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.

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THE POSE FACTORY

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  • 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.

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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.

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300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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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

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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

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Postpone The Stretch Sensation

Postpone The Stretch Sensation

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Wake Up Your Wheel Pose

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Spinal Spaciousness

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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...

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Steps To Scorpion Pose

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read more

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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.

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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.

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  • 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

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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
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  • 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

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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...

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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

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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.

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.

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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.

    Glutes & Hamstrings

    Glutes and Hamstrings

    8 Skills and Drills for Activation

    strength

    Glutes and Hamstrings

    How many times has your yoga teacher said “feel your glutes” in a particular posture in a yoga class, but you’re not sure exactly what that means or what it’s actually supposed to feel like? You can easily lose or misunderstand the connection to the sensations in your body unless you’re intentional about locking in to each action in your asana practice. It’s more than that though—it’s also about learning the techniques to actually make the connection. Learning effective techniques and implementing them can help you to get to know your body in a deeper way, and this can very effectively change how you move. In today’s video, Matt highlights 8 effective ways for you to connect to your glutes and hamstrings in order to strengthen them for better functionality overall.

    chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

    BLISSFUL HIPS

    December 2023 Immersion

    • Technique-infused yoga classes
    • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
    • Improve low back health
    • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
    • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
    • Improve posture on and off the mat
    • 12 classes included
    • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

    Registration now open!

    LEARN THE TECHNIQUES

    An excellent approach to connecting to your glutes and hamstrings is to learn technique. This provides a focus and removes the pressure of trying to randomly figure out where and how to feel what you may believe you’re supposed to feel. It also helps you explore your body in a safe way. In Matt’s approach, instead of just going through a variety of postures that are “prescribed” to fire up your glutes and hamstrings, Matt provides a direct how-to, which means there are articulations and repetitive actions that help you connect with certainty to the sensations in your glutes and hamstrings.  

    Strength is more than building muscle and resilience; it’s a skill. The skills and drills that Matt offers create a solid foundation for transformation and connection in your body.

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS: 8 SKILLS AND DRILLS FOR ACTIVATION

    TRANSFORM THESE STANDING POSTURES

    In Low Lunge, Matt demonstrates how to access your glutes and hamstrings effectively. To ignite your hamstrings in the front leg, drag your front heel back while creating a posterior tilt in the pelvis. When you also press down the front heel, your glutes will spark up.

    In the video, Matt maintains the same actions in Warrior II, Goddess Pose, and the Pyramid variation he demonstrates. Pressing down through your heel and pulling your feet towards each other contracts and activates your glutes and hamstrings.

    The Supported Warrior III “leg lift” variation offers specific pelvic articulations that are key to connecting to the sensations in your glutes and hamstrings, and Crescent Pose Slides are an effective glute and hamstring strengthener.

    Incorporating these skills and drills will help you understand your body more deeply .

    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

    GLUTE BRIDGE AND TABLE TOP VARIATIONS

    These potentially more “traditional” movements to activate and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings are also executed with different levels and unique articulations in the video.  

    One of the first ways to really find connection in these variations is to remove your yoga mat! Matt wears socks on his hardwood floor. Wearing socks forces you to dig in a little deeper into the floor to find steadiness.  

    Matt offers 3 variations of Glute Bridge and 4 variations of Table Top. What’s nice about exploring the different variations is that you have the opportunity to find out where your needs are on each side of the body. This is where growth and understanding take place.

    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

    WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

    When it comes to the hamstrings, you may often think about how to become more flexible in that area of the body; what may be neglected is that to create integrity in your muscles, there must be a healthy degree of strength.  Strength is often associated with glutes, but why, and how can you strengthen them effectively? If you strengthen your glutes and hamstrings effectively, you support your ability to propel your body forward in your daily movement. Applying these safe and effective techniques will contribute to your hip health and thus your overall health.

    Register for Matt’s December 2023 Immersion Blissful Hips in order to learn and to expand your current toolbox for strength!

    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: Hip Mobility 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...

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    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...

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    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

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    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...

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    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...

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    THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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    • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
    • exclusive online course discounts
    • exclusive blogs and videos
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    hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

    KNEE HYPEREXTENSION

    HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSE

    KNEE HYPEREXTENSION

    KNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTTANASANA, PYRAMID POSE

    When it comes to our asana practice, more often than not, the subject of our knees is a hot topic. Typically, we’re looking for ways to minimize pain and/or strengthen the knees in order to feel stable when holding certain joint alignments or while bending and straightening our legs during transitions from one posture to the next.  

    It’s not unusual to utilize props like blankets or an extra roll of a yoga mat under our knees in an effort to minimize painful sensations in postures where our knees are making direct contact with the floor or our yoga mats.  

    In regard to creating more stability or feeling stronger in a particular posture, we may utilize yoga blocks, a wall, and/or a chair to help us maintain better alignment in order to hold ourselves up for a longer period of time without concern for our balance.

    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

    PARSVOTTANASANA/PYRAMID POSE

    Pyramid Pose is a single-legged forward fold that requires a reasonable amount of hamstring flexibility. This can affect us in a couple of different ways.

    As practitioners, we may fall under two different categories. When exploring a posture like Parsvottanasana, or Pyramid Pose, we may be the type to either hyperextend in the knee (due to overflexibility in the hamstrings), or we may overbend in the knee to compensate for the lack of flexibility we are experiencing in the hamstrings. In both scenarios, be mindful to straighten the leg to the degree that’s possible without overdoing either end of the spectrum. So, what category do you fall under, and how can you support your practice in a way that provides you with the tools you need to stay safe?  

    In today’s video, Matt provides thorough examples of ways we can take action to level up our capacity for strength and flexibility in Pyramid Pose.

    HYPEREXTENSION OF THE KNEE

    How does this happen?

    Hyperextension of the knee may develop over time for those of us who have spent a great deal of time creating flexibility in our hamstrings and are arguably “overflexible” in this area. This often means we lack strength and/or have neglected to put effort into activating the hamstrings.

    Matt explains that if we are hyperextending through the knee joint, we are creating pressure there and that this is the key point. If there is evidence of pressure, this is cause for concern. The pressure comes from overly straightening the knee. It’s actually not about the angle of the knee but about whether or not we are placing pressure there.

    ACTIONS TO CREATE STRENGTH

    Action 1

    In the video, Matt shows us how to press the big toe and pinky toe down while lifting up through the heel, which activates the gastrocnemius (calf muscle that attaches to the back of the femur bone), causing the knee to bend.

    Action 2

    He adds on the action of activating the hamstring by pulling the ball mound of the foot towards the back of your mat while the heel is lifted. This will contribute greatly to the strength of the hamstrings. Engaging the muscles helps us hold the joints in better alignment, therefore also addressing our need for better stability and balance.

    yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

    HIPS & HAMSTRINGS

    ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

    • 12 classes to increase flexibility of the hips and hamstrings
    • Maximize your strength through range of motion
    • Access your pose potential
    • Release tension of hips and back
    • Sensation-based practices
    • Unlock and strengthen major muscle groups
    • Active, passive, and isometric stretching
    • Improve mobility and stability
    • So much more!

    $148.00 $128.00

    MORE INFORMATION

    OVERBENDING THE KNEE

    While some people struggle with hypermobility, others struggle to straighten the leg. In the latter case, the hamstrings are caught in a shortened holding pattern. Just stretching over and over again will not teach the body to release tension. There is, however, a solution to gain range of motion, and it too involves activating our muscles — in this case, it’s the quadriceps, the 4 muscles of the thigh. Their primary role is to straighten the knee. Matt demonstrates how we can achieve this by pulling the kneecap up. This action of “reciprocal inhibition” contributes to our ability to find better range of motion and improved flexibility in the hamstrings over time. 

    Understanding our bodies and getting in tune with our tendencies unlocks opportunities for a fuller experience in our postures.
    Once we tap in and take the necessary actions, what we uncover is limitless potential.

    This potential is waiting for you in Matt’s current 12-class immersion, titled Mobility. You get lifetime access to this immersion, in which Matt takes you on a journey through the major areas of the body, exploring how to increase mobility while simultaneously developing greater muscular strength and integrity. Instead of sacrificing your joints for the sake of achieving a posture, you will learn how to keep your joints safe by developing the necessary strength in each area of the body.

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

    This is for you if you are interested in deepening your yoga practice, building your confidence, learning how to create a class, and sharing this practice with friends, family, or beyond. Yes, it’s for all levels, ages, etc.

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

    This training is definitely for you if you are already certified at the 200- or 500-hour level but want to take your teaching career and practice to the next level. In this training, you will learn Anatomy, Biomechanics, Postural Techniques, Intelligent Sequencing, Breathwork, Meditation, Heart-Centered Philosophy, Theming, Business Structure, Marketing, Social Media, Branding, and how to build a sustainable and successful career!

    Article by Trish Curling  @anioyoga

    Video Extracted From: The 200 & 300 Hour Trainings

    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

    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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