Dancer Pose The Chromatic WaynatarajasanaDANCER POSE Dancer Pose is the kind of posture that embodies both grace and strength simultaneously. In order to integrate these two things into your practice of this posture, there are quite a number of pieces of the puzzle...
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 & 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
- 12 classes: All levels appropriate
- Lifetime unlimited access to all
- Attend livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you
HANDSTAND PREPARATION 1 & 2
Here are the steps for Handstand Preparation 1:
- Place your hands on the ground
- Set up your blocks behind your forearms
- Straighten your elbows
- Elevate the scapulae (push the floor away and bring your shoulders up to your ears)
- 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:
- Inner leg lifts up to the sky as high as you can
- 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
- Lean forward into your fingers (or more specifically, into the metacarpals)
- Lift the bottom heel as high as you can
- 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
CHOOSE YOUR PATH
Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana Where to Induce Strengthback line strengthEKA PADA URDHVA DHANURASANA There’s no doubt that back-line strength (more specifically, strength from the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and erector spinae) is a requirement to elevate your hips off...
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana B Increase Your Range of MotionFLEXIBILITY BOOSTUTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA B In my previous blog, we looked at how Matt prepares you for Standing Nose to Shin (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana A). Although there are multiple similarities...
Standing Nose to Shin Variations for a Solid FoundationstrengthSTANDING NOSE TO SHIN Standing Nose to Shin is an exceptional preparatory posture for Hanumanasana, or Splits Pose, but it is an equally profound posture on its own. It also requires thoughtful...
Strengthen Your Adductor Muscles Incorporate These Drills Into Your Yoga PracticeactivationSTRENGTHEN YOUR ADDUCTOR MUSCLES The adductor muscles are commonly left as a lower priority when it comes to building strength in your yoga practice. It’s not that there aren’t...
Plank, Chaturanga, Upward Dog Shoulder Mechanics SimplifiedALIGNMENTPLANK, CHATURANGA, UPWARD DOG How many times have you heard the cue “Plank, Chaturanga, Upward Dog” in a yoga class? If you’re a regular practitioner, it’s probably quite often (particularly in...