WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD FOLD
INCREASE YOUR FLEXIBILITY WITH RECIPROCAL INHIBITION
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.
HIPS & HAMSTRINGS
ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION
- 12 classes to increase flexibility of the hips and hamstrings
- Maximize your strength through range of motion
- Access your pose potential
- Release tension of hips and back
- Sensation-based practices
- Unlock and strengthen major muscle groups
- Active, passive, and isometric stretching
- Improve mobility and stability
- So much more!
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.
PREPARE THE POSTURE
- With your feet spread wide on your mat, turn your thighs slightly inward, which will allow your feet to turn slightly towards one another.
- Place your hands on your hips, then initiate an anterior tilt of your pelvis as you tip your torso forward.
- Hands come down to the floor in front of you for support (you may also opt to place blocks under your hands).
HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR QUADRICEPS
- Activate by energetically lifting your thighs away from your knee caps.
- Feel as though you are drawing your upper thigh bones up into your hip socket.
Activating your quadriceps helps with reciprocal inhibition because one of the quadriceps is the rectus femoris, which is a hip flexor. When these muscles are activated, then the opposing muscles open up (in this case, the hamstrings).
He describes it as almost “suction cupping” your thigh bones upward, which will help turn on hip flexors and quads.
ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION
- Key techniques to increase flexibility
- Strength development for mobility and range of motion
- 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
WHY TAKE THIS APPROACH?
We must in a sense be a “Professor in our Postures.” What does this mean?
It means that there is infinite space for inquiry in our practice. Each time we step onto the mat, we have an opportunity to examine and reflect on how we approach our practice. We can take a more informed approach with information like this, which supports our ability not only to realize our potential but also to practice in a way that creates resilient and healthy tissues. Our approach becomes more calculated and informed. By utilizing the actions our bodies are so brilliantly designed to perform, we are really tapping into what is available to us in our bodies.
Join Matt in his next immersion and/or upcoming 200 or 300 hr. trainings. Take advantage of this opportunity to awaken both mind and body.
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: Mobility Immersion
ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION
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
CHOOSE YOUR PATH
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