Yoga Essentials: Class #4 Neck Release

Neck Release Key Points

The neck is hardly addressed in yoga practices unless for extreme postures like Shoulder Stand and Headstand. Learning to properly activate your muscles when rotating your neck can be very healing. Most of us tend to have our neck set forward pulling on the upper back and causing tension at the base of the skull. To repattern our muscles we can practice pulling our head back over our spine. In this class we use our hand as a “kinnesthetic reference”. That a term I use in my 300 hour training meaning a tactile boundary to press into. Most of us tend to be better at activating muscles through sensation of action, for example push this into that. By pressing the head into hand we can learn how to activate the muscles of the neck improving our posture and over all well being. 

This class was taken from the Shoulder Revelation Immersion – you can get 25% off of the immersion below. 

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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
  • Lotus, Flying Pigeon, Splits, Straddle
  • Pigeon, Eagle, Fire Log, Lizard

$148.00

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

SHOULDER REVELATION

STRENGTH & MOBILITY 

  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • 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

$198.00 $138.00

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

HEART OPENERS

DISCOVER THE JOY OF BACK BENDS 

  • 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
$148.00

Yoga Essentials: Class #3 Shoulder Awakening

Shoulder Awakening Key Points

There are 3 bones that make up “the shoulders” 

  1. Collar Bone
  2. Arm Bone
  3. Shoulder Blade 

The way these three interact with each other depends on the health of the muscles that surround them, these muscles are referred to as the shoulder girdle. The shoulder blades move around the rib cage in a few primary ways:

  1. Up (elevation)
  2. Down (depression)
  3. Toward each other (retraction)
  4. Away from each other (protraction)

There are combinations of these actions that have other names we won’t get into here.

In this video we strengthen the muscles call serratus anterior in order to develop greater ability to protract the shoulder blades. Protraction is very helpful for postures like plank and crow pose. Strengthening the serratus anterior has other incredible benefits like helping the shoulder blades move porperly when we take our arms over head in postures like downward dog. A strong and reactive serratus anterior could actually help us avoid injuries like shoulder impingement. 

Equally important are the muslces called the Rhomboids which move the shoulder blades together, AKA retraction. These tend to be weak for most people and as a result could be the culprit in chronic Neck discomfort, upper back, and chest pain. Should you be interested in developing strength in these muscles in order to balance out the shoulder girdle I suggest the Shoulder Revelation immersion below. 

 

🔥 12 CLASS IMMERSIONS 🔥 

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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
  • Lotus, Flying Pigeon, Splits, Straddle
  • Pigeon, Eagle, Fire Log, Lizard

$148.00

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

SHOULDER REVELATION

STRENGTH & MOBILITY 

  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • 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

$198.00 $138.00

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

HEART OPENERS

DISCOVER THE JOY OF BACK BENDS 

  • 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

$148.00

Yoga Essentials: Class #2 Heart Opening

Heart Opening Key Take-Away’s

The spine is capable of moving into extension (backbend) without compressing each vertebrae into each other. In order to reduce this collision course, we can use the technique that I call Bowing the Spine

WHAT IS BOWING THE SPINE?

  • Bowing the Spine is the technique of pressing the middle of the back forward. This bends the spine in such a way that allows each one of your vertebrae the maximum ability to rotate into spinal extension. Typically most people push their upper back toward their pelvis causing discomfort of pain which would be called compression. With Bowing the Spine we are aiming NOT to compress, and to find the maximum spaciousness available.
  • This requires that we develop flexibility of the Abdominals and Intercostals (muscles between the ribs)
  • Strength of the Erector Spinae and Rhomboids (back muscles) is essential.
  • Activation of TVA, Transverses Abdominis is also very helpful if not imperative.

🔥 12 CLASS IMMERSIONS 🔥 

GET 25% OFF WHEN YOU USE THE CODE: YOGAESSENTIALS

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
  • Lotus, Flying Pigeon, Splits, Straddle
  • Pigeon, Eagle, Fire Log, Lizard

$148.00

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

SHOULDER REVELATION

STRENGTH & MOBILITY 

  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • 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

$198.00 $138.00

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

HEART OPENERS

DISCOVER THE JOY OF BACK BENDS 

  • 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

$148.00

Yoga Essentials: Class #1 Hip Opening

Hip Opening Key Take-Away’s

The hips are surrounded my muscles which makes them highly capable of both mobility and stability. Learning to access each muscle group through deliberate activation builds muscle integrity and functionality. This class is a great starting point to help you develop technique through select standing and seated hip opening postures.

4 QUADRANTS OF THE HIPS

  1. Front: Quads & Hip Flexors (pulls thighs toward chest)
  2. Inside: Adductors (pulls legs inward toward each other)
  3. Outside: Abduction (pulls legs apart away from each other)
  4. Back: Hip Extension (Buttock muscles – extends legs backward)

WHAT IS MUSCLE INTEGRITY?

Muscle integrity is the ability for a muscle to contract/engage at any length, AND the ability for the muscle to release contraction and engagement.

WHAT IS A FACILITATED STRETCH?

An engagement of a muscle when it is in a lengthened position – or isometric (no movement) engagement of a muscle while you are in a stretch. This creates a release of tension if sustained for approximately 10 seconds. This is technique of engaging muscles while lengthened provides incredible results for flexibility without losing functionality of the muscles.

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

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Part 5: Balance Essentials

BELLY AT THE WALL

This is THE MOST essential wall drill you will ever do when it comes to learning to balance with good alignment. That said, it is also more dangerous because you don’t have a wall behind you. PLEASE do this with a spotter for the first few times until you are comfortable getting into and out of the posture at the wall. Falling is not an option here, it will not only result in injury but you will also lose all the trust you just built in yourself. SO use a spotter to support you, and then this drill will be one of those magic, eye-opening, body-enlightening experiences when done routinely.

PELVIC TILT WITH A “LINE”

Handstanders are constantly assessing their “line” because it is a basis for discovering tendencies and patterns. If we are aware of our patterns, then we can make incremental changes. The line becomes a basis for self progress. This way, you will be able to notice some results along the way. This IS important in your handstand pursuit because unlike most other postures, handstand results happen VERY slowly. Most people think it’s a matter of just knowing what to do, and then doing it — handstand is not that way. It’s a complete change of neurological and muscular patterns that have been building up over the course of your lifetime. I personally spent 6 years on pelvic tilt… 6 years just trying to gain control over my pelvis when upside down. On the outside, someone else could hardly tell, but I definitely could see and, more importantly, feel the differences, and that helped me to stay focused on my practice.

 

ADVANCED KICK SWITCHES

The first time I ever felt a moment of “I’m doing it!” happened in this exercise. Try to slowly transition and create a bit of hang time. Now to be honest, this requires a lot of practice. You will need to build your wrist strength and body awareness to keep yourself leaning forward into your fingers. GET STUBBORN with the lean — don’t allow your body to shift back into the heel of the hands, a major pitfall you will want to avoid. Secondly, it may take time until your hamstrings have enough flexibility to gain hang time in the L shape — lack of flexibility will result in the bottom leg always pulling you back down to the ground. In the meantime, while you build flexibility, you could always go back to practicing “jump to stag.”

L-POSE BALANCE

As mentioned in Part 4, stag jumps are the preliminary practices to balancing L-Pose, which requires hamstring flexibility, wrist strength, and understanding your line. Your hips and top leg in this pose can indeed lean back toward the wall a little bit at first and not quite form a vertical line with your arms. This will help minimize the amount of lean that is required in the shoulders. In other words, if you counterbalance a little bit by allowing the top leg to go back slightly, it will help keep the bottom leg lifted, and it will minimize how much lean is required. ONE downfall of doing so is that it might throw off your awareness of your line. So be sure to continuously go back to practicing the “belly at the wall” and “pelvic tilt with a line” drills.

 

MORE DRILLS COMING SOON!

Thank you for your practice, and I look forward to sharing more drills soon. However, you now have the most essential drills that will lead you to balance. The rest will be slightly more advanced, so be sure to practice these routinely; 3-4 days a week is recommended if you want to achieve balance.

 

Part 3: Advanced Foundations

CHAIR HANDSTAND PREP 1 & 2

Probably the most important video of this training — come back to it over and over again! BE SURE TO HAVE A WALL BEHIND YOUR BACK. I did not have a wall in this studio that would work with the camera angle. Please do not do this without a wall — it is dangerous. Once you are balancing your handstand and able to cartwheel out (not taught in this training), then you will be able to do this safely without a wall. With a wall, you can focus entirely on the actions, without worrying about falling backward. 

HANDSTAND JUMP FOUNDATIONS

To become familiar with having the hands be the primary base of support, we start with playful hops and jumps without any sort of balance necessary. These jumps will likely feel clunky and heavy at first, but with time you will develop the upper body strength and the appropriate amount of weight shifting that will allow you to feel light and free.

CROW POSE

Crow Pose can be one of the best preparations for handstand when done with proper techniques. In particular, focus on your knees squeezing into your arms, which will trigger your deep core muscles to activate. This is important for straight handstand because the deep core needs to learn how to activate in order for the pose not to break at the spine. By this I mean that if the spine doesn’t hold like a column, it will send the hips and legs overboard. Additionally, this pose prepares the 3 main actions — Lean, Resist, Push — while being less vertical with the spinal column, and thus less fear provoking, than handstand.

[Leadership] Ava Taylor – Yama Talent & the Yoga Biz [84m]

Ava Taylor

No discussion about the yoga business would be complete without a conversation with Ava Taylor. Ava is the founder and creator of Yama Talent, which has played a massive role in shaping the yoga industry. Prior to Yama Talent, there were no standards for running a yoga business. Ava helped some of the biggest names in the yoga industry establish themselves by implementing key actions, organizing and streamlining negotiations and contracts. It is an absolute honor to have her step in and share her time, knowledge, and expertise with us.

Connect with Ava

Instagram: @Avataylor @yamatalent @bodynovashop

BODY NOVA: Get 20% Off yoga props and apparel at www.bodynova.com Use the Code: THEYOGIMATT20

YAMA TALENT: Get 20% off “The Catalyst” Business Training and more at www.yamatalent.com Use the Code: THEYOGIMATT20

[Leadersip] Building Your Retreat Experience w/Joshua Canter [63m]

The Retreat Experience

After our discussion together, Joshua Canter of True Nature Travels and I continued to chat about the other elements of leading a retreat. In our first discussion, we spoke all about the lead and administrative action steps for running a retreat. We decided to have a second conversation about the other side: developing the experience. Joshua and I both share a deep love for the transformative power of retreat, and so together we dive in here to give you our favorite tips.


If you are interested in running a retreat, email Joshua and Team at: info@truenatutretravels.com -> put “Referred to by Matt Giordano” in subject line.

[Leadership] Lights, Camera, Audio [19m]

GVM LIGHTING

GVM LIGHTING OPTIONS: Note, be sure to select your appropriate electrical plug options based on your country. https://gvmled.com?aff=179

NEWER LIGHTING OPTIONS: Use the 15% OFF discount code MATTGIORDANO https://neewer.com/?ref=6vvoy9h1ir

Other products discussed:

  • Capture Card: I suggest IOGear if it’s available in your country. Try Amazon.
  • HDMI cables: dependent on what camera or phone you are using.
  • App Store: if using your phone, you will likely need “Filmic Pro”.
  • Rode Go: search for the best price, but do not buy the ones that come with the lavalier mic UNLESS it’s made by Rode. Amazon usually has packages with a knock-off brand lavalier mic that is terrible.
  • Camera Switcher: ATEM Mini, ATEM Mini Pro, or any other ATEM.
  • Cameras: any DSLR that has a clean HDMI output. I suggest Sony a6100 or a6400 because they do not have a 30min record limit like most other DSLRs.

[Leadership] Discussion: Jesse Giordano – Money • Mindset • Mark [90m]

DOWNLOAD HIDDEN MONEY SCRIPTS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W8vFY0n1pL6mXTOg8hy6tYZSdF4i0-x1/view?usp=sharing

DOWNLOAD BUDGET WORKBOOK: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AkkKvaB45uVW0QSVLUj8Tdun7Bj7YTpz/preview

DOWNLOAD FINANCIAL LIFE PLANNING: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gDOh6A4Cr4dFj7DHNWVPlUryS-ueaYmD/view?usp=sharing

DOWNLOAD 50/30/20 Guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FtbSa4eZejmQEuMJsrNr81SMSMsF-io-/view

[Leadership] Discussion: Jenna Short – Brand, Marketing, Social [90m]

Message From Jenna Short

SHORTBREAD – Developing a Brand – YOUR LOGO

Hey all! Just wanted to share a bit of my experience as a brand designer in hopes to help you with that aspect of developing your brand. Matt gives some great tips and advice on branding and marketing so I wanted to expand on what steps you should start to wrap your head around.

A few things to understand first and why it is so important.

Whatever you do on whichever platform you choose, the most important thing is that you remain CONSISTENT. What that means is the logo is the same on every platform, The fonts are the same on every platform and the colors are the same on every platform. This is your STORY. And you want your story to be told clearly and consistently wherever people go to look for you. Your brand story and brand language become your identity that speaks for you when you’re not in the room. 

Three Aspects of your BRAND STORY and why it’s so important:

  1. What are your fonts? A font is your emotional voice. When people read different fonts your brain translates the shapes as tone of voice and conversation. How do you want people to hear you?
  1. What are your colors? Your colors are the personality and energy you want to give (side note, the logo should be first designed in only black and white so you can understand the logo and then incorporate color. You will always need a black and white version, and best to make sure it looks good early on in all scenarios then to figure that out in the end.
  1. The “graphic”, or the logo, is your identity and how you want people to see you (like an outfit). It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room. At the end of the day, this is your brand Identity and it needs to reflect who you are.

I ask my clients a series of questions when starting to develop their brand story:

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Like Matt suggested, ask yourself what other companies or brands you admire or love. It doesn’t have to be in the same industry that you are looking to work in (ie: doesn’t have to be a yoga brand). Try to pick out three things you like about what they do. It can be something as simple as liking how all their pictures are black and white. Whatever it is, it is something that speaks to you and can ultimately help you find your voice.
  1. Then think about what it is that you want to tell people. What makes you different or unique and what is your elevator pitch? You have one minute to sum up your brand to sell someone on it. What will you say? These days, you really don’t have that much time before someone moves on to the next thing, so how do you share what’s important to you and what you do in one minute? 
  1. Your NAME may seem obvious but it needs to be something that can be spelled easily, easily remembered, easy to find. Start a Google search of names you may be considering and see what comes up for them. You want people to be able to find you and not have to remember a long name or spelling. I have had several clients who call themselves one thing and their website is something else, and it is just too confusing.

After you answer the above questions, the designer will be able to develop a story around those answers. 

TO DO:

  1. Decide on your name.
  2. Buy a domain (they come with email addresses that can be linked through Google.)
  3. Develop your brand story.
  4. Apply it to a website.
  5. Apply it to social media. (Make sure your designer creates logo variations and sizes for all platforms you may need. You NEVER want to stretch a logo to make it fit. It looks very unprofessional. So make sure you are given a brand guide and all logo variations., ie: bw, color, jpg, png, ai, pdf)
  6. Stay current and relevant by posting content (doesn’t have to be all the time but should be consistent).  

Quick options:

  • Fiverr is a great option for quick and cheap logos. 
  • WIX is an amazing DIY website. You can even have a designer create your “template” and then it’s very simple for you to maintain and edit yourself. You can also start off with a basic site and then add on e-commerce as you go along. WIX also allows you to purchase a domain through them as well as set up your email.
  • DAFONT is a great resource for free fonts.
  • Vecteezy is a great resource for free graphic elements  and if you’re feeling brave and want to try doing it yourself, try out a trial of ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR.
  • Square Space is a great option for easy e-commerce set-up, although I find WIX more intuitive but both offer trails so see which works best for you.

End of the day, the best option is the one you USE so make sure it’s something that you can be CONSISTENT on.

LOGO PRICING PACKAGES

Jenna has graciously put together two special packages for you and our crew here. Below are the options to choose from. Simply reach out to Jenna Jennashort@me.com directly and let her know you are in this training and are interested in discussing one of the following.

PACKAGE PRICING

Base Logo Package/ 350USD

Includes: Four Hrs total design time

  • One logo
  • Three design concepts
  • Up to two revisions
  • Downloads of eps (vector) and JPG file formats supplied
  • Color & BW version of logo included
  • 125 ph Additional Design time

Dynamic Brand Consulting Package / 1800USD

  • Sixteen hrs total design time
  • One Finished logo + Secondary Icons (two finished variations; reconfigurable variation for multi use)
  • Five design concepts (for logo)
  • Favicon Logo 
  • Social Media Logo files
  • Four color and BW versions of your logo included
  • Dropbox Access to all working files (downloads of eps (vector) and JPG file formats supplied)

Brand Guide + Development

  • Included Fonts + Font Files for your Computer  (+web safe fonts)
  • Colors + Color Palate (Pantone, CMYK + Web safe font codes)
  • Guide and consultation for brand usage across all platforms

Stationery Package design

Includes: 

  • Business card design 
  • Letterhead/e-signature
  • (Print ready and editable files included – printing not included)

Social Media Brand Development

  • Instagram brand guide design development
  • Three Templates for social media consistency or Canva assistance + fonts to assure brand assimilation across all platforms
  • Includes two hours of additional consult/design time of your choosing 
  • 125 ph Additional Design time

CONTACT JENNA

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