Postpone The Stretch Sensation

Postpone the Stretch Sensation

flexibility

POSTPONE 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 flexibility is much more layered than simply stretching. Yes, we know the stretch sensation has the potential to feel really good; in fact, it can feel GREAT when done appropriately for our bodies and at the right time.

What if we were to entertain the idea of postponing the stretch sensation in order to increase flexibility? This might sound like we’d be moving away from our goal, but we’d actually be moving more expeditiously along the path. In today’s video, Matt demonstrates strengthening techniques that target hamstring flexibility. Instead of simply stretching, we can apply techniques that not only cultivate length in the muscles but also foster the overall health of the muscles.

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THE POSE FACTORY

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  • Dogmatic alignment versus functional alignment
  • Learn popular postural pitfalls
  • Myths versus truth
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  • 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

HAMSTRING STRETCH PREPARATION

As we prepare our hamstrings to stretch and create more length, we must understand the difference between tension and strength. If we go straight into stretching, attempting to go beyond our current threshold with the intention of progressing, it’s possible that our bodies will tense up and go into “protection mode.” Tension is activated to halt potential injury.

Preparing the hamstrings prior to a good stretch involves strengthening. At the beginning of today’s video, Matt demonstrates two postures that get us started:

Crescent Pose Preparation

Preparing the hamstrings also means activating the gluteus muscles. What we see are techniques initiated by the feet and pelvis that promote these activations.

Forward Fold

Pressing the heels outward here helps activate the tensor fasciae latae (TFL) muscles, which tips the pelvis and lengthens the hamstrings.

WATCH THE VIDEO

POSTPONE THE STRETCH SENSATION: HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY TECHNIQUES

STRETCH TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT

To progress, we need to find multiple ways during a given yoga practice to implement the acquired techniques within the area of focus. When we do this, we train our brain and body to respond with greater precision. Two more ways to explore the hamstrings before executing a stretch include:

Twisted Monkey

Matt demonstrates a drill in which we go back and forth between activating the hamstrings and activating the quadriceps.

It’s important to be present and intentional about activating the muscles; just going through the motions means we are not implementing the techniques with accuracy.

Warrior III Preparation

Here, Matt emphasizes activating the hamstrings and the glutes by lifting the back leg higher than we might expect. We get a little closer to understanding two concepts: facilitated stretch and reciprocal inhibition.

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STRETCH YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Matt teaches us how to apply actions that will promote transformation, rather than just executing postures in the “traditional” way. This may be different from what we’re used to in our asana practice, but when we stretch and challenge our perspective on how to practice, we begin to cultivate change.

In the video, after getting into a Cobra pose variation, Matt teaches us how to activate the hamstrings by first flexing the feet, which helps minimize potential cramping in the calf muscles, then pulling the heels towards the back. He then provides the option to undo it by lengthening the legs out. Going back and forth can assist us in deepening the activation sensation.

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FROM TENSION TO RELEASE

Last, we see the demonstration of both strength and stretch in action when Matt transitions from Dandasana to Paschimottanasana.

In Dandasana, we learn to activate the hip flexors while stretching the hamstrings. This is an example of reciprocal inhibition: activating the opposing muscles of those we’re stretching.

Matt continues to lean more forward in the posture but cues pressing the heels down into the floor and pulling them back. Here, we’re both lengthening and activating the hamstrings. This is a demonstration of a facilitated stretch.

We have postponed the stretch sensation long enough now to more safely enter into Paschimottanasana, where the stretch can be more passive. After strengthening the muscles, our brain and body feel safe enough to release into the stretch.

This process of learning and exploration is available in Matt’s upcoming online course, The Pose Factory. Access the waiting list here!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Twists & Folds Immersion 

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

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Postpone The Stretch Sensation

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Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

padmasana

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS

Lotus Pose requires a healthy amount of hip flexibility. For some, it comes easy. Reasons for this might be that the person is hypermobile in the hips, knees, and ankles and/or that many months or years of effort have been put towards developing the capability in their bodies.  

If we push our limits to get into Lotus before our bodies are prepared, we can cause injuries that might have been prevented had we properly warmed up for such a deep posture. Implementing a “take a step back” mentality is key in moving our potential forward in the accessibility of Lotus.

Warming up doesn’t mean going straight into stretching and lengthening as much as possible. What we’ll see Matt demonstrate today is the importance of strengthening and contracting the muscles first.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

  • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
  • Nondogmatic alignment awareness
  • Inner thigh & outer hip flexibility
  • Increase active range of motion of the hips and pelvic movements
  • Learn anatomy of the hips as you practice
  • Strengthen the muscles for optimal balance
  • Postural focus: Flying Pigeon and Lotus Pose
  • Injury awareness: Avoiding knee & low-back strain/pain/compression
  • Use anatomy knowledge to debunk popular alignment
  • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano
  • LIVESTREAM DATE: March 30th at 10am Eastern Time (NYC Timezone)
  • REPLAY: Available immediately, lifetime access

STRENGTHEN THE EXTERNAL ROTATORS

Homing in on the foundations is the “step back”; it’s like pulling an elastic band as far back as we can before we let it go. The farther back we pull, the further forward it will fly.

In the video, Matt demonstrates two variations of Baddha Konasana to get us started.  

Variation I

This will activate the external rotators of the hip. Getting into the posture requires widening the knees and bringing the soles of the feet together. Pressing the feet down while lifting the hips initiates the engagement of the external rotators so that we can access maximum external rotation of the hips.

Variation II

This time, we internally rotate the legs and take the feet wider than the knees to do the lift. These actions will support the engagement of the tensor fasciae latae (TFL, an internal rotator) but will also continue to activate the external rotators.

WATCH THE VIDEO

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS: HOW TO MAXIMIZE HIP FLEXIBILITY

TARGET THE HIP FLEXORS

Targeting the muscles of the full circumference of the hips is essential when preparing for Lotus. Matt demonstrates 2 effective drills/postures to target the hip flexors.

Scissor Legs

Scissoring the legs will help us connect with the sensation of activating the hip flexors, but it’s the pulsing of the legs that builds more heat and stimulation of the muscles.

Happy Baby Pose Without Hands

Once again, we are in deep hip flexion, but it’s about more than just drawing the legs in close. Being intentional about actively pulling the feet in, as if we were holding them with our hands, while pushing the knees out is what produces the activation of the adductor muscles.

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ISOMETRIC ENGAGEMENTS

One notable benefit of isometric exercises is that they help to recruit many muscle fibers at once.  “Most muscle strengthening exercises involve moving the joints, using the muscles to push or pull against resistance. However, isometric exercises involve holding static positions for long periods of time.”

Kandola, Aaron. 5 Isometric Exercises For People To Try. Medical News Today, June 26, 2023

This form of muscle contraction is commonplace in Matt’s classes.  In the video, he teaches us how to effectively use this type of engagement in the following postures when preparing for Lotus:

Crescent Pose Preparation

The action of drawing both feet towards one another and pressing down through the front heel will assist in activating the glutes and hamstrings of the front leg, while activating the hip flexors of the back leg.

Humble Warrior 

Pressing the sole of the back foot down and dragging it forward while pressing down through the heel of the front foot will assist in activating the back adductors and gluteus muscles.

Pigeon Pose

Pulling the two knees towards one another isometrically in the stretched position will help to activate the glute and hamstring muscles of the front leg and hip flexors and adductors of the back leg.

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AWAKEN THE OUTER HIP MUSCLES

Finally, we look at the outer hip muscles.  In a Forward Fold position, we push the back of the legs outwards.  This will ignite the gluteus medius and minimus.  We can layer on TFL activation by lifting each leg and pulling it forward to tap the back of each respective wrist.

Today’s postures may be part of a typical physical practice, but when we “dial back” and implement the actions that will strengthen and arouse the activation of the hip muscles, we can be more confident in moving towards greater flexibility and mobility to safely experiment with Lotus pose.

Matt’s upcoming workshop Hip Release will guide you towards a better understanding of how to maximize flexibility, strength, and mobility of the hips.

Register here to optimize your potential.

See you on the mat!

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

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Lotus Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

Hanumanasana Hints

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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

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Postpone The Stretch Sensation

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THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
  • exclusive online course discounts
  • exclusive blogs and videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

flying pigeon

HIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA

Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we can benefit from implementing techniques and drills that will support actual transformation and the development of strength, flexibility, and mobility. When it comes to a posture like Eka Pada Galavasana (Flying Pigeon), the spotlight is on our hips. Safely executing the posture requires deep hip opening, which itself requires great care and preparation. Incorporating the techniques Matt teaches in today’s video is the perfect start. However, beyond incorporating the techniques, it’s about HOW we implement them.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

  • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
  • Nondogmatic alignment awareness
  • Inner thigh & outer hip flexibility
  • Increase active range of motion of the hips and pelvic movements
  • Learn anatomy of the hips as you practice
  • Strengthen the muscles for optimal balance
  • Postural focus: Flying Pigeon and Lotus Pose
  • Injury awareness: Avoiding knee & low-back strain/pain/compression
  • Use anatomy knowledge to debunk popular alignment
  • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano
  • LIVESTREAM DATE: March 30th at 10am Eastern Time (NYC Timezone)
  • REPLAY: Available immediately, lifetime access

“PUSH AND SUSTAIN”

One of the most impactful statements Matt makes in the full class is “Push and sustain, don’t push and forget.” When he says this, he’s actually referring to a glute activation technique, but his words can be applied generally to how we approach the techniques from today’s video.  

Sometimes we receive cues in a given posture or drill, but we then so easily revert back to what our bodies are used to, something that feels less “strange” or challenging in our bodies.

Eka Pada Galavasana requires hip strength to lock in the open position of the hip in the front leg and the lift from the glutes in the extended back leg. In the breakdown of each posture and technique, we’ll see the importance of finding and sustaining specific activations to increase strength.

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIPS AND GALAVASANA: TECHNIQUES TO UNLOCK THIS ARM BALANCE

GETTING THE HIP FLEXORS ACTIVE

The Lizard Pose variation and techniques Matt offers today are a great way to start the process of activating the muscles of the hips (more specifically, the hip flexors). This is particularly important in the first variation of Eka Pada Galavasana, where Matt demonstrates the “hugging in” of the back leg. We also learn how to “push and sustain” here. The technique that promotes both strength and flexibility is a facilitated stretch, that is, the activation of the muscles we are stretching. In the first variation of Lizard Pose, we use a facilitated stretch to activate the hip flexors by pressing the back knee down and forward. Sustaining the pull forward is the key to the effectiveness of this technique. When this happens, the muscle will release its tension and feel safe to lengthen while simultaneously strengthening. This will help with the hip flexion of the back leg. If we want to extend the back leg in Eka Pada Galavasana, lifting the back leg in Lizard while pulling the ball of the foot forward will also ignite our quadricep muscles. Activating the quadriceps will support the strength of extending the back leg. 

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

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  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program

PRACTICE THE HOOK

Opening our hips is paramount to practicing another important piece of the puzzle: hooking the front foot as high as possible above the triceps on the arm.

With the help of blocks, Matt sets up a Pigeon Pose variation. The blocks are stacked, creating enough height so that we can mimic the “hook” required to keep the foot in place. What actions are needed for this hook? In the ankle, we must dorsiflex and then layer on eversion of the ankle. The height of the block also supports the positioning (flexion) required in the hips.

While all this is happening, we are still encouraging the facilitated stretch of the hip flexors in the back leg.  

300 hour teacher training online

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang

EKA PADA GALAVASANA VARIATIONS

The final preparations for the hips take place while we are practicing the Eka Pada Galavasana variations Matt teaches in the clip. Importance is still placed on activating the front hip while it is in deep external rotation. When setting up for the arm balance, we do this by pressing the shin down into our arms and pulling the back leg forward (facilitated stretch). As we set up the pelvic tilts and the placement of the front leg on the arms, we move towards one of the other extremely important pieces of an arm balance: leaning our body weight forward. Without getting the leg or shin in the right spot, however, we won’t be able to lean forward enough to find our balance.

In his upcoming workshop, Hip Release, Matt shares more insights into creating the required integrity in the hips for other arm balances. 

Register to learn more techniques and tips for your toolkit!

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

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

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

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
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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

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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.

Hips & Hanumanasana

Hips & Hanumanasana

splits

HIPS & HANUMANASANA

What a posture! Hanumanasana is such a beautiful expression of what is possible in our physical yoga practice. However, it’s not about “achieving” Hanumanasana but about the exploration of what is possible in terms of hip mobility and what we learn from the preparation for the posture. 

When we practice with Matt, we learn about the “4 quadrants of the hips.” Some areas of the hips may receive more attention than others, so it’s vital we pay attention to all areas. This will allow us to boost our ability to attain better hip mobility overall. The four quadrants are the following: 

  1. Front: hip flexors and quadriceps
  2. Back: buttock muscles (gluteus maximus and piriformis)
  3. Inside: adductors (longus, brevis, magnus)
  4. Outside: abductors (gluteus minimus, medius, and TFL)

When we understand what they are, we can focus on what to do. Strengthening (“the squeeze”) will ultimately allow us to expand, that is, increase flexibility in Hanumanasana.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

  • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
  • Nondogmatic alignment awareness
  • Inner thigh & outer hip flexibility
  • Increase active range of motion of the hips and pelvic movements
  • Learn anatomy of the hips as you practice
  • Strengthen the muscles for optimal balance
  • Postural focus: Flying Pigeon and Lotus Pose
  • Injury awareness: Avoiding knee & low-back strain/pain/compression
  • Use anatomy knowledge to debunk popular alignment
  • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano
  • LIVESTREAM DATE: March 30th at 10am Eastern Time (NYC Timezone)
  • REPLAY: Available immediately, lifetime access

HIP & PELVIC DRILLS

Crescent Pose with Pelvic Articulations

In the video, Matt layers in movements of the pelvis with a facilitated stretch in Crescent Pose. We see how the articulations (anterior and posterior tilts of the pelvis) offer different sensations. What remains constant is the pushing down of the ball mound of the back foot and the heel of the front foot, combined with the action of “dragging” the feet to opposite ends of the mat, which is the “squeeze” in. The hip flexor muscles of the back leg and the hamstrings of the front leg fire up, preparing us for Splits.

Hip-Flexor Block Drill

Activating the hip flexors is the goal here. Drills like these are very humbling! It may be much more challenging than it appears. With the use of blocks, we’re hiking the hip of one leg up, while squeezing the foot of  the same leg forward to touch the yoga block.  

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIPS & HANUMANASANA: SQUEEZE IN TO EXPAND OUT

ARDHA HANUMANASANA

Ardha Hanumanasana provides a great opportunity to explore and activate the inner and outer hip muscles. This is important because it supports our ability to maintain a more neutral hip position in Hanumanasana. We may be tempted to veer towards a more open pelvic position as a way of compensating for a lack of control or strength. When we strive for a more balanced strength in all 4 quadrants of the hips, we can benefit from a safer alignment for our bodies in the posture. In the video, we see how the “windshield wiper” action of the front leg helps to activate the inner and outer hip muscles. Matt then takes the drills to the next level and offers additional variations that once again ignite the hip flexors and the hamstrings.

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

STANDING SPLITS AT THE WALL

In the video, Matt points out that this variation of Hanumanasana shows us where we have the most challenges. Without the floor underneath us, it invites us to be more aware of our alignment.  

The variations in the video also offer some fun play with strength. Standing Splits can become more of a Warrior 3–like position: Because the top leg is straight, we have the option to press that foot into a wall.  Next, we press down into blocks underneath our hands in order to lift the bottom foot off of the ground and squeeze towards the blocks. Again, the hip flexors (which may sometimes be neglected) are strengthened here. Strengthening the hip flexors keeps them safe in the back leg and takes some of the strain off the hamstrings in the front leg in Hanumanasana.

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

HANUMANASANA!

There is an exclamation mark after Hanumanasana, because what a posture it is! It definitely makes its own statement, and, as we’ve learned, the required strength is the safest path to greater lengthening and flexibility. We contract in order to expand. It’s easy to be intimidated by this posture, but if we are patient and consistent with building strength, we can reap the benefits of flexibility over time. Applying the techniques offered in the video can help promote greater access.

Register for Matt’s next workshop, Hip Release, to learn more about the 4 quadrants of the hips and how to apply techniques that will improve hip health and mobility.

See you on the mat!

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

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

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Hips & Hamstrings

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

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Vishvamitrasana At The Wall

Vishvamitrasana at the Wall

Techniques for Proficient Preparation

sage visvamitra

VISHVAMITRASANA AT THE WALL

There are many stops along the way to a peak posture, but without being empowered by effective steps and techniques to implement, you are left with untapped potential. Whether Vishvamitrasana at the wall is the final stop along the path for you or not, it literally flips the pose on its side so as to awaken the increased potential that exists within your body. Vishvamitrasana requires both strength and flexibility in the shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors. It also awakens the side body as you develop the height and mighty quality the pose possesses. In today’s video, Matt shares some impactful techniques and drills that support your ability to explore variations of Vishvamitrasana, including this option at the wall.

lotus pose online yoga classes

THE SPLITS

  • Improve flexibility of hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and glutes
  • Hanumanasana Splits
  • Center Splits
  • Vishvamitrasana
  • Standing Splits / Ekapadasana
  • Extended Side Plank / Vashisthasana
  • Straddle entries for inversions, with modifications for all levels
  • Moderate Vinyasa style with alignment, technique, and biomechanics
  • Sequences are anatomically informed and carefully crafted
  • 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

PREPARATION FIRST

Even though Vishvamitrasana at the wall may be considered preparation for the posture itself, it still requires a tremendous amount of flexibility and strength. The only way to accomplish this is to face what might arguably be more challenging: hanging out in the “trenches,” so to speak, that is, practicing foundational postures and drills with very specific techniques. The good news is that we don’t have to guess what to do. Matt lays out some very specific techniques and actions on a silver platter; it’s just up to us to take action. First, Matt outlines a Side Plank exercise, and then he demonstrates what actions to take in Side Angle preparation. What follows after that is a drill in Triangle Pose. Lastly, you’ll see how it all comes together in Vishvamitrasana at the wall.

WATCH THE VIDEO

VISHVAMITRASANA AT THE WALL:  TECHNIQUES FOR PROFICIENT PREPARATION

STRENGTHENING AND OPENING

Vishvamitrasana at the wall exposes where you need to strengthen and where you need to open. In the Side Plank variation from the video, you’re undoubtedly working on strengthening your side body. However, you are still bringing awareness to the openness of the chest and shoulders with the positioning that’s necessary to do the exercise effectively. The cue to bring the ribs towards the pelvis, and vice versa, multiplies your strength in that area.  Keeping that in mind, flexibility in the adductors and strength in the outer hips are crucial for the amount of adduction in the legs that is required. To this end, Side Angle preparation practically mimics the shape of Vishvamitrasana, and creating a facilitated stretch by pulling the feet towards one another increases the flexibility in your adductors. The placement of the top arm, which Matt demonstrates, also contributes to the openness that is a must in the upper body.

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

DRILLS AND SKILLS FOR VISHVAMITRASANA AT THE WALL

In the 2nd variation, the key action that gets layered on is to lean forward. Even though more flexibility in the hamstrings is already required here, you are still working to develop their flexibility even further. Again, Matt encourages you to work at roughly 60%–70% of your end range. The act of leaning forward demands more of the hamstrings of the front leg, so continue to check in with what depth is appropriate. While you can begin to lean into the stretch sensation by going a bit deeper (once you’ve strengthened), doing so should never mean that you compromise strength and integrity. If you notice a laxity in some areas of your Splits, you can do things like curl your back toes under. This keeps the pelvis closed and maintains more activation in the hip flexors of your back leg.

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

PEAK POSE CONSIDERATIONS

In Matt’s 200 & 300 hour training courses, he talks about the 4 elements and/or considerations of a peak posture, which include the following:

  1. Required Strength
  2. Required Flexibility
  3. Balance (weight shifting)
  4. Proprioception (knowing where your body is in space)

You can see that Matt carefully takes all of these elements into account in the techniques and actions explored within each posture and drill for Vishvamitrasana at the wall. The stops along the way are deliberate and specific. With all of this in mind, you can confidently step into any peak posture or its variation.  

Matt’s Splits Immersion begins this Saturday. In this immersion, Matt will be sharing a number of different anatomy-informed techniques that will help you to cultivate strength and flexibility in your inner thighs and hamstrings.  Beyond having proficiency in a posture, you’ll find proficiency in your preparation. 

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: June 2020 Immersion

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

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.

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