Down Dog: Avoid Shoulder Impingement

3 Steps to Avoid Shoulder Impingement

in Downward-Facing Dog

Should You “Relax Your Shoulders” Away From Your Ears?

In my previous blog, “The Yoga Cue That Could Be Destroying Your Shoulders,” I explained how taking the arms up overhead while dropping our shoulders down our back could be a recipe for shoulder impingement. Many teachers use Downward Dog as a “resting pose.”  In my experience, I have found that “relaxing” in Downward Dog is quite often the reason for most shoulder issues but can easily be rectified with the 3 cues I provide in the video and photo breakdown below: 

  1. Externally Rotate the Humerus
  2. Pronate the Forearms (not directly related to the shoulder but balances out Step 1)
  3. Elevate the Scapula 

Elevation of the scapula happens when you lift your shoulder blades upward, which is like “shrugging” your shoulders, or when you excitedly reach your arms up to the sky. We naturally let our shoulders lift when our arms go up, but since many instructors cue the opposite, it is easy develop a pattern that does not serve the health of our shoulders. In addition to the verbal cue of “soften your shoulders,” gravity also causes issues if we don’t actively resist when we are in postures like Downward Dog, Forearm Stand, Handstand, or in a jump forward. My suggestion is to strengthen the muscles that elevate the scapula (upper trapezius and serratus anterior being the primary ones) in order to develop the pattern that can help to avoid shoulder impingement.

Many people cringe when I suggest strengthening the muscles that lift the shoulders up, saying something like “but my shoulders are stuck up by my ears, shouldn’t I relax them down?” The short answer is yes, but the longer answer is that muscles hold tension when they are weak. Your shoulders are likely up by your ears because of stress, rather than excess strength . . . unless you are a world champion bodybuilder . . . then ignore this. We also have muscle-holding patterns, which means that when we hold our neck, head, and arms in one position for most of the day, it will cause the muscles to become accustomed to holding those positions, and as a result you will be somewhat stuck in that shape. Simply pulling your shoulders back down will not relax the trapezius; rather, it could cause more stress, and the muscle could become more aggravated.

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BUT ISN’T IT IMPORTANT TO RELAX MY NECK?

Relaxing is undoubtedly important, and it will help release tension in your mind and body. At the same time, muscles relax from being activated properly and then released. You have certainly experienced this after engaging your muscles in a good workout or yoga class and then the incredible relaxation afterwards. Stretching a muscle can help release tension at times, but more often than not, I find active engagement or passive shortening of a muscle is far more effective. When a muscle is healthy and strong, it is better able to relax.

Follow the 3 easy steps in the video below to avoid shoulder impingement, and you will grow stronger in your trapezius muscles and rotator cuff.

Maintaining Joint Space

Research indicates that externally rotating the humerus helps to move the supraspinatus tendon away from the impingement area under the acromion process. Essentially this means that by rotating your arm bones outward (biceps turn forward) you are less likely to pinch the the soft tissues that run between your arm bone and the shoulder socket. 

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Other Helpful Muscle Engagements

Research also shows that activating both the biceps and triceps at the same time  can actually support creating more space in the glenohumeral joint  (where the arm meets the shoulder socket). You can do this by actively pushing the arms straight, and then try to squeeze your hands toward each other like a bull dog.   It is challenging to do oppositional muscle engagements so this takes a bit of exploring. First work on straightening the elbows and activating the triceps. When you squeeze your arms toward each other you will also get the added benefit of activating the adductor muscles which can also support more space in the shoulder joint.

DOES THIS APPLY TO HANDSTAND AS WELL?

Your shoulder joints do not know the difference between downward dog and handstand – aside from the gravitational pull, the shoulders are in the same alignment in downward dog as they are in handstand, this is called flexion. When the arms are flexed over head, you are at risk of impingement. The only difference is that in handstand you have to compete with gravity and so you will need to increase your efforts. You will find much more on this subject in the online course titled Handstand Part 2: Balance.

Step 1 - Externally Rotate the Arm Upper Arm Bone

Rotating the humerus externally when the arm goes up over head can help to avoid the impingement interval in the joint. One of your rotator cuff muscles, the supraspinatus, runs through the glenohumeral joint (under the acromion process and above the head of the humerus). This muscle helps to lift the arms up from tadasana, but because of its location it is easily pinched if the arms go over head but the shoulder blades don’t follow the movement. Downward dog is often the culprit- the weight of the body on the shoulders requires that we put effort into the posture to push the ground away, however with cues like “relax your shoulders” and “soften” we often release the appropriate muscular action required to maintain space resulting in shoulder impingement. In plain English – Externally rotate your arms (triceps rotate toward your face) and you will maintain more space in the joint and less potential for impingement. 

Step 3: Upward Rotation of The Scapula

From the outer line of your shoulder blades press through your hands into the earth. When you elevate your shoulder blades toward the ears from the outside line of the arm, the bottom wingtip of the scapula begins to rotate out and up – this is known as upward rotation of the scapula. As a result of upward rotation your shoulder blades rotates and angles itself to allow the arm bone to be overhead without a collision of bones in the joint, creating less possibility of impingement. 

Step 2: Pronate the Forearm

When externally rotating the upper arm bone you will notice that the lower arm (forearm) will go along for the ride and rotate as well. This results in an increased pressure in the outside of the hand and wrist. To evenly distribute the weight to the whole hand, simply pronate your forearm, by rotating the inner forearm and hand down toward the ground. Many teachers will stress this by asking you to press your index finger and thumb down. Depending on your range of motion in your radial ulnar joint,  you may not be able to press the inside edge of your hand down and maintain external rotation of the shoulder. My suggestion is to turn the hands slightly outward if this is the case. Learning to rotate the forearm in opposition of the upper arm bone can be challenging, but through mindful repetition you will be able to do it, and you will feel an increased strength and stability from it. To Strengthen your wrist, I highly recommend Handstand Training

The 3 Actions

While I have broken this down into 3 steps, with time and practice it can be 1 step and the 3 actions can happen all at once. To build muscle coordination it is useful to separate the actions and practice them individually. Though I created a definitive order to follow, know that it is beneficial to mix up the 3 steps and put them out of order. You may find another combination to work better for your body! The dotted red line above is to indicate the path of the bottom wing tip of the scapula. If you do not do push the bottom wing tip will wind up closer to the spine, it is helpful to video yourself to see where your shoulder blades are on your back. 

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Depression of the Scapula

Pulling your shoulders down away from the ears is the opposite of everything I have mentioned in this post, however it is an important action to work on especially for arm balances like side plank because depression creates stability when the arms are at or below shoulder height.

When Can I Relax My Shoulders?

One of the best parts about getting stronger with shoulder elevation (upward rotation) is that the muscles of your upper trapezius will become more supple and be able to relax more easily. Just like after working really hard in a yoga class you feel that complete relaxation in your body, each of your muscles experience that after being strengthened. There are plenty of opportunities to relax your shoulders down your back – just not when you reach your arms overhead. So when you are sitting at your chair you can think shoulders move slightly back and shoulder blades relax downward. When you are in a strong posture like crow pose and your upper arms are not over head, you can even work on strengthening the muscles of depression of the scapula. My philosophy on the body is that there are no wrong actions or muscle engagements, there are just appropriate and inappropriate times to use them.

A great rule of thumb you can take with you: when in doubt just let your shoulders follow your hands – if the hands go up, let your shoulders go up, if they go down let them go down, if you reach forward let them go forward, etc. Enjoy your exploration, thank you for stopping by!

-Matt

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Side Plank Variations

VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIAL

SIDE PLANK

Extended Side plank variations

 [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of “Extended Side Plank”]

There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is explicit about technique in order to unlock access.  In an all-encompassing pose like Extended Side Plank—Vashistasana—there is a lot going on all at once.  There are so many things that need to be digested when breaking it down.  Even though this posture may be a physically challenging one, Matt breaks down how you can approach it both physically and intellectually. He shows you specifically what muscles to activate and what parts of the body to articulate. Extended Side Angle is one of those postures that recruits and demands so much of your effort and attention.   

When exploring the various entry points and different ways to execute the posture, it’s important to pay attention to the specifics of each variation. Matt outlines 2 variations in today’s tutorial. You’ll explore Extended Side Plank by utilizing a wall and another variation with a strap.

Within these explorations, you’ll see just how much body awareness is involved and how connected you need to be to your anatomy. It’s much more than just knowing your muscles and bones; it’s also about understanding how to move and articulate each part of your body.

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    The Actions for Extended Side Plank Variation at the Wall

    As always, it’s imperative to start your awareness from the ground up.

    Step 1 – Matt explains that the gripping of your hands into the mat is going to activate the flexors of your wrist. This is important because now you are utilizing technique to activate strength and set a solid base for the posture

    Step 2 – Next, we have Spinal Extension as a result of the shoulder blade moving into the spine. Matt emphasizes how necessary these actions are so that the rest of the posture can actually be expressed.

    Step 3 – This step is really connected to step 2, as it’s important to take the steps of lifting your shoulder up, back, and around. We also see this in the Matt’s Shoulder Alignment Tutorial for Wild Thing

    Step 4 – Move your pelvis and weight in towards the wall

    Step 5 – Your can then bend your knee and bring your foot onto the wall

    Step 6 – This step can take you to another level.
    Grab your knee and pull it in tightly towards the chest as possible. If this is the final step in the journey at this time for you, Matt explains that the only thing missing is the extension of the leg, removing the quadricep engagement.

    How does this differ from the next variation?

    The Actions for Extended Side Plank Variation with a Strap

    This one might actually be a bit more challenging as the actions for entry are slightly different.  You’ll see how Matt turns his body open, before actually going into the backbend.

    Step 1 – Strap goes around your foot 

    Step 2 – Come into Side Plank with kickstand

    Step 3 – Lift your hips up and pull your knee into your chest as you turn 

    *Here he highlights the difference in the experience you might have from choosing to kick your leg out first and then kicking it upwards.  Taking the actions in this order may make the hips feel too heavy.

    Step 4 – Once you have done step 3, the turn is done with a bent knee, with an option to now extend your leg fully

    This order of entry may be far more accessible.

    Matt describes Extended Side Angle as the “Full spectrum of body awareness”.  This is evident from the actions that are taken in these variations.  

    Anatomy and Actions Involved

    • Strengthening of the wrists
    • Rotator Cuff muscles engaged due to the external rotation of the upper arm bone
    • Depression and Retraction of the Scapula to mobilize the spine (bowing of the spine)
    • Eversion of the ankle 
    • Gluteus muscles engaged to press the feet down and get hips lifted
    • Extension of the knee joint to activate quadriceps

    There is the evidence of just how much focus, attention, and awareness is involved.

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    KING COBRA POSE 

    YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUE

    KING COBRA

    5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra Pose

    Not all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach.

    King Cobra is no doubt a visually stunning yoga posture. When we see the outward execution of the pose, we see strength, confidence, and it may even appear to express maximum spinal mobility. It’s important however, to understand that there are key actions to take in order for all of these things to be true.

    In this King Cobra tutorial, Matt provides a step by step process of these actions in order to place the process and development of your body to prepare for the posture, rather than placing emphasis on only “achieving” the pose purely for the aesthetics.

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      ANATOMY

      The awareness of your anatomy is vital in understanding each step. Understanding your anatomy helps you to more clearly and intentionally connect with the sensations in your body, therefore cultivating a more direct line of communication from your brain to your body and your body to your brain. The development of these signals will promote a more sophisticated body awareness that will help you to activate the appropriate muscles (without overdoing it) and to know exactly what directions to not only take, but to maintain with a particular part of your body as you layer on each action.

      5 KEY ACTIONS FOR KING COBRA POSE

      You might think that it’s all about your spine and how flexible and/or mobile it is. How we involve our entire body is key and Matt provides the roadmap with the following 5 Key Actions to set up King Cobra.

        1. Bring the chest forward. In the first few attempts, it may feel as though not much is happening, but this is where the mind-body connection is developed.
        2. This second action that may be overlooked, is pressing back through your heels while the feet are in dorsiflexion (this is also important later). Press your heels away from the direction of the chest. What does this do? Why is this important? This is the first step in both awareness and action of decompressing the spine. Creating this length crucial as Matt guides us through the next steps
          *But, let’s pause for a moment and check in with your abdominals, if you are engaging too much here, then this will reduce the amount of expansion in your extension for your backbend, so leaning into a stretch sensation in your front body is helpful.
        3. Next on board are your hamstrings, once you bend your knees you’re going to fire up and activate your hamstrings. This is how the dorsiflexion of your feet can be a great action to take as you build a relationship with how much and/or how little your hamstrings do activate. In the video, Matt describes when the feet are pointed (plantar flexion) may cramp your hamstrings because you are shortening the posterior chain too much. He explains that once your body has enough mobility to point your feet, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
        4. In this step, we understand why the layering is important. As the knees are bent and you’re potentially trying to get your feet closer to your head Matt again emphasizes pulling your spine forward. Your body may feel the need to compress here and shorten. You might feel the desire to actually send your chest and head back to “achieve the desired result”. It’s most important here to come back to the development and preparation for the spine.
        5. This step really goes hand in hand with #4, but pulling your belly up makes a significant impact not only on the experience within you body, but also actually bringing your head back slightly. (You can see the visual change when Matt layers on this action in the video). This action is initiated by engaging the deep core muscle called transversss abdominis.
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      TRANSITIONING FROM THE GROUND TO WILD THING

      After all of this, it is now your time to bask in the shine of this delightful backbend. Now there is the desired expansion, the extension, the confidence that you are safe in this posture, and most importantly the desired health of your spine in this delightful backbend.

      If King Cobra is not quite on the menu yet, click here to build the foundation with Matt’s 3 Part Cobra. Keep in mind, you will also explore this 3 Part Cobra in Matt’s next immersion: Anatomy in Motion

      See you on the mat!

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      Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

      WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT

      ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUE

      Shoulder Alignment

      WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT

      What is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for “right” and “wrong”. The fact is there are many ways you can align the shoulder, and you will be able to find at least one yoga teacher that would validate each alignment as “correct”. We need context and agreed objectives. 

      For this discussion, the objective is to access greater mobility utilizing the strength of the Rhomboids. Our context for what is correct is based on two things:

      1. What will provide us with the greatest access to this pose we call wild thing?
      2. How can we minimize the risk of injury in our pursuits of the posture?

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      THE BIOMECHANICS 

      In the video below you will notice two key points. First is the rotation of the arm bone (external) which pairs with retraction of the shoulder blade. Second, you will see that in wild thing my shoulder is NOT stacked directly of the wrist. 

      The two reasons we focus on external rotation is to help stabilize the arm bone in the shoulder socket (Glenohumeral Joint). This tends to be challenging for most people since it’s safe to say most humans are chronically internally rotated at the shoulder. The second reason is that external rotation in this position helps to retract and depress the shoulder blade. As a result of these actions, you will feel your spine will move into a backbend so long as you don’t do anything to counteract the movement. 

      Wild Thing shoulder alignment is not just about the shoulder, it also helps to prepare your spine for the deep backbend that wild thing requires.

      The Risk: If you skip these steps you will likely wind up with pressure, strain, or pain at the front of the shoulder joint. Additionally, your posture will feel more like a 3 Legged Tabletop than an expansive heart opener. 

      3 ACTIONS TO ACHIEVE THIS “WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT”

      Essentially the objective is to get the shoulder back behind you. The primary muscles that will do that are called the Rhomboids. The muscles that restrict this movement are called the pectorals. Action 1 helps to unlock the pectorals. These 3 actions should be done PRIOR to rising up not after. Additionally do not stack your shoulder over the wrist.

      THE ACTIONS

      Action 1: Shoulder Elevation

      Relax and allow the shoulder to rise up toward your ear. This will turn off your Pectoralis Major and Minor which will provide greater mobility when you attempt to do actions 2 and 3. 

      Action 2: Retract your shoulder blade

      With the shoulder up toward the ear, pull your shoulder blade toward your spine, this will move the head of the arm bone back, lengthening your chest muscles. 

      Action 3: Rotate the arm externally

      Rotate the arm bone outward until you feel your rib cage presses forward and your spine moves into a back bend. This step will also bring the shoulder blade back down your back (away from the ears) as well. 

      wild thing shoulder alignment
      Yoga For Flexibility and Mobility

      Mobility IMMERSION

      March 2022 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
      • Increase Spinal Twists, Heart Openers, Shoulder Openers, Hip Openers
      • Find greater ease in seated postures
      • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
      • When and how to do Active, Passive, & Isomentric stretching

      $148.00

       

      TRANSITIONING FROM THE GROUND TO WILD THING

      As you rise up from the ground you will notice that you will be tempted to undo the shoulder alignment. I suggest filming yourself so you can observe with your eyes, as it can be easy to feel like you are doing one thing while the body is doing another. Rewatch the above video and you will see that as I rise up I am deliberately rotating the arm bone outward and the moving the shoulder blade backward. 

      KEY POINT: THE SHOULDER IS NOT STACKED OVER THE WRIST

      Notice that as I rise up I keep moving my weight into my legs and using the strength of my legs, buttocks and back to press my body to the sky. This is take the stress off of the shoulder and minimizes risk of shoulder injury. Using your legs and back muscles will also help you to deepen the posture. 

      To learn more about anatomy, biomechanics and techniques you can apply to advance your asana practice join the Anatomy in Motion immersion. This immersion is unique in that each class begins with a visual anatomy tutorial helping you see how your muscles create movements. Following the tutorial you learn how to implement this knowledge into your practice, and most important you learn to FEEL your anatomy. 

      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 Matt Giordano

      Video Extracted From: Mobility Immersion

      12 Online Yoga classes to Learn Anatomy

      ANATOMY IN MOTION

      APRIL 2022 Immersion

      • Embody Anatomy
      • Learn Key Muscles, Bones and Joints
      • Visualize Your Movements Internally
      • Improve Proprioception
      • Sensation Based Practices
      • Unlock and Strengthen Majory Muscle Groups
      • Active, Passive, & Isomentric Stretching
      • Improve Mobility and Stability
      • Get VERY Geeky

      $168.00

       

      Continue Learning

      side plank variations

      side plank variations

      Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

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      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

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      DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

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      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

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      REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

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      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.

      hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

      KNEE HYPEREXTENSION

      HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSE

      KNEE HYPEREXTENSION

      KNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSE

      More often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic.  Typically, we’re looking for ways to minimize pain and/or ways to strengthen them in order to feel stable when holding certain joint alignments or while bending and straightening our legs during transitions from one posture to the next.  

      It’s not unusual to utilize props like blankets or an extra roll of a yoga mat under our knees in an effort to minimize painful sensations in postures where our knees are making direct contact with the floor or our yoga mats.  

      In regards to creating more stability or to feel stronger in a particular posture, we may utilize yoga blocks, a wall, and/or a chair to hold us up in better alignment in order to hold ourselves up for a longer period of time without concern for our balance.

      Yoga For Flexibility and Mobility

      Mobility IMMERSION

      March 2022 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
      • Increase Spinal Twists, Heart Openers, Shoulder Openers, Hip Openers
      • Find greater ease in seated postures
      • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
      • When and how to do Active, Passive, & Isomentric stretching

      $148.00

       

      PARSVOTANASANA/PYRAMID POSE

      Pyramid Pose is a single legged forward fold posture that  requires a reasonable amount of hamstring flexibility.  This can affect us in a couple of different ways.

      As practitioners, we may fall under two different categories.  When exploring a posture like  Parsvotanasana or Pyramid Pose, we may be the type to either hyperextend too much in the knee (due to over flexibility in the hamstrings) or we may over bend in the knee to compensate for the lack of flexibility we are experiencing in the hamstrings.  In both scenarios, it is encouraged to be mindful to only straighten the leg to the degree that’s possible without overdoing either end of the spectrum.  So, what category do you fall under and how can you support your practice in a way that provides you with the tools you need to stay safe?  

      In today’s video, Matt provides thorough examples of ways we can take action to level up our capacity for strength and flexibility in Pyramid Pose.

      HYPEREXTENSION OF THE KNEE

      How does this happen?

      This may develop over time due to those of us that have spent a great deal of time creating flexibility in our hamstrings, and are arguably “over flexible” in this area.  This often means lack of  strength and/or neglecting to put effort into activating the hamstrings.

      Matt explains that if we are hyperextending through the knee joint, we are creating pressure there, and that this is the key point. If there is evidence of pressure, this is the cause of concern. The pressure comes from overly straightening the knee. It’s actually not about the angle of the knee, and more about whether or not we are placing pressure there.

      ACTIONS TO CREATE STRENGTH

      Action 1

      In the video, Matt shows us how to press the big toe and pinky toe down while lifting up through the heel, which will activate the gastrocnemius (calf muscle which attaches to the back of the femur bone) causing the knee to bend.

      Action 2

      He adds on the action of activating the hamstring by pulling the ball mound of the foot towards the back of your mat while the heel is lifted. This will contribute greatly to the strength of the hamstrings. Engaging the muscles helps us to hold the joints in better alignment, therefore also addressing our need for better stability and balance.

      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

      OVER BENDING THE KNEE

      While some people struggle with hyper mobility, others struggle to straighten the leg. In this case the hamstrings in this case are caught in a shortened holding pattern. Just stretching over and over again will not teach the body to release tension. There is however a solution to gain range of motion, and it too involves activating our muscles, in this case it’s the quadriceps to straighten the knee (quadriceps are the 4 muscles of the thigh, and their primary role is to straighten the knee). Matt demonstrates how we can achieve this by pulling the kneecap up. This action of “reciprocal inhibition” contributes to our ability to find better range of motion and improved flexibility in the hamstrings overtime. More on this in the Mobility Immersion. 

      Understanding our bodies and getting in tune with our tendencies unlocks opportunities for a more full experience in our postures.
      Once we tap in and take the necessary actions, what we uncover is limitless potential.

      This limitless potential is waiting for you in Matt’s current 12 class immersion titled “Mobility“. You get lifetime access to this immersion, where Matt takes you on a journey through the major areas of the body exploring how to increase mobility while simultaneously developing greater muscular strength and integrity. Instead of sacrificing your joints for the sake of achieving a posture, you will learn how to keep your joints safe by developing the necessary strength in each area of the body. 

      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 

      Yoga For Flexibility and Mobility

      Mobility IMMERSION

      March 2022 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
      • Increase Spinal Twists, Heart Openers, Shoulder Openers, Hip Openers
      • Find greater ease in seated postures
      • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
      • When and how to do Active, Passive, & Isomentric stretching

      $148.00

       

      Continue Learning

      side plank variations

      side plank variations

      Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

      read more
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      read more
      hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

      hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

      KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

      read more
      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

      DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

      read more
      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

      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.

      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

      DEEPER TWISTS

      INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINE

      DEEPER TWISTS

      DEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: “FIRE LINE”

      Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both strength and flexibility are required for deeper twists; but let’s shine the spotlight on strength as we take a deeper look into how we can unlock our true potential when it comes to the execution of twisting postures in our asana practice.

      YOUR INTENTION FOR THE TWIST

      Twisting postures in yoga are known for their multitude of benefits.  Let’s understand though, that our intentions behind various twisting postures and the ways in which we execute them have equally varying degrees of benefit vs. harm on our bodies.   We may also have very different intentions/reasons for incorporating twists in our asana practice.  If the approach is to create more of a therapeutic experience, then more gentle twists may be the more appropriate approach to take. If the intent and/or purpose is to work more deeply into a twist then there are ways to heighten the experience with proper awareness and activation (we’ll see this shortly with Matt’s unique approach). Whether there is some level of vulnerability due to injury or not, doing things like pushing through the arms or trying to force more deeply into a twist can in fact cause harm, and this is no doubt never the desired outcome.

       

      Yoga For Flexibility and Mobility

      Mobility IMMERSION

      March 2022 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
      • Increase Spinal Twists, Heart Openers, Shoulder Openers, Hip Openers
      • Find greater ease in seated postures
      • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
      • When and how to do Active, Passive, & Isomentric stretching

      $148.00

       

      Yes, all movements on or off the mat will indeed place varying degrees of pressure on the discs in our spine, and outside of the body’s natural resilience, there are ways in which we can create more integrity to support these movements.  Simply by twisting, we create an increased amount of pressure on the discs of the spine.  At the same time, twists are also the answer when the question is raised about how to increase their health.

      Our discs require nourishment and  I love the sponge analogy; the “squeeze and soak effect” when considering how to stimulate this nourishment.  An appropriate twisting action and/or posture can actually help to equalize the pressure in the discs by supplying them with fluid, which allows them to expand, therefore creating more space and shock absorption between each vertebrae.  This allows your spine to react with more resilience when it comes to movements that create more weight, pressure and/or impact in your body.

       Now, Matt’s approach is one that is quite unique and extremely effective.  His approach asks you to bring your focus and awareness to where you can create activations with more intention in order for your body to respond with greater ease into twists. 

      WHAT IS THE FIRE LINE?

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

      MUSCLES 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 then 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 goes down to the opposite hip bone.  

      The fire line branches off ‘like a river’ into 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 hip, (the 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 femoral head (inside of thigh bone). This all travels into the same direction where we find the adductor group which runs at the inside of your leg and 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 experience with his own body and those of his students, he realized that activating this line will then allow you 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.  This is key in bringing awareness to rounding through the back of the body by exaggerating a pull 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 more 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
      • Learn techniques to strengthen & mobilize your spine
      • Release back tension and discomfort
      • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
      • Advance your postural practice
      • Lifetime unlimited access to all

      YOUR DISCOUNT CODE: STRENGTHMEMBER

      $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”

      Yoga For Flexibility and Mobility

      Mobility IMMERSION

      March 2022 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
      • Increase Spinal Twists, Heart Openers, Shoulder Openers, Hip Openers
      • Find greater ease in seated postures
      • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
      • When and how to do Active, Passive, & Isomentric stretching

      $148.00

       

      Continue Learning

      side plank variations

      side plank variations

      Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

      read more
      King Cobra Pose Tutorial

      King Cobra Pose Tutorial

      KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach. King Cobra is...

      read more
      Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

      Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

      WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong"....

      read more
      hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

      hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

      KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

      read more
      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

      DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

      read more
      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

      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.

      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      REVERSE WARRIOR

      INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENT

      REVERSE WARRIOR

      REVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDS

      Full expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness — this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend or heart-opening posture in our yoga practice. We might see ourselves floating easily into this posture and enjoying the lengthening in our front body along with the confidence and strength we embody in our upper and back body (depending on the posture).

      Alternatively, we might think about pain, tension, injury, constriction, fear, limitation, even inadequacy if we can’t “achieve” the posture. These are all real experiences, thoughts, and emotions we may have when it comes to backbends. We must always consider, however, what our intent is when it comes to our practice and how we can still find enjoyment and expansion within our bodies, hearts, and mind.

      Backbends are also referred to as heart openers because they are associated with doing just that: opening your heart from what may be closed off, such as buried energy and/or emotions like fear, mistrust, sadness, or frustration and anger. We may go to backbends in our practice to shift this energy, to release it. Through this idea, we can create more space between ourselves and our pain. If we can’t make these shapes with our bodies for various reasons, do we not have the ability to shift these energies? The answer: Of course we do.

      online yoga immersion for the spine

      SPINAL AWAKENING

      November 2021 Immersion

      • Twists • side bends • forward folds • heart openers
      • Learn techniques to strengthen and mobilize your spine
      • Release back tension and discomfort
      • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
      • Advance your postural practice
      • Lifetime unlimited access to all

      $148.00 $118.00

      If it’s not an injury or condition that is preventing you from creating these shapes, you can approach a backbend through preparation. (This is not to say you can’t experience release in other ways, like using pranayama to unlock freedom, but that is for another discussion.) Begin by stepping back from what you envision as the end result and looking at placing your attention on areas that focus your mind, prepare your body, and allow you to let go of outcomes.

      I’ll show you how we can do this with Reverse Warrior. If we place our awareness specifically on how we execute lateral flexion with the torso in this posture, it offers solid preparation for backbends. It takes our focus into the process. We are investing “well-placed effort” in how we deconstruct the appropriate actions. We can then experience and feel more expansion, opening, freedom, and release with this “preparatory posture.”

      The required flexibility in this posture is directly parallel to the flexibility required in a backbend. I’ll discuss this further. Let’s talk about this well-placed effort first.

      Abhyasa and Vairagya in Our Asana Practice

      In Tantra of the Yoga Sutras, Alan Finger eloquently explains the ideas of abhyasa and vairagya, “the forces of effort and surrender” [Sutras 1.12 – 1.16], in our asana practice:  

      “Abhyasa means making your best effort to focus all the vritti* on one single point, whether it is an action, object, thought, or image … Vairagya is the second part of the recipe. Vairagya is the ability to let go of any desire for the fruits of our efforts to focus the mind. This allows our consciousness to take action in the world without attachment.”

      *Vritti is the Sanskrit word for all the images, thoughts, emotions, reactions, and belief patterns that are the activity of the mind.

      Finger, Alan. Tantra of the Yoga Sutras Pg.22 – 27 )

      With this understanding of abhyasa, we can place our attention on how we execute Reverse Warrior for better preparation for heart openers.

      300 hour teacher training online

      300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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      • Get 500 hour certified
      • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
      • Expand your teaching skills
      • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
      • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
      • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
      • Business, branding, marketing, and social media skills

      Required Flexibility For Backbends

      Wheel Pose (Urdva Dhanurasana) and Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

      Just by simply looking at the shapes below, we can see the similarities.  

      Both of these postures require flexibility in the pectorals, front deltoids, abdominals, and hip flexors.

      Camel pose back bend

      How does this compare to Reverse Warrior?

      Reverse Warrior requires lateral flexion of the spine, opening the internal and external oblique muscles because of the side bend. It requires flexibility of the latissimus dorsi, rectus abdominis, and the lower fibers of the pectoralis major for greater extension of the spine.

      In the video, Matt demonstrates the added “lift of the heart more forward and up.” This is in fact that well-placed effort (abhyasa). Lifting and turning the heart may seem like a small action, but it is actually how we prepare with much more intent for the backbend. Matt describes how with this action, we open the obliques, crossing the whole mid-section into the linea alba, opening up the side body muscles. Adding the turn, we stretch the rectus abdominis to provide us with greater extension of the spine. Greater extension also means more access to a particular backbend.

      online yoga immersion for the spine

      SPINAL AWAKENING

      November 2021 Immersion

      • Twists • side bends • forward folds • heart openers
      • Learn techniques to strengthen and mobilize your spine
      • Release back tension and discomfort
      • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
      • Advance your postural practice
      • Lifetime unlimited access to all

      $148.00 $118.00

      Bringing It All Together

      What is our intention? We must ask ourselves this question. Is it the outcome or the experience? If we can settle and focus the mind with well-placed effort (abhyasa) at the same time as releasing expectation for the outcome (vairagya), we can let go of the mind attachments and just experience. Abhyasa and vairagya, when practiced together, help us to release, even dissolve our attachments. Is it not then arguable that in this state, we are experiencing the freedom, openness, vulnerability, and expansion we desire from backbends?

      Let’s actualize this state of being in our practice as a whole. Let’s step into this in Matt’s current immersion, Spinal Awakening, where he explores movements of the spine, always through the lens of abhyasa and vairagya.

      The focus in this immersion is on heart openers, twists, side bends, and forward folds.

      Matt’s intention and emphasis is always about you getting to know your body in order for you to tap into your own individual highest potential. This looks like and is expressed in many different ways. Matt invites you to let go of defining yourself as a specific kind of practitioner and encourages you to delve into your own path without any burden of what the outcomes may look like.

      Let’s meet with open hearts on the mat in Spinal Awakening.
      It’s never too late to join in. Click here to gain lifetime access to the immersion and to yourself!

      Written By Trish Curling @anioyoga

      Continue Learning

      side plank variations

      side plank variations

      Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

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      KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach. King Cobra is...

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      DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

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      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

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      REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

      read more

      THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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

      Deeper Forward Folds with TFL Technique

      TECHNIQUE FOR DEEPER FORWARD FOLDS

      ACTIVATE TFL & RECTUS FEMORIS TO INCREASE HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY

      FORWARD FOLDS

      DEEPER FORWARD FOLDS: PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA

      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 “stuck” is with our flexibility.

      In my previous article, Healthy Hamstrings, I discussed a technique Matt shows us to create more flexibility in our bodies: facilitated stretching. There is yet another technique to encourage a flexible body, which I want to discuss more here. That’s reciprocal inhibition.

      Reciprocal inhibition is doing 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.

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

      PRASARITA PADOTTANASA: WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD FOLD

      In Prasarita Padottanasana (an open-hip posture), our legs are in abduction, while we also flex at the hip. This position requires flexibility in our hips, adductors, and hamstrings, and there are also key areas to explore activation of potential strength. These areas include adductors, abductors, quads (including the rectus femoris, which is also a hip flexor), and hamstrings.

      Activating the adductors and hamstrings supports the facilitated stretch technique because those muscle groups are already being actively stretched. On the other hand, activating the abductors and quadriceps generates the reciprocal inhibition technique, because those muscles oppose the adductors and hamstrings. In this video segment, Matt demonstrates why and how to activate the quadriceps and one of the abductors, called tensor fasciae latae, or TFL for short.

      online yoga immersion for the spine

      SPINAL AWAKENING

      November 2021 Immersion

      • Twists • side bends • forward folds • heart openers
      • Learn techniques to strengthen and mobilize your spine
      • Release back tension and discomfort
      • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
      • Advance your postural practice
      • Lifetime unlimited access to all

      $148.00 $118.00

      PREPARE THE POSTURE

      With your feet spread wide on your mat, turn your thighs slightly inward. This will allow your toes to also turn slightly towards one another.
      With your hands on your hips, initiate an anterior tilt of your pelvis as you tip your torso forward.
      Hands come to the floor or blocks in front of you to support. If your hamstrings feel tight in this position, reciprocal inhibition is about to help with that.

      How to Activate Your Quadriceps: Reciprocal Inhibition Technique

      Activate your quads 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. Matt describes this as almost “suction-cupping” your thigh bones upward, which will help turn on hip flexors and quads.

      You activate reciprocal inhibition the moment you engage your quads, because when these muscles are activated, the opposing muscles release (in this case, the hamstrings), and you’re able to relax more deeply into the pose.

      TENSOR FASCIAE LATAE (TFL) ENGAGEMENT FOR DEEPER FORWARD FOLDS 

      Just as activation of your quad muscles, in particular the rectus femoris, will help you deepen into your forward fold, Matt explains that activating the TFL (tensor fasciae latae) will also deepen forward folds. Like the rectus femoris, the TFL is also a hip flexor but can be easier to engage because of its additional functions as an abductor and internal rotator. By isometrically pressing your heels away from each other, you will trigger TFL to engage. Pushing the heels or backs of the legs away from each other is both abduction and initiates internal rotation. If you don’t know these anatomy terms, do not worry; just apply the action of pressing the backs of the legs apart and you will feel your outer hips engage, supporting you in tipping your pelvis forward.

      300 hour teacher training online

      300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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      • Get 500 hour certified
      • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
      • Expand your teaching skills
      • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
      • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
      • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
      • Business, branding, marketing, and social media skills

      Why take this approach?

       Aside from achieving deeper forward folds, is there a reason to apply 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. Equipped with this kind of knowledge, our practice becomes more informed and supports our ability to realize our potential and create resilient and healthy tissues. Then we really start tapping into what is available to us in our bodies by using fundamental actions that our bodies are so brilliantly designed to perform.

      Matt’s November 2021 Immersion, Spinal Awakening, includes the following:

      • Twists • side bends • forward folds • heart openers
      • Techniques to strengthen and mobilize the spine
      • Releasing back tension and discomfort
      • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
      • Advancing your postural practice
      • Lifetime unlimited access to all

      Take advantage of this opportunity to awaken both mind and body.  

      Already have Spinal Awakening and want another immersion to support you in deeper forward folds? We suggest the Hips & Hamstrings Immersion!

      Written By Trish Curling 

      online yoga immersion for the spine

      SPINAL AWAKENING

      November 2021 Immersion

      • Twists • side bends • forward folds • heart openers
      • Learn techniques to strengthen and mobilize your spine
      • Release back tension and discomfort
      • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
      • Advance your postural practice
      • Lifetime unlimited access to all

      $148.00 $118.00

      Continue Learning

      side plank variations

      side plank variations

      Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

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      deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

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      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

      REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

      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 crow tutorial

      SIDE CROW: POSE TUTORIAL

      UNLOCK YOUR ARM BALANCE PRACTICE

      SIDE CROW

      SIDE CROW: POSE TUTORIAL

      Side Crow is a challenging yoga posture, but it is more accessible than most people think. There are ways of “cheating” in the posture that can make the shape more attainable, such as placing your hip on your elbow. In this tutorial, we won’t be going over that version. The intent here is not to help you attain a shape but rather for you to gain both a greater awareness of how your body works and ways in which you can strengthen it. As a result of increased strength and body awareness, postural attainment is inevitable, but the process is far more fulfilling and long-lasting.

      WRIST STRENGTH TO BREAK THE FEAR

      Side Crow is a yoga pose that requires a twist of the spine, and like all other arm balances, upper body strength and technique are a must. The most important muscle group to strengthen is the flexors of your wrists. These are the muscles that stop you from falling, and since fear of falling often holds people back, you will want to make sure these muscles are ready for the job. The easiest way to strengthen the flexors of the wrists is to start gripping your fingers into the ground. Of the muscles in this muscle group, 2 are in charge of finger flexion as well. Finger flexion is like making a fist or grabbing something. Grip the ground in postures like All 4s, Down Dog, Plank Pose, and Chaturanga, and with repetition, you will get stronger and stronger.

      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
      • Includes Side Crow, Jump Forwards, Flying Pigeon
      • 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

      UPPER BODY STRENGTH FOR ARM BALANCES

      The second important muscle group to focus on when working toward Side Crow are the shoulder muscles, namely the serratus anterior, rotator cuff, anterior deltoids, and pectoralis muscles. For the purpose of this article, we don’t need to get into what each of these muscles does; just know that they form the structure for your arm balances. Mostly, what you need to do is try and maintain Plank Pose with a rounded, full upper back, where your shoulder blades are apart from each other. Minimize the elbow bend — most people bend their elbows too much and lose stability in the upper body, making the foundation spongy. A microbend at the elbows is all you need. See the video below to get an idea of how much to bend.

        THE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY FOUNDATIONS

        Now let’s get to the good stuff! All arm balances have what I call “2 foundations.” You have the primary foundation, which is the hands — this is most important. Then the second foundation is where the leg(s) rests upon the arm. With all foundations, we want to dig downward like a tree rooting into the soil. The fingers gripping the earth is a downward dig. For Side Crow, our second foundation is where the thigh connects to the arm. If you press the thigh down into the arm, your hips magically lift. It’s not magic actually; that’s just the mechanics and science. In this case, the muscles that do the pressing down are called the abductors (gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus, and tensor fasciae latae). To get these stronger, follow along with the video below.

        online yoga immersion for the spine

        SPINAL AWAKENING

        November 2021 Immersion

        • Twists • Side Bends • Forward Folds • Heart Openers
        • Learn techniques to strengthen & mobilize your spine
        • Release back tension and discomfort
        • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
        • Advance your postural practice
        • Lifetime unlimited access to all

        $148.00 $118.00

        THE CORE: WHY ARE THE LEGS APART?

        The last point of discussion is what connects the upper body and lower body: the obliques. Because this posture is a twist, the major core muscles that we need to activate are the external obliques. These muscles will help us to twist, and in the case of Side Crow, we can actually use them to untwist. This is confusing, but once you are in the shape of Side Crow, you are working to untwist along with the abductors, which will keep your buttocks up high and make the posture feel light instead of heavy. In the video, I go over some oblique warm-ups. When you are in Side Crow, it is quite hard to think about untwisting, which is why I show you a technique hack. By abducting the legs away from each other in Side Crow, you will automatically untwist the spine, and your hips will have to lift upward. The abductors of the hips and the obliques work together in this action, and you won’t have to waste brainpower trying to make it happen.

        Arm Balances

        ARM BALANCES

        Learn 12+ arm balances while expanding your knowledge of the body and increasing your body awareness. All classes are 75 minutes and ALL-levels appropriate 

        • Crow Pose, Side Crow, and variations
        • Flying Pigeon, Koundinyasana 1 & 2
        • Titibhasana, Bhujapidasana
        • Handstand, Forearm Stand, and many more!

         

        SALE PRICE: $198.00 $128.00

        Continue Learning

        side plank variations

        side plank variations

        Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

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        read more
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        read more
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        DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

        read more
        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

        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.

        HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

        HEALTHY HAMSTRINGS

        FACILITATED STRETCH TECHNIQUE

         Hamstrings

         

        Hip And Hamstring Flexibility

        Why Is Hip Mobility Important?

        Tight hamstrings are a common complaint. This may be because it’s one of the most noticeable things to show up in our yoga practice and in our daily lives. How many times have you heard someone say, “I can’t even touch my toes anymore!” Or maybe you have said this yourself. Now, touching our toes does not define our worth; the awareness of this limitation and tension in this area of the body simply provides opportunities for us to investigate. Too often, this investigation leads to repeatedly stretching the area in order to lengthen and hopefully release the tightness. However, continuously stretching hamstrings will not likely provide us with the flexibility we desire and may actually cause further tension, pain, or injury to hamstrings and other areas in our bodies. In order to increase flexibility while maintaining the health of the muscles, we must incorporate a technique called facilitated stretching.

        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

        WHAT EXACTLY IS MUSCLE TIGHTNESS?

        First, let’s discuss why muscles become tight. Muscle tightness results from an increase in tension through active or passive mechanisms. Passively, muscles can become shortened through postural adaptation — think sitting, or walking in high heels all day — or through injury and scarring. Actively, muscles can become shorter due to spasm or contraction. Regardless of the cause, tightness limits range of motion and may create a muscle imbalance.

        Page, Phil. “Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation.” International journal of sports physical therapy vol. 7,1 (2012)

        What is facilitated stretching, and how can we utilize it to increase flexibility in our hamstrings?  

        What Is a Facilitated Stretch?

        This occurs when we activate, or contract, the same muscle(s) we are stretching.  There are two types of muscle contractions — isotonic and isometric: “An isotonic contraction is a voluntary muscle contraction that causes movement … An isometric contraction is a voluntary contraction in which no movement occurs.”

        Charland, Jeff & McAtee, Robert E., Facilitated Stretching Fourth Edition, 2014

        The latter is the action we adopt in a facilitated stretch. Knowing this is important because it is how we maintain the health and integrity of the muscle. If we don’t engage our muscles, eventually they might lose their ability to contract. Losing this ability can lead to imbalances in our bodies; when these imbalances are significant, we can experience a decrease in range of motion. This decrease can lead to injury or chronic pain.

         

         

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        IMPLEMENT FACILITATED STRETCHING

        How can we cultivate this in our practice?

        One of the best ways to incorporate facilitated stretching into our practice is to go slowly and to utilize props that will support the process. In the video below, Matt demonstrates the use of a facilitated stretch in forward fold, using a chair. He breaks it down into 4 digestible actions.

        Four Actions to Utilize Facilitated Stretch in Forward Fold

        1. Lean forward into the big toes.
        2. Press the back of the hamstrings apart.
        3. Move the sit bones up to the sky (will pull up on the hamstring and start to straighten the knees).
        4. Move the sit bones down toward the heels, but don’t move your pelvis.

         

        STRATEGY FOR HEALTHY HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY

        You may also enjoy the original blog paired with this video, “Avoid the Yoga Butt”

        Suggested Immersion: Hips and Hamstrings: 12-Class Immersion

        WHAT IS PNF?

        Facilitating these actions may also be referred to as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF).  

        “Multiple studies have shown that PNF stretching is superior to traditional static stretching in terms of improving active and passive range of motion. It can be used to supplement daily, static stretching and has been shown to help athletes improve performance and make speedy gains in range of motion. Not only does it increase flexibility, but it can also improve muscular strength. What’s more, PNF stretching is believed to repair the microscopic damage that typically follows a high-intensity workout.”

        Wicke J, Gainey K, and Figueroa M. A comparison of self-administered proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation to static stretching on range of motion and flexibility. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2014; 28(1): 168–172.

        Sharman MJ, Cresswell AG, Riek S. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching: Mechanisms and clinical implications. Sports Medicine. 2006; 36(11): 929-39.

        All that being said, it’s important to also consider the amount of activation we utilize. It’s recommended that we only engage roughly between 15% – 20%. We want to stay on the side of a more conservative amount of force so as not to channel too much force to the joints, thus minimizing injury.   

        To more fully understand this, click here for Matt’s 12-class immersion

        Hips & Hamstrings, which took place in June 2021. To help you explore and uncover the strength in your own body, Matt’s new 12-class immersion, Strength, starts in October. Sign up today for lifetime access.

        Written by Trish Curling

        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

        Continue Learning

        side plank variations

        side plank variations

        Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

        read more
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        read more
        Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

        Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

        WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong"....

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        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

        KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

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        deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

        deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

        DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

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        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

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        Yoga Jump Backs and Jump Forwards

        YOGA JUMP BACKS & JUMP FORWARDS 

        THE DREAMY, MYSTICAL FLOAT

        SIDE ANGLE

        dreamy yoga jump backs and jump forwards

        We’ve all seen those yoga teachers and/or practitioners who float through the transitions of jumping back from Uttanasana to Chaturanga and/or jumping forward from Downward Facing Dog  to Uttanasana. They seem to have hang time like Michael Jordan going in for a dunk. It can be absolutely mesmerizing to watch the ease with which they execute these transitions. There’s no magic pill to take when it comes to building these transitions into your practice. It is also important to note that it absolutely does not have to be a goal to build the “end result” into your practice, but the drill we see in today’s video (“The Slide Back”) can be done simply with the intention of  building strength and awareness in our practice overall.

        Like anything else, it’s revisiting drills like these repeatedly over time that helps us to see transformation in our bodies and in our practice as a whole. What we ultimately gain is a deeper awareness of our bodies. This awareness shows us what we need to strengthen and where we need to place our bodies in space.

        WHAT DO WE NEED TO STRENGTHEN?

        When jumping back into Chaturanga, it’s true that we must cultivate strength throughout the body as a whole unit, but there are some key areas where we need to bring our focus and attention.

        Wrists
        We’re required to bring our wrists into extension in order to stack our bodies above our hands and to bear the weight of our bodies. We also grip our fingers into the floor in order to recruit and strengthen the forearm muscles.

        Serratus Anterior
        Pushing the floor away and creating fullness in your back creates protraction of the scapulae. The activation of the serratus anterior slows the descent of the body into Chaturanga, where the scapulae will then find retraction.

        Pectoral Muscles
        Placing our hands wider than shoulder width apart and turning the hands out as if turning two knobs away from one another (along with the protraction of the scapulae) helps to turn on (contract) the major pectoral muscles. This happens when we find external rotation of the humerus while the elbows rotate in. This helps to draw the energy in towards the midline of the body.

        Triceps
        The triceps also play a role in stopping you from bending too soon. The triceps help to oppose the action of the joints (i.e., elbows bending too much and too soon).

        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

        5 STEPS TO FOLLOW

        “Slide Backs”

        For this drill, you can use a blanket or towel on a hardwood  floor. Alternatively, you might wear socks or use sliders on a carpeted floor.

        1. Place hands on the ground wherever they go (might be far out)
        2. Turn hands out
        3. Lean forward with chest and grip the fingers
        4. Grip the ground and slowly slide the blanket back to a plank position
        5. Slowly pull it forward: “Jump Forward”

        SLIDE BACKS LEAD TO JUMP BACKS

        The slide back drill is great preparation for the “dreamy jump back” because of all of the pieces we have to put together in order to execute. But it’s in this process of self awareness, reflection, and inquiry into the body where we build a deeper relationship with our own individual yoga practice.

        You can continue to explore strength and the ways to slowly cultivate it in Matt’s October 2021 Immersion, Strength

        Practice with Matt live and get lifetime 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 help you reach your practice goals

        See you on the mat!

        ~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

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        • 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

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        • Release shoulder tension
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        • Lifetime unlimited access to all
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        Continue Learning

        side plank variations

        side plank variations

        Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

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        KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach. King Cobra is...

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        WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong"....

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        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

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        KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

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        DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

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        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

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        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.

        CONTACT

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        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.  

        STRENGTH

        Yoga For Strength: Strengthen Your Weaknesses • Maximize Your Physical Potential

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        • 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

        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

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        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

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        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

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        • 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

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        • 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

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        • BACKBENDS & SIDE BENDS
        • TWISTS AND FORWARD FOLDS
        • SPINAL BIOMECHANICS
        • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
        • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

        $128.00

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

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        • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
        • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
        • 12 PEAK POSTURES
        • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

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        • HIP OPENERS
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        • EMPHASIS ON ARM BALANCES
        • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
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        • FULL BODY RESET
        • INCREASE BALANCE
        • ARM BALANCES
        • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
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        • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
        • 12 INTERMEDIATE CLASSES
        • HAMSTRING RANGE OF MOTION

        $128.00

        Continue Learning

        side plank variations

        side plank variations

        Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

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        King Cobra Pose Tutorial

        King Cobra Pose Tutorial

        KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach. King Cobra is...

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        Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

        Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

        WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong"....

        read more
        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

        KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

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        deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

        deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

        DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

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        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

        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.

        CONTACT

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

        deepen your yoga practice

        DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE 

        WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?

        DEEPEN 

        What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?

        Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, “This will deepen your practice”? Of course you have. Every teacher training, retreat, and immersion uses this descriptor. I say this about both my 200-hour and 300-hour teacher trainings. The question is, what does that actually mean?

        What Is “Your Practice”?

        In order for us to discuss what deepening your practice means, we have to define what yoga practice is. This is important. There is debate about this among modern practitioners around the world because most practitioners and teachers are not actually educated on what the purpose behind yoga actually is. So let’s break it down in a way that is easy to comprehend but also maintains accuracy.

        According to the lineage of Tantra yoga, we have five layers to our being, and yoga practice is the cleansing or awakening of each of these layers. 

        The Five Layers:

        1. Body: all things physical — muscles, bones, fascia, ligaments, organs, etc. 
        2. Life Force or Energy: the energy that animates the body, allowing the heart to beat and air to flow through our lungs 
        3. Mind: our experiential digestive system. Thoughts and emotions that help us process, express, and participate in life through this human body 
        4. Bliss: the deeper knowing that life is a gift, and while it’s filled with pain and challenges, it is still worth waking up each day and participating in it
        5. Awareness/Consciousness: The core of our being, the infinite intelligence that lives within, the observer or witness. The part of us that does not judge right or wrong but simply notices what is 

        200 HOUR TEACHER TRAINING

        • DEEPEN YOUR PRACTICE
        • LEARN ANATOMY, BIOMECHANICS, AND TECHNIQUES
        • MEDITATION, BREATHWORK, AND TEACHING TECHNIQUES
        • GET CERTIFIED TO TEACH YOGA

        Most humans are very familiar with their own body and mind, or at least they are aware of their existence. However, many of us have never done the practices that connect us to ALL the layers, and as a result, we remain disconnected or unfamiliar with them. 

        For example, while we all know we have a body, EVERYONE has body blindspots — muscles that are weak, or joints that we don’t have full control of. Your physical practice of yoga (asana) will help illuminate your blind spots, paving the way for you to physically deepen your yoga practice. 

        In the same way, we can become aware of our mind layer by observing our thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns. Through practices of meditation, contemplation, self-inquiry, and guided discussions with a teacher (satsang), it is possible to become more awake to our inner experience and eventually make changes to our mindset and behaviors. This is how to deepen your yoga practice at the mind level. 

        The same is true for life force. Through practices of breathwork (pranayama) and other forms of energy observance and deliberate action, we can gain awareness and control over our energetic system. 

        By appropriately utilizing these practices of asana, meditation, and pranayama, we naturally peel back the layers that otherwise veil our inner self: Bliss and Awareness. AWARENESS is at the core of our being, and for us to “deepen” our practice,  it’s imperative that all practices are infused with becoming more aware — more aware of body, breath, mind, bliss, and awareness of awareness. 

        BE DELIBERATE

        It is not enough to practice routinely; we must be deliberate with our practice. You walk every single day, but when was the last time you really got any better or more aware of the way you walk? Unless you have spent time deliberately assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and walking patterns, you likely have not deepened your walking practice. The same is true on all levels of yoga practice. To deepen it, you cannot expect that just showing up for the same yoga practice every day will get you anywhere. YES, the initial year or two of doing so will bring about rapid change, but you will plateau if your practice isn’t asking you to seek out your blind spots physically, mentally or emotionally.

        Do You Want to Deepen Your Practice?

        If the answer is yes, then I have three ways you can do so: 

        1. Monthly Immersions: Join one of the monthly immersions focusing on an area of your practice that challenges you. 
        2. 200 Hour Teacher Training: This is designed to transform your physical practice and kickstart your breathwork and meditation practices while providing you with the skill set to share that with others. 
        3. 300 Hour Teacher Training: For those already certified to teach and who want to take their practice and teaching to the next level, this will certify you at 500 hours of training. 

        Co-written and edited by 300-Hour Chromatic Yoga Teacher, Donna Morin. 

        200 HOUR TEACHER TRAINING

        • DEEPEN YOUR PRACTICE
        • LEARN ANATOMY, BIOMECHANICS, AND TECHNIQUES
        • MEDITATION, BREATHWORK, AND TEACHING TECHNIQUES
        • GET CERTIFIED TO TEACH YOGA

        Continue Learning

        side plank variations

        side plank variations

        Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

        read more
        King Cobra Pose Tutorial

        King Cobra Pose Tutorial

        KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach. King Cobra is...

        read more
        Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

        Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

        WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong"....

        read more
        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

        hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

        KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

        read more
        deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

        deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

        DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

        read more
        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

        REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

        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.

        Still Have Questions? Email Matt Directly

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

        Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

        IMPROVE BALANCE IN STANDING POSES

        FOCAL POINTS OF THE FEET

        BALANCE

        You Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the Feet

        Standing balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat, and awareness of the difference between each side of the body often develops into a narrative that we have a “good side” and a “bad side.” Being aware of these differences, however, actually creates opportunity. Awareness deepens our understanding of where we need to focus our attention, so that we can develop and transform the experience we have in our bodies and shift the narrative. Over time and with consistent practice, we build strength and, eventually, better balance.

        When it comes to the biomechanics of any posture, the magic lies in the most subtle movements. In my experience, there are 3 key components for building confidence and ease in standing balance postures. In this tutorial video, we will look at how these components apply to the Ardha Chandrasana set-up.

        Improve your balance with yoga

        BALANCE

        Improve your balance on your hands and your feet through this 12-class immersion targeting the muscles of the forearms, shoulders, ankles, hips, and core.

        • Tree Pose, Standing Hand-to-Foot Variations, Half Moon, Side Plank
        • Handstand, Headstand, Warrior III
        • Exercises and techniques to strengthen the stabilizer muscles of the ankles, hips, hands, and shoulders.

          SALE PRICE: $198.00 $128.00

          Doing The Groundwork

          Doing the groundwork means exactly that. The foundation of our postures is built from the ground up. Once we understand this, we can slowly build upon this foundation. When it comes to finding steadiness in our standing balance postures, we must look at what’s happening with our feet. The position of our feet, strength of the ankles, and recruitment of the buttock muscles translates to stability in the hips. But how can we do this, and what does it look like?

          LET’S SET IT UP

          With your shin bone vertical to your ankle, lift all your toes up and away from your mat; this will help to activate and strengthen your tibialis anterior (the muscles in front of your shin bone). While doing this, be mindful not to send unequal weight into either side of your foot. Send equal weight into the earth. This is the first step in creating awareness and an imprint of this action into your body.

          3 Key Components You Might Be Missing

          1. Pressing down through the big toe (and big toe mound) creates eversion of the foot. This builds sensation in the fibularis group of muscles (muscles in the outer shin). 
          2. Pressing down through the pinky toe (and pinky toe mound) creates inversion of the foot, which helps to create a “fanning” of the three middle toes.  Lifting these 3 toes helps to activate the tibialis anterior. When these actions are put into place, we will find that the tibialis posterior muscles also activate (muscles inside of the shin).
          3. Pushing down through the heel recruits the calf and buttock muscles. 

          All of these actions together create maximum support around all four sides of the ankle joint, unlocking our ability to transform our balance experience.

          These are the foundations we can build upon.  It’s also important to understand that we come to our physical yoga practice with an awareness that not all pieces of the puzzle always fall into place right away. Visualizing the process is a powerful first step that helps to build a neurological pathway. Then we take action, and we can even help ourselves by applying our own assists. We can get curious about parts of the body not responding to the signal from the brain quite yet. It doesn’t mean that it will never happen; it just means that it may require more patience, consistency, and time.

          200 hour online yoga teacher training

          200 HOUR ONLINE TRAINING

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

          • Deepen your practice: Learn technique, biomechanics, anatomy, and alignment breakdowns for the most important poses
          • Build confidence: Awaken your voice, increase your body awareness, get over self-doubt
          • Learn to teach: Learn effective verbal cues and to masterfully sequence classes and cater to students’ needs

          How do we put this into practice with standing balance postures? We lift the 3 middle toes up with one hand while pressing the big and pinky toes down. We visualize the middle toes remaining lifted off the mat, even if they’re not quite ready to do that on their own. You can practice this part of the process alone and slowly build it into other postures like Anjaneyasana or Virabhadrasana II before exploring postures like Digasana or Ardha Chandrasana.

          If you want to dive deeper and you’re ready to transform the way you feel in your balance postures, you can sign up for Matt’s BALANCE Hands & Feet – July 2021 Immersion by clicking here https://www.theyogimatt.com/shop/july-2021/

          Matt’s ability to guide you into the freedom of your own practice in his 12-class immersions is beyond what you’ve ever experienced. Sign up today to get lifetime access.

          Written & Edited By Trish Curling

           

          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 the 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

          side plank variations

          side plank variations

          Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture.  Not only that, but Matt is...

          read more
          King Cobra Pose Tutorial

          King Cobra Pose Tutorial

          KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach. King Cobra is...

          read more
          Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

          Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

          WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this we would have to first define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong"....

          read more
          hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

          hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

          KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTANASANA PYRAMID POSEMore often than not, the subject of our knees when it comes to our asana practice is definitely a hot topic. ...

          read more
          deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

          deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

          DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

          read more
          reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

          reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

          REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

          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.

          CONTACT