3 BEST YOGA PRACTICES FOR THE 5 LAYERED SELF ASANA "YOGA", PRANAYAMA "BREATHWORK", MEDITATION3 BEST YOGA PRACTICES5 LAYERED SELF AND THE 3 BEST YOGA PRACTICESWhat are the 3 best yoga practices and why? You are likely already familiar with Asana, as it is the physical...
Dharana Leads to Mastery
There are multiple reasons why we practice asana (the physical practice of yoga), but most of us would agree that the primary one is that we feel better afterward. Asana offers us an opportunity to get to know our body on a deeper level because it demands the full attention of our mind. You can’t mentally check out while holding a balance posture; you must stay present. It’s that type of absolute focus that allows us to advance in anything we do. In the yoga sutras, the harnessing of our mind’s attention to focus on one thing is referred to as Dharana. We can get to the state of Dharana on and off the mat. It’s a skill that can permeate every aspect of our life. To become masterful at anything we do, we must practice this single-pointed focus. So how do we do it in our asana practice?
The challenge most of us face is that our only measure of progress in the asana practice is the attainment of postures. I say asana specifically because the yoga practice includes far more than the study of the physical body, and for this discussion, I want to target the development of our physical awareness. If the postures are our only measurement, then we subconsciously will strive for the ability to achieve more of them so long as we feel safe enough. On the other hand, if we don’t feel safe then we will likely hold ourselves back from our potential. I’d like to invite you to focus your attention on something more specific in your physical practice: targeted, intentional muscle activation and the sensations you experience while doing so. Instead of practicing many postures, focus on fewer postures with several muscle activations. The body has a tremendous amount of muscles, so limit your options by focusing on one area of your body i.e. the hips, shoulders, spine, ankles, core, etc. This is how I structure my Elements of Mastery immersion, I take you through simple postures while targeting each area of the body throughout the weekend or online course. In the video below, I give the example of how to activate 3 different muscle groups in the “hips” category for one single posture, lunge pose.
What Does it mean to be advanced?
The practice of yoga is always about developing some form of awareness through intentional actions. Advanced in the physical practice of asana means heightened proprioception of the body or “Body Awareness.” Understanding how to activate the various muscles of the body in order to move your bones/joints and be able to feel the sensations of these actions is what qualifies an advanced practitioner. For some, that may result in complex postures that require flexibility and strength, and for others, it might be living a more pain-free life. In any case, “advanced” is not aesthetic, it’s functional, which may or may not be visually pleasing to someone watching. The recent interest in fascia, the connective tissue of the body, has revealed many findings in modern research. While researchers are just a few years into the study of connective tissue, studies are showing the correlation between proprioception and chronic pain – those that are less aware of and capable of moving or activating certain areas of their body also experience chronic pain in these areas. What that means for us practicing yoga is to use the practice to develop greater body awareness if we want to decrease chronic pain. Watch the video below to see how I explore different muscle groups within a simple lunge posture
Elements of Mastery
The most in-depth online yoga immersion offered by Matt Giordano. This immersion contains several full-length workshops focusing on how the body relates to nature’s elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, & Space. In addition to deepening your physical practice, you will learn anatomy, adjustments, and the approach to Mastery!
Get access to 3 or more products so you can develop your yoga practice in a well-rounded and enjoyable way right from your home! You will not only save money but you will also have unlimited access to feeling better in your body and mind!
YOGA ALIGNMENT: FULL WHEEL POSE THE 3 MYTHS DEBUNKEDFULL WHEELYOGA ALIGNMENT: FULL WHEEL POSEYoga alignment for Full Wheel Pose is anything but simple, but achieving an easeful expression of the posture in your body is most definitely attainable. We just have to break...
Chaturanga Yoga Pose Alignment and Anatomy The Mystery FINALLY Revealed and ClarifiedCHATURANGAWHAT IS CHATURANGA AND WHY IS IT SO CONFUSING?What is the best alignment for Chaturanga? First let's start with what this pose is. Chaturanga is both a yoga pose and a...
What is Yoga Alignment and is it important to keeping my body safe? will it advance my yoga practice? You may have heard that there is a right and wrong way to do a pose, so what I am about to share might shock you…
5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....
NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....
Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This collection of the top 12 most effective exercises will make you rethink how you approach handstand and what is possible.
In this workshop you will practice specific techniques to open your hips, finding greater rang of motion and freedom. Each action in the body is carefully layered and clearly articulated to provide you with success.
Dance With The Flames
Change is Inevitable but transformation is a choice. Step into the fire and dance amongst the flames in this live workshop! You will get the full energy of being in the class room, strengthen your hips, and free your heart.
Still Have Questions? Email Matt Directly