Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health for Better Movement

stretch

HIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT

Healthy hip flexor muscles are associated with both stretch and strength. Although we’re going to focus more heavily on strength in this article, always note that both strength and flexibility are imperative for increased health within the muscles that make up the hip flexors and the muscles overall. Unfortunately, because the hip flexors are a challenging area for many, they are sometimes given short shrift or executed with little intention in our yoga practice. Matt reminds us that the hip flexors are the initiators of forward movement, so facing the challenge is essential in order to reap the benefits.

In today’s video, Matt provides accessible options to incorporate into our yoga practice. These actions and drills, when practiced consistently over time, transform our experience on the mat and in our everyday movement.

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

MOVEMENT IS A MUST

“Those who move more frequently have less occurrence of blood clots, frozen joints, cartilage degeneration, impaired digestion, metabolic disease and even skin problems”.

Humans Have a Basic Physical and Psychological Need to Move the Body: Physical Activity as a Primary Drive

We implement movement into our daily lives, so without even knowing any of the specific scientific benefits (as listed above), we still know what they are because we experience the positive aftereffects. Some of the benefits we experience include the following:

  • increased energy levels
  • better sleep
  • improved mental health

Strong, healthy hip flexor muscles literally initiate movement and drive us forward. It’s the action of hip flexion that allows us to do things like walk, run, and skip. Strengthening our hip flexor muscles will ultimately help us to move forward in a more efficient way.

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT: 5 DRILLS TO BUILD STRENGTH & LENGTH

DRILLS FOR PRONE PRESS AND BOAT POSE

Prone Press

The actions involved in this drill help us feel a connection to our hip flexor muscles. There are 2 variations to explore:

  1. In a prone position, we bend the first leg and press the knee into the ground. This promotes the sensation of activation. The second leg lifts but remains straight.
  2. The second variation adds more intensity by abducting the arms and lifting the torso.

Boat Pose Drills

The variations Matt teaches here offer a challenge for our hip flexor muscles.  

  1. The first one calls upon us to move in a way that forces us to be very intentional about initiating the movement with the hip flexors, as opposed to emphasizing the core.  
  2. Maintaining hip flexion while extending each leg all the way up is humbling. It’s also very telling about the amount of work that is required.
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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

PYRAMID & “DANDASANA-LIKE” LEG LIFTS

Pyramid Leg Lifts

If it’s a challenge we’re looking for, this is it! Once we are set up in this Pyramid variation with dorsiflexion in the front foot, we then actively lift the front leg up towards the chest. Even if there is a generous amount of strength present, it will be possible but still challenging. If we have less strength here, the front leg may not even lift up. Something important to note is that even if the leg doesn’t lift, the movement will still activate the hip flexor muscles.  

“Dandasana-Like” Leg Lifts

The variations within these leg lifts offer a nice controlled way of promoting strength in the hip flexor muscles. You’ll see in the video that a simple change in angle of the leg will help target the psoas, pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, or gracilis.

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

STRETCH IT OUT

As much as strength is imperative for the health of our hip flexor muscles in terms of improved movement, we must also incorporate opportunities to stretch these muscles in our yoga practice, even between strengthening drills.

The delicious stretch Matt offers in the video is laid out in 4 stages, targeting first a stretch of the quadricep muscles, all the way up to the psoas in the final stage.

Selecting stages, or gradually going through all of them, can offer relief from the strengthening drills, but we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges that come with lengthening as well.

In Matt’s next workshop, Hip Release, he’ll guide us through specific postures, drills, and techniques for the hips. We’ll learn to stretch and to extend our understanding of our own bodies in order to have a greater effect on our yoga practice and to improve our movement overall.

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: Move 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

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP 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,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props and Your PracticealignmentYOGA PROPS AND YOUR PRACTICE When it comes to incorporating yoga props into our yoga practice, we can take 1 of 2 paths. We either subscribe to the notion that if we use props, we are somehow “less capable” than others in the...

read more
Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniquesfirefly poseTITIBHASANA TECHNIQUES There are some general rules to follow when executing arm balance postures. To find optimal balance, most require us not to shy away from leaning forward. They also demand a considerable degree of upper body...

read more
Air Line Activation

Air Line Activation

Air Line Activationback strengthAIR LINE ACTIVATION Finding ways to effectively strengthen the back in our yoga practice can be a challenge. If our goal is to cultivate strength in this area of the body, we must understand that it requires more than just adding...

read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

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.

Dancer Pose

Dancer Pose

The Chromatic Way

natarajasana

DANCER POSE

Dancer Pose is the kind of posture that embodies both grace and strength. In order to integrate these two things into your practice of this posture, there are quite a number of pieces of the puzzle to consider. You might argue that the “grace” portion of the pose comes from its heart-opening shape, while the strength comes from all that goes into finding balance. There are other components that comprise both. The journey of discovering these elements becomes quite profound and rewarding when you follow Matt’s Chromatic approach. In today’s video, you’ll witness techniques that support your development and observe how the “Chromatic way” is implemented to create deeper awareness and transformation. Dancer Pose, along with other “preparatory postures,” becomes more accessible in your practice.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

CHROMATIC YOGA

OCTOBER 2023  15Hr. Immersion

  • 12 Chromatic Yoga practices with founder Matt Giordano
  • Full-spectrum immersion covering all posture categories
  • Improve your body awareness and advance your practice
  • Technique, biomechanics, and alignment at the forefront
  • Life-enhancing and inspirational Chromatic philosophy woven through each class
  • 15 Continuing Education hours with Yoga Alliance
  • 15 Accredited Hours with the Chromatic School of Yoga
  • Step-by-step instruction for increased accessibility
  • Improve strength, balance, flexibility, and proprioception
  • Appropriate variations and modifications for all levels

$168.00 $138.00

MORE INFORMATION

 

WHAT IS CHROMATIC YOGA?

Before we look at Dancer Pose, let’s delve into what Chromatic Yoga actually means: “Chromatic Yoga is a systematic approach to teaching that provides a highly intentional and purposeful experience for students to cultivate awareness of their body and mind.” (Extracted from Matt’s 300 Hr. Teacher Training

What does this look like in your physical yoga practice? In a well-developed class or practice, you’ll start by laying a foundation. This can be done by focusing on specific actions in “foundational postures” and/or shapes. This sets the stage and prepares your body for a “peak posture.” Each movement is executed with a specific intention. Remaining focused on these intentions helps you create more awareness of how you move and where you may need to add or edit a particular action. Everything is broken down, simplified, and repeated to support you in realizing your fullest potential. 

WATCH THE VIDEO

DANCER POSE:  THE CHROMATIC WAY

START HERE

Dancer Pose is a heart opener and a balance posture all in one. Creating the shape of a heart opener requires that you create the action of retracting the scapulae; when done with well-placed effort, this will activate the rhomboids and lower trapezius. Matt demonstrates how to pattern this activation in Upward-Facing Dog. In today’s video, you’ll see that after retracting your scapulae and externally rotating the humerus on each side, you create more space for your chest to move forward. When you lift your rib cage up and out, you create more length and opening in your front body. These are all key actions to start with in order to find more heart space in Dancer Pose. This patterning continues in Twisted Monkey and in Tiger Pose. What you also see are the necessary actions in the pelvis and the activations that promote the lengthening required in the hip flexors and quadriceps.

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

DANCER POSE AT THE WALL

If you’ve worked through these progressions, your body is more physically prepared for the next steps. This variation of Dancer Pose is great because it reduces the effort required to stay balanced if you want to be more focused on the backbend and the movement of the pelvis. Here, Matt demonstrates the dance (pun intended) between the movement of the pelvis (more anterior tilt), which assists in lifting the back leg further up, and the action of increased external rotation of the shoulder. Once you have tipped forward with more anterior tilt, Matt advises you to lift your chest up on an inhale in order to expand through your front body. Going back and forth between these actions promotes greater opening altogether. The activation of the quadriceps and hip flexors is continued by pressing your foot into your hand and vice versa.  

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

FIND YOUR BALANCE

The repetition of the actions created throughout the previous postures boosts your ability to find more balance in Dancer Pose. The same exchange between tipping forward and lifting up the chest, plus a greater awareness of the internal rotation of the lifted leg, will assist in cultivating more stability.

The definition of finding your balance goes beyond just taking Dancer Pose away from the wall. From a Chromatic Yoga perspective, it also means that in the process of exploring the biomechanics of a posture, you are learning more about your body and mind. Maybe there are vast differences between one side of the body and the other, or maybe there is room for a shift in your thought process during your practice. This can go in multiple directions! Ultimately, the relationship you build with yourself and your practice as a whole is completely transformed when you adopt the Chromatic way. 

Sign up for Matt’s next Online Chromatic Yoga Immersion to deepen your understanding of this approach.

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: Vinyasa Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

The Teachers' Toolkit

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

Continue Learning

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP 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,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props and Your PracticealignmentYOGA PROPS AND YOUR PRACTICE When it comes to incorporating yoga props into our yoga practice, we can take 1 of 2 paths. We either subscribe to the notion that if we use props, we are somehow “less capable” than others in the...

read more
Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniquesfirefly poseTITIBHASANA TECHNIQUES There are some general rules to follow when executing arm balance postures. To find optimal balance, most require us not to shy away from leaning forward. They also demand a considerable degree of upper body...

read more
Air Line Activation

Air Line Activation

Air Line Activationback strengthAIR LINE ACTIVATION Finding ways to effectively strengthen the back in our yoga practice can be a challenge. If our goal is to cultivate strength in this area of the body, we must understand that it requires more than just adding...

read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

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.

Standing Nose To Shin

Standing Nose to Shin

Variations for a Solid Foundation

strength

STANDING NOSE TO SHIN

Standing Nose to Shin is an exceptional preparatory posture for Hanumanasana, or Splits Pose, but it is an equally profound posture on its own. It also requires thoughtful preparation, particularly when considering how to optimize the prominent muscle groups that are involved. Your hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, back muscles, and calf muscles are just some of the highlighted areas of the body that require attention for you to realize your full potential in the pose. In today’s video, Matt lays out the path to increased strength, flexibility, and mobility via these 5 preparatory variations of Standing Nose to Shin. What you’ll see are ways to intelligently break down the posture into bite-sized pieces by attempting them in different planes. Working through these variations is not solely a gateway to the posture but an entrance to amplified body balance.

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

HAMSTRING, HIP FLEXOR, AND QUAD ACTIVATION

Both palpitation and the use of your own body as a prop are great tools in your yoga practice. In the first variation, Matt has you lace your fingers to grasp underneath the belly of your hamstring. Doing this will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of both the strength and stretch sensation in that area of your body. Pressing down into your hands creates an activation. Once you extend your leg, you’ll initiate the technique of reciprocal inhibition—activating the opposing muscle of the one you’re lengthening. In this case, your quadriceps activate while your hamstrings lengthen. This is important because it helps minimize the potential for overstretching the hamstrings.  

Getting your hip flexors more involved means letting go of the grip on your hamstrings and allowing your extended leg to do the work of opposing gravity.

WATCH THE VIDEO

STANDING NOSE TO SHIN: 5 VARIATIONS FOR A SOLID FOUNDATION

STANDING SINGLE LEG AT THE WALL

Using a wall as a prop doesn’t mean that it’s an opportunity to neglect the required muscle activation to prepare for Standing Nose to Shin. This variation is the training ground for the anterior tilt of the pelvis that encourages an increased range of motion. Matt reminds you that even though you fold forward in the final variation, there is still an incorporation of the pelvic tilt.

Along with this pelvic tilt is a lifting of the heart and a backbend, which help you strengthen and activate in order to prepare for the fold in the final variation. 

Another important action for the final variation is the dorsiflexion of your foot. What’s taking place here is the strengthening and intentional activation of the tibialis anterior.  

As you create these activations, the hamstrings can become more vulnerable, so it’s important to stay in tune with the sensations that are taking place there.  

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

STANDING SPLITS AT THE WALL

This variation is interesting, because even though you are going more with gravity, there is still opportunity to activate, activate, activate! There’s continued emphasis on activating your quads and glute muscles. As regards the top leg, it’s almost as if you’re trying to lift your leg off of the wall with the glute activation. Doing this mimics the position of the standing leg when you “turn the pose upside down” by standing right side up.

Here, you can also welcome in the deeper fold towards the standing leg. In order to protect the hamstring of the standing leg, you tuck the same-side sit bone while taking your face closer to your shin. Tucking your tailbone produces an activation of the hamstrings and glutes (facilitated stretch) to keep the sit-bone attachment safe.

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

SEATED, SUPINE, AND STANDING

Getting onto the floor offers another chance to imitate the posture with less emphasis on balance. You’re able to continue to work on activating the quadriceps in the lower leg, just as you will in the standing pose.  

In the video, even though Matt is leaning forward towards his shin, you can also see how long and “upright” he appears in his alignment. This gets more range but with increased protection of the spine and whole backline.

Attempting the final variation of Standing Nose to Shin adds layers of challenge. If you carefully complete the 5 stages Matt demonstrates, you’ll be able to uncover the articulations, activations, and ranges that require more attention.

Matt’s in-depth approach goes even further in his 200 & 300 hour teacher trainings. This is where you can dive deeper into the core of multiple postures and their variations.

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: Splits Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

The Teachers' Toolkit

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

Continue Learning

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP 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,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props and Your PracticealignmentYOGA PROPS AND YOUR PRACTICE When it comes to incorporating yoga props into our yoga practice, we can take 1 of 2 paths. We either subscribe to the notion that if we use props, we are somehow “less capable” than others in the...

read more
Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniquesfirefly poseTITIBHASANA TECHNIQUES There are some general rules to follow when executing arm balance postures. To find optimal balance, most require us not to shy away from leaning forward. They also demand a considerable degree of upper body...

read more
Air Line Activation

Air Line Activation

Air Line Activationback strengthAIR LINE ACTIVATION Finding ways to effectively strengthen the back in our yoga practice can be a challenge. If our goal is to cultivate strength in this area of the body, we must understand that it requires more than just adding...

read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

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.

Learn To Lift In Lolasana

Learn to Lift in Lolasana

Crucial Techniques for Takeoff

pendant pose

LEARN TO LIFT IN LOLASANA

If you read my previous blog about One-Legged Crow, then you’ll know it started off with how much Matt stresses leaning forward in that posture (and in most arm balances in fact). I could start here in exactly the same way because leaning forward is truly the best place to start when you’re trying to learn to lift in Lolasana; however, it’s wishful thinking to believe that it is as simple as that. Today, Matt provides not only the variations to explore but also exactly what leaning forward entails, particularly when it comes to Lolasana. This pose is unique in that it requires an astonishing amount of hip flexor strength in order to actually achieve the lift. The variations and techniques Matt offers today provide a clearly defined path to strengthen your body and to more deeply develop the areas that may be the hurdle to actually achieving Lolasana.

online classes for anatomy of arm balances

FLOW & FLY

MAY 2023 Immersion

  • 12 Vinyasa-style practices
  • Increase your cardiovascular activity
  • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
  • Improve balance and proprioception
  • Accessible modifications and sequences
  • Appropriate variations for your level of practice
  • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
  • ALL LEVELS APPROPRIATE

$148.00

MORE INFORMATION

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PUSH MUSCLES

Before you lean forward, creating the right shape with your body is imperative. To this end, you will be placing your awareness on activating specific muscle groups to support where you’re required to be in space in order to learn to lift in Lolasana. Activating and strengthening your push muscles will support this endeavor. Your serratus anterior helps to protract the scapulae, which is important because the amount of space between you and the ground is vital—you need enough room for lift-off. While you’re creating space between your shoulder blades as a result of the push of the hands, you’re contracting the chest muscles, which fires up the triceps. Being aware of how one action informs the next will help you find the amount of lean required for this arm balance.

WATCH THE VIDEO

LEARN TO LIFT IN LOLASANA:  CRUCIAL TECHNIQUES FOR TAKEOFF

WHAT’S INVOLVED IN LEANING FORWARD?

One thing you’ll come to understand very quickly when you practice with Matt is that nothing works in isolation. You’ll hear him refer to the “team effort” of the actions that are layered to create the desired output. This is the Chromatic way. For example, the push muscles help inform the shape of your body, and one of the push muscles’ teammates is wrist extension. An appropriate amount will help propel your body forward with control. When you examine Lolasana step by step, you’ll see that your shoulders are required to move in front of your wrists. Once this is achieved, Matt explains that it will encourage increased “lightness” in the legs in order for you to take flight.  Knowing this will allow you to learn to lift in Lolasana, but first, you must find confidence in the direction of the lean.

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

KEY ACTIONS IN LOLASANA

Among the variations in today’s video, you’ll gain some great insight into how to place your hands on blocks. This is an important step in early preparation. Using blocks under your hands both supports the required amount of wrist extension and assists your hip flexors so that you won’t have to lift them as high as in the variations without blocks. Following the variations in the order that Matt provides them is always advisable. Understanding the key action of the posture will also help to unfold where you need to place your attention.

Key Actions:

  1. Grip your fingers into the ground
  2. Lean forward enough for the shoulders to move ahead of the wrists (like you’re going to do a somersault) 
  3. Push the floor or blocks away to protract the scapulae
  4. Pull your knees into your chest
  5. Lift your feet off of the ground
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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

THE OVERLAP IN ARM BALANCES

Even though arm balances share a high degree of challenge and are unique in their own ways, they also share a certain amount of overlap. This crossover allows you to work on techniques that can unlock other arm balances in your physical yoga practice. Wrist extension and shoulder protraction are the most obvious actions that overlap and are required for most arm balances. Lolasana is extremely challenging, but it provides an opportunity to step back and work on these 2 actions before you can even consider adding in the element of the lift.  

In Matt’s immersion Flow and Fly, not only will you acquire the skills to learn to lift in Lolasana, but you’ll also learn the techniques that overlap in a wide variety of arm balances. 

Jump in so that you can take the steps to lean, lift, and fly!

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: Flow and Fly

online classes for anatomy of arm balances

FLOW & FLY

MAY 2023 Immersion

  • 12 Vinyasa-style practices
  • Increase your cardiovascular activity
  • Foundational and advanced arm balance techniques
  • Improve balance and proprioception
  • Accessible modifications and sequences
  • Appropriate variations for your level of practice
  • Improve wrist, core, and shoulder strength
  • ALL LEVELS APPROPRIATE

$148.00

MORE INFORMATION

Continue Learning

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP 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,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props and Your PracticealignmentYOGA PROPS AND YOUR PRACTICE When it comes to incorporating yoga props into our yoga practice, we can take 1 of 2 paths. We either subscribe to the notion that if we use props, we are somehow “less capable” than others in the...

read more
Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniquesfirefly poseTITIBHASANA TECHNIQUES There are some general rules to follow when executing arm balance postures. To find optimal balance, most require us not to shy away from leaning forward. They also demand a considerable degree of upper body...

read more
Air Line Activation

Air Line Activation

Air Line Activationback strengthAIR LINE ACTIVATION Finding ways to effectively strengthen the back in our yoga practice can be a challenge. If our goal is to cultivate strength in this area of the body, we must understand that it requires more than just adding...

read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

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

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP 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,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props and Your PracticealignmentYOGA PROPS AND YOUR PRACTICE When it comes to incorporating yoga props into our yoga practice, we can take 1 of 2 paths. We either subscribe to the notion that if we use props, we are somehow “less capable” than others in the...

read more
Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniquesfirefly poseTITIBHASANA TECHNIQUES There are some general rules to follow when executing arm balance postures. To find optimal balance, most require us not to shy away from leaning forward. They also demand a considerable degree of upper body...

read more
Air Line Activation

Air Line Activation

Air Line Activationback strengthAIR LINE ACTIVATION Finding ways to effectively strengthen the back in our yoga practice can be a challenge. If our goal is to cultivate strength in this area of the body, we must understand that it requires more than just adding...

read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag HandstandbalanceDOUBLE STAG HANDSTAND Cultivating confidence is a non-negotiable when it comes to implementing a handstand practice. If handstands seem insurmountable even to consider, don’t fret; there might be an easier option. Easier? Really? Yes!  Ok,...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

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

Pin It on Pinterest