Learn To Lift In Lolasana

Learn to Lift in Lolasana

Crucial Techniques for Takeoff

pendant pose

LEARN TO LIFT IN LOLASANA

If you read my previous blog about One-Legged Crow, then you’ll know it started off with how much Matt stresses leaning forward in that posture (and in most arm balances in fact). I could start here in exactly the same way because leaning forward is truly the best place to start when you’re trying to learn to lift in Lolasana; however, it’s wishful thinking to believe that it is as simple as that. Today, Matt provides not only the variations to explore but also exactly what leaning forward entails, particularly when it comes to Lolasana. This pose is unique in that it requires an astonishing amount of hip flexor strength in order to actually achieve the lift. The variations and techniques Matt offers today provide a clearly defined path to strengthen your body and to more deeply develop the areas that may be the hurdle to actually achieving Lolasana.

online classes for anatomy of arm balances

FLOW & FLY

MAY 2023 Immersion

  • 12 Vinyasa-style practices
  • Increase your cardiovascular activity
  • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
  • Improve balance and proprioception
  • Accessible modifications and sequences
  • Appropriate variations for your level of practice
  • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
  • ALL LEVELS APPROPRIATE

$148.00

MORE INFORMATION

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PUSH MUSCLES

Before you lean forward, creating the right shape with your body is imperative. To this end, you will be placing your awareness on activating specific muscle groups to support where you’re required to be in space in order to learn to lift in Lolasana. Activating and strengthening your push muscles will support this endeavor. Your serratus anterior helps to protract the scapulae, which is important because the amount of space between you and the ground is vital—you need enough room for lift-off. While you’re creating space between your shoulder blades as a result of the push of the hands, you’re contracting the chest muscles, which fires up the triceps. Being aware of how one action informs the next will help you find the amount of lean required for this arm balance.

WATCH THE VIDEO

LEARN TO LIFT IN LOLASANA:  CRUCIAL TECHNIQUES FOR TAKEOFF

WHAT’S INVOLVED IN LEANING FORWARD?

One thing you’ll come to understand very quickly when you practice with Matt is that nothing works in isolation. You’ll hear him refer to the “team effort” of the actions that are layered to create the desired output. This is the Chromatic way. For example, the push muscles help inform the shape of your body, and one of the push muscles’ teammates is wrist extension. An appropriate amount will help propel your body forward with control. When you examine Lolasana step by step, you’ll see that your shoulders are required to move in front of your wrists. Once this is achieved, Matt explains that it will encourage increased “lightness” in the legs in order for you to take flight.  Knowing this will allow you to learn to lift in Lolasana, but first, you must find confidence in the direction of the lean.

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!

KEY ACTIONS IN LOLASANA

Among the variations in today’s video, you’ll gain some great insight into how to place your hands on blocks. This is an important step in early preparation. Using blocks under your hands both supports the required amount of wrist extension and assists your hip flexors so that you won’t have to lift them as high as in the variations without blocks. Following the variations in the order that Matt provides them is always advisable. Understanding the key action of the posture will also help to unfold where you need to place your attention.

Key Actions:

  1. Grip your fingers into the ground
  2. Lean forward enough for the shoulders to move ahead of the wrists (like you’re going to do a somersault) 
  3. Push the floor or blocks away to protract the scapulae
  4. Pull your knees into your chest
  5. Lift your feet off of the ground
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 OVERLAP IN ARM BALANCES

Even though arm balances share a high degree of challenge and are unique in their own ways, they also share a certain amount of overlap. This crossover allows you to work on techniques that can unlock other arm balances in your physical yoga practice. Wrist extension and shoulder protraction are the most obvious actions that overlap and are required for most arm balances. Lolasana is extremely challenging, but it provides an opportunity to step back and work on these 2 actions before you can even consider adding in the element of the lift.  

In Matt’s immersion Flow and Fly, not only will you acquire the skills to learn to lift in Lolasana, but you’ll also learn the techniques that overlap in a wide variety of arm balances. 

Jump in so that you can take the steps to lean, lift, and fly!

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

Video Extracted From: Flow and Fly

online classes for anatomy of arm balances

FLOW & FLY

MAY 2023 Immersion

  • 12 Vinyasa-style practices
  • Increase your cardiovascular activity
  • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
  • Improve balance and proprioception
  • Accessible modifications and sequences
  • Appropriate variations for your level of practice
  • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
  • ALL LEVELS APPROPRIATE

$148.00

MORE INFORMATION

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.

Learn To Fly In Side Crow

Learn to Fly in Side Crow

Get to the Core with 3 Variations

ARM BALANCE

LEARN TO FLY IN SIDE CROW

Getting to the core of this arm balance will awaken a potential in your body that you may not be aware is even present. Learning to fly in Side Crow actually goes deeper than going through the motions of different variations. If you’ve been practicing with Matt, then you know that he teaches and applies very specific techniques within a posture and/or its variations; these techniques show you how to intellectually approach the execution of a yoga posture. The 3 variations you’ll see in today’s video will show you how to properly activate the muscles (obliques, abductor group, adductors, and hip flexors) in order to tap into the potential that awaits you.

Yoga for Core and Breathwork

BREATH OF FIRE

  • Moderate Vinyasa-style classes
  • Core strengthening & integration
  • Master your breath with pranayama practices
  • Access your core in arm balances, heart openers, twists, forward folds, inversions, and more
  • Learn where and how to breathe in challenging postures
  • Each class will include one pranayama (breathwork practice) and several core strengtheners
  • Access your core muscles: deep, superficial, anterior, posterior, and lateral 
  • 12 Classes: All levels appropriate
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all
  • Attend the livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you

$148.00

THE 2 MAIN ACTIONS

The clips from today’s video are taken from the Anatomy of Arm Balances immersion. In the full class, Matt invites you to step back from balancing in the posture so you can actually connect with your core muscles. How is this done? It’s the positioning of the arm that’s furthest away from your body that allows the core connection to take place. You’re left with no choice but to utilize the obliques to gain height. Action #1 then is to hike the top hip up towards the same-side shoulder (obliques and gluteus medius activation). Action #2 requires the activation of the hip flexors. Here, you’re pulling your knees towards your chest while energetically pulling your bottom knee (if it’s the right) towards your right shoulder. This common thread runs through all 3 variations in some form. Let’s examine the techniques involved.

WATCH THE VIDEO

LEARN TO FLY IN SIDE CROW: GET TO THE CORE WITH 3 VARIATIONS

SIDE CROW: NO PROPS

Starting with this variation provides a nice baseline for you to see where you may need to place more emphasis. You’ll see how wide the distance is between Matt’s hands. Spreading your hands far apart forces you to lift the hips up as high as possible, which turns on the upper obliques. Dropping the hips (which is common) significantly minimizes your use of the obliques. These 2 main actions, along with leaning more forward and of course gripping your fingers into the ground, are the keys. If you are challenged anywhere along the chain of events, dial it back and work on the sensations of the activations (e.g., hands wide while lifting and lowering the hips with a contraction in the obliques). Still unsure what to feel? Have a look at the variations with props.

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!

SIDE CROW WITH A STRAP

This Side Crow variation with a strap is a great option to explore if you require more awareness of the upper obliques. This particular variation also places weight on the activation of the tensor fasciae latae (TFL). The TFL is both a hip flexor and internal rotator. The internal rotation helps to fire up the abductors of the bottom leg. Doing this creates more stability and provides greater access to the posture. Adding a strap doesn’t make it easier, but what you will receive is feedback. Pressing into the strap is like pressing into the guiding hand of a yoga teacher. You won’t be able to ignore the sensations here, I promise you. The abductor muscles will speak to you, and it will be quite the conversation!

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 WITH A BLOCK

Lastly, Matt demonstrates Side Crow with a block. Placing a yoga block between your thighs or shins helps you to squeeze everything into the center. Here you’ll feel the adductors while you try to hold the block in place. This option is closer to the first variation as regards shape, so it’s a great one to incorporate into your practice to encourage the 2 main actions with your legs hugged in towards one another.

EXPLORE AND INTEGRATE

In conclusion, unlearning some of the habits you’ve patterned that don’t require you to focus on just how strong can become in Side Crow will pay off in the long run. When the effort is appropriate, it is what drives you forward—as Matt always teaches, “explore and integrate.” Thinking about the possibilities available to you is actually pretty exciting. When you focus on building strength, you can learn to fly in Side Crow. After strength, weightlessness and lightness in the posture follow. A challenging arm balance like Side Crow will then emanate more ease than effort.

Register for Matt’s February immersion, Breath of Fire. This immersion will go deeper into how you can access your core muscles in order to progress in the awareness of your body and your practice.

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

Video Extracted From: Anatomy Of Arm Balances

Yoga for Core and Breathwork

BREATH OF FIRE

  • Moderate Vinyasa-style classes
  • Core strengthening & integration
  • Master your breath with pranayama practices
  • Access your core in arm balances, heart openers, twists, forward folds, inversions, and more
  • Learn where and how to breathe in challenging postures
  • Each class will include one pranayama (breathwork practice) and several core strengtheners
  • Access your core muscles: deep, superficial, anterior, posterior, and lateral 
  • 12 Classes: All levels appropriate
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all
  • Attend the livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you

$148.00

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.

Take Flight in Crow Pose

TAKE FLIGHT IN CROW POSE

Strengthen Your Wrists

KAKASANA

WHAT IS THE SECRET TO TAKING FLIGHT IN CROW POSE?

In order to take flight in Crow Pose, it may seem obvious that a great deal of emphasis needs to be placed on your hands, but what often happens is that a great deal of attention is placed elsewhere.

When you think about Crow Pose—Bakasana—you may first think about what you need to do to either strengthen and/or activate the core. This is true, but how often do you think about what is necessary for your hands, wrists, and forearms? This part of your body plays a vital role not only in whether you will find enough strength to sustain the posture for any length of time but also in protecting your wrists overall.  

A great deal of time is spent in wrist extension in yoga. Most commonly, you see varying degrees of this in postures like the following: 

  • Variations of Plank/Vasisthasana 
  • Chaturanga Dandasana 
  • Fallen Angel (Devaduuta Panna Asana)
  • Variations of Crow (Bakasana) 

Matt talks a lot about starting postures from the ground up, and in Bakasana, this couldn’t be more true. You are balancing your entire body weight on your hands/wrists, so creating a solid foundation with your hands/wrists/forearms is non-negotiable. There are also actions in the hands that are mimicked/duplicated in the rest of your body as you layer on each action in the posture. You will see how everything is so closely related in Matt’s demonstration.

    Handstand and meditation online yoga classes

    HANDSTAND & MEDITATION

    ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

    BREAK THROUGH MENTAL & PHYSICAL BLOCKS

    • Learn the most effective drills to safely build your Handstand
    • Practice essential meditation techniques to break through mental barriers and build confidence
    • Improve focus and breath support right side up and upside down
    • Build strength and the necessary skills for balancing Handstand
    • 12 classes: All levels appropriate
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all
    • Attend livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you

    SALE PRICE: $168.00

    MORE INFORMATION

    THE BALANCE BETWEEN WRIST FLEXORS AND EXTENSORS

    When you understand how your body is working in each posture, it becomes a lot easier to see exactly how much everything is connected and how that both influences and supports the rest of your body parts in activating and responding the way you would like and need them to for stronger execution.

    Because you spend a lot of time in wrist extension in yoga, the wrist extensors (which are located on the back side of the forearms) are often shortened, and the flexors of the wrist (located on the front of the forearms) are in a more lengthened position. It’s imperative that these muscles be strong enough to, as Matt puts it, “apply the brakes” in arm balances. 

    Sending your weight forward is required in Crow Pose, so the strength of the “opposing action,” or creating an eccentric contraction of the flexors of the wrist to almost pull you back (that “application of the brakes” if you will), is in essence doing the work of keeping you balanced in the pose. Without this opposition or strength of the wrist flexors, you would just continue to go forward and then downward with gravity and eventually fall.

    So how do you activate and strengthen the flexors of the wrist? If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll know that he often refers to creating a “suction cupping” of space, or a Hasta Bandha in the hands (an energetic hollow-like quality in the center of the palms). 

    “Hasta Bandha (Hand Lock) assists energy up through the soft center of your palms to bring strength and stability to your arms and upper body.”

    Ekhar, Esther, The Bandha Approach You Haven’t Tried—That Could Change Everything, Yoga Journal, February 28, 2018

    FOCUS ON YOUR HANDS

    In Crow Pose and other arm balances like it, the more you lean forward, the more you are required to grip the fingers into the ground in order to achieve the appropriate activation.

    Let’s look at some of the anatomy first.

    Your carpals are all of the tiny bones at the wrist (base of the palm), and the carpal tunnels are the space for the nerves to go through.

    When it comes to the hands in Crow Pose and other arm balances, we want to be lighter in the carpals (with less pressure, pulled away from the ground, due to the nerve lines that are present). In opposition to this, we want to get stronger and push into the ground at the head of the metacarpals (this is the surface/place you might describe as the knuckles or where the fingers [phalanges] meet the upper portion of the palm.)

    You achieve this action by drawing the pinky and the thumb towards each other and down into the ground at the same time. This action can also be described as adduction (pulling in towards the midline of the palm). At the same time, the 3 fingers (pad of the index, middle, and pinky) are also pulling towards the palm of the hand.

    This is creating a generous amount of activation and therefore strengthening of the flexors of the wrist (flexor digitorum profundus and superficialis). Although there are many other muscles involved (both flexors and extensors) that are co-activating, these are 2 that are great to keep in mind because the flexor digitorum profundus attaches all the way down to the fingers. This muscle also works in conjunction with the flexor carpi radialis and the flexor digitorum superficialis (as previously mentioned).  

    This fact demonstrates how essential it is, for your practice, to get into deeper awareness and connection with your body in an anatomical sense. This reinforces that nothing works in isolation and that one part of the body, one action, creates a domino effect for other activations, movements, and strengthening to occur.

    WATCH THE VIDEO: STRENGTHEN YOUR WRISTS FOR CROW POSE

    NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
    NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

    STRENGTHEN YOUR WRISTS IN CROW POSE WITH BLOCKS

    Let’s now take the deeper awareness and solid foundation of the hands and create the domino effect with the rest of the body in Crow Pose. In today’s video, Matt demonstrates how helpful blocks are when it comes to strengthening the flexors of the wrist. If flying is not your thing, or it’s just not your thing within a specific practice, you can still work on strengthening the flexors of the wrist by using a set of yoga blocks under your feet and leaning your bodyweight for more extension in the wrists.

    Here are the steps Matt outlines in today’s video:

    1. Place your feet up on the blocks
    2. Take your hands out in front, grip the ground with fingers (using all of the actions previously outlined) 
    3. Place knees outside of the arms and squeeze into arms (mimicking the action of the pinky and thumb drawing towards one another)
    4. Lift bum up to sky
    5. Lean bodyweight forward (increased wrist extension and eccentric contraction of the flexors)
    6. *Now bring your awareness back to the hands; play with the fingers—grip the ground, press through metacarpals, lean forward, and keep strong in the flexors of the wrist 
    7. Bonus is to lift the heels of feet towards bum to fly
    Online yoga to improve mobility

    MOBILITY

    ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

    • Key techniques to increase flexibility
    • Strength development for mobility and range of motion
    • Learn postures: Hanumanasana (Splits), Extended Side Plank
    • Active and passive mobility for shoulders, hips, and spine
    • Improve spinal twists, heart openers, shoulder openers, and hip openers
    • Find greater ease in seated postures
    • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
    • When and how to do active, passive, and isometric stretching

    $148.00

    MORE INFORMATION

    THE BIG PICTURE—TAKE FLIGHT IN CROW POSE

    1.  Squeeze knees into the arms
    2.  Protract the shoulder blades 
    3.  Grip fingers into the ground

    Inviting in what may be some new actions to this posture, or to any other posture where the wrists are in extension in your physical yoga practice, helps to create a new muscular pattern. Repeating these actions will help your brain allow you to more easily default to these actions and therefore find the strength, ease, and lightness that’s desired in any arm balance.

      PARALLELS BETWEEN CROW POSE & HANDSTAND

      The beautiful thing about creating these patterns in your body and practicing the proper mechanics in Crow Pose is that these same mechanics translate quite well into other arm balances. 

      If you take a look at my previous article,  Kick Up Into Handstand, you’ll see exactly how Matt guides you through the same preparation for the wrists and forearms. You’ll see the importance of gripping the ground, the same alignment for the forearms, and the negotiation of the shift in weight required to balance (the balance of strength between the wrist flexors and extensors)—the same actions and techniques that help you to take flight in Crow Pose are the same fundamentals that help you see success and that assist with the crossover from one arm balance to another.

      Matt’s next Immersion, Handstand and Meditation, offers you an incredible opportunity to work on these fundamentals time and time again. You can also dive deeper into these teachings in his next 200 & 300 Hour Teacher Trainings.

        CHOOSE YOUR PATH

        NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
        NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

        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.

        KICK UP INTO HANDSTAND

        KICK UP INTO

        HANDSTAND 

        Master 3 Key Actions 

        alignment

        HANDSTAND—3 KEY ACTIONS

        “Squeeze in, turn in, tuck the tail.” These are the 3 key actions for handstands that Matt explains are a must. These may sound like simple cues, and they may even be easy to execute if you’ve already mastered kicking up into a handstand; however, if the pose is brand new and/or you’ve been working at it but still can’t “crack the code,” doing these 3 key actions in addition to all the other steps to prepare yourself may be what you’re missing. Layering on the specific techniques and muscle activations that Matt lays out for you is an essential part of your journey to kicking up into Handstand.  

        It’s impossible to skip the steps required when the intent is to kick up into a handstand position. This actually pertains to any posture, but if you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll know how much he stresses that it’s the foundations and the repetition of those foundations that really prepare the body for the desired outcomes. When you repeat these actions over and over again, you build the patterns into your body so that when it comes time for more robust movements and shapes, your body will respond.

         

        Handstand and meditation online yoga classes

        HANDSTAND & MEDITATION

        ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

        BREAK THROUGH MENTAL & PHYSICAL BLOCKS

        • Learn the most effective drills to safely build your Handstand
        • Practice essential meditation techniques to break through mental barriers and build confidence
        • Improve focus and breath support right side up and upside down
        • Build strength and the necessary skills for balancing Handstand
        • 12 classes: All levels appropriate
        • Lifetime unlimited access to all
        • Attend livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you

        SALE PRICE: $168.00

        MORE INFORMATION

        HANDSTAND PREPARATION 1 & 2

        Here are the steps for Handstand Preparation 1: 

        1. Place your hands on the ground
        2. Set up your blocks behind your forearms
        3. Straighten your elbows 
        4. Elevate the scapulae (push the floor away and bring your shoulders up to your ears)
        5. Lift your heels as high as you can

        Handstand Preparation 2 is a continuation of the process and includes lifting one leg up.

        Here are the steps:

        1. Inner leg lifts up to the sky as high as you can
        2. Look up to the lifted leg; when you do this, it’s common for your weight to shift back. Your weight needs to go forward
        3. Lean forward into your fingers (or more specifically, into the metacarpals)
        4. Lift the bottom heel as high as you can 
        5. Push through the arms (lifting the shoulders up)

        What muscle engagements are happening? The gripping of the ground leads to activations in the muscles in the forearms. The elevation of the scapulae leads not only to the activation of the muscles of the shoulders (deltoids) but also to the contraction and use of the trapezius muscles. 

        This action of elevating the scapulae also helps you avoid shoulder impingement.

        As you lift the shoulders up, you are getting longer through the sides of your body, which creates length and stretch through the latissimus dorsi; however, it’s the upper fibers of the trapezius that you want to strengthen in order for you to rely on the strength there rather than on the stretch in the latissimus dorsi. Additionally, contracting the abdominals will assist in bringing the ribcage back and into better alignment, reducing excessive spinal extension. The action here is to contract the abdominals while expanding. You can do this by pulling your front ribs down as you continue to push strongly through your hands.

        WATCH THE VIDEO: KICK UP INTO HANDSTAND

        NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
        NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

        HANDSTAND PREPARATION 2 WITH A CHAIR

        Before we dive in, be sure to use a chair that is stable and steady on the ground. Matt can use a rolling chair due to his many years of experience in the posture. This is important, because once you set your hands on the ground, you place 1 foot on the chair prior to the required muscle engagements. The chair should be secure for you.

        Once you have 1 leg on the chair, Matt walks you through the same steps as in Handstand Preparation 1 & 2. However, there are some slight differences when you use the chair. Matt cues you to feel as though you are pulling the chair towards you, while the top leg stays away from the wall.

        online classes for anatomy of arm balances

        ANATOMY OF ARM BALANCES

        MAY 2022 Immersion

        • Anatomy of 12+ arm balances
        • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
        • Visualize your movements internally
        • Improve balance and proprioception
        • Sensation-based practices
        • Learn empowering modifications
        • Access appropriate variations for your level of practice
        • Active, passive, and isomentric Stretching
        • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
        • ALL LEVELS APPROPRIATE

        $168.00

        MORE INFORMATION

         

        KICKING UP INTO L-POSE HANDSTAND

        When your foot returns to the ground, it’s easy to feel very heavy towards your foot, so leaning forward into the hands is imperative.

        Now, Matt stresses that the ability to balance in “L-Pose Handstand” is a must. This means keeping 1 leg low. If you can balance there, this can translate into sending both legs up to the sky. Remember those 3 Key Actions for Handstand from the beginning? 

        1. Squeeze in
        2. Turn in
        3. Tuck the tail

        What do these actions mean, and why are they important?

        Once you’re in a handstand position, you have to stop the movement of your hips; otherwise, you will be thrown off balance. In this stage of maintaining your balance, squeeze in means squeezing your legs together (activating the adductor and abductor muscles). Turn in means to internally rotate the thighs (activating TFL, pectineus, and hip flexors). Finally, tuck the tail (posterior tilt of the pelvis) helps to activate the hamstrings, the glute muscles, and hip extensors). Doing all of these things will help to stabilize the legs in Handstand.

        With all of this, there is still so much more to this posture. Matt’s next immersion, Handstand and Meditation, begins September 7th. Gain deeper insights into what is required of both mind and body by registering for the 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

        Video Extracted From: Anatomy Of Arm Balances

        CHOOSE YOUR PATH

        NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
        NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

        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.

        EKA PADA BAKASANA II

        EKA PADA BAKASANA II

        The Essence of Push & Pull

        THE GUNAS

        THE GUNASThe essence of push & pull

        We’ve all experienced the essence of push and pull in one way or another. Its presence is evident all around and within us. We all experience the rise and fall, the movement of our thoughts in our minds (the vritti). These forces are present during our various emotions, when we’re making decisions, during conflict, when we are challenging ourselves physically and emotionally. Push and pull is undeniable in nature and the environment all around us… You get it. It’s really everywhere. We also experience it in our yoga practice. In the Yoga Sutras, these forces are explained as the Gunas. 

        To be more specific, Alan Finger, in Tantra of the Yoga Sutras, explains Yoga Sutra 1.16 (Tat param purusa khyater gunavaitrsnyam) in the following way: 

        “The three gunas are rajas, tamas, and sattva. They are considered to be the primary sources of nature that are responsible for all of the change and movement that we experience in life.” 

        Finger, Alan. Tantra of the Yoga Sutras, Shambhala Publications, 2018. (pg. 26)

        What’s incredible is that we will see how this also applies to our physical yoga practice. Matt breaks down the biomechanics of Eka Pada Bakasana II and shows us how the essence of push and pull exists in both the mind and the body.

          Handstand and meditation online yoga classes

          HANDSTAND & MEDITATION

          ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

          BREAK THROUGH MENTAL & PHYSICAL BLOCKS

          • Learn the most effective drills to safely build your Handstand
          • Practice essential meditation techniques to break through mental barriers and build confidence
          • Improve focus and breath support right side up and upside down
          • Build strength and the necessary skills for balancing Handstand
          • 12 classes: All levels appropriate
          • Lifetime unlimited access to all
          • Attend livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you

          SALE PRICE: $168.00

          MORE INFORMATION

          RAJAS, TAMAS, & SATTVA

          Finger explains how rajas is a more outward, vigorous force, while tamas is a more inward, softer, more restful force. While these 2 energies sit at opposite ends from one another, it’s sattva that sits in the middle and/or is considered the balance between the two. Alan Finger explains that sattva is where we find stillness.

          Being that these forces are ever present and that the circumstances of our lives are constantly shifting, it’s easy to find ourselves leaning more towards one side of the spectrum than the other. It’s our awareness that helps us to recognize when we have gone “too far” over to one side. Now, it’s super important to understand that if we adopt the more contemporary interpretation of the three gunas, then we understand that all of these forces are necessary and very human parts of life. It’s not “bad” to experience one or the other, but it’s your awareness and deeper connection, or knowing of yourself, that helps you experience these states of being without any attachment. 

          When in a more rajasic state, we are in a place of taking action; we are “handling our business,” so to speak. There is no struggle to get out of bed, we might engage in a regular asana practice, we eagerly run through tasks at home and/or at work, etc. On the other side, in a more tamasic state, we surrender to rest, and we tend to go more inward. In this state, we allow ourselves time to replenish and renew.

          If we adopt this more contemporary point of view, there seems to be a comfort and safety present. There is no need to reject what already exists within and around us. Noticing, without judgment, these forces of nature may help us move and flow more freely between each state when necessary. This may be viewed as actually being in a more sattvic state because we are actually experiencing flow, a steady mind, and therefore stillness and balance.  

          HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO YOUR PHYSICAL YOGA PRACTICE?

          Matt teaches a class in the Heart Module in his 300 Hr. Teacher Training called “Push & Pull: Rajas and Tamas. Crow/Half Crow Half Titibhasana” (Eka Bakasana II). There he says, “Sattva is how we feel when the push and pull of rajas and tamas come into a state of equanimity. This leads quite nicely into how we can understand the push and pull in our asana practice as well. In this sense, it’s the actions and activations we take in our bodies.”

          Before we explore this, it’s also essential to understand that even though the gunas are natural forces of nature, we can still find ourselves spending too much time on one end of the spectrum. In this class, Matt explains that when we are way out of balance, a more rajasic state can produce feelings of anger, impatience, even anxiety. If we’re spending too much time in a tamasic state, this is where we may not be attending to necessary tasks and there is loss of energy and lack of motivation.

          Just like our yoga practice, these emotions, actions, or lack of actions are not who we are; they are actually opportunities. They are messages telling us something. They’re sending us messages that something needs to shift. This can be recognized as the development of our discernment. Now this is key, this is actually the juicy part! This collision of philosophy and physical practice is where we really unleash both our emotional and physical potential.

          In today’s video, Matt demonstrates the required push and pull in Eka Pada Bakasana II (Half Crow / Half Titibhasana). We witness the importance of what Matt says: “harnessing the activity of the mind (rajas) to move toward sattva.” This is done with focus and intention. There can only be well-placed effort, continuous well-placed effort, in order to achieve this.

          WATCH THE VIDEO: EKA PADA BAKASANA II

          NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
          NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

          EKA PADA BAKASANA II (HALF CROW, HALF TITIBHASANA)

          When it comes to the execution of Eka Pada Bakasana II, the push comes from the upper body, while the pull is in the lower body. There must be equal effort within these opposite actions. This can be interpreted as a “sattvic state in the body.” What I mean by opportunities is that when we feel something “off”  in these actions, we must utilize our discernment. Maybe there is not enough pull/adduction of the legs and/or not enough rounding (protraction) of the upper back due to lack of push with the hands/upper body. Even neglecting the internal rotation of the extended leg can throw things off. This may lead to a loss of stability in the posture, taking us out of balance. 

          We can see more deeply how this is the practice; this is yoga. The process of harnessing the mind to focus and find balance and equanimity in Eka Pada Bakasana II (Half Crow/Half Titibhasana) is completely aligned with our process to move towards sattva in our emotional body. There can be moments of frustration, of uncertainty, but again, these are all beautiful messages for us to receive. They are exquisite opportunities for us to explore and experience without attachment.

          online classes for anatomy of arm balances

          ANATOMY OF ARM BALANCES

          MAY 2022 Immersion

          • Anatomy of 12+ arm balances
          • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
          • Visualize your movements internally
          • Improve balance and proprioception
          • Sensation-based practices
          • Learn empowering modifications
          • Access appropriate variations for your level of practice
          • Active, passive, and isomentric Stretching
          • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
          • ALL LEVELS APPROPRIATE

          $168.00

          MORE INFORMATION

           

            Take the opportunity to dive deeper into these teachings and the potential of your physical body in Matt’s upcoming 200 & 300 Hr. Teacher Trainings.
            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

          Video Extracted From: 300 Hr. Training

          CHOOSE YOUR PATH

          NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
          NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

          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.

          Pin It on Pinterest