Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

padmasana

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS

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

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

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

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

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

STRENGTHEN THE EXTERNAL ROTATORS

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

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

Variation I

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

Variation II

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

WATCH THE VIDEO

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS: HOW TO MAXIMIZE HIP FLEXIBILITY

TARGET THE HIP FLEXORS

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

Scissor Legs

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

Happy Baby Pose Without Hands

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

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200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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  • 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

ISOMETRIC ENGAGEMENTS

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

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

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

Crescent Pose Preparation

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

Humble Warrior 

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

Pigeon Pose

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

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
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

AWAKEN THE OUTER HIP MUSCLES

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

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

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

Register here to optimize your potential.

See you on the mat!

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

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

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Lotus Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

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Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

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

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
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Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP 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...

read more

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Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

flying pigeon

HIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA

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

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

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

“PUSH AND SUSTAIN”

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

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

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

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIPS AND GALAVASANA: TECHNIQUES TO UNLOCK THIS ARM BALANCE

GETTING THE HIP FLEXORS ACTIVE

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

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  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

PRACTICE THE HOOK

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

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

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

300 hour teacher training online

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

EKA PADA GALAVASANA VARIATIONS

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

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

Register to learn more techniques and tips for your toolkit!

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

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

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

Double Stag Handstand

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Lotus Foundations

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

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

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Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

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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.

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

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
Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand DevelopmentinversionACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.   Whether a handstand is part of our...

read more
Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

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read more
Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

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

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP 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...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

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

Hips & Hanumanasana

Hips & Hanumanasana

splits

HIPS & HANUMANASANA

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

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

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

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

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

HIP RELEASE

2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

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

HIP & PELVIC DRILLS

Crescent Pose with Pelvic Articulations

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

Hip-Flexor Block Drill

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

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIPS & HANUMANASANA: SQUEEZE IN TO EXPAND OUT

ARDHA HANUMANASANA

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

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

  • Deepen your yoga practice
  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

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.

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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
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Lotus Foundations

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Pelvic Movement & The Hip Joint

Pelvic Movement and the Hip Joint

Understand the Influence in Your Practice and Your Body

hip mobility

Pelvic Movement and the Hip Joint

The hips are a combination of challenge, ease, freedom, restriction, strength, and weakness. You could very well be experiencing all of these things simultaneously! The hip joint is quite complex—it’s a ball and socket joint that allows you to move in elaborate ways, in your yoga practice and your life off of the mat. This, however, can also make it vulnerable to injury. Understanding your hips and how other areas of your body affect how you move is imperative if your goal is to access your fullest potential in terms of your asana practice and/or movement as a whole. An entry point to such understanding can simply be how you articulate a specific part of your body. In today’s video, Matt highlights the positive impact certain pelvic articulations can have on what you experience in regard to hip mobility.

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  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
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THE BENEFITS OF PELVIC ANTERIOR TILT IN DOWNWARD DOG

Downward Dog can easily become a posture that just feels like you don’t have to think about how to do it. After all, how many times have you done this posture? Probably too many to count, right?

Matt offers a new lens through which to consider Downward Dog. It’s no secret that part of the benefit of doing this posture is that you’ll get a stretch in your hamstrings. Increased flexibility in your hamstrings can allow for more freedom of movement of the pelvis around the hip joint. However, it is common for your glutes to take charge as soon as you lift your knees off of the ground to lift your hips up, which may create a more posterior tilt of the pelvis. Maintaining an anterior tilt of your pelvis helps strengthen your lower back and offers a hamstring stretch with more integrity for your body.  

WATCH THE VIDEO

PELVIC MOVEMENT AND THE HIP JOINT: UNDERSTAND THE INFLUENCE IN YOUR PRACTICE AND YOUR BODY

CONTROVERSIAL TRANSITIONS ON THE MAT

There are strong opinions when it comes to transitioning from Warrior III to Half Moon. Some will say you should NEVER do it, and others say it’s fine. The argument is that you’re bearing weight on the femur bone of the standing leg and that it destroys the hip joint. Matt points out that in fact, we do this action often. For example, in the transition from High Lunge to Warrior II, you’ll see him demonstrate the movement of the pelvis around the femur bone. Yes, there is slightly more weight in the Warrior III transition, but it is a natural movement. What you’ll know better than anyone who has an opinion is how the movement feels in your body. Matt explains that if there is pain, it can often be attributed to a lack of strength in the muscles that surround the hip. In the video, he shows you where to place your awareness to begin to minimize the pain.

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HOW THE PELVIS INFORMS A STRETCH

The last posture in today’s video, a Pyramid variation, offers insight into how the direction of your pelvis can inform and transform your experience in a stretch. Instead of just squaring the hips, Matt cues a rotation of the pelvis (with left leg back) in which you turn the left side of your pelvis down towards the ground and towards your right thigh bone. The benefit here is a deeper stretch of the right outer buttocks and hips. Why is this action important? Deepening the stretch of these muscles, which may not be easy to find in your yoga practice, will contribute to the overall health of the hip joint. Achieving increased hip mobility involves increased flexibility. Keep in mind, however, that there are other parts of the equation. Overall hip health and mobility also require strength and body awareness.

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

HOW TO ACHIEVE OVERALL HIP HEALTH

In the full class, Matt explains that mobility implies that we have strength in a greater range of motion, no matter how elongated a muscle is. There are plenty of opportunities to stretch muscles in an asana practice, but activating them in the practice to build strength will also increase their flexibility over time. It is important to remember this when you are exploring the actions of the pelvis around the hip joint in order to create more flexibility and length in the muscles that surround and support the hip. Exploring these articulations of the pelvis promotes and improves your sense of proprioception and body awareness, helping you unlock your potential. Try these actions in your practice and watch it unfold!  

Delve into the possibilities of this complex area of your body in Matt’s current immersion, Blissful Hips.

See you on the mat!

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

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

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

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
Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand DevelopmentinversionACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT Accelerating the process of achieving a goal comes from consistent practice, but it also depends heavily on the information and knowledge we’ve acquired.   Whether a handstand is part of our...

read more
Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak the Twists in Your Yoga PracticepadmasanaTWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE The definition of "tweak" here is the following: to improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it. This perfectly describes a major part of what’s involved in the...

read more
Lotus Foundations

Lotus Foundations

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

read more
Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

Hips and Eka Pada Galavasanaflying pigeonHIPS AND EKA PADA GALAVASANA Depending on where we are in our asana practice journey, arm balances may feel a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start. Instead of thinking about the final destination, we...

read more
Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP 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...

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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