L Pose Handstand Training

L Pose Handstand Training

Activate Core & Hip Flexors

handstand prep

L POSE HANDSTAND TRAINING

We’re all aware about the importance of taking baby steps when we have a bigger goal we’d like to achieve. L Pose Handstand Training falls under that very category when it comes to taking steps towards Handstand.  Matt refers to L Pose as the “first entrance to handstand.”  Before you take flight, practicing L Pose in different planes is one of the best ways to really prepare and understand the biomechanics involved in the posture.  Practicing L Pose on your back provides a more controlled opportunity to learn how to really engage the hip flexors and core muscles.

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

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MORE INFORMATION

THE MYTH OF THE CORE

Core strength might be the first thing you believe you need to develop while preparing for handstand.  There’s no doubt that this is a necessary part of the equation, but if you’ve conquered the action of the “push” in the shoulders (shoulders up towards your ears), Matt explains that the use of the core is a refinement only when the shoulders are out of alignment.  If this is the case, you’ll have to utilize your core a lot more to keep your back straight and possibly pull the legs from behind you.

WATCH THE VIDEO: L POSE HANDSTAND TRAINING


CORE MUSCLES & HIP FLEXOR ACTIVATION

What is the core?  The core muscles are a great deal more than the superficial muscles of the rectus abdominis.  When it comes to handstand, a large part of the focus are the deeper core muscles (the psoas major and the iliacus, also referred to as the iliopsoas).  These muscles are a key component when it comes to stabilizing the pelvis and thighs in a handstand. With L Pose as the first entrance to handstand, an awareness of the importance of the activation of the hip flexors is paramount.

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

IMPLEMENT THESE ACTIONS: L POSE ON YOUR BACK 

Here are the cues for L Pose handstand on your back:

  1.  Take your arms overhead (be sure to actively lift your shoulders up towards your ears)
  2.  Straighten your knee as you pull one leg closer to your chest.    It’s the strength of the hip flexors that will help you to bring this leg as close as possible to you.  
  3. The opposite leg stays close to the floor with your heel only about 1 cm from the ground
  4. Pull your front ribs down (this will engage your abdominals).
  5. Continue to pull the top leg close to your chest without lifting the bottom leg up 

The desired outcome is to maintain all of these actions simultaneously.  L Pose handstand training on your back lays the foundation for when you’re ready to explore the shape in other planes (including other postures like Warrior III). It also helps you to feel the alignment in your body.  Drawing your rib cage into the floor for example, creates the pattern of the stacking required above your pelvis.

STRENGTH

ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

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

  • 12 classes: Each class targets a specific muscle group
  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

SALE PRICE: $138.00 $128.00

MORE INFORMATION

THE GROUNDWORK

Groundwork?  In this case, the pun is intended.  L Pose handstand training literally has you on the ground in order to lay a solid foundation.  Essentially, it can take the fear out of the equation.  Going upside down can be quite intimidating.  Approaching the “bigger goal” of having a handstand practice by utilizing bite size drills and techniques can give you the confidence to progress to the next level.  You have to crawl before you can walk and this is essentially the chromatic way.  When you take this approach, you gradually build upon each layer and strengthen the neuromuscular connection. Handstand training becomes more approachable when you prepare your body via time, patience, and effort.  If you’d like to build on this foundation, take action by registering for Matt’s current immersion Handstand & Meditation.

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Handstand & Meditation Immersion

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

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Arm Balances: Protraction Action

arm Balances: Protraction

Finding Ease and Lightness in Arm Balances

 

ARM BALANCE STRENGTH BUILDING

Most who practice yoga have come to realize that the practice requires a certain physical strength that doesn’t necessarily coincide with the image of strength in our head. Every yogi has seen a physically in-shape gym goer walk into a yoga class and struggle in his/her first down dog. The reason for this is because there are tons of muscles in the body, and all of them have a purpose. The ones you see on the surface are called the superficial muscles, and their job is primarily to create big movements like swinging a baseball bat, jumping, climbing, etc. While many Yoga postures and transitions require the use of these muscles, the Deep muscles or stabilizing muscles are often most used. In this video, I go over the muscle groups that I find are most important for the majority of arm balances.

Serratus Anterior

The muscles I speak of in this video are the Serratus Anterior, and the 4 layers of abdominals (rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, and transverse abdominis). Serratus Anterior is incredibly important for many arm balances because it creates stability in the shoulder blades and moves the body away from the ground. In the “Handstand Strength Training” video I give exercises in plank pose to help students develop the strength of this muscle. When this muscle is fully engaged in plank the body is further away from the ground. The same is true in arm balances. Further from the ground begins to feel lighter and easier, and as mentioned in the video above, your wrists will feel better as well. The reason you feel lighter and more at ease when the Serratus Anterior is fully engaged is simple- all muscles have an easier time contracting when they are fully shortened. Think of your bicep muscle; isn’t it easier to hold a weight in your hand when your hand is closest to your shoulder vs halfway down at the “holding a tray” position. Part of this is the relationship to gravity but even if you changed the angle of your body that would still be the easiest position for the muscles to be engaged. This is the same reason why it’s easier to do a little tiny pull-up vs going through the full range of motion from straight arms all the way up to bent arms. If you are looking to build strength in the Serratus Anterior I suggest checking out either “The Breakthrough” or “The Chakras and The Elements”. Both immersion focus on strength building for arm balances. 

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  • Experience the revelatory "aha" moments in the postures you struggle with
  • Uncover your range of motion and flexibility
  • Release low back tension through hip opening
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Arm Balances: The Core

The four abdominals have multiple functions including flexion (rounding) of the spine, twisting, side bending, stabilizing, and compressing/lifting inner organs (primarily the transverse abdominis). Depending on the pose, many arm balances require one or more abdominals to engage because of the shape, and because they have the ability to make the midsection more compact. The more compact you feel, the lighter you will feel because all the extremities tend to pull in closer to the center of gravity when the abdominals engage. What I am not going over in this video is the important role that your legs play within all arm balances. I will be releasing another video on Youtube soon showing you how the legs relate to the core. If you are interested in finding out when that video goes up, subscribe to my newsletter and I will let you know. Developing strength in the abdominals has long been a part of the fitness industry, but until recently it was purely for visual purposes. Most people associate having a six-pack with health, but the reality is that it’s more important to have core intelligence than strength. A little strength and a lot of awareness go a very long way, much further than a lot of strength and little awareness of how to use it. Developing strength through applied actions such as doing handstand, crow pose, or exercises that produce greater intelligence in your body is what I focus on in my handstand and arm balance practice. As a result not only do I feel strong in my asana practice but my back feels great, and I am able to apply the awareness to other activities that require body intelligence. For my favorite core strengtheners you click here, or if you are looking for free ways to learn, simply search youtube for how to strengthen the 4 muscles of the core (searching each muscle separately). Anyone who offers an application for the strength and not just the exercise is likely thinking along the same lines of “muscle intelligence” vs strength. Remember you want to know what the muscle does intellectually and know what it feels like in your body. That combination will make it easier to apply later on to your practice!

October Livestream Yoga Classes

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arm balance strength for shoulders

Plank at the Wall

Taking plank at the wall is one of the best ways to truly develop proprioception for protracting the shoulder blades. As mentioned in the video protraction is when you push the shoulder blades apart from one another and they move around your rib cage. This is an activation of the serratus anterior muscles which tend to require strengthening for most people. At the wall, you can focus on the action without the requirement of strength.

arm balance strength for crow pose

Flexion of the Spine

Flexion of the spine in arm balances requires the muscular activation of the rectus abdominals, obliques, and likely the deep core muscles. While it is possible to do arm balances with the core completely relaxed and still hold the postures, it tends to be easier with the recruitment of them. To develop strength in your core, I highly recommend my top exercises on the Handstand Training video. 

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Crow With Protraction and flexion

Putting the two actions together might sound complicated but the two actions actually go hand in hand. Protraction makes spinal flexion easier to access and vice versa. I recommend first trying this in plank posture. If you haven’t yet watched the two blogs on Chaturanga, this is the best place to start integrating protraction into your arm balances. After you’ve worked with chaturanga, if you feel confident balancing crow then you can try applying these actions.

First Awareness, Then Strength.

It’s easy to try and jump ahead and go straight to our most challenging arm balance posture and try to apply new actions to it. This approach is okay but if you find that you are not getting it or not feeling a difference, it’s likely because your body needs to develop an awareness around the action itself before it can build strength. We need to create the feedback loop in our body from thought to action to sensation and back again. Once that feedback loop is established, strength can be built through repetition.

Thanks for joining me here. I hope these tips help with your practice and/or your teaching. Please share your comments, questions, or requests and I will get back to you.

-Matt

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