this knowledge with others? Take advantage of the opportunity to study with Matt in his upcoming teacher trainings.  His 200 and 300 Hr trainings are open for enrollment.

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

    This is for you if you are interested in deepening your yoga practice, building your confidence, learning how to create a class, sharing this practice with friends, family or beyond. Yes it’s for all levels, ages, etc.

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

    This training is definitely for you if you are already certified at the 200 or 500 hour level but want to take your teaching career and practice to the next level. In this training you will learn Anatomy, Bio-mechanics, Postural Techniques, Intelligent Sequencing, Breathwork, Meditation, Heart Centered Philosophy, Theming, Business Structure, Marketing, Social Media, Branding and how to build a sustainable and successful career!

    Article by Trish Curling  @anioyoga

    Video Extracted From: The 200 & 300 Hour Trainings and April 2020 Immersion “The Greatest Hits”

    Online yoga to improve mobility

    MOBILITY

    ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

    • Key techniques to increase flexibility
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    • Learn postures: Hanumanasana (Splits), Extended Side Plank
    • Active and passive mobility for shoulders, hips, and spine
    • Improve spinal twists, heart openers, shoulder openers, and hip openers
    • Find greater ease in seated postures
    • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
    • When and how to do active, passive, and isometric stretching

    $148.00

    MORE INFORMATION

    Continue Learning

    Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

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    read more
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    King Pigeon Variations

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    read more
    Reverse Plank Pose

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    Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

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    read more
    Side Angle Pose

    Side Angle Pose

    Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix at the Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice. There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there? Side Angle Pose is a perfect example.  ...

    read more
    Open Splits

    Open Splits

    Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often. It does require a considerable...

    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.

    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.  

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    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.

    300 hour teacher training online

    300 HOUR ONLINE TRAINING

    Yoga teachers, take your certification to the 500 hour level, and become a master level teacher.

    • Master your skillset as a teacher
    • Refine your practice techniques
    • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, self adjustments
    • Develop masterful sequencing with the most effective structure
    • Learn to teach meditation and breathwork

    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 $128.00

    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 $128.00

    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
    $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
    $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  
    $128.00
    Yoga Alignment and Flow

    THE DANCE

    ALIGN • REFINE • FLOW

    • MOVEMENT TRANSFORMATION
    • ALIGNED TRANSITIONS
    • TARGETED STRENGTH
    • DEEP HIP OPENERS
    • 12 CLASSES: INTERMEDIATE
    $148.00
    back health online yoga classes

    THE PULSE

    BALANCE • STRENGTH • FLEXIBILITY

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

    $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  

    $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

    $128.00

    JOURNEY TO BLISS

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

    $148.00 $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  

    $128.00

    JOURNEY TO THE HEART

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

    $148.00 $118.00

    KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

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

    $128.00

    Continue Learning

    Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

    Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

    Spinal Freedom in Revolved Low Lunge 5-Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5-part twist technique. There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

    read more
    King Pigeon Variations

    King Pigeon Variations

    King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

    read more
    Reverse Plank Pose

    Reverse Plank Pose

    Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

    read more
    Crow Pose On Blocks

    Crow Pose On Blocks

    Crow Pose on Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability to New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose: Will I fall? Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

    read more
    Side Angle Pose

    Side Angle Pose

    Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix at the Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice. There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there? Side Angle Pose is a perfect example.  ...

    read more
    Open Splits

    Open Splits

    Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often. It does require a considerable...

    read more

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    full wheel shoulder alignment elbows in or out

    FULL WHEEL POSE

    STOP HUGGING THE ELBOWS IN

    SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY

    FULL WHEEL

    SHOULDER FLEXIBILITY IN FULL WHEEL POSE

    You may have noticed that Full Wheel Pose is quite challenging, and you might think the issue is your back, core, or shoulder strength. Sure, each of these plays a role, but not nearly as much as the simple technique of retracting the shoulder blades and widening the elbows. For whatever reason, there is a myth that the elbows need to be hugged in for safety. This is simply not true. Have you ever seen a weight lifter press a tremendous amount of weight above their head? If yes, then you know their elbows are not tucked in, and considering the amount of weight they are lifting, it’s pretty obvious that there is nothing wrong with this biomechanically. In my opinion, it’s not only okay to widen the elbows; it’s a much better physiological decision.

    WHY DOES MY TEACHER ALWAYS SAY TO HUG THEM IN?

    This cue is coming from the basic understanding that the shoulder joint is more stable when the arms are externally rotated. However, hugging the elbows in is overly stabilizing, which is why everyone struggles with mobility when the elbows are tucked in for Wheel Pose. Furthermore, if we take a closer look, hugging the elbows in will likely trigger your pectoral muscles to engage, not your rotator cuff. Rather than bore or lose you with the anatomical details, I will tell you how to find out for yourself by trying out the difference while sitting up.

    CONTROLLED TEST WITH A STRAP

    OLD WAY:

    1. Bring your arms in front like you’re going to do the Macarena, then bend your elbows, mimicking what most teachers have told you to do in full wheel.
    2. Loop a strap around both elbows to keep them in — this is often used in alignment-based classes.
    3. Without letting the elbows go wider than your shoulders,  raise your arms up, straightening your elbows while keeping them tucked in, and see how vertical your arms can get.

    Most likely, you won’t be able to go too high up without effort. IF you are hypermobile in the shoulders, you may be able to; if Full Wheel is working the way you are doing it, then continue that way. However, if you feel pinching in your shoulders, watch the tutorial below.

    NEW WAY:

    1. Widen your elbows out to the sides like you are making cactus arms.
    2. Reach your arms up to the sky like you are celebrating a victory.

    You will likely notice that this felt more natural and relatively easy. That’s because it IS NATURAL to lift your arms this way. The best way to approach Full Wheel Pose for maximum flexibility in the shoulder girdle is to allow the elbows to be out.

    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 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 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

    DON’T HUG THE ELBOWS IN, AND ENJOY YOUR LOW BACK

    Amazingly enough, when you allow the shoulders to move properly, you will notice that you can shift your weight into your hands and out of your feet, and this will take the pressure off of the low back! This is because the backbend will now be dispersed throughout the whole spine instead of targeted straight into one or two vertebrae in your lumbar spine (typically L4 and L5 for most people).

    EASIER SAID THAN DONE?

    Ok ok ok, after that demo you might visually or intellectually get it, and perhaps you want to give this a try. Doing the shoulder actions while seated is far easier than trying it upside down and on your head. This is partially because our body can propriocept (know where it is in space) much more easily when right side up, simply because that’s how we exist most of the day. But your nervous system needs to learn where your bones are and how to activate your muscles when everything is flipped upside down. This is just the way it is; the only thing you can do about it is put yourself upside down MORE OFTEN, AND watch this video repetitively to stimulate your “mirror neurons,” which allow you to mimic something more easily through repetitive viewing.

    To get these shoulder actions fully integrated into your practice, sign up for the Shoulder Revelation Immersion — 12 classes designed to help you develop mastery of movement within the shoulder girdle.

    Thank you for reading and watching! I look forward to sharing more with you in an upcoming training or monthly immersion!

    Co-written and edited with 300-hour Chromatic teacher, Donna Morin

    200 hour online yoga teacher training

    200 HOUR ONLINE TRAINING

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

    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 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 $128.00

    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
    $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
    $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  
    $128.00
    Yoga Alignment and Flow

    THE DANCE

    ALIGN • REFINE • FLOW

    • MOVEMENT TRANSFORMATION
    • ALIGNED TRANSITIONS
    • TARGETED STRENGTH
    • DEEP HIP OPENERS
    • 12 CLASSES: INTERMEDIATE
    $148.00
    back health online yoga classes

    THE PULSE

    BALANCE • STRENGTH • FLEXIBILITY

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

    $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  

    $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

    $128.00

    JOURNEY TO BLISS

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

    $148.00 $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  

    $128.00

    JOURNEY TO THE HEART

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

    $148.00 $118.00

    KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

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

    $128.00

    Continue Learning

    Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

    Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

    Spinal Freedom in Revolved Low Lunge 5-Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5-part twist technique. There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

    read more
    King Pigeon Variations

    King Pigeon Variations

    King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

    read more
    Reverse Plank Pose

    Reverse Plank Pose

    Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

    read more
    Crow Pose On Blocks

    Crow Pose On Blocks

    Crow Pose on Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability to New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose: Will I fall? Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

    read more
    Side Angle Pose

    Side Angle Pose

    Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix at the Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice. There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there? Side Angle Pose is a perfect example.  ...

    read more
    Open Splits

    Open Splits

    Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often. It does require a considerable...

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

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