Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

hip mobility

HIP OPENING WITHOUT KNEE PAIN

“Hip opening” in a yoga class just sounds glorious if we feel confined or constricted in this area of the body and our intention is to transform this experience. The term may not sound glorious, however, if we know that knee pain will accompany hip-opening yoga postures. In this scenario, it can be quite daunting to try to move across the spectrum from having tight to more open hips. On the other hand, if we’re hypermobile in this area, it may also feel a little nerve-wracking to delve into the action of hip opening. The good news, whether we are hypermobile, hypomobile, and/or dealing with knee pain in hip-opening postures, is that we can explore similar techniques when it comes to creating increased range of motion without knee pain.  

In today’s video, Matt provides us with a roadmap to mitigate knee pain in 6 essential hip-opening postures.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

THE POSE FACTORY

WAITLIST NOW OPEN

  • Dogmatic alignment versus functional alignment
  • Learn popular postural pitfalls
  • Myths versus truth
  • Formulaic approach for comprehensive learning
  • Excellent guide for yoga enthusiasts
  • Must-have for yoga teachers
  • Joint-health awareness
  • Muscle integrity, range of motion
  • Props for accessibity
  • Alignment alterations in the case of injuries

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTERNAL ROTATION

Nursing knee pain while engaging in our asana practice can be a point of frustration. We may associate it with fear of reinjury or with memories of “what we used to be able to do without pain.” This is why education and exploration are vital—they help reignite possibility. 

When learning about knee pain and its connection to hip-opening postures, we must further comprehend what’s involved with external rotation at the hip. When practicing with Matt and learning the Chromatic way, we quickly find out that such rotation involves much more than just rotating the upper thigh. There are detailed steps that promote both activation and stretch of the muscles that surround the hip, which helps us more safely engage with external rotation and ultimately assists in reducing knee pain. We can apply what we learn in the following postures.

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIP OPENING WITHOUT KNEE PAIN: 6 POSTURES FOR INCREASED RANGE OF MOTION

ACTIVATE WITH INTENTION

One of the best ways to prepare our bodies and increase both flexibility and mobility is to activate/strengthen our muscles. When we do this, we have better control to independently move our joints through a broader spectrum of range of motion. We benefit from having more confidence and power during physical activity. 

Warrior II variation

In the first posture (a variation of Warrior II), we’re strengthening the buttocks and outer hips. Here are some key steps:

  • Pull the feet towards one another
  • Tuck the tail under
  • Push down through the front heel
  • Rotate the toes and shin out slightly while pulling the outer front foot back—this will activate the biceps femoris (external rotator of the knee joint)

Dragonfly variation

This variation includes a specific technique and also targets the biceps femoris, which  closes the knee joint, helping reduce pain in hip-opening 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

DRILL AND STRETCH

Pigeon Pose

Here, we explore a more passive stretch. The trick to getting a little deeper into the stretch (particularly into the piriformis muscle) is to twist and to push the hips back. If knee pain is still present, Matt demonstrates how to further externally rotate the thigh to take the pressure off.

Goddess Pose

This time, we learn a drill to incorporate into our practice.

Once again, pulling the feet towards one another will activate the outer hamstring muscles. Instead of remaining static, we pulse or move side to side in order to engage the muscles while we’re stretching. 

Skandasana

The target here is the adductor muscles, simply to experience the stretch. It’s not about how low we can take the posture. Keep in mind that by the time we reach this point in the practice, our muscles are already prepared for the 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

THE ULTIMATE HIP OPENER

If we’re experiencing knee pain in hip-opening postures, Lotus Pose might be the farthest thing from our minds. Once we have incorporated the techniques into the postures discussed, the potential for this posture may become a reality. However, we still approach Lotus safely and in phases.

Preparation I

In a Baddha Konasana position, the cue Matt offers—pulling the knees back and out—is key to getting the proper placement of the foot in Lotus.

Preparation II

Executing these actions, we find out just how much they assist in providing us the ability to stack the feet or to access Half Lotus. The two actions result in the closing of the knee joint. If we are still experiencing knee pain in Half Lotus, turning the calf muscles can help release the strain.

Matt’s next online course, The Pose Factory, is full of these extra gems to help us to foster health in our muscles and support our ability to enjoy postures we may have had to put aside.

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: Hip Release Online Workshop

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

Hanumanasana Hints

Hanumanasana Hints

Hanumanasana HintssplitsHANUMANASANA HINTS Applying intelligent techniques to a posture like Hanumanasana is crucial.  Simply hoping for the best is definitely not the way to go.  That mindset leaves us vulnerable to injury.  It’s also the type of pose that can be...

read more
Chin Stand

Chin Stand

Chin Standganda bherundasanaCHIN STAND Without a doubt, Chin Stand requires preparation. This posture must be approached with the utmost humility, essential in order to respect the potential risk. If this pose is not explored regularly in our physical practice, it may...

read more
Postpone The Stretch Sensation

Postpone The Stretch Sensation

Postpone the Stretch SensationflexibilityPOSTPONE THE STRETCH SENSATION If one of the goals of our physical yoga practice is to increase flexibility, we may automatically believe that we just need to stretch more. It’s critical that we understand that increasing...

read more
Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

Wake Up Your Wheel Poseheart openerWAKE UP YOUR WHEEL POSE We don’t have to question it—we know whether or not we’re feeling open, free, and strong in Wheel Pose. There’s a lightness and expansiveness that takes over when everything falls into place: From the initial...

read more
Spinal Spaciousness

Spinal Spaciousness

Spinal Spaciousnessdancer poseSPINAL SPACIOUSNESS Some key indicators of spinal health include strong bones, durable yet flexible ligaments, supple discs, and strong supportive muscles. Aside from nutrition, it’s not enough to say that movement in general is enough to...

read more
Steps To Scorpion Pose

Steps To Scorpion Pose

Steps to Scorpion PosevrschikasanaSCORPION POSE Exhilarating, stimulating, and enlivening are a few words we can use to describe Scorpion Pose. We can also use words such as grounding or even relaxing, which might initially be considered strange descriptors. When we...

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.

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. 

    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

    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

    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

    Hanumanasana Hints

    Hanumanasana Hints

    Hanumanasana HintssplitsHANUMANASANA HINTS Applying intelligent techniques to a posture like Hanumanasana is crucial.  Simply hoping for the best is definitely not the way to go.  That mindset leaves us vulnerable to injury.  It’s also the type of pose that can be...

    read more
    Chin Stand

    Chin Stand

    Chin Standganda bherundasanaCHIN STAND Without a doubt, Chin Stand requires preparation. This posture must be approached with the utmost humility, essential in order to respect the potential risk. If this pose is not explored regularly in our physical practice, it may...

    read more
    Postpone The Stretch Sensation

    Postpone The Stretch Sensation

    Postpone the Stretch SensationflexibilityPOSTPONE THE STRETCH SENSATION If one of the goals of our physical yoga practice is to increase flexibility, we may automatically believe that we just need to stretch more. It’s critical that we understand that increasing...

    read more
    Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

    Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

    Wake Up Your Wheel Poseheart openerWAKE UP YOUR WHEEL POSE We don’t have to question it—we know whether or not we’re feeling open, free, and strong in Wheel Pose. There’s a lightness and expansiveness that takes over when everything falls into place: From the initial...

    read more
    Spinal Spaciousness

    Spinal Spaciousness

    Spinal Spaciousnessdancer poseSPINAL SPACIOUSNESS Some key indicators of spinal health include strong bones, durable yet flexible ligaments, supple discs, and strong supportive muscles. Aside from nutrition, it’s not enough to say that movement in general is enough to...

    read more
    Steps To Scorpion Pose

    Steps To Scorpion Pose

    Steps to Scorpion PosevrschikasanaSCORPION POSE Exhilarating, stimulating, and enlivening are a few words we can use to describe Scorpion Pose. We can also use words such as grounding or even relaxing, which might initially be considered strange descriptors. When we...

    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 Side Angle

    Bound Side Angle

    2 Variations To Open Up Your Shoulders

    expand

    BOUND SIDE ANGLE

    You might either approach Bound Side Angle with excitement or with a sense of fear. If you adopt a certain perspective, it’s possible for the word “bound” to evoke a sense of freedom in the context of yoga. In postures like Bound Side Angle, openness is required not just in the shoulders but also in the hips. While on one hand, yes, the posture can seem limiting and closed (especially if there are constrictions due to pain or injury); on the other hand, through the use of props and specific articulations, there are ways to access increased shoulder mobility. In today’s video, Matt offers very explicit actions you can take to acquire more flexibility and strength. What you’ll also find is that the connection you gain to the rest of your body ultimately creates a positive influence on your ability to find more opening.

    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

     

    MUCH MORE THAN YOUR SHOULDERS

    It’s easy to prioritize the amount of mobility required in your shoulders for this posture, which is necessary, but there is more that requires your attention. Once you learn about what Chromatic Yoga is all about, you come into a more expansive awareness of your whole self—body and mind. Within your practice, this awareness is expressed as an informed exploration. This means that you begin to learn that certain movements or actions will alter your access and experience in a posture. 

    Let’s examine what’s involved with the hips. There is a generous amount of abduction required, demanding a high degree of flexibility and strength in the adductor muscles. The wider the stance, the “easier” it will be to access the bind. In the video and discussion below, you’ll see how this supports your ability to find more shoulder mobility.

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    BOUND SIDE ANGLE: 2 VARIATIONS TO OPEN UP YOUR SHOULDERS

    BOUND SIDE ANGLE TECHNIQUES WITH A BLOCK

    When setting up Bound Side Angle, some of the first cues Matt offers in the video are “hips back, groins back.” Emphasis on the positioning of your hips is addressed quite early. Taking these actions can immediately make way for increased space for you to drop your torso as low as possible. If the attempt to lower your upper body to a greater degree feels too ambitious, Matt suggests placing a block underneath your front foot. You can see how this elevation brings your inner knee closer to the back of your shoulder, which can allow more freedom for your arm to go underneath your inner thigh. 

    That being said, it is also the articulation of the shoulder joint that impacts your ability to wrap around for the bind. More protraction of the scapulae and internal rotation of the shoulders will assist you in getting your arm behind you.  

    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

    BOUND SIDE ANGLE WITH A STRAP

    In both variations, once you have the security of the clasp, of your hands or with a strap, you can begin to lift. There are still actions that need to take place before you invite in the shoulder articulations for expansion. Creating a posterior tilt in your pelvis will set off the action of pulling your shoulders back, therefore lifting the chest up.

    Practicing all of this with a strap may at first appear to be less arduous than without one. Matt notes that it may actually be more challenging in the sense that it provides increased range of motion in the shoulders. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the muscle activations that will create an underpinning of strength to support the flexibility. Activating muscles like the rear deltoids and the erector spinae (for spinal support), along with the glutes and adductors, will substantially bolster the integrity of this posture.

    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

    THE ENTIRE SCOPE

    As the saying goes, “You can throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks,” or in terms of yoga, you can arm yourself with education to gain more distinct results. The beauty of Chromatic yoga is that Matt articulates the alignment and biomechanics of each posture with absolute precision. This allows you to make informed choices regarding your practice: At any given time, you’ll have multiple opportunities to select which variations and modifications are appropriate for you. Through practice and repetition, you’ll experience a transformation within your physical body. What you’ll also learn is how to adopt and integrate the philosophical teachings of yoga into multiple areas of your life. Bound Side Angle pose may be a physical posture, but when you are open to the entire scope of what’s available to you within it, your potential is limitless.

    Register for Matt’s next immersion, Chromatic Yoga, for a transformative experience.

    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 Immersion

    lotus pose online yoga classes

    The Teachers' Toolkit

    • Advance your practice
    • Learn masterful teaching techniques
    • Acquire business-building skills
    • Attract the right students
    • Learn about social media, marketing, and business structure
    • Catapult your teaching and career

    Continue Learning

    Hanumanasana Hints

    Hanumanasana Hints

    Hanumanasana HintssplitsHANUMANASANA HINTS Applying intelligent techniques to a posture like Hanumanasana is crucial.  Simply hoping for the best is definitely not the way to go.  That mindset leaves us vulnerable to injury.  It’s also the type of pose that can be...

    read more
    Chin Stand

    Chin Stand

    Chin Standganda bherundasanaCHIN STAND Without a doubt, Chin Stand requires preparation. This posture must be approached with the utmost humility, essential in order to respect the potential risk. If this pose is not explored regularly in our physical practice, it may...

    read more
    Postpone The Stretch Sensation

    Postpone The Stretch Sensation

    Postpone the Stretch SensationflexibilityPOSTPONE THE STRETCH SENSATION If one of the goals of our physical yoga practice is to increase flexibility, we may automatically believe that we just need to stretch more. It’s critical that we understand that increasing...

    read more
    Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

    Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

    Wake Up Your Wheel Poseheart openerWAKE UP YOUR WHEEL POSE We don’t have to question it—we know whether or not we’re feeling open, free, and strong in Wheel Pose. There’s a lightness and expansiveness that takes over when everything falls into place: From the initial...

    read more
    Spinal Spaciousness

    Spinal Spaciousness

    Spinal Spaciousnessdancer poseSPINAL SPACIOUSNESS Some key indicators of spinal health include strong bones, durable yet flexible ligaments, supple discs, and strong supportive muscles. Aside from nutrition, it’s not enough to say that movement in general is enough to...

    read more
    Steps To Scorpion Pose

    Steps To Scorpion Pose

    Steps to Scorpion PosevrschikasanaSCORPION POSE Exhilarating, stimulating, and enlivening are a few words we can use to describe Scorpion Pose. We can also use words such as grounding or even relaxing, which might initially be considered strange descriptors. When we...

    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.

    Crow Pose On Blocks

    Crow Pose on Blocks

    Take Your Shoulder Stability to New Heights

    STABILITY

    CROW POSE 

    It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose: Will I fall? Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most amazing things about an asana practice, however, is how we learn so much about our bodies. We learn through exploration. When you have a teacher like Matt, he not only provides inspiration to explore, but through his extensive knowledge of the body, he offers a myriad of specific actions for you to experiment with that allow you to move towards a desired result. In today’s video, Matt demonstrates the dual action for you to take for improved shoulder stability in Crow Pose. The use of yoga blocks in this variation of the pose serves as an excellent support to take your shoulder stability to new heights.

    SHOULDER MOBILITY

    Access Your Active Range of Motions

    • Increase strength and flexibility
    • Decrease risk of injury
    • Release shoulder tension
    • Learn anatomy and biomechanics
    • Access a wider range of postures
    • Stabilize the rotator cuff muscles
    • Learn binds, heart openers, and arm balances
    • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    HYPERMOBILE VS. HYPOMOBILE

    Whether you are hypermobile or hypomobile, working on stability in your yoga practice is a must. What’s the difference between the two?  “Joint hypermobility is a clinical condition in which the joints move beyond the expected physiological range of motion.” When this is the case, understanding your body and knowing your individual “end range” can help you know when to pull back in order to minimize instability and possible injury. On the other hand, hypomobility means that there is a decrease and a significant limitation in the range of motion that is actually possible within a specific joint. When it comes to the shoulders, both states are common, and both have the potential to result in pain. It may seem counterintuitive to work on stability when hypomobile, because you may associate the toughness or rigidity with stability. Stability is just part of the equation when developing healthy muscle tissue, but it is an important part of the equation.  

    Atici A, Aktas I, Akpinar P, Ozkan FU. The relationship between joint hypermobility and subacromial impingement syndrome and adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder. North Clin Istanb. 2018 Sep;5(3):232-237. doi: 10.14744/nci.2017.35119. PMID: 30688930; PMCID: PMC6323568.

    WATCH THE VIDEO: CROW POSE ON BLOCKS

    SHOULDER STABILITY

    An essential part of shoulder stability happens when the muscles around the glenohumeral joint (rotator cuff muscles) have the ability to contract and help the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) stay centered and secure in the joint. Having the ability to contract means that these muscles actually have less rigidity; it means that there is a suppleness to the tissues which allows them to contract, expand, move, and glide as they should. An arm balance like Crow Pose requires a sizable amount of shoulder stability.

    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

    THE 2 MAIN ACTIONS

    The actions Matt demonstrates in the video for shoulder stability in Crow Pose are protraction and external rotation. He explains that in scapular protraction, the tendency will be to internally rotate the humerus; however, if you can externally rotate the arm bones while in protraction, it will create a vast amount of shoulder stability in your arm balances. There’s actually a counteraction taking place. The goal is to apply these two actions simultaneously. Matt teaches us that internal rotation is fine—it’s actually something we want—but in the context of this arm balance, if you counteract the protraction with external rotation, there will be a tremendous amount of muscle activation that surrounds the joints. This in turn translates into better stability and better balance.

    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

    IMPLEMENT THESE KEY ACTIONS FOR CROW POSE ON BLOCKS

    Executing Crow Pose on blocks is not as simple as only doing the 2 actions (protraction and external rotation) for the shoulders, but bringing your focus and attention here might just be what is missing from actually realizing your full potential in the posture.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Stack 2 blocks horizontally on their first height
    2. Place your hands wide on the ground, just ahead of the blocks
    3. Step onto the blocks 
    4. Lower your hips down towards your heels
    5. Take your knees wide and out to the sides (*The height of the blocks allow you to have a better handle on allowing your shins the space to rest on the upper arms for better support)
    6. Squeeze legs into the chest
    7. Get your fingers active (grip the ground)
    8. Lean forward into fingers
    9. Rotate elbows in (external rotation of the humerus)
    10.  Squeeze knees in towards your midline (activating the adductor muscles)
    11. Push the floor away to protract the scapulae more (round your back more)

    TAKEAWAYS

    What you end up finding out about your body is whether or not your proprioception is accurate: Is your physical body able to respond to the cues so as to follow through with these actions? Do you require more strength? This helps you to map out your next steps and course of action.

    A good step in the right direction is to sign up for Matt’s Shoulder Mobility immersion. In this immersion, you’ll learn more about how to strengthen key muscles of the shoulders. Matt also be teaches techniques that assist in increasing both active and passive range of motion.

    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: Shoulder Revelation Immersion

    UPCOMING TEACHER TRAININGS

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

    Continue Learning

    Hanumanasana Hints

    Hanumanasana Hints

    Hanumanasana HintssplitsHANUMANASANA HINTS Applying intelligent techniques to a posture like Hanumanasana is crucial.  Simply hoping for the best is definitely not the way to go.  That mindset leaves us vulnerable to injury.  It’s also the type of pose that can be...

    read more
    Chin Stand

    Chin Stand

    Chin Standganda bherundasanaCHIN STAND Without a doubt, Chin Stand requires preparation. This posture must be approached with the utmost humility, essential in order to respect the potential risk. If this pose is not explored regularly in our physical practice, it may...

    read more
    Postpone The Stretch Sensation

    Postpone The Stretch Sensation

    Postpone the Stretch SensationflexibilityPOSTPONE THE STRETCH SENSATION If one of the goals of our physical yoga practice is to increase flexibility, we may automatically believe that we just need to stretch more. It’s critical that we understand that increasing...

    read more
    Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

    Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

    Wake Up Your Wheel Poseheart openerWAKE UP YOUR WHEEL POSE We don’t have to question it—we know whether or not we’re feeling open, free, and strong in Wheel Pose. There’s a lightness and expansiveness that takes over when everything falls into place: From the initial...

    read more
    Spinal Spaciousness

    Spinal Spaciousness

    Spinal Spaciousnessdancer poseSPINAL SPACIOUSNESS Some key indicators of spinal health include strong bones, durable yet flexible ligaments, supple discs, and strong supportive muscles. Aside from nutrition, it’s not enough to say that movement in general is enough to...

    read more
    Steps To Scorpion Pose

    Steps To Scorpion Pose

    Steps to Scorpion PosevrschikasanaSCORPION POSE Exhilarating, stimulating, and enlivening are a few words we can use to describe Scorpion Pose. We can also use words such as grounding or even relaxing, which might initially be considered strange descriptors. When we...

    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