Hips: Rock and Unlock 'EmTechnique, Strength and Length
The 3 Pillars of Hip Opening
There are 3 pillars of all Hip Openers that are important to understand. Technique, refers to the way in which we go about any given task, in this case hip opening. There are many methods to gaining flexibility in the body, but the one that I find is most effective and long lasting is called facilitated stretching, which simply means activating the muscles you are stretching. Employing this technique, this workshop focuses on helping you develop a deep understanding of what the muscles of your hips feel like when activated. I give precise cues to help you engage target muscles in simple postures so that you develop a strong sense of body awareness. The last part of this workshop will help you develop length in the muscles that you learned to engage and strengthen in the first part of the workshop.
Facilitated Stretching: Active engagement (muscle contraction) of the muscles being stretched results in a deep relaxation of the target muscle upon releasing that engagement. This results in greater range of motion. My suggestion is to work on activating these muscles when you are in less of a stretch, learning what it feels like to engage them, and then when it comes time for deeper stretches be more subtle with the engagement of the muscles. In this workshop I take you through strong engagements in standing postures to develop your body awareness, but as the workshop goes along and your awareness grows, simply soften your effort to about 15% engagement of the targeted muscle group.
By using the technique of facilitated stretching you will notice that there are significant benefits when it comes to increased flexibility. Not only does facilitated stretching support greater flexibility, but the awareness of how to engage the muscles of the hips helps adjust the alignment of your bones in order to target each muscle in your hips individually. This is highly beneficial in that through your increased body awareness and strength which allows you to shift your bones you will be able to intentionally shift a posture to stretch what is specifically tighter in your body, and stop over stretching what is already flexible. This approach provides a great ability to find harmony in the body.
Enjoy your practice…
Pigeon Without Knee Pain
The Yoga Butt
Avoid over stretching the hamstring attachments near the sit bones by actively pressing them down toward the earth in forward folds. This action is confusing in that we want to keep the pelvis folded forward (anterior tilt) but activate the hamstrings as if we are trying to posterior tilt.
A Different Approach
This approach is completely different than the approach I offer in pigeon without knee pain, and the hips rock and unlock ’em video. At the risk of creating some confusion I want to present to you another version of pigeon pose that focuses on internal rotation of the upper femur bone rather that external rotation close to the knee. For some people this creates a deeper hip stretch and supports less compression in the knee. I enjoy both variations depending on what I am trying to target in my body.
The Feet and Ankles
I want to acknowledge how amazing it is that you have taken the time to support the growth of your body awareness. It is one thing to want health and freedom, but another thing to take the actions to move toward it. My suggestion is to repeat this workshop weekly as you will continue to extract more and more information and will be better able to integrate it into your body over time. Also bring the activations into your daily yoga practice so that you are developing technique, strength, and length every time you step on to the mat.
Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em
Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access, and can enjoy the benefits today!
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