Hanumanasana Hints

Hanumanasana Hints

splits

HANUMANASANA 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 quite intimidating if we don’t have an extensive amount of experience with it.  Going slowly and utilizing the “hints”, or better yet, the masterful techniques we receive from Matt in today’s video offer a safe path of permission to explore the variations and methods that feel right in our own bodies.  The Hanumanasana “hints” provided help us to understand what’s required of the physical.  Within the techniques, we get a grasp on what muscles are engaging, when to engage them, and when to lean into expansion.  Extension and expansion are the nature of the posture, but it is also rooted in stability and strength.

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4 VITAL ACTIONS FOR THE HIPS

There are 4 main actions that help us to prepare for Hanumanasana.  They help to activate the muscles that surround the hips.  Afterall, it’s strengthening that will ultimately inform our capacity for increased hip mobility.  These actions will also influence what we experience in regards to flexibility in areas like the adductors, abductors, quadriceps and hamstrings.

The 4 main main actions Matt outlines are:

  1.  Pushing in (squeezing in)
  2. Pulling Out (expanding out)
  3. Rotating In 
  4. Rotating Out 

We see how these are applied to the variations and drills in the video clip.

WATCH THE VIDEO

HANUMANASANA PREPARATION: FULL PROOF PREPARATION FOR THE HIPS

LIZARD ROTATIONS

The Lizard Pose variation offered today is rich with technique.  Matt demonstrates a quadricep activation in the back leg while executing the actions of rotating inward and outward with the front leg.  This provides an opportunity to exercise control within these movements.  There’s also an element of squeezing in, in order to remain balanced, especially if we plantar flex the  back foot.

After this strengthening, we move towards stretching and a degree of expansion.  It’s evidence of what I discussed in a recent blog called, Postpone The Stretch Sensation.  After training the body to understand that it is safe from strengthening, we can then be more free to lengthen.  

After the Lizard rotations in preparation for Hanumanasana, Matt then opens up the posture by taking his torso further from his front leg and then taking hold of his back foot to then stretch the quadriceps in the back leg.

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BOLSTER SUPPORT

Now we actually get into the shape of Hanumanasana with the use of props.  As always, there are options.  Matt demonstrates with a bolster and two blocks however, he also makes mention that using sturdy chairs in the place of yoga blocks would be totally acceptable.  This is where the discernment to utilize what works best for ourselves as individuals is key.

Again, we start with control and contraction.  Matt begins by pulling inward (pressing the heel of the front foot down and the back knee or back foot down while pulling them towards one another).  He then layers on a rotation of the front thigh to activate the adductor muscles.  When he rotates the front thigh outwards, it targets the back inner thighs, front outer hamstrings and gluteus muscles.  After strengthening, stretching and lengthening are the next steps.

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THERE’S NO RUSH

Here comes the expansion.  In this Hanumanasana drill, we use socks as a prop. 

On one hand we are experimenting with more depth, but on the other, it’s imperative that we go slow with the amount of expansion.  We know that we are still in control of the freedom in this drill when we can engage and draw the legs back in towards one another as we alternate on each side.  Matt advises that if we are unable to do this, then we should take a few steps back and shorten the distance when switching the legs.  There’s absolutely no rush.  This is our opportunity to tap into the more controlled techniques previously explored.  This is full proof preparation for Hanumanasana.

The waitlist for Matt’s upcoming online course The Pose Factory is open.  You won’t want to miss more details about the techniques that unlock postures like Hanumanasana.

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: The Splits Immersion 

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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

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Spinal Spaciousness

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read more

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Supine Standing Splits

Supine Standing Splits

Boost Your Hamstring Flexibility

strength & flexibility

SUPINE STANDING SPLITS

Tight hamstrings are a common complaint, right? They may be showing up by way of limitations in various yoga postures and/or in restrictions in the way you move in your daily life. If you’ve been practicing with Matt for some time, then you’re well aware that to increase flexibility, you need to factor strength into the mix. Additionally, you can figure on the quality of the time spent in specific postures—the utilization of specific techniques. The deepening of the neuromuscular connection takes place when you’re very intentional with your execution. Supine Standing Splits offers time to explore specific techniques in an accessible way. Today, Matt shares these techniques, along with other postures and their techniques, to prepare you for greater potential in Supine Standing Splits and eventually for the balanced variation of the posture.

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

PYRAMID STRETCH

First, the actions taken in this variation of a “Pyramid stretch” for the hamstrings offer an array of techniques for you to experiment with. It’s imperative to pay attention to the details. What’s comforting is that Matt offers very clear and explicit instruction. He starts off with a dorsiflexion of the front foot, which deepens the stretch sensation. Along with this lengthening, an important action is the tucking of the sit bone. Next, pressing down the front heel into the mat begins to incorporate the facilitated stretch (the strength component). This action is also important in minimizing the potential for injury by making the hamstring attachment at the sit bone less vulnerable. In the video, you’ll see the other options as regards the “direction of push.” Playing with diagonal activations targets other areas of the hamstrings and adductors.

WATCH THE VIDEO

SUPINE STANDING SPLITS: BOOST YOUR HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY

SEATED HAMSTRING STRETCH

Next, the Seated Hamstring Stretch in the video starts to take on more of the qualities of Supine Standing Splits. A more accurate description of this stretch includes the fact that the leg is lifted while you move your head towards the knee or shin. This action mimics the standing leg in the upright version of standing splits. This variation potentially allows for deeper hip flexion than Supine Standing Splits because, as you draw your leg towards your face, you are not limited by the floor beneath you; as you hold your foot, you can pull your elbows back further than what may be available to you when you’re lying on your mat. That being said, exploring this variation can still be revaling as to what’s available to you in regard to hip flexion and hamstring flexibility. Even more telling is when you release the grip of your foot to reveal your level of active flexibility versus passive flexibility.

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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

HAMSTRING SLIDE DRILL

Before diving into Supine Standing Splits, Matt offers a drill to encourage the refining of strength in your hamstrings and glutes. If you’re ever unsure if you are doing enough to strengthen your hamstrings, you won’t be mistaken with this drill.  It—is—intense!  

At first, trying it out without wearing socks will remove some of the sliding component (Matt is wearing socks in the video). This does not necessarily make the drill easier, but it may help you feel connected to the strength required for the progressions. Matt compares this drill to Bridge Pose, but one of the major differences is that you keep your legs as straight as possible. This action will ignite your hamstrings as your feet attempt to slide toward your upper body. Comparatively, wearing socks in order to build upon the drill will increase the slide and therefore the contraction in your hamstrings and glutes.

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

POSSIBILITY AFTER PREPARATION

Finally, your body is more primed and ready for Supine Standing Splits after all that’s been explored. There’s a sense of freedom and possibility that carries into the pose. That lifted leg again utilizes techniques from Seated Hamstring Stretch, but with more strength from the slides. Straightening your bottom leg, with a very slight lift away from the floor, will also activate your core. Being on your back for this posture doesn’t mean that it’s more relaxed but instead allows for time spent activating your body while focusing on deep hip flexion and nurturing increased hamstring flexibility.

To conclude, greater preparation only elevates your potential. You can explore more drills and techniques like this in Matt’s current Splits Immersion.

See you on the mat!

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

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

Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: The Splits

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.

Strengthen For Splits

Strengthen for Splits

Variations for Increased Flexiblity

hanumanasana

STRENGTHEN FOR SPLITS

If the Splits (Hanumanasana) had a personality, it might be one of the most vocal in the room. Aesthetically, it’s quite bold. The shape of the posture makes it evident that it requires a great deal of flexibility. In order to acquire the right amount of flexibility, you must strengthen for Splits. But if flexibility means to lengthen muscles and strengthening contracts muscles, how is this approach effective? In today’s video, Matt shares how employing techniques such as the facilitated stretch help increase flexibility while strengthening. Not only do you prepare your body more effectively for flexibility, but you also bring your body closer to balance. Because Splits is a deep posture, you need to be shrewd in your approach. As always, Matt offers cues that are both intricate and systematic, allowing you to safely explore while increasing your flexibility at the same time. 

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

FACILITATED STRETCH

First, what is a facilitated stretch? If you’ve been practicing with Matt for some time, you’ll know that this is a technique that he frequently utilizes in his classes. This is because it allows you to build strength and flexibility at the same time. A facilitated stretch occurs when a muscle is engaged while in a lengthened position. It’s essentially a conversation that takes place from the brain to the muscle and the Golgi tendon organ, which sends a message back to the brain about the amount of tension that’s taking place. When that happens, the brain recognizes the amount of engagement and sends a message back to the body to release the tension in the muscle. Instead of forcing a stretch, your body recognizes that it is in control and therefore safe to respond in kind when flexibility is required.  

WATCH THE VIDEO

STRENGTHEN FOR SPLITS: 2 VARIATIONS FOR INCREASED FLEXIBILITY

VARIATION 1: PUSH, PULL, TURN

To strengthen for Splits, it’s important to know the end range of your flexibility. Pull back from where you normally settle into as you set up this variation, so as to successfully implement a facilitated stretch. Being able to strengthen for Splits means moving away from your tendencies. As you’ll see in the video, there are opportunities to “push, pull, and turn” within your exploration. These actions will both change the level of sensation you experience and inform your next steps. For example, turning your pelvis closed might increase a sensation that provides the opportunity for you to press your front heel down and forward while pulling your back knee forward. These actions create a facilitated stretch for the hamstring in the front leg and the hip flexors of the back leg.

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

VARIATION 2: LEAN IN

Now, in the 2nd variation, the key action that gets layered on is to lean forward. Even though more flexibility in the hamstrings is 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 more of a stretch sensation by going a bit deeper (once you’ve strengthened), going deeper does not 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

CARVE A NEW PATH

An intense posture like Splits will really speak to you. It will expose your tendencies, which may be hard to face. Often, the familiar path is to lean into the areas that feel open. But in order to strengthen for Splits, it’s imperative that you lean into the more “challenging” areas within the posture. Pushing beyond your limits is not the answer here; what is meant is that moving carefully minimizes the risk of injury. When this happens, you will not only come closer to the posture in the short term but also develop more balance in your body in the long term.

Matt’s Splits Immersion will guide you in creating “intelligent flexibility” in your hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and glutes. Carving a new path and creating new patterns means more confidence in how your body moves, both on and off 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: Mobility 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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