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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TRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE

When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a controlled and safe transition into an arm balance like Crow Pose creates a whole new layer of understanding that must be taken into consideration. 

The rotator cuff muscles are great stabilizers of the shoulder girdle, so activating these muscles is key in the setup for both postures. Both a deeper grasp of the biomechanics of each posture on its own and an understanding of the specific movements, particularly in the area of the shoulders, help us maintain balance when exploring how to move between the two poses. In today’s video, Matt provides the details and step-by-step cues to master the transition from Tripod Headstand to Crow Pose.

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    THE VERY FIRST STEP

    First, it’s simply about understanding what in our bodies we need to target in order to create the required stability for the setup in Tripod Headstand. At the beginning of the video, Matt offers an explanation for why the shoulders are important and how to effectively activate the appropriate muscles. When practicing with Matt, we understand that any time the hands are making contact with our mats, particularly in an inversion or arm balance, “gripping the ground” begins to send the correct channel of energy into the rest of the body. With this understanding, we can begin to see how this action affects what’s required in the shoulders: To activate the rotator cuff muscles, we take that grip of the ground and dial it outwards. This encourages the biceps to turn outwards and the elbows to turn inwards. Once these steps are in place, we can feel the rotator cuff muscles.

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    TRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE: SHOULDER TECHNIQUES FOR CONTROLLED  ACCESS

    TRIPOD CROW

    Before the legs go upright in Tripod Headstand, we can explore Tripod Crow, which Matt demonstrates. Although there is no wall behind him in the demonstration, he recommends using a wall in the early stages of exploration.

    Tripod Crow allows us to get comfortable with the hand and head placement. This is important because of the adjustments that are necessary regarding the neck muscles.  

    The hands are roughly shoulder-width apart, and the head is placed down just shy of an equilateral triangle. This way, when we roll onto our heads, it becomes more of that equilateral setup. From here, we switch on the rotator cuff muscles (as described above), and then instead of sending the legs all the way up, we bring the knees onto the outer arms. Sending our gaze towards the floor then turns on the rear neck muscles for additional stability.

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    LEAN INTO THE PROGRESSION

    In this next stage, Matt demonstrates the entry into Tripod Headstand along with how to begin transitioning into Crow Pose. First, we can add onto Tripod Crow by hugging the knees in and creating an anterior tilt of the pelvis to then send the legs upwards. The next step allows us to explore the movement towards Crow Pose with some momentum. Instead of pausing, activating, and holding Crow Pose, we can practice “sitting the bum down” on the way out of Headstand and then leaning back to move more quickly towards taking our feet to the ground. Slowly progressing with more “hang time” and a bigger push into Crow will help us master this transition. A new shoulder action is also layered on in order to press into Crow Pose.

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    PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

    Finally, the shoulder action that brings the final pieces of the puzzle together is the protraction of the scapulae. Once we’ve leaned back and practiced hanging in the longer balances between Tripod Headstand and the initial stages of Crow, we push the floor away, which encourages the protraction. Coupled with the external rotation of the upper arm bones, this action assists in realizing the safe, controlled access and stabilization of Crow. The shoulder actions ultimately dictate the experience we’ll have when working on this transition between the two postures. Moving from Tripod Headstand to Crow Pose requires a steadiness but also involves precise movement.  

    In Matt’s 3-part workshop, Shoulder Mastery, he broke down the vital steps for the shoulders when it comes to arm balances. In the upcoming final phase of the workshop, Matt will focus on inversions and binds. Register here for lifetime access!

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    Shoulder Connections

    3 Postures for Increased Mobility

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    SHOULDER CONNECTIONS

    To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures. The exploration with intentional techniques is the key to gaining access to these postures. 

    In regard to heart-opening postures, “shoulder connections” are also about understanding how the retraction of the shoulder blades affects the chest, rib cage, abdomen, and spine. In today’s video, Matt demonstrates the shoulder actions needed to access 3-Part Cobra, Upward Dog with blocks, and Wild Thing. The way that the retraction of the shoulder blades is applied in these postures will not only create the desired heart-opening shape but also strengthen the muscles necessary for healthy shoulder mobility.

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      3-PART COBRA

      The sequence of actions in this posture teaches us the ability to authentically stretch the front body and strengthen the back body. There’s a greater requirement for us to recruit the muscles in the upper body due to the decreased reliance on the hands to hold us up (if we allow it). In the video, Matt starts the sequence of lifting the upper body off the floor by first using the leverage of the hands; in order to reduce compression in the lower back, he sends the rib cage forward, then pulls the belly in and up. Here’s the key though: It’s the activation of the rear deltoids, the retraction of the shoulder blades, and the action of pulling the chest through the shoulders that creates the “bowing of the spine” required in all backbends. 

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      SHOULDER CONNECTIONS: 3 POSTURES FOR INCREASED MOBILITY

      UPWARD-FACING DOG: PREPARATION WITH BLOCKS

      If we pay attention to the smaller, more intricate details within the application of techniques in a posture, the benefits become more profound. First, Matt demonstrates the simple action of turning the fingers outward on the blocks. Lifting the shoulders up and back now becomes more accessible, which encourages the action of external rotation in the arms, promoting retraction of the scapulae and allowing for more opportunity to contract and strengthen the rear deltoids, rhomboids, lower fibers of the trapezius muscles, and the latissimi dorsi. The final action is to push the hands down into the blocks to access increased spinal extension along with greater heart opening.  

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      WILD THING

      In Wild Thing, there are 3 shoulder actions that help create more expansion and mobility in the shoulders. First, we lift the bottom shoulder up, move it back (retract), and then bring the bottom wing tip of the shoulder blade around. These actions send the chest forward and up. The posture is different, but the same actions apply here as in 3-Part Cobra. In the full class, Matt reminds us that it can be easy to lose the integrity of the positioning of the shoulder once we start to lift up into the pose, but if we continue to connect with the sensation of muscle contraction between the shoulder blades, there’s more success in maintaining the shoulder position. Ideally, the chest is above the height of the shoulder. In order to gain shoulder mobility, we must build strength and endurance in the muscles associated with and connected to the shoulders. Stretching alone will not have the same effect.

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      SHOULDER MOBILITY

      Shoulder mobility means having the ability to move the joint through the full range of motion. We can see why this is beneficial when it comes to heart openers: In order to find expansion, we need to be able to move the shoulder joint freely and safely. Strengthening also means better stability. In postures like Wild Thing, where we’re balancing on one arm, stability and strength are a must for a solid foundation.  

      Exploring the shoulder actions multiple times within a practice helps us record the biomechanics in our bodies. This is the reasoning behind the layering of actions and postures in a Chromatic Yoga class.

      In the 2nd week of Matt’s current 3-part workshop, Shoulder Mastery, he delves into shoulder strength for arm balances. Register and get access to this class and to last week’s class about the shoulders and heart openers.

      See you on the mat!

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      Article by Trish Curling

      Videos Extracted From: Shoulder Mastery

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      • Appropriate for both teachers and students
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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.

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      Shoulder Action Controversy

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      Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction. This can be a tricky subject, and it was cause for some discussion in the comments on that video. He goes into more detail here

      When we’re taught to do something (such as the execution of a yoga posture) a certain way, it may be difficult to consider an alternative. The Chromatic yoga approach, however, is a nondogmatic one and requires that we create our own understanding through action and being open to new possibilities. There is always room for perspective. Now, Chaturanga can be a challenging posture due to the strength it requires, but in today’s video, we see a breakdown of the steps and gain insight into the anatomy in order to make informed choices in our yoga practice.

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      WORKSHOP SERIES

        •  3 livestream workshops and replays
        • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
        • Improve low-back health
        • Shoulder mobility + heart openers
        • Shoulder strength + arm balances
        • Inversions, binds, neck & shoulder release
        • 6 hours of continued education
        • Gain strength and stability
        • Increase range of motion, flexibility, and mobility
        • Step-by-step guidance: Everyone can follow and participate
        • Educationally infused: Learn while you embody
        • Livestream optional; all workshops available as livestreams (see dates below) and as on-demand replays for life
        • Automatically receive access to the replays immediately after the livestream

        SEQUENCING FOR THE SHOULDERS

        The intelligent sequencing offered in a Chromatic yoga class helps us prepare our bodies for optimal positioning in a given posture.

        In Chaturanga, there is a tendency for the scapulae to anterior tilt, causing the shoulders to punch forward into the anterior portion of the shoulder capsule. Over time, this can cause pain and/or increased wear and tear on the joint, not to mention the implications it may have for the neck, shoulders, back, and chest. What’s necessary is a healthy degree of external rotation. Matt demonstrates a few drills with a strap and blocks that help pattern the body in how to create the external rotation required for the pose. Why is this important? These drills teach us how to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, which will help stabilize the shoulder joint and recruit the serratus anterior for a stronger descent in Chaturanga.

        WATCH THE VIDEO

        DEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA: SHOULDER ACTION CONTROVERSY

        STRAP SETUP FOR THE SHOULDERS

        These drills help us understand the foundations of the shoulder mechanics for Chaturanga.

        Pull the Strap Apart

        Here are the four key actions:

        1. Take an underhand grip of the strap.
        2. Pull the strap apart.
        3. Move the shoulder heads back.
        4. Bring the elbows in and forward.

        This drill is not static; when watching the video, we see that there is actually movement back and forth, which will help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

        Block in the Palm & Between the Elbow and the Body

        This drill can be done without  a block; however, the block between the body and elbow adds that extra awareness of activation and reminds to keep our elbows more narrow.

        Essentially what’s happening here are movements back and forth between the internal and external rotation of the humerus. Holding the additional block in the supinated palm of the same arm helps emphasize the required external rotation for Chaturanga.

        STRAP SETUP FOR THE SHOULDERS

        These drills help us understand the foundations of the shoulder mechanics for Chaturanga.

        Pull the Strap Apart

        Here are the four key actions:

        1. Take an underhand grip of the strap.
        2. Pull the strap apart.
        3. Move the shoulder heads back.
        4. Bring the elbows in and forward.

        This drill is not static; when watching the video, we see that there is actually movement back and forth, which will help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

        Block in the Palm & Between the Elbow and the Body

        This drill can be done without  a block; however, the block between the body and elbow adds that extra awareness of activation and reminds to keep our elbows more narrow.

        Essentially what’s happening here are movements back and forth between the internal and external rotation of the humerus. Holding the additional block in the supinated palm of the same arm helps emphasize the required external rotation for Chaturanga.

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        200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

        GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

        • Deepen your yoga practice
        • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
        • Learn foundational class structures and templates
        • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
        • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
        • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
        • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

        CHATURANGA AT THE WALL

        Transitioning to Chaturanga at the wall takes us to a closer setup of what position our bodies will be in. Of course, we are perpendicular to the floor in this variation, but we can negotiate hand and shoulder placement without the strength element. Matt has shown us variations at the wall before, and they are always helpful in navigating a posture.

        One of the key points in this variation, however, is the push through the heel of the hands. This action both brings the bottom wing tip of the scapulae through the arm bone, which encourages the head of the humerus to pull back, and it helps recruit the muscles of the serratus anterior. We also gain a “band of stability” in the upper body once this is in place. Once we’ve explored here, it’s time to take Chaturanga to the mat.

        300 hour teacher training online

        300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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        Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

        • 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
        • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

        WHY PROTRACTION TO RETRACTION?

        In the video, Matt demonstrates how the shoulder blades come in towards one another on the descent portion of Chaturanga. This is what might conjure up some controversy. Matt explains that we’re not just easily allowing them to come together; instead, we’re still trying to resist the retraction in the lowering phase until we’re almost at the ground level. It’s therefore a “fight” between the actions of protraction and retraction of the scapulae.

        Remember the “push through the heel of the hand”? This ignites the protraction. The goal is to allow the shoulder blades to retract at a slow pace. Too often, we find that if there is no retraction, we can fall into the anterior tilt of the scapulae more easily. If there is no movement of the scapulae, it can affect the muscles in the front and the back of the neck by causing more strain.

        ALLOW MOVEMENT TO TAKE PLACE

        In this full workshop (The Shoulder Reset), Matt explains that going from protraction to retraction means that we are allowing the shoulder joint to move as it was designed. We are allowing gravity to do its job. When allowing the movement from protraction to retraction to take place, we are creating an eccentric contraction, which will offer a smooth descent. It will also translate into creating lightness and ease in a jump back.

        The good news is that Matt’s offering a 3-part workshop series this month, Shoulder Mastery The education we can look forward to will have a profound effect on our yoga practice overall.  

        Part I is all about shoulder mobility and heart openers, and Part II delves into shoulder strength and arm balances. Part III tackles inversions, binds, and neck & shoulder releases.

        Click Shoulder Mastery to register.

        See you on the mat!

        The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

        The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

        Article by Trish Curling

        Videos Extracted From: The Shoulder Reset

        lotus pose online yoga classes

        ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

        • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
        • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
        • Appropriate for both teachers and students
        • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
        • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
        • Release aches and pains
        • Learn how to avoid common injuries
        • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
        • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
        • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
        • Lifetime access

        Continue Learning

        Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

        Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

        Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

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        Shoulder Connections

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        Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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        Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

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        What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

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        Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

        read more

        THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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        • 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.

        Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

        Strengthen Your “Shelf” for Mayurasana

        How to Prepare for This Unique Arm Balance

        DELTOIDS

        STRENGTHEN YOUR “SHELF” FOR MAYURASANA

        Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are an integral part of the execution of a posture. In Mayurasana, the anterior deltoids and rotator cuff muscles may not be part of your first thoughts regarding how to execute this posture, but without considering the role they play, we simply will not be able to create the “shelf” required to create the balance we need in this posture. There is obvious core activation, not to mention strength and activation in the glutes and hamstrings, but the shelf Matt refers to in this class is the ability to hug the elbows in as tightly as possible so as to create an anchor for the pose. The anterior deltoids and rotator cuff muscles offer support, stability, and strength in Mayurasana.

        chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

        SHOULDER MASTERY

        WORKSHOP SERIES

          •  3 livestream workshops and replays
          • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
          • Improve low-back health
          • Shoulder mobility + heart openers
          • Shoulder strength + arm balances
          • Inversions, binds, neck & shoulder release
          • 6 hours of continued education
          • Gain strength and stability
          • Increase range of motion, flexibility, and mobility
          • Step-by-step guidance: Everyone can follow and participate
          • Educationally infused: Learn while you embody
          • Livestream optional; all workshops available as livestreams (see dates below) and as on-demand replays for life
          • Automatically receive access to the replays immediately after the livestream

          BLOCK SQUEEZE DRILL

          In terms of teaching Mayurasana, Matt notes that it’s not an easy pose to sequence towards. Not many other postures mimic the mandatory actions, but there are certainly creative movements and drills we can incorporate into our practice in order to cultivate the inescapable strength required for Mayurasana. Of course, Matt demonstrates the actions we can take to strengthen the appropriate muscle groups. Included in this preparation, in particular for the shelf in Mayurasana, are the biceps, pectoralis muscles, anterior deltoids, and rotator cuff.

          Today’s video starts off with a “block squeeze” drill. The block is squeezed between the forearms with bent elbows, while the arms are externally rotated. Our palms are facing forward, and the upper back is rounded while we “sit” in a Chair Pose position. The pectoralis muscles are engaged, but it’s the external rotation that helps us target the rotator cuff muscles.

          WATCH THE VIDEO

          STRENGTHEN YOUR “SHELF” FOR MAYURASANA: HOW TO PREPARE FOR THIS UNIQUE ARM BALANCE

          MAYURASANA AT THE WALL AND ON YOUR BACK

          Mayurasana at the Wall

          Here, we can practice mimicking what we did in the block drill—squeezing our elbows in towards each other. In addition, the feeling of “trying to pull the wall up” turns on the pectoralis major, the anterior deltoids, and the biceps. We can’t lift our legs here, but we can practice the sensation of pulling our feet back to activate the glutes and hamstrings.

          Mayurasana on Your Back

          By pressing our feet into the ground in this variation, we can get more feedback and activation of the glutes and hamstrings. In the upper body, we practice the shape by rounding the back and placing our arms as if to set up the shelf on top of the rib cage. 

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          200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

          GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

          • Deepen your yoga practice
          • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
          • Learn foundational class structures and templates
          • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
          • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
          • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
          • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

          MAYURASANA “MASTERY”

          In the full class, Matt reminds us that creating the shelf with our arms doesn’t mean that we are resting on top of them. What we’re actually doing is setting up a strong base, our negotiating point for balance. To achieve the final expression of the posture, it’s the angle of the bend at the elbows, the grip of the ground with the fingers, and the strength in the shoulders and upper body that allow us to shift and find the sweet spot that supports the lift of the legs. In today’s video, you’ll see how Matt shifts his weight back and forth before he locks in to the next step, where he finds authentic balance and uses the strength of the core, glutes, and hamstrings to lift his legs. The trust in the foundation that’s been created allows for this masterful execution of Mayurasana.

          300 hour teacher training online

          300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

          GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

          Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

          • 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
          • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

          KEY ACTIONS IN THIS ARM BALANCE

          Here are the 2 key actions Matt outlines for Mayurasana (we’ll find them in most arm balance postures):

          1. Bending the elbows at an open angle (helps to stop us from falling)
          2. Intentionally leaning forward while trying to stop at the same time

          For Mayurasana, more than building strength in the shoulders, biceps, core, glutes, and hamstrings, it’s about how to be very intentional in the drills we implement in our yoga practice. The only way to become masterful is to be informed and guided through drills like these and, of course, to practice the posture itself.

          In Matt’s upcoming 3-part series, Shoulder Mastery, he’ll delve into more about shoulder strength for arm balances, along with a deeper understanding of the shoulders when it comes to inversions, binds, and even releasing the neck.

          Strength without action offers no direction. Register for the workshop series today!

          The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

          The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

          Article by Trish Curling

          Videos Extracted From: Anatomy of Arm Balances

          lotus pose online yoga classes

          ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

          • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
          • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
          • Appropriate for both teachers and students
          • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
          • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
          • Release aches and pains
          • Learn how to avoid common injuries
          • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
          • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
          • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
          • Lifetime access

          Continue Learning

          Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

          Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

          Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

          read more
          Shoulder Connections

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          read more
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          read more
          Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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          What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

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          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.

          What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

          What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae?

          4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder Actions

          SHOULDER ROTATION

          WHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE?

          When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to scaffold more information. There will always be a learning curve, however, especially in the context of yoga. In Chromatic yoga, it’s about more than intellectually understanding anatomy; it’s also about how we integrate our knowledge of anatomy into our bodies from a non-dogmatic point of view.

          When studying shoulder anatomy, we are introduced to the basic actions (protraction, retraction, depression, and elevation). In today’s clip, Matt introduces us to the idea of “the tilts of the scapulae.” He explains that it can be a difficult concept to understand, both intellectually and physically. Essentially, it requires the co-activation of opposing muscle groups in order to create a lock for maximum support around the shoulder girdle. We gain insight into the tilts of the scapulae via 4 postures in today’s video.

          chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

          THE SHOULDER RESET

          2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

            • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
            • Non-dogmatic alignment awareness
            • Chest/heart flexibility
            • Increase active range of motion of the shoulder
            • Learn shoulder anatomy as you practice
            • Strengthen rotator cuff for stability and shoulder health
            • Gain access to shoulder-focused postures
            • Debunk popular alignment
            • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano

            UPWARD VS. DOWNWARD TILT OF THE SCAPULA

            Upward Tilt

            To begin integrating the upward tilt of the scapula into our bodies, we can begin by sitting upright and sending the shoulder forward while drawing the elbow back. This naturally sends the scapula climbing up over the rib cage.  It’s the pectoralis minor that initiates this action. This muscle helps pull the shoulder down towards the front of the ribs.

            Downward Tilt

            This can be harder to understand and integrate. The first step here may be to draw the head of the humerus back. When this happens, the bottom wing tip of the scapula pushes forward into the rib cage.  

            If we pull the rib cage back into the scapulae, as Matt explains in the full class, this creates a “suction cup” effect from the co-activation of opposing muscle groups. This is effective in our yoga practice when stability is required in postures like Chaturanga and arm balances like Side Crow.

            WATCH THE VIDEO

            WHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE?: 4 POSTURES TO LOCK IN ON THESE SHOULDER ACTIONS

            SIDE-ANGLE PREPARATION

            Part of integrating and understanding the upward and downward tilt of the scapulae is to explore the actions in postures in which we can remove some of the balance and strength elements from the equation. 

            When Matt demonstrates the downward tilt of the bottom scapula in Side-Angle Preparation, he explains that there is a distinction between where retraction and protraction take place. The initial action is still to pull the head of the humerus back, but understanding that there is a degree of retraction in the upper border of the scapula but protraction in the bottom wingtip helps us to negotiate its placement. We create the  protraction by pressing the elbow down into the top of the leg; this helps the bottom tip slide forward. From here, we can explore what the sensation feels like in order to record this pattern into our bodies.   

            200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

            200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

            GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

            • Deepen your yoga practice
            • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
            • Learn foundational class structures and templates
            • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
            • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
            • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
            • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

            CHATURANGA AND JUMP BACKS

            In Chaturanga, it can be easy to fall into the pattern of allowing the head of the humerus to dip forward. When this happens, it’s very different from creating protraction. Repetitively allowing the head of the humerus to dip forward can cause strain in the anterior capsule of the shoulder. The goal is to create a play between the actions of external rotation of the humerus and protraction, depression, and retraction of the scapulae.  

            For Chaturanga Jump Backs, Matt presents a drill utilizing a towel. Again, we get an opportunity to practice the actions of external rotation of the arms, pulling the top of the arm bone back. Matt also reminds us that we can start by sending the scapulae into upward rotation to more distinctly feel the difference, and then execute the actions that will help us stabilize the jump back with the downward tilt of the scapulae. 

            300 hour teacher training online

            300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

            GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

            Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

            • 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
            • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

            SIDE CROW

            In an arm balance like Side Crow, it’s imperative to feel more confident in our ability to “lock in” to the stability required. Because it’s required to send our weight forward in order to access the lift of the feet in the posture, we must be careful not to lean into an upward tilt—this would lead to imbalance in the posture and perhaps to a fall. In the clip, we see how the emphasis of pushing into the heel of the hands (which brings the bottom tip of the scapulae around) while sending the chest through (which draws the head of the arm bone back) and sending the weight forward into the fingers is ultimately what helps us access the balance required for Side Crow.

            ALLOW YOURSELF TIME FOR FULL INTEGRATION

            Ultimately, being patient enough to understand and integrate these actions will transform our experience in our practice. Exploring these actions in a variety of postures will take us on a journey of self discovery. We can tap into what comes naturally; at the same time, we can discover where we experience challenge and resistance. In the full class, Matt explains that upward and downward tilt of the scapulae can be difficult to comprehend. What this means is that it may require more persistence to uncover what is possible in our bodies.

            Register for Matt’s 2-hour online shoulder workshop, The Shoulder Reset, where there will be an abundance of opportunities to more deeply connect to and understand the biomechanics of the shoulders and how these new understandings can be applied to our yoga practice. 

            The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

            The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

            Article by Trish Curling

            Videos Extracted From: Shoulder Revelation

            lotus pose online yoga classes

            ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

            • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
            • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
            • Appropriate for both teachers and students
            • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
            • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
            • Release aches and pains
            • Learn how to avoid common injuries
            • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
            • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
            • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
            • Lifetime access

            Continue Learning

            Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

            Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

            Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

            read more
            Shoulder Connections

            Shoulder Connections

            Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

            read more
            Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

            Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

            Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

            read more
            Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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            Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

            read more
            What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

            What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

            What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

            read more
            Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

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            Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

            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.

            Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

            Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

            6 Exercises for a More Stable Side Plank

            BELIEF

            AWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES

            The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid fossa, the cavity of the joint. Because it’s a ball and socket joint, the shoulder joint can be quite vulnerable, so awareness of its positioning in postures that require stability is essential. On the mat, there are many opportunities to bear weight on the shoulders, which can prove challenging if we don’t know how to stabilize in postures that require this type of support. Moreover, if we neglect to maintain activation where necessary, we miss opportunities to build strength.  

            A posture like Vashistasana, Side Plank, requires a vast amount of stability and strength. In today’s video, Matt demonstrates 6 essential exercises that help strengthen our rotator cuff muscles for maximum stability.

            chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

            THE SHOULDER RESET

            2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

              • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
              • Non-dogmatic alignment awareness
              • Chest/heart flexibility
              • Increase active range of motion of the shoulder
              • Learn shoulder anatomy as you practice
              • Strengthen rotator cuff for stability and shoulder health
              • Gain access to shoulder-focused postures
              • Debunk popular alignment
              • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano

              ROTATOR CUFF: GET IN TOUCH WITH THE ANATOMY

              There are 5 muscles in the rotator cuff group: the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major, and teres minor. These are the muscles of internal and external rotation and of abduction.

              The subscapularis and teres major are responsible for internal rotation, while the teres minor and infraspinatus are both external rotators. The last muscle, supraspinatus, contributes to the abduction of the arms.

              When all of these muscles are co-activated, they suction and secure the head of the humerus into the shoulder socket. In the full class, Matt explains that these muscles are often stretched during our asana practice. For yoga practitioners, it’s therefore vital to create opportunities to strengthen these muscles for overall function, health, and longevity. This can be integrated into our practice on the mat, particularly if we understand the anatomy involved in performing a given exercise to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

              WATCH THE VIDEO

              AWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES: 6 EXERCISES FOR A MORE STABLE SIDE PLANK

              6 EXERCISES FOR STRENGTH

              Strengthen with a Strap

              1. Matt demonstrates ways to strengthen the infraspinatus and teres minor by pulling the strap apart into external rotation of the humerus, along with some retraction of the shoulder blades.  
              2. Adding extra rotation and resistance will uplevel the activation.

              Towel Rotations

              1. In Tabletop position, drawing circles with a towel under one hand will immediately activate the rotator cuff muscles due to the weight-bearing nature of the exercise.
              2. Here, understanding the difference between rotation at the radioulnar joint and the upper arm bone is key in connecting to the rotator cuff.

              Block Raises

              1. Supraspinatus goes to work while holding yoga blocks and abducting your arms in slight internal rotation.
              2. Pushing the blocks back behind us while hugging in will again help activate the infraspinatus and teres major and minor.

              200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

              200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

              GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

              • Deepen your yoga practice
              • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
              • Learn foundational class structures and templates
              • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
              • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
              • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
              • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

              STABILIZE YOUR SIDE PLANK

              There are articulations and joint alignments that are essential in creating healthy stability in Side Plank. In this variation, Matt demonstrates Extended Side Plank, utilizing a wall as a prop. The wall creates feedback that helps us better negotiate where and how to align the wrist and shoulder and to determine the distance between the standing hand and the feet.

              In order to create stability in this posture, it’s imperative to retract the shoulder blade and externally rotate the humerus, which activates the infraspinatus and teres minor. Moving our hips (and thus more weight) towards the wall takes the shoulder away from directly stacking over the wrist, which helps to reduce the load on the shoulder joint. Once the foundation is set, expanding into the rest of the posture becomes more accessible.

              300 hour teacher training online

              300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

              GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

              Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

              • 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
              • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

              AWARENESS AND FOCUS FOR STRENGTH

              If resistance bands or weights are unavailable, strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles can still take place with a variety of yoga props.

              The exercises Matt demonstrates might appear to be simple in nature, but my goodness will they be a challenge! When executed with accuracy, they exhaust the muscles, which breaks them down in order for them to renew with increased strength.  

              It’s the well-placed effort (Abhyasa) that will inform our experience and translate into larger movements and postures like (Extended) Side Plank. Yes, it’s possible to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles with a variety of different tools and exercises, but when we apply technique and focus, our true potential unfolds.  

              Register for Matt’s upcoming Shoulder Reset workshop to learn and refine techniques to create strong, healthy shoulders.

              The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

              The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

              Article by Trish Curling

              Videos Extracted From: Anatomy In Motion

              lotus pose online yoga classes

              ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

              • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
              • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
              • Appropriate for both teachers and students
              • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
              • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
              • Release aches and pains
              • Learn how to avoid common injuries
              • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
              • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
              • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
              • Lifetime access

              Continue Learning

              Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

              Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

              Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

              read more
              Shoulder Connections

              Shoulder Connections

              Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

              read more
              Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

              Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

              Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

              read more
              Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

              Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

              Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

              read more
              What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

              What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

              What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

              read more
              Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

              Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

              Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

              read more

              THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

              When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

              • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
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              Samskaras

              Samskaras

              What Have You Decided About You & Your Yoga Practice?

              BELIEF

              SAMSKARAS

              Even though we uncover a great deal about our bodies in our asana practice, we actually unearth much more from the other areas of our yoga practice. If we get the opportunity to delve deeper into the philosophy of yoga, it can take us places that will challenge our sense of self. In Matt’s 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and in his recent The Power of Bliss immersion, he describes the teachings about samskaras. What are samskaras? He breaks it down explicitly in today’s clip by saying that they are patterns or grooves of the mind, developed through your life’s experiences. When something happens to you, your brain looks for similar circumstances in order to easily organize and understand them. What you’ll receive from today’s video is an opportunity to consider what patterns and beliefs you’ve developed in mind and body.

              chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

              THE SHOULDER RESET

              2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

                • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
                • Non-dogmatic alignment awareness
                • Chest/heart flexibility
                • Increase active range of motion of the shoulder
                • Learn shoulder anatomy as you practice
                • Strengthen rotator cuff for stability and shoulder health
                • Gain access to shoulder-focused postures
                • Debunk popular alignment
                • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano

                HOW DO SAMSKARAS PRESENT THEMSELVES?

                A good example might be that when someone says or does something we’ve heard before or recognize as familiar, the brain, or the ego aspect of ourselves, jumps in with the opinion that the outcome will be exactly the same as it was in the past. Unfortunately, if the experiences are negative, it’s easy to get stuck in the pattern and continue to expect the same results. This may cause a sense of hopelessness, making it difficult to see beyond our current circumstances.  

                The beauty of the yoga practice is that, as the journey unfolds, we come to understand that we have the ability to challenge and transform the samskaras that do not serve us but have still become “our story.” This ability doesn’t mean that the process is easy, nor does it mean that there’s an end point. We are always experiencing new things.

                WATCH THE VIDEO

                SAMSKARAS: WHAT HAVE YOU DECIDED ABOUT YOU & YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?

                WHAT IS NEUROPLASTICITY?

                Cultivating the awareness that we can be an observer of our thoughts is a step in the right direction towards transformation. Transformation itself, however, requires more than just changing our minds.  

                Taking command to cause an actual shift can be described as “burning samskaras,” which is a way to think about physiologically changing the neural pathways in our brain. This is also known as neuroplasticity:  

                Neuroplasticity, also known as neural plasticity or brain plasticity, is a process that involves adaptive structural and functional changes to the brain. A good definition is ‘the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections.’”

                Puderbaugh M, Emmady PD. Neuroplasticity. [Updated 2023 May 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557811/

                When this has taken place, our new intuitive response is to access what serves us.

                200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                • Deepen your yoga practice
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                • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                SAMSKARAS AND OUR BODIES

                As we age, we can fall into the pattern of thinking that we’re just too old to do certain things. We may also believe that if we haven’t been able to execute a particular posture or find more flexibility in the past, then this will always be true. 

                These samskaras are created through messages we’ve been told and through experiences we’ve had in our bodies, which convince us that this is our eternal reality.  

                In today’s clip, Matt skillfully walks us through the techniques to find greater access in Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana. This posture may seem completely reasonable and accessible already, or it may seem too difficult to attempt.  

                Consider for a moment that we actually have the ability to execute this posture by taking step-by-step action with Matt’s techniques. It’s possible to transform our experience and thus change our belief about what is possible.

                300 hour teacher training online

                300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                • 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
                • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                EVOLVING OUR BELIEF SYSTEMS

                So, what is it that you believe about yourself? Asking yourself a question like this can be scary.  

                We might encounter confusion and resistance when we first begin to probe.  

                Having the guidance of a teacher to assist us in gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to burn our samskaras and evolve our belief systems about our minds and bodies can provide a more fluid pathway.

                For example, Matt’s upcoming online workshop, called The Shoulder Reset, is a great entry point to learn more about what is possible in your body. Shoulder injuries are common, but when we learn more about anatomy, technique, and biomechanics and about how to apply this knowledge to our own bodies, we can explore new possibilities.

                New information may present itself as access to new postures, less pain after an injury, and a new story to believe about ourselves. 

                The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                Article by Trish Curling

                Videos Extracted From: Power of Bliss Immersion

                lotus pose online yoga classes

                ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                • Release aches and pains
                • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                • Lifetime access

                Continue Learning

                Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                read more
                Shoulder Connections

                Shoulder Connections

                Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                read more
                Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                read more
                Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                read more
                What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                read more
                Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                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.

                Headstand and Forearm Stand

                Headstand and Forearm Stand

                Master This Imperative Shoulder Action

                scapula elevation

                HEADSTAND AND FOREARM STAND

                Getting straight to the point, the imperative shoulder action in Headstand and Forearm Stand is elevation of the scapulae. This is the best way to fully participate in developing your potential in these postures. It may seem like a simple action, but it’s important to understand the broader scope of what’s involved. More than just lifting your shoulders up towards your ears, it’s the activation of muscles like the upper trapezius, serratus anterior, and the triceps, along with freedom in the neck, that help support this action. In today’s video, Matt outlines a number of drills that will assist you in finding the appropriate amount of activation and strength to achieve balance, stability, and freedom in Headstand and Forearm Stand.

                chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                THE SHOULDER RESET

                2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

                  • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
                  • Non-dogmatic alignment awareness
                  • Chest/heart flexibility
                  • Increase active range of motion of the shoulder
                  • Learn shoulder anatomy as you practice
                  • Strengthen rotator cuff for stability and shoulder health
                  • Gain access to shoulder-focused postures
                  • Debunk popular alignment
                  • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano

                  DOWNWARD DOG–DOLPHIN DRILL

                  This first drill can be approached in two different ways:

                  1.  The first approach to this Headstand drill starts in a shorter Downward-Facing Dog in which your body is still in a diagonal position. You then proceed to play with movement between moving your head gently down towards the ground, which requires a softening in the shoulders, and pushing the floor away with your forearms, creating more elevation of the scapulae and pushing your body back. Matt reminds you not to move back to a point where you feel pain in your shoulders as a result of greater compression in the joint. 
                  2.  In the second approach, you’ll walk your feet in to become more vertical (closer to Headstand or Forearm Stand position). It’s important to note the slow lowering of your head towards the ground in order to build greater strength in the elevators of the scapulae.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  HEADSTAND AND FOREARM STAND: MASTER THIS IMPERATIVE SHOULDER ACTION

                  HEADSTAND PREPARATION

                  It may be simpler to understand why elevation of the scapulae is important in Forearm Stand: The goal there is to take your head completely off of the ground. Why is elevation of the scapulae also imperative in Headstand? Well, implementing this action will reduce pressure on your cervical spine, that is, in the neck.  

                  If you are going forward with this exploration, then you will feel some weight in your head in the starting position (feet down). To reduce this weight, Matt advises you to take your gaze towards your belly button to get longer in the back of your neck and/or to take the opportunity to strengthen your serratus muscles, along with the trapezius, by pushing the floor away to the degree that allows you to lift your head further away from the ground. This movement may be slight or moving more towards Forearm Stand.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  FOREARM STAND DRILLS

                  Once you’ve explored some of the added layers in Headstand from the video, you can move on to explore your potential in Forearm Stand. This of course requires increased elevation of the scapulae in order to lift your head off the ground.

                  This time, start with your head completely off the ground. Proceed by lifting one leg up at a time. If you’re close to a wall, like Matt is in the video, you’ll see how he demonstrates a controlled hop.

                  Now, if you’re looking for a bit more, you’ll see Matt’s demonstration utilizing a chair in the video. This can be more intense, but what Matt explains is that it’s helpful to remove the balance element from the drill because you can work on strengthening and deepening the connection to the awareness of the range required in the scapulae in order to lift.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  PROTECT YOUR NECK

                  Keep in mind, the best choice to avoid injury or the aggravation of any known discomfort in your neck is to stay away from Headstand completely. However, what’s offered in the video tutorial, assuming it’s safe for you to explore, are ways to intelligently approach the practice of Headstand and Forearm Stand with a deeper understanding of how to prepare your body. The drills teach you how to build strength and mobility concurrently. You’ll learn how to strengthen muscles like the trapezius, serratus anterior, and stabilizers of the neck, but the basis for this strengthening comes from the important action of elevating your scapulae. This action is the catalyst for unlocking your potential in these inversions.

                  Register today for The Shoulder Reset, a 2-hour livestream workshop on January 28th, where Matt will dive into technique, anatomy, and the biomechanics of the shoulder joint.

                  See you on the mat!


                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Shoulder Mobility Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  The Impact Of A Hip Stretch On The Knee Joint

                  The Impact of a Hip Stretch on the Knee Joint

                  Are Your Knees at Risk?

                  hip opener

                  THE IMPACT OF A HIP STRETCH ON THE KNEE JOINT

                  The knee joint can be quite vulnerable: Of the lower extremity joints, the knee sustains the highest percentage of injuries, particularly among physically active individuals.” 

                  Journal of Orthapaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Published Online: February 1, 2010. Volume 40 Issue 2. Pages 42-51 

                  In the full class from today’s clip, Matt begins with some great education about how hip stretches affect the knee joint. He explains that whenever we are stretching the hip, it not only places pressure on the hip itself but also on the knee. This of course can put your knees at risk of injury. The good news is that there are ways to help circumvent the potential for serious injury. In the clip, Matt teaches you how to approach hip external and internal rotation in 5 yoga postures with more integrity for the knee joint in order to keep it safe.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  BLISSFUL HIPS

                  December 2023 Immersion

                  • Technique-infused yoga classes
                  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
                  • Improve low back health
                  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
                  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
                  • Improve posture on and off the mat
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

                  Registration now open!

                  HOW TO PROTECT THE KNEE JOINT

                  The previously cited article goes on to clarify that when hip muscles are weak, there is a direct link to knee injury. This aligns with Matt’s emphasis on the isometric contraction of the muscles that support the hips, knees, and ankles when executing various yoga postures. He carefully cues specific joint actions for more optimal positioning during activation to reduce the stress on and stretch of the ligaments around the knee joint. Because the knee is mainly supported by ligaments, they need to be strong to maintain stability. Now, positioning depends on what’s required for your body at a given time: “Abnormal motion of the femur can have a direct effect on tibiofemoral joint kinematics and strain the soft tissue restraints that bind the tibia to the distal end of the femur.”                                                  

                  Journal of Orthapaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Published Online: February 1, 2010. Volume 40 Issue 2. Pages 42 – 51  

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  THE IMPACT OF A HIP STRETCH ON THE KNEE JOINT: ARE YOUR KNEES AT RISK?

                  WARRIOR II

                  In the video, you begin to see this potential for the abnormal motion or positioning of the femur in Warrior II. First, the positioning of your pelvis influences the amount of internal rotation of the femur. Matt cues a movement of the heel that will aid in further external rotation of the hip, but he suggests that you also consider directing your focus to the shin so that you’ll be able to witness the knee rotating back: Pressing your outer heel down while dragging it back will activate the biceps femoris muscle (hamstring muscle) to access the rotation of the shin. Now, if you discern that this creates more torque on the knee joint, you can back off on the amount of external rotation of the hip (femur) by placing more force on the inner or center heel when pressing down and pulling back.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  GODDESS POSE AND MALASANA

                  In Goddess Pose, you can really see the impact that the positioning of the femur and shin bones can have on the knee joint. There is a common tendency to internally rotate your shins when the knees are moving more outward, which may cause pain in the inner knees. You can avoid this by turning your feet more outward. Then, to create the isometric contraction and more external rotation of the shins, pull your outer heels towards one another—imagine each fibula (the outer shin bone) pulling in towards the midline of your body. And with a little extra anterior tilt, your pelvis stays back.  

                  You’ll notice the parallels in Malasana, Squat Pose. Keeping the knee joint safe requires the same awareness of the amount of external rotation versus internal rotation of the hip, along with the activation of the adductor muscles through a facilitated stretch.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  STANDING FIGURE 4 AND HALF LOTUS ON YOUR BACK

                  Standing Figure 4 Pose can place a tremendous amount of pressure on the knee joint of the top leg. Due to the way that the ankle presses up, the pressure is usually located on the inside of the knee. This causes the shin to almost push into and tweak the knee. Matt suggests rotating the shin down towards the ground while externally rotating at the hip joint. These two actions will help increase the space in the knee joint while creating less strain in the outer knee ligaments.

                  Hip external rotation along with knee flexion will support your ability to find Half Lotus on your back. As regards activation here, you can pull either the outer shin or the inner shin back. Generally, attempting to pull the outer shin back first is better for knee joint protection.

                  AVOID A FIXED MINDSET

                  It’s important to note that Matt’s Chromatic Yoga approach teaches you not to get fixed on specific positioning or alignment. Explore, so that you may discover what serves your body best in a given moment. In terms of the postures we’ve examined today, it may serve you to create more external rather than internal rotation. Wherever Matt cues more external rotation, you can explore the opposite, which may work better to decrease the pressure in the knee joint. Getting caught up in the idea that there is “only one way” may do more harm than good. For example in Malasana, more medial rotation of the shin bones has the potential to create more pain in the inner knees or to mitigate knee pain.

                  Register for the Blissful Hips Immersion to learn more about a practice that serves your body.


                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  Connect To Your Abductor Muscles

                  Connect to Your Abductor Muscles

                  5 Unique Variations for Increased Stretch and Strength

                  hip stability

                  CONNECT TO YOUR ABDUCTOR MUSCLES

                  Once you’ve been exposed to what’s possible in your asana practice, there’s no turning back. What I mean is that it’s possible to completely transform your practice once you realize just how many opportunities there are to implement strength. These opportunities exist in places you may not have considered before. As for stretching, it may seem easier to find opportunities to stretch, but implementing effective stretch methods is another thing entirely. Practicing with Matt opens the doors to both effective stretching and strengthening. In today’s video, it’s all about your abductor muscles. What you’ll see are 5 posture variations you can start implementing today.

                  One of the major roles of your abductor muscles is to provide hip stability, so it’s imperative that you implement effective stretch and strengthening techniques to promote the health of your abductor muscles and surrounding tissues. 

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  BLISSFUL HIPS

                  December 2023 Immersion

                  • Technique-infused yoga classes
                  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
                  • Improve low back health
                  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
                  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
                  • Improve posture on and off the mat
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

                  Registration now open!

                  ABDUCTOR MUSCLE ANATOMY AND PELVIC STABILITY

                  The action of the abductor muscles is to move your legs away from the midline of the body. These muscles also assist in stabilizing the pelvis. A telltale sign that your abductor muscles are extremely flexible or potentially weak is the presence of a significant hip sway when walking. Alternatively, when your abductor muscles are tight, it may be more challenging to adduct the upper thigh bones because of the pull from the tension in the abductor muscles. In order to create pelvic stability, you need suppleness in the abductor muscles. Engaging in opportunities to both stretch and strengthen will help you nurture more supple muscles.

                  There are 4 main abductor muscles: gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciae latae (TFL), and gluteus maximus. Even though TFL is a hip flexor and gluteus maximus extends the hips, they also abduct the legs when they work together.  

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  CONNECT TO YOUR ABDUCTOR MUSCLES: 5 UNIQUE VARIATIONS FOR INCREASED STRETCH AND STRENGTH

                  WARRIOR II AND SIDE PLANK TO PROMOTE STRENGTH

                  Warrior II 

                  This posture can serve you in ways you may not expect. The technique to create strength in the abductor muscles here is to utilize a self-adjustment. Placing your hand on the outside of your front knee and pressing your hand into your knee and your knee into your hand will work to awaken and strengthen all four abductor muscles.

                  Side Plank with a Strap

                  Grab a strap for this one! The strap helps provide the feedback and the self-adjustment required to connect to your abductor muscles. You’ll see in the video that the trick here is to turn your pelvis slightly towards the ground as you push your legs apart (abduct) in order to create the required tension in the strap. Think about pulling the back of your legs apart as opposed to opening your pelvis.  

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  CHAIR POSE TICK TOCKS

                  Now, this is a really creative variation! Once again, the strap is your best friend. Sensationally, it will provide more information from your body, which will help you discern which actions you need to implement so as to connect with and activate your abductor muscles. Matt emphasizes that the action of pressing your heels apart provides a slight internal rotation of the femur bones, which helps to ignite the TFL. As you “tick tock” from side to side, you maintain the abduction of the legs in conjunction with that internal rotation so that you can indeed feel the intended contraction and effort from your abductor muscles.

                  Practicing in this way builds neural pathways in the brain, promoting a healthy mind-body connection. The more you repeat actions like this, you’re teaching and telling your body how to respond more effectively in order to develop greater strength.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  EFFECTIVELY STRETCH IN PIGEON AND EAGLE POSE

                  Pigeon Pose

                  To connect to your abductor muscles in Pigeon Pose, it’s about where you place your effort. If the right leg is forward, you’ll push your front thigh bone down and to the right, which will promote strength. This will also send your body to the left, which will also spark a stretch.

                  Eagle Pose on Your Back

                  In a standing Eagle Pose, the standing leg needs to be strong and the crossover leg flexible in the abductor muscles. In the video, Matt provides the variation on your back as a way to more easily negotiate the flexibility aspect of the posture.

                  A golden tip is to hike the hip of the top leg in order to gain more access to the bind, providing more stretch. In the video, you’ll see how Matt adds a lift of the legs to go even deeper with the stretch.

                  DO MORE THAN THE POSTURE

                  Throughout his classes, Matt continuously reminds us that it’s not about “just doing the posture” but about your particular intent and the purpose it provides for you as an individual in a given moment.  

                  Ultimately, maintaining the health of your muscles—cultivating both strength and flexibility—will lead you to a stronger, more well-developed asana practice along with those same benefits in your daily life.

                  You can start practicing in Matt’s Blissful Hips Immersion and learn how to safely and effectively unlock these benefits.

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  Pelvic Movement & The Hip Joint

                  Pelvic Movement and the Hip Joint

                  Understand the Influence in Your Practice and Your Body

                  hip mobility

                  Pelvic Movement and the Hip Joint

                  The hips are a combination of challenge, ease, freedom, restriction, strength, and weakness. You could very well be experiencing all of these things simultaneously! The hip joint is quite complex—it’s a ball and socket joint that allows you to move in elaborate ways, in your yoga practice and your life off of the mat. This, however, can also make it vulnerable to injury. Understanding your hips and how other areas of your body affect how you move is imperative if your goal is to access your fullest potential in terms of your asana practice and/or movement as a whole. An entry point to such understanding can simply be how you articulate a specific part of your body. In today’s video, Matt highlights the positive impact certain pelvic articulations can have on what you experience in regard to hip mobility.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  BLISSFUL HIPS

                  December 2023 Immersion

                  • Technique-infused yoga classes
                  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
                  • Improve low back health
                  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
                  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
                  • Improve posture on and off the mat
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

                  Registration now open!

                  THE BENEFITS OF PELVIC ANTERIOR TILT IN DOWNWARD DOG

                  Downward Dog can easily become a posture that just feels like you don’t have to think about how to do it. After all, how many times have you done this posture? Probably too many to count, right?

                  Matt offers a new lens through which to consider Downward Dog. It’s no secret that part of the benefit of doing this posture is that you’ll get a stretch in your hamstrings. Increased flexibility in your hamstrings can allow for more freedom of movement of the pelvis around the hip joint. However, it is common for your glutes to take charge as soon as you lift your knees off of the ground to lift your hips up, which may create a more posterior tilt of the pelvis. Maintaining an anterior tilt of your pelvis helps strengthen your lower back and offers a hamstring stretch with more integrity for your body.  

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  PELVIC MOVEMENT AND THE HIP JOINT: UNDERSTAND THE INFLUENCE IN YOUR PRACTICE AND YOUR BODY

                  CONTROVERSIAL TRANSITIONS ON THE MAT

                  There are strong opinions when it comes to transitioning from Warrior III to Half Moon. Some will say you should NEVER do it, and others say it’s fine. The argument is that you’re bearing weight on the femur bone of the standing leg and that it destroys the hip joint. Matt points out that in fact, we do this action often. For example, in the transition from High Lunge to Warrior II, you’ll see him demonstrate the movement of the pelvis around the femur bone. Yes, there is slightly more weight in the Warrior III transition, but it is a natural movement. What you’ll know better than anyone who has an opinion is how the movement feels in your body. Matt explains that if there is pain, it can often be attributed to a lack of strength in the muscles that surround the hip. In the video, he shows you where to place your awareness to begin to minimize the pain.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  HOW THE PELVIS INFORMS A STRETCH

                  The last posture in today’s video, a Pyramid variation, offers insight into how the direction of your pelvis can inform and transform your experience in a stretch. Instead of just squaring the hips, Matt cues a rotation of the pelvis (with left leg back) in which you turn the left side of your pelvis down towards the ground and towards your right thigh bone. The benefit here is a deeper stretch of the right outer buttocks and hips. Why is this action important? Deepening the stretch of these muscles, which may not be easy to find in your yoga practice, will contribute to the overall health of the hip joint. Achieving increased hip mobility involves increased flexibility. Keep in mind, however, that there are other parts of the equation. Overall hip health and mobility also require strength and body awareness.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  HOW TO ACHIEVE OVERALL HIP HEALTH

                  In the full class, Matt explains that mobility implies that we have strength in a greater range of motion, no matter how elongated a muscle is. There are plenty of opportunities to stretch muscles in an asana practice, but activating them in the practice to build strength will also increase their flexibility over time. It is important to remember this when you are exploring the actions of the pelvis around the hip joint in order to create more flexibility and length in the muscles that surround and support the hip. Exploring these articulations of the pelvis promotes and improves your sense of proprioception and body awareness, helping you unlock your potential. Try these actions in your practice and watch it unfold!  

                  Delve into the possibilities of this complex area of your body in Matt’s current immersion, Blissful Hips.

                  See you on the mat!

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  Glutes & Hamstrings

                  Glutes and Hamstrings

                  8 Skills and Drills for Activation

                  strength

                  Glutes and Hamstrings

                  How many times has your yoga teacher said “feel your glutes” in a particular posture in a yoga class, but you’re not sure exactly what that means or what it’s actually supposed to feel like? You can easily lose or misunderstand the connection to the sensations in your body unless you’re intentional about locking in to each action in your asana practice. It’s more than that though—it’s also about learning the techniques to actually make the connection. Learning effective techniques and implementing them can help you to get to know your body in a deeper way, and this can very effectively change how you move. In today’s video, Matt highlights 8 effective ways for you to connect to your glutes and hamstrings in order to strengthen them for better functionality overall.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  BLISSFUL HIPS

                  December 2023 Immersion

                  • Technique-infused yoga classes
                  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
                  • Improve low back health
                  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
                  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
                  • Improve posture on and off the mat
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

                  Registration now open!

                  LEARN THE TECHNIQUES

                  An excellent approach to connecting to your glutes and hamstrings is to learn technique. This provides a focus and removes the pressure of trying to randomly figure out where and how to feel what you may believe you’re supposed to feel. It also helps you explore your body in a safe way. In Matt’s approach, instead of just going through a variety of postures that are “prescribed” to fire up your glutes and hamstrings, Matt provides a direct how-to, which means there are articulations and repetitive actions that help you connect with certainty to the sensations in your glutes and hamstrings.  

                  Strength is more than building muscle and resilience; it’s a skill. The skills and drills that Matt offers create a solid foundation for transformation and connection in your body.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS: 8 SKILLS AND DRILLS FOR ACTIVATION

                  TRANSFORM THESE STANDING POSTURES

                  In Low Lunge, Matt demonstrates how to access your glutes and hamstrings effectively. To ignite your hamstrings in the front leg, drag your front heel back while creating a posterior tilt in the pelvis. When you also press down the front heel, your glutes will spark up.

                  In the video, Matt maintains the same actions in Warrior II, Goddess Pose, and the Pyramid variation he demonstrates. Pressing down through your heel and pulling your feet towards each other contracts and activates your glutes and hamstrings.

                  The Supported Warrior III “leg lift” variation offers specific pelvic articulations that are key to connecting to the sensations in your glutes and hamstrings, and Crescent Pose Slides are an effective glute and hamstring strengthener.

                  Incorporating these skills and drills will help you understand your body more deeply .

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  GLUTE BRIDGE AND TABLE TOP VARIATIONS

                  These potentially more “traditional” movements to activate and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings are also executed with different levels and unique articulations in the video.  

                  One of the first ways to really find connection in these variations is to remove your yoga mat! Matt wears socks on his hardwood floor. Wearing socks forces you to dig in a little deeper into the floor to find steadiness.  

                  Matt offers 3 variations of Glute Bridge and 4 variations of Table Top. What’s nice about exploring the different variations is that you have the opportunity to find out where your needs are on each side of the body. This is where growth and understanding take place.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

                  When it comes to the hamstrings, you may often think about how to become more flexible in that area of the body; what may be neglected is that to create integrity in your muscles, there must be a healthy degree of strength.  Strength is often associated with glutes, but why, and how can you strengthen them effectively? If you strengthen your glutes and hamstrings effectively, you support your ability to propel your body forward in your daily movement. Applying these safe and effective techniques will contribute to your hip health and thus your overall health.

                  Register for Matt’s December 2023 Immersion Blissful Hips in order to learn and to expand your current toolbox for strength!

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Hip Mobility Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  Bound Ardha Chandrasana

                  Bound Ardha Chandrasana

                  Technique, Accessibility, and Expression

                  BOUND HALF MOON

                  BOUND ARDHA CHANDRASANA

                  As Matt shares the 5 Powers of Consciousness from Tantrik yoga philosophy in his current immersion, The Power of Bliss, he reminds us that they are powers that exist within us and are present all around us. You can see a brief breakdown here. These teachings can be applied when discussing Bound Ardha Chandrasana, and there is a lot to say. In the full class, Matt describes this pose as one of the most challenging (this is subjective of course), but that leaves room to interject discussion of the 2nd power of consciousness, Bliss (Ānanda-Śakti), into the conversation. When considering what Bliss means when it comes to Bound Ardha Chandrasana, you’ll also have to also make room for how technique (or knowledge, Jñāna-Śakti), accessibility, and expression play a role.  

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  THE POWER OF BLISS

                  November 2023 Immersion

                  • Moderately paced Power Yoga classes
                  • Perfect blend of movement, alignment, and technique
                  • Inspirationally themed to give meaning and power to each practice
                  • Tantrik philosophy: The 5 Powers of Consciousness
                  • Teachings of the Yoga Sutras
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional! All classes available on demand after livestream's complete

                  Registration now open!

                  WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF BLISS?

                  I was asked this question once by my osteopath, and I gave an answer about a feeling, a moment in time when I felt happy. Starting to delve deeper into philosophy in my 300 Hour studies with Matt has definitely challenged my previous answer.

                  Matt explains the teachings so well, stating that Bliss (yes, with a capital B) is not a feeling of just finding happiness, or of “being in a state of bliss” because things are going the way you want them to at a particular moment or in life. Rather, it is the awareness (Cit-Śakti) that even in struggle, you can experience Bliss because you are here, in the human experience. Your mere being is an expression of Bliss itself and all that your experiences encompass.  

                  If Bound Ardha Chandrasana is challenging and you’re feeling frustrated in the process, Bliss is actually present.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  BOUND ARDHA CHANDRASANA: TECHNIQUE, ACCESSIBILITY, AND EXPRESSION

                  GROWTH AND EXPRESSION

                  The same is true if Bound Ardha Chandrasana comes to you quite naturally. Bliss is also present in this state. This is where we come to understand that it’s more about where we are along the journey of Bound Ardha Chandrasana and not about the achievement of the posture itself. It’s about the knowledge we are gaining and about each individual experience. Your ability to express yourself fully in any variation of the posture is what contributes to the deepening of  your relationship with the practice of yoga and the power that exists within you.  

                  On the Chromatic Path to the posture, there are variations and preparations for you to learn from, sit with, and grow with. Matt’s classes offer a plethora of options for you to carve your own path.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  VARIATION AND PREPARATION

                  In today’s video, Matt starts off by demonstrating the techniques involved in Bound Side Angle. Important cues like the internal rotation of your arms, along with bowing deeply forward, create an accessibility to the bind that you may not have thought possible. Now, working this way in Bound Side Angle or even Bound Triangle (which he also demonstrates) doesn’t necessarily make the pose “easier.” This approach just offers options and access points for you to explore. The postures are opportunities for you to explore the techniques, gain knowledge, and discern what is appropriate for you to express at any given time. Matt offers the option for you to explore a half bind, or none at all. When you play the video, you’ll hear him discuss the importance of finding the love within yourself to express outwardly in the form or variation you’ve chosen.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  FROM TECHNIQUE TO BLISS

                  You could quite easily argue that it’s not a road from technique to Bliss; they actually very much permeate one another. Bliss exists within acquiring the knowledge of the techniques involved in Bound Ardha Chandrasana. Being present in the fullness of each step reminds you of the fact that you have an ability to explore your body in this way and that both your experience in your body and your experience with postures like Bound Ardha Chandrasana will change over time. The intricacies that Matt demonstrates in the video, like where to place your Drishti (gaze), where to place the weight in your feet, how to ignite your glutes—are all part of the power that exists within you. Bask in the glory of this expression in the Power of Bliss Immersion.

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Power of Bliss Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

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                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

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                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

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                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

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                  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.

                  10 Sun Salutation Skill Sets

                  10 Sun Salutation Skill Sets

                  Polish Your Technique for Masterful Action

                  POWER YOGA

                  SUN SALUTATION SKILL SETS

                  The feeling you get from flowing on your mat to the rhythm of your breath can feel like paradise. There’s a freedom involved in seamlessly flowing from one yoga posture to the next. In a Vinyasa or Power Yoga class, you become intimately acquainted with Sun Salutation sequences. What may get lost, however, is the value of technique within your flow. Maintaining an underpinning of technique within your movements on the mat can drastically enhance the actions you take in your asana practice as a whole. If you’ve practiced with Matt before, then you’re more than aware that the techniques and philosophical guidance he offers within his classes can transform your yoga practice. Polishing your technique in Sun Salutation sequences will establish a solid foundation for your body to move with increased assuredness and ease in your Vinyasa or Power Yoga flows.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  THE POWER OF BLISS

                  November 2023 Immersion

                  • Moderately paced Power Yoga classes
                  • Perfect blend of movement, alignment, and technique
                  • Inspirationally themed to give meaning and power to each practice
                  • Tantrik philosophy: The 5 Powers of Consciousness
                  • Teachings of the Yoga Sutras
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional! All classes available on demand after livestream's complete

                  Registration now open!

                  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

                  Today’s video is extracted from Matt’s first class in his current immersion, Power Of Bliss. He begins the class by providing a broad overview of the 5 Powers of Consciousness from the Tantrik yoga lineage.  

                  “Knowledge,” or Jñāna–Śakti, being 1 of the 5 powers, is the acquisition of skill, technique, and understanding. This can be applied to any aspect of your life. On the yoga mat, it may refer to learning more about your body via the vehicle of yoga postures. It may mean learning about how to execute the postures themselves to maximize strength and flexibility. Matt stresses, however, that when you understand that all 5 powers are connected, then you realize that no amount of knowledge will manifest itself without action or without the will to learn in the first place, but knowledge is essential and helps you be more intentional with your actions. 

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  10 SUN SALUTATION SKILL SETS: POLISH YOUR TECHNIQUE FOR MASTERFUL ACTION

                  POSTURE SKILLS PART I

                  There is a plethora of techniques to be explored within Sun Salutation sequences. Fortunately, Matt creates an easily digestible process through which to attain these skills in today’s video.

                  Standing Chaturanga and Chaturanga

                  Standing Chaturanga removes the element of strength so you can first align your body for safe and efficient positioning. You’ll learn the placement of the hands and how that connects to the orientation of your shoulders. Practicing on a wall is the next stop before taking it to the mat.

                  Urdhva Hastasana

                  Matt teaches that when raising your arms up overhead, elevating your scapulae will help to minimize the risk of shoulder impingement. It will also train your body to utilize muscles like the serratus anterior and trapezius.

                  Ardha Uttanasana and Uttanasana

                  One of the most common tendencies in these poses is to misalign your pelvis and ankles. For increased strength, you can also isometrically contract your outer hips and buttocks in both postures.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  POSTURE SKILLS PART II

                  Plank

                  Planks are inevitable in Sun Salutation A. They may feel challenging, but layering in the techniques Matt teaches will significantly change your experience.

                  3-Part Cobra and Upward-Facing Dog

                  3-Part Cobra is unique to Chromatic Yoga. It’s a great way to prepare for spinal extension and what’s required in Upward-Facing Dog. Each step is precise and reveals a true record of your spinal extension.

                  Downward-Facing Dog

                  After practicing the elevation of the scapulae in Urdhva Hastasana, your body is more primed for the same elevation here. The muscle activations create more intensity and more support around the shoulder girdle.

                  The Jumps

                  Both forward and back jumps allow for more seamless transitions. There are specific articulations of the ankles and knees that create more fluency when practiced.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  KNOWLEDGE APPLICATION

                  Learning these techniques brings you closer to what’s required in your own body. Seen through the lens of the 5 Powers of Consciousness, knowledge will create transformation through the awareness that action must take place with consistency. Acquiring more in-depth knowledge of the postures in Sun Salutation A can cultivate deeper understanding and more transformative experiences in other postures. Knowledge is imperative, but it’s the application of that knowledge that helps you reach your fullest potential. The connection of philosophy to your physical practice can also promote deeper self-study, or Svadhyaya.  

                  Learn how to make these deeper connections and polish your technique in The Power Of Bliss Immersion

                  See you on the mat!

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Power Of Bliss Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

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                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

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                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

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                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  3 Ways To Stretch & Strengthen Your Neck

                  3 Ways to Stretch and Strengthen Your Neck

                  Home In on the Awareness of Your Posture

                  NECK MOBILITY

                  STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN YOUR NECK

                  A common postural tendency or pattern for so many is slouching, which includes forward head posture due to the amount of time spent at a work desk or on a variety of digital devices. Functioning in this way may seem unavoidable due to work/life responsibilities, but welcoming in a level of awareness and actions you can take to shift this pattern will ultimately contribute to greater wellness. 

                  If you’re holding tension in your neck and upper back, the techniques Matt offers in today’s video will help stretch and strengthen the appropriate muscles in your neck. It also means that you’ll find more freedom of movement, which may also lead to less tension. The key component is the awareness that you’ll nurture throughout the process. There isn’t any “fix” without awareness. This part of the equation must also be implemented.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  THE POWER OF BLISS

                  November 2023 Immersion

                  • Moderately paced Power Yoga classes
                  • Perfect blend of movement, alignment, and technique
                  • Inspirationally themed to give meaning and power to each practice
                  • Tantrik philosophy: The 5 Powers of Consciousness
                  • Teachings of the Yoga Sutras
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional! All classes available on demand after livestream's complete

                  Registration now open!

                  SVADHYAYA AND AWARENESS

                  If you want to transform your experience, you must first be aware of your state of being. In my previous blog, Take Action in Flying Pigeon, we touched on the area of understanding the 5 Powers of Consciousness, which Matt explores further in his immersion The Power of Bliss and delves into in greater detail in his 300 Hr. Teacher Training. In Chromatic Yoga, Matt draws on the original teachings of the Yoga Sutras and beyond. He stresses that the key aspect is self-inquiry, Svadhyaya in the Yoga Sutras. This relates back to the first power in the 5 Powers of Consciousness from the Tantik perspective, which is Cit Śakti (the power of awareness itself). The power of awareness leads to the journey of Svadhyaya and therefore the discernment you need to take the right actions.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  3 WAYS TO STRETCH & STRENGTHEN YOUR NECK: HONE IN ON THE AWARENESS OF YOUR NECK

                  TECHNIQUES FOR THE NECK

                  When you’re experiencing neck tension, it can be quite challenging to shift your awareness from discomfort or pain to the possibility of ease. Part of the formula to create ease is to stretch and strengthen your neck. This is important because the muscles of the neck can become shortened, weak, and tight from constant poor positioning such as forward head posture. Pulling your chin in and your head back and up, without puffing your chest out, can help to stretch the sternocleidomastoid muscle. On each side of the neck, this muscle attaches to both the sternum and the clavicle and then to the mastoid process towards the rear side of your skull.

                  Adding in rotation can also promote strength and flexibility in your neck. These may be “simple” actions, but it’s imperative to be aware of the execution of these techniques within a given posture.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  3 POSTURES FOR THE NECK

                  It can be easy to remain on autopilot in any given yoga posture, especially if you’ve executed the posture many times before. Matt outlines how to stretch and strengthen your neck in 3 “basic” yoga postures.

                  In Warrior II, you’ll see how Matt pulls his head up and back before initiating the next step, the rotation. When the rotation is added, along with the awareness to shorten one side and lengthen the other, what you achieve is an engagement of the sternocleidomastoid on the front side and a lengthening on the back side. What’s even more effective is the self-adjustment of pressing your head into your hand in order to get more in touch with the positioning and sensation. When exploring Pyramid Pose and High Lunge, the experience in both of these postures is changed by adding the same techniques (without the rotation). 

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  MAKE THE SHIFT

                  If you shift your awareness within a yoga posture, you’ll transform your awareness in your everyday posture. Once you have incorporated these techniques on the mat, how many times can you incorporate them into your everyday life? This is part of Svadhyaya, the practice of self-inquiry, on the physical level. Of course Svadhyaya goes beyond this aspect only.  

                  Matt emphasizes that it’s not about staying in this position all the time but about training yourself to stretch and strengthen your neck muscles more often. Like anything else, these repetitive actions will stimulate the muscles to respond and ultimately make the shift to more freedom.

                  Register for Matt’s November immersion, The Power of Bliss, to go deeper into the awareness of your body and mind. 

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Chromatic Yoga 15-Hour Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

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                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

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                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  Take Action In Flying Pigeon

                  Take Action in Flying Pigeon

                  Asana and the 5 Powers of Consciousness

                  EKA PADA GALAVASANA

                  TAKE ACTION IN FLYING PIGEON

                  Interesting about seeking and incorporating a yoga practice is that the entry point is quite different for everyone. There are many reasons you may be drawn to certain aspects of the practice, and they may satisfy you for some time.  What usually happens though is an unfolding you don’t expect. The purpose or reason you went to your yoga practice shifts the more you delve into what it has to offer. It’s not uncommon to be drawn to the physical (the asana) first, but as you continue to have the desire to learn and the willingness to take action, your relationship with your yoga practice will change and deepen.

                  In today’s video, Matt demonstrates how to take action in Flying Pigeon, but when you examine it through the lens of the 5 Powers of Consciousness, your perspective opens up.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  THE POWER OF BLISS

                  November 2023 Immersion

                  • Moderately paced Power Yoga classes
                  • Perfect blend of movement, alignment, and technique
                  • Inspirationally themed to give meaning and power to each practice
                  • Tantrik philosophy: The 5 Powers of Consciousness
                  • Teachings of the Yoga Sutras
                  • 12 classes included
                  • Livestream optional! All classes available on demand after livestream's complete

                  Registration now open!

                  WHAT ARE THE 5 POWERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS?

                  If you study with Matt in any of his yoga teacher trainings or immersions, you’ll gain access to these teachings, which come from ancient Tantrik Yoga philosophy.

                  Christopher Wallis, author of Tantra Illuminated, outlines the 5 powers of consciousness:

                  1. Consciousness/Awareness: Cit-Śakti
                  2. Bliss: Ānanda-Śakti 
                  3. Will: Icchā-Śakti
                  4. Knowledge: Jñāna-Śakti
                  5. Action: Kriyā-Śakti
                  6. Freedom (encompasses all 5): Svātantrya-Śakti

                  Each on their own have profound meaning, but it’s important to understand that they all exist within each other.

                  For today, we’ll look at Flying Pigeon primarily through the lens of Action (Kriyā-Śakti), but there is no action without the discussion of Will (Icchā-Śakti) and Knowledge (Jñāna-Śakti). It’s not that the others are not present, but we can start to gain some insight into the system as they apply to what it means to take action in Flying Pigeon Pose.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  TAKE ACTION IN FLYING PIGEON: ASANA AND THE 5 POWERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

                  FLYING PIGEON PREPARATION

                  Hip opening is one of the key components of Flying Pigeon, and this is what Matt demonstrates in today’s video. Matt guides you through the Chromatic Yoga process by layering postures that will prepare your hips and facilitate your ability to “take action in Flying Pigeon.”  

                  Keep in mind, however, that the action takes place throughout the entire process. The fact that you have the will to do it, that you take the time to learn more about how to do it, and then actually show up to practice—these are all part of taking action. Looking at it through the lens of the 5 powers of consciousness, you might become more aware of your reasons for wanting to do the pose and of how you respond to the process. 

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  THE 3 STEPS TO FLYING PIGEON

                  In the first step, Matt starts you off by practicing a hip opener at the wall, and he begins to pattern your ability to evert your ankle. This knowledge can change your experience of Flying Pigeon altogether. When you add in the aspect of balance, it can be challenging to open your hip to the required degree without your foot wanting to naturally invert as a result, which may cause it to slip off your upper arm.

                  Without balancing, you still begin to position yourself similarly to the peak posture. For example, you get to practice just how close you need to bring your shin to your armpit, along with leaving space between your foot and tricep.  

                  The third step is the “preparatory peak pose.” Here, Matt offers the option of practicing Flying Pigeon in a shape similar to Boat Pose. This again helps with patterning.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL

                  Within this system, the understanding is that in order to take action, there is an awareness that there is some desire (will) present to pursue a particular action. If will is present, the acquisition of knowledge must follow. What’s intriguing about understanding all of this is that the pursuit of a particular asana is done with the removal of the part of the ego that wants to prove, for external validation, that it can be done.

                  Bliss, as discussed in Tantra Illuminated, helps you be simply appreciative of the exploration, no matter the outcome of achieving the posture. Being conscious of this experience is also Bliss.  

                  Making sense of it all requires much more than barely skimming the surface. Matt’s next immersion, Power of Bliss, will take you on the journey of understanding.

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Chromatic Yoga 15-Hour Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

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                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

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                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

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                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

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                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  read more

                  THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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                  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
                  • exclusive online course discounts
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                  Inversion Drills

                  Inversion Drills

                  Conquer Fear Through Technique

                  SIRSASANA

                  INVERSION DRILLS

                  Are you the type of person who avoids inversions altogether, or do you eagerly await the option in your yoga classes? 

                  Matt infuses Chromatic yoga with the philosophies of ancient Tantric yoga to help you acquire a more in-depth understanding of your own thought processes, decision-making, and patterns. One of the ways you can more closely connect to the reason for either a fear (resistance) or an attachment (attraction) regarding inversions is through the conditioning (samskaras) you have about your ability to achieve inversions. This is why the Chromatic approach is always systematic—you’re encouraged to take incremental steps towards your desired actions and new patterning. Utilizing the inversion drills from today’s video is a step towards understanding your relationship with fear and learning about how technique can quiet your resistance towards them.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  CHROMATIC YOGA

                  OCTOBER 2023  15Hr. Immersion

                  • 12 Chromatic Yoga practices with founder Matt Giordano
                  • Full-spectrum immersion covering all posture categories
                  • Improve your body awareness and advance your practice
                  • Technique, biomechanics, and alignment at the forefront
                  • Life-enhancing and inspirational Chromatic philosophy woven through each class
                  • 15 Continuing Education hours with Yoga Alliance
                  • 15 Accredited Hours with the Chromatic School of Yoga
                  • Step-by-step instruction for increased accessibility
                  • Improve strength, balance, flexibility, and proprioception
                  • Appropriate variations and modifications for all levels

                  $168.00 $138.00

                  MORE INFORMATION

                   

                  IS FEAR WORKING FOR YOU OR AGAINST YOU?

                  Feling fear about inversions or even inversion drills doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. You’re not required to change your feelings about them just to work them into your asana practice. That’s not what understanding your relationship to fear means. Fear may be what protects you. You may have an injury or condition that may amplify if you don’t use your good judgment and stay away from inversions. In the full class, Matt discusses how fear is a kind of protective mechanism. It can help you to sort through whether or not the fear is valid. The thing is, it’s up to you to decide if working beyond it will create positive transformation, like confidence and strength, or if it might be more damaging. It’s quite alright to fear something and make a decision not to engage in that particular thing.

                  THE 5 KLESHAS

                  How does this relate to the Yoga Sutras? In Tantra of the Yoga Sutras, author Alan Finger states the following:

                  “The five kleshas are what cause the mind to become engrossed in the belief patterns that create mental disequilibrium and psychological distress.”

                  Here are the 5 kleshas:

                  1. Avidya: Ignorance
                  2. Asmita: Ego
                  3. Raga: Attachment
                  4. Dvesha: Aversion
                  5. Abhinivesha: Fear of Death

                  Finger, Alan. Tantra of the Yoga Sutras. Pg. 42 (Yoga Sutra 2.3)

                  In this particular class, Matt points to raga and dvesha in relation to inversions and inversion drills. Raga here means that you are keen to practice inversions because, for example, they are familiar, or you already feel confident practicing them. Dvesha, being the opposite, may come from your fear or lack of confidence in your ability.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  INVERSION DRILLS: CONQUER THE FEAR THROUGH TECHNIQUE

                  HEADSTAND DRILLS

                  Once you look at inversions through the lens of raga and dvesha, Matt explains that there are 2 next steps to follow:

                  1. Become aware of what you avoid and attach to.
                  2. Practice taking action in the direction of what is appropriate for you.

                  In headstands, there may already be aspects you are comfortable with. If it’s appropriate for you to move forward, Matt offers techniques that will strengthen your confidence.

                  First, he makes a connection to Handstand by pointing out that whether you are practicing on your head or your hands, the same principle applies: lean and resist. You lean forward to go upright, but then you must resist to prevent yourself from falling. There are muscle engagements that will help you to find your balance. In the headstand inversion drills, pressing your head back into your hands while pressing your fists and forearms into the ground will allow your neck muscles to become your brakes.

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  HANDSTAND DRILLS

                  In handstands, one of the prominent activations comes from the forearms; this is done by gripping the ground. As in the inversion drills for Headstand, you can make use of other props to find better access to “lean and resist.” Keep in mind that it’s not all about strength. Hamstring flexibility supports your ability to go upright. In these inversion drills, Matt makes great use of blocks and a chair as a way to minimize the amount of hamstring flexibility that is required.  

                  These tools play a role in the incremental steps he’s talking about. The props are used as a way to mitigate fear. You also become deeply immersed in technique, which creates a rise in ability and confidence. In the video, you’ll see the attention placed on things like the articulation of your feet, your pelvis, and even your distance from the wall. These are important specifics that will transform your experience.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  LISTEN TO THE FEAR

                  Fear has a loud voice. What you do with it will determine your path. That voice can push you away from something magical that’s waiting for you, or it can provide you with better connection to your own discernment. If the message is to take action, to conquer that fear, then reverse engineer your steps. In your yoga practice, lock into the techniques that quiet the voice of fear and strengthen your ability. If your focus and awareness are placed on those actions rather than the fear, you’ve already conquered it. The better choice may be to not engage, and this is also a powerful option. Either way, you are more confident in your decision-making and your ability to select what’s right for you. Take action to find the right path by registering for Matt’s 15-Hour Chromatic Yoga Immersion.

                  See you on the mat!

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Chromatic Yoga 15-Hour Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

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                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

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                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

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                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

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                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

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                  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.

                  Ignite Your Core

                  Ignite Your Core

                  Add These 7 Postures for Strength and Stretching

                  SPINAL FLEXION

                  IGNITE YOUR CORE

                  It’s no secret that you go to your yoga mat for a purpose, whatever that may be on a given day. It’s important, however, to marry that purpose with intention. When it comes to strengthening your core in your asana practice, this is vital. As your center, your core is involved in every movement, but that doesn’t mean you’re maximizing your potential for strength. In many yoga postures, you may be missing opportunities to intentionally move in a way that will truly ignite your core. In today’s video, you’ll see how Matt transforms the execution of 7 yoga poses. You will learn new ways to achieve strength in your core, and you’ll gain the benefit of a target  stretch, which in Chromatic yoga can become a secondary focal point to support the desired action on the mat.

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  CHROMATIC YOGA

                  OCTOBER 2023  15Hr. Immersion

                  • 12 Chromatic Yoga practices with founder Matt Giordano
                  • Full-spectrum immersion covering all posture categories
                  • Improve your body awareness and advance your practice
                  • Technique, biomechanics, and alignment at the forefront
                  • Life-enhancing and inspirational Chromatic philosophy woven through each class
                  • 15 Continuing Education hours with Yoga Alliance
                  • 15 Accredited Hours with the Chromatic School of Yoga
                  • Step-by-step instruction for increased accessibility
                  • Improve strength, balance, flexibility, and proprioception
                  • Appropriate variations and modifications for all levels

                  $168.00 $138.00

                  MORE INFORMATION

                   

                  PREPARE WITH “CORE” CAT/COW

                  Igniting your core in Cat/Cow may not be exactly as you imagine. What Matt says in the video about defaulting to just allowing gravity to take over can be so true. He mentions that when moving into spinal flexion (Cat), you may just be dropping your head and the lower vertebrae, but flexing the entire spine is extremely important. The actions to take here are to pull your chin and throat back and to pull your ribs back, while lengthening the occipital ridge (where your skull meets your neck). By doing this, you’ll really feel the difference in sensation. You’ll get the activation of the core, receiving the benefit of strength while also lengthening the erector spinae muscles. These are also great foundational actions for arm balances and forward folds.

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  IGNITE YOUR CORE: ADD THESE 7 POSTURES FOR STRENGTH & STRETCH

                  PROGRESSION AND PATTERNING

                  In Chromatic yoga, you’re directed toward a specific focal point or action. This not only allows you to practice it repeatedly to integrate it, but eventually, it also transforms the way your body moves altogether. After repatterning Cat/Cow to attain more core engagement, multiple opportunities will unfold in the rest of the practice. Postures like High Lunge and the transitions between postures change when you focus on the physical throughline. In today’s video, you’ll see how the same actions from Cat/Cow are repeated in High Lunge. Coming from Three-Legged Dog towards “knee to chest” requires more strength from your wrists, shoulders, and serratus anterior. So what should you do? Stay focused on the key actions. What’s interesting is that sometimes your body finds more connection on a different plane, so repeatedly exploring these actions is crucial.  

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  CORE ACTIVATION—TRADITIONAL AND UNEXPECTED

                  Matt offers a variety of options in standing and seated Dragonfly.  

                  As discussed, the key actions today are to pull your ribs back, pull your chin and throat back, and elongate your neck. In the last 4 postures in the video, Matt demonstrates some traditional and unexpected ways to ignite your core.

                  1. Lizard Pose is a hip opener, but bringing your awareness to the key actions is what changes the dynamic. 
                  2. Forearm Plank may be a more typical posture with regard to strengthening the core, but pay attention to the plantar flexion (pointing) of Matt’s feet in the video—it leads to more emphasis on your trunk.
                  3. Gravity can take over in Pyramid Pose, but it’s an opportunity again to engage.
                  4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) is the final pose in the clip. Although an intense hamstring stretch, it becomes effective as a core strengthener when you stretch your back muscles in spinal flexion.
                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  THE ULTIMATE GOAL

                  The ultimate goal is to BE INTENTIONAL. Every posture has multiple benefits, but it’s the focus you keep within a given practice that will ultimately bring clarity and purpose to your experiences on the mat.

                  One thing truly affects another, as is shown in the 7 postures Matt demonstrates in today’s video. Enhanced awareness of core activation will ultimately lead to improved spinal flexion. Taking a Chromatic approach opens up more opportunity for breakthroughs in your practice.

                  You can register for Matt’s current 15 Hour Chromatic Yoga Immersion to open yourself up to new possibilities.

                  See you on the mat!

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Chromatic Yoga 15 Hour Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

                  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
                  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
                  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
                  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
                  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
                  • Release aches and pains
                  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
                  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
                  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
                  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
                  • Lifetime access

                  Continue Learning

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

                  read more
                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

                  read more
                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

                  Deep Dive Into Chaturanga Shoulder Action Controversyshoulder stabilityDEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction....

                  read more
                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your “Shelf” For Mayurasana

                  Strengthen Your "Shelf" for Mayurasana How to Prepare for This Unique Arm BalanceDELTOIDSSTRENGTHEN YOUR "SHELF" FOR MAYURASANA Let’s note that muscle groups do not work in isolation: The activation of accessory muscles, although not necessarily the focal point, are...

                  read more
                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are The Tilts Of The Scapula?

                  What Are the Tilts of the Scapulae? 4 Postures to Help You Lock Into These Shoulder ActionsSHOULDER ROTATIONWHAT ARE THE TILTS OF THE SCAPULAE? When we first dive into studying anatomy, it’s all about the basics. Once the foundation is laid, it becomes easier to...

                  read more
                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

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                  Awaken Your Rotator Cuff Muscles 6 Exercises for a More Stable Side PlankBELIEFAWAKEN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES The rotator cuff muscles carry a great deal of responsibility. When healthy and strong, they help to keep the head of the humerus inside of the glenoid...

                  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.

                  Dragonfly Pose

                  Dragonfly Pose

                  Techniques for Hips and for Arm Balances

                  parsva bhuja dandasana

                  DRAGONFLY POSE

                  Recently, I was listening to a podcast where the founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, mentioned the quote “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” He didn’t say it in exactly those words, but it was enough to see how well it applied to Chromatic yoga. Explaining what Chromatic yoga is in the first class of this month’s immersion (Chromatic Yoga), Matt says that instead of “achieving” a posture, you learn more about your body by understanding how to utilize it. You do this by executing the appropriate actions that inevitably make a posture accessible. How does this apply to Dragonfly Pose? Well, when broken down, the posture is a hip opener and an arm balance that also includes spinal rotation. Matt’s approach is about developing and strengthening the necessary actions within your body through practice and repetition. 

                  chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

                  CHROMATIC YOGA

                  OCTOBER 2023  15Hr. Immersion

                  • 12 Chromatic Yoga practices with founder Matt Giordano
                  • Full-spectrum immersion covering all posture categories
                  • Improve your body awareness and advance your practice
                  • Technique, biomechanics, and alignment at the forefront
                  • Life-enhancing and inspirational Chromatic philosophy woven through each class
                  • 15 Continuing Education hours with Yoga Alliance
                  • 15 Accredited Hours with the Chromatic School of Yoga
                  • Step-by-step instruction for increased accessibility
                  • Improve strength, balance, flexibility, and proprioception
                  • Appropriate variations and modifications for all levels

                  $168.00 $138.00

                  MORE INFORMATION

                   

                  APPROACHING DRAGONFLY POSE

                  Breaking it down into little pieces is the key to making this intricate and challenging pose less intimidating. If your body is not “ready/prepared/able” to combine the hip opening, spinal rotation, and arm balance all at once, you can explore the many variations Matt offers in today’s video. Exploring these variations is the perfect opportunity to kinesthetically learn and integrate the patterns for the pose in your body. With each step, more than just making the shape, you are strengthening the appropriate muscle groups in order to eventually find a more equal balance of both ease and flexibility in Dragonfly. In the full class from which this video is extracted, Matt reminds you that it’s not about making the pose easy, it’s about creating integrity during the execution. For example, if you are extremely flexible and/or hypermobile, you can make Dragonfly more sturdy with the right muscular activations. 

                  WATCH THE VIDEO

                  DRAGONFLY POSE: TECHNIQUES FOR HIPS & ARM BALANCES

                  TAKE IT DOWN

                  Creating these activations requires a generous level of exertion, making it effortful rather than easy.

                  In the first variation that Matt demonstrates, he removes the arm balance and takes you all the way down onto your mat. After creating the initial shape, he then introduces the use of a yoga block to assist in strengthening your adductors and hip flexors. While practicing the steps to develop strength, you acquire a deeper connection to and understanding of your body. You’ll find out where you already feel strong versus where you may need to spend more time building strength. 

                  There are also a number of “tiny” actions that you can practice without the intensity of the arm balance component. The flexion and direction of your feet, for example, can greatly affect your ability to maintain the positioning of the top leg in Dragonfly Pose. 

                  200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

                  200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

                  • Deepen your yoga practice
                  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
                  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
                  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
                  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
                  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  STANDING VERSUS SEATED DRAGONFLY POSE

                  What’s incredible here is the variety of options Matt offers in standing and seated Dragonfly.  

                  Standing Dragonfly

                  In the first option, he layers the spinal rotation element on top of the hip opening. You also begin to introduce more of a balance component since you are standing on one leg in a “Figure 4” position. 

                  The final standing variation is done at the wall, through which a certain degree of balance is dialed back; however, the connection to the arm balance can begin here.  

                  Seated Dragonfly

                  While seated in a chair, you again create the Figure 4 position, along with the spinal rotation. When you’re ready to progress to the arm balance, Matt demonstrates how to use the edge of a chair. Your chair plays a vital role in that the height must be just right so as not to place too much pressure on your hip.

                  300 hour teacher training online

                  300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

                  GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

                  Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

                  • 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
                  • WINTER ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

                  BEGIN AT THE END

                  Part of Chromatic yoga is looking at the “end point” (in this case Dragonfly Pose) so that you can work backwards by analyzing all of the necessary pieces to work through and explore. It’s the “shooting for the moon,” if you will.  What ultimately happens as you explore and prepare your body is that you discover a great deal about your physical and mental self. You end up “landing among the stars.” You find out how you react/respond once you are faced with a physical challenge while exploring a posture. Do you work through it, or is your instinct to run? You also discover what physical actions you need to take to break through and achieve your fullest potential.

                  Register for Matt’s Chromatic Yoga Immersion to transform your relationship to your yoga practice so that you open the door to new possibilities.

                  The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

                  Article by Trish Curling

                  Videos Extracted From: Flow & Fly Immersion

                  lotus pose online yoga classes

                  The Teachers' Toolkit

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                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand To Crow Pose

                  Tripod Headstand to Crow for Controlled AccessinversionsTRIPOD HEADSTAND TO CROW POSE When exploring an inversion like Tripod Headstand, the shoulder muscles become part of the primary focus. Tripod Headstand on its own can be challenging enough, but adding a...

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                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections

                  Shoulder Connections 3 Postures for Increased Mobilityshoulder stabilitySHOULDER CONNECTIONS To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures....

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