Open Splits

Open Splits

Follow This Flexibility Formula

SAMAKONASANA

OPEN SPLITS

Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often.  It does require a considerable amount of flexibility and Matt lays out the perfect flexibility formula in order to safely execute the posture.  What it does is offer much more than the result.  It takes you on a path toward greater balance in your body, more specifically in the hips.  The adductor muscles don’t often get as much of the limelight as some of the other muscles of the hips (i.e. glutes), so open splits (Samakonasana) is an opportunity to create more muscle integrity in the adductors, tensor fascia latae (TFL), hip flexors, and inner hamstrings).

 

Online Yoga for Hip Openers and Flexibility

HIP MOBILITY

October 2022 Immersion

  • Strengthen & Lengthen Your Hips
  • Increase Active & Passive Range Of Motion
  • Learn Anatomical Techniques To Improve Functionality
  • Access a Wider Range of Seated Posture & Hip Openers
  • 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

MORE INFORMATION

MUSCLE INTEGRITY

What is muscle integrity? It’s essentially the health of a muscle(s).  This can still be vague, what is a healthy muscle?  Part of having  healthy muscle tissue means that you have the ability to control the contraction and/or amount of contraction and relaxation within a particular muscle and/or group of muscles at any length.  This is important in open splits, because even though your legs are out wide, you should have the ability to contract back inwards.  One of the most important things to do to maintain safe execution is to never go to full end range.  Staying at approximately 70% of your range will help to minimize the chance of injury.

WATCH THE VIDEO: OPEN SPLITS: FLEXIBILITY FORMULA

MORE THAN MUSCLE ACTIVATION

There are specific articulations in your body that are key components of the flexibility formula for open splits.  These articulations will help in achieving the desired activation of muscle tissue and joint placement. For example, the anterior tilt of the pelvis assists in activation of the TFL (an internal rotator).  Once you bring your awareness to this sensation, you can then layer on the additional and contrasting action of spiraling the thigh bones outwards in order to ignite the outer hips (abductors) as well.

The most important thing is to always take it step by step.  Let’s examine each action Matt breaks down in the video from the beginning.

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

FOLLOW THIS FLEXIBILITY FORMULA

There are a number of actions and co-activations that need to happen in order to maintain safety and build upon muscle integrity in open splits.  As mentioned before, once you get into a straddle position, it’s important to be mindful to stay away from going to your complete end range.  You should recognize a subtle sensation of stretch in the inner thighs and hamstrings.  Staying within this range and then isometrically activating your adductors, hamstrings, and TFL is the formula to follow.  The stars of the show however, are patience and being conservative.  Staying behind your end range and having the patience to allow your muscles to adapt, and continue to grow into new flexibility will promote increased healthy muscle tissue.

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
  • Business, branding, marketing, and social media skills

OPEN SPLITS EXECUTION

In the execution of open splits, remember to layer each action

  1.  Dorsiflex your toes and point both knees and toes to the sky
  2. Send inner groins down to the ground
  3. Micro bend your knees (to alleviate pressure here) and press your heels down into the earth (this will light up the hamstrings)
  4. Push outward now while pushing toes out and pressing legs apart, so pelvis goes more into anterior tilt (legs stay as they are)
  5. Once you feel the stretch adductor muscles, start to press heels down and micro tucking tailbone (more posterior tilt of the pelvis), or suction thigh bones into hip sockets, so TFL starts to ignite and pull feet towards each other (it is more about stability here, rather then straining) 

Playing with different articulations are helpful in deciphering what areas continue to require attention (what feels tight and/or what feels hypermobile). For example, if you want to continue bowing forward, you may return back to pressing legs apart and groins back or hips more forward.  This will offer a deeper stretch in your adductors.  Going back and forth between push and pull actions help to increase hip mobility.

Matt’s current Hip Mobility immersion offers a deep dive into the breakdown of specific asana related to increased flexibility, strength, and mobility of the hips, but more importantly, it puts hip health at center stage.  Direct your experience and elevate your practice by registering today.

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: Hips & Hamstrings

UPCOMING TEACHER TRAININGS

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

Continue Learning

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge 5 Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5 part twist technique.   There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

read more
King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

read more
Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

read more
Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability To New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose.  Will I fall?  Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

read more
Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix At The Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment  and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice.  There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there?  Side Angle pose is a perfect example of...

read more
Open Splits

Open Splits

Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often.  It does require a considerable...

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.

Leg Over Head Preparation

Leg Over Head Preparation

Access Deeper Hip Opening

FLEXIBILITY

LEG OVER HEAD PREPARATION

Looking at a posture like “Leg Over Head”, you might think that this extreme hip opener is completely off the table in terms of incorporating it into your yoga practice.  Don’t turn away from it just yet.  As always it’s the preparation you need to place on a pedestal.  Leg over head preparation is potentially the key that will unlock your access to this and other hip opening postures.

 

Online Yoga for Hip Openers and Flexibility

HIP MOBILITY

October 2022 Immersion

  • Strengthen & Lengthen Your Hips
  • Increase Active & Passive Range Of Motion
  • Learn Anatomical Techniques To Improve Functionality
  • Access a Wider Range of Seated Posture & Hip Openers
  • 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

MORE INFORMATION

CHASING THE POSTURE

Let’s be clear that accessing postures is a nice outcome, but it’s the journey of self discovery along the way that is the true gift.  Leg over head pose, even the preparation if you will, can look quite intimidating.  It will either be a pose you completely reject and turn away from, or it might become a posture you choose to pursue. If you choose the latter it’s important to understand that “chasing” the posture is not the answer.  It’s an extreme posture, so taking your time through the process, unfolding your individual needs, and  allowing yourself to be patient with all that’s required is the best approach.

 Relentlessly chasing the posture may take you further away from feeling the benefits it has to offer.  A healthy amount of discernment in regards to when to push forward and when to pull back will provide a more positive experience. 

WATCH THE VIDEO: LEG OVER HEAD PREPARATION

RESTRICTION OF THE HIPS

Leg over head preparation is an excellent posture to include in your practice when restriction/tightness of the hips is an issue because so many parts of the hip play an active role in it’s execution.  The muscles that need to be lengthened are primarily the hamstrings, adductors, and outer hips.  It also requires extreme hip flexion and rotation. 

Restricted hip mobility has shown strong correlation with various pathologies of the hip, lumbar spine and lower extremity. Restricted mobility can consequently have deleterious effects not only at the involved joint but throughout the entire kinetic chain.”

Reiman MP, Matheson JW. Restricted hip mobility: clinical suggestions for self-mobilization and muscle re-education. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Oct;8(5):729-40. PMID: 24175151; PMCID: PMC3811738.

Limited hip mobility leaves the door open for potential injury.  This may be expressed as back pain, pelvic instability,  everyday and/or athletic performance hindrance and more.  Focusing on benefits like increased range of motion, better alignment, and increased flexibility will steer you in a positive direction.

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

LEG OVER HEAD PREPARATION STEP BY STEP

Level I Preparation

(on the left side)

  1. Get into lizard position
  2. Place 1 or 2 block under your left foot
  3. Move back with hips up to the sky
  4. Take your left arm underneath your left leg and grab your ankle or the block with your hand
  5. Place your forehead on a block (try 3rd or highest height of the block)

Along with the setup of the posture, it’s the following 3 actions that promote increased flexibility  and range of motion in hips.

  1.  Pull your front heel down and back
  2. Widen left buttock out to the left
  3. Squeeze front shin in

Doing these muscle activations until you feel like there is no more stretch sensation left is the signal that it may be ok to explore going deeper into the posture. Going slowly in order to stay safe in these instances will increase compliance of the tissues, making the goal of increased hip mobility a reality.

Matt also suggests for you to go several rounds on each side to really prepare.  Adding in a little gentle movement within the posture, to become aware of the sensations can also be extremely helpful.

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DEEPER HIP OPENING

In order to take your experience even further, here are some additional actions Matt recommends:

  1.  Your back leg can maneuver around enough or any amount in order to accommodate the front leg (maybe the back knee more in line with the left knee which will allow for movement back for deeper hamstring stretch.  

It’s important to be aware of the sensations in the knee.   If your front knee feels off, then back off of the straightening

  1.  pressing the front foot forward would activate the quadriceps
  2.  pressing hamstrings and sit bones apart might give more range of motion, (pressing the heel down and back are the main ones)

Explore one action at a time in order not to be overwhelmed with all of the possibilities.  This approach also allows you to come into a more full understanding of how it feels in your own body. 

Sensations may be different within a given practice, so this is why moving mindfully is essential.

Online Classes to Increase Hip and Hamstring Flexibility

HIPS & HAMSTRINGS

ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

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

$148.00 $128.00

MORE INFORMATION

UNRAVEL YOUR POTENTIAL

Leg over head preparation does not have to be intimidating.  It’s a posture you can get excited about because there are so many techniques and variations to explore.  Turn towards what you may have wanted to initially resist.  You may surprise yourself with the breakthrough that’s on the other side.

Register for Matt’s upcoming Hip Mobility immersion in order to unravel 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

Video Extracted From: Hips & Hamstrings

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

Continue Learning

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge 5 Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5 part twist technique.   There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

read more
King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

read more
Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

read more
Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability To New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose.  Will I fall?  Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

read more
Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix At The Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment  and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice.  There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there?  Side Angle pose is a perfect example of...

read more
Open Splits

Open Splits

Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often.  It does require a considerable...

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.

Fire Hydrant Pose: Hip Technique

Fire Hydrant Pose: Hip Technique

Stability & Mobility Unleashed

hip mobility

FIRE HYDRANT POSE: HIP TECHNIQUE

Part of the equation for improved function and mobility of the hips is building and creating strength, but first you have to understand how to actually do so.  It’s not just about knowing which postures to include in your physical yoga practice; it’s really about the execution.  Understanding how to implement specific anatomical techniques will help you to go beyond what you may believe your body is capable of.  This fire hydrant pose hip technique is the perfect example of how to more fully understand your body and exactly how to unleash stability and mobility in your hips.

 

Online Yoga for Hip Openers and Flexibility

HIP MOBILITY

October 2022 Immersion

  • Strengthen & Lengthen Your Hips
  • Increase Active & Passive Range Of Motion
  • Learn Anatomical Techniques To Improve Functionality
  • Access a Wider Range of Seated Posture & Hip Openers
  • 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

MORE INFORMATION

HIP ABDUCTION

There are 4 main muscles that work together to create hip abduction, which is what creates the shape of fire hydrant pose.  These muscles are gluteus maximus, medius, minimus, and TFL (tensor fasciae latae).  It’s not as simple as just lifting your leg away from your midline. Lateral rotation of the hip also plays a significant role in unlocking the strength that creates increased stability and mobility in the hips.  In order to more deeply grasp this, we must understand a few things.

 In the posture itself, we maximize the benefits by executing specific articulations.  Knowing the anatomy is extremely helpful because you get a better mental picture of what is happening as you are engaging in these movements/articulations.  This strengthens the neuromuscular connection.

WATCH THE VIDEO: FIRE HYDRANT POSE: HIP TECHNIQUE

CONCENTRIC VS. ISOMETRIC CONTRACTION

The action of lifting one leg out to the side (abduction) in fire hydrant pose creates a concentric contraction in the glute muscles.  A concentric contraction causes muscles to shorten through movement. Alternatively, this is also happening in the standing leg in a different way.  In this case, it’s the lateral tilt of the pelvis.  The standing leg is fixed, but in order to get a greater range of motion in the lifted leg, the “hugging in” of the hip of the standing leg also creates a shortening of the glute muscles.  Once you are fixed in your variation of the posture, maintaining the contractions/activations without movement is what creates an isometric contraction.  This is setting the foundation for stability, but how can you take this to the next level?

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

HIP STABILITY

The Gluteus maximus & TFL attach to the iliotibial band  and when they co-activate they help to abduct the hip joint.  This doesn’t discount the other muscles that contribute here as well (glute medius & minimus also play a major role).  Not only are these muscles known as the abductor group, they also stabilize the pelvis.  In order for stability to occur, there must be an equal or more balanced amount of co-activation from the muscles that surround the hip.  

You’ll see in today’s video the specific anatomical techniques and articulations that Matt takes you through in order to take this experience into the next level.

FIRE HYDRANT POSE PREPARATION

Here are the steps:

  1.  Bend your knees like chair pose and place your hands on right knee
  2. Hips go back and bum up
  3. Left foot out to the side, turn thigh bone in (internal rotation)
  4. Keep internal rotation and lift up through the heel (more concentric contraction is occurring to lift the left, once static, you are in isometric
  5. Meanwhile, abductors on the right hip are activating to allow the pelvis to open up (squeeze hip in).

It’s the internal rotation that helps to activate the TFL.  When your upper thigh bone is internally rotated, you can more easily lift through your heels.  This is how to execute the co-activation that’s so important in creating more integrity and health in your hip joint.  You’re now recruiting more muscle groups that surround the hip in order to create more stability.  Increased hip stability (along with flexibility) establishes increased hip mobility.

12 Online Yoga classes to Learn Anatomy

ANATOMY IN MOTION

APRIL 2022 Immersion

  • Embody anatomy
  • Learn key muscles, bones, and joints
  • Visualize your movements internally
  • Improve proprioception
  • Sensation-based practices
  • Unlock and strengthen major muscle groups
  • Active, passive, and isometric stretching
  • Improve mobility and stability
  • Get VERY geeky

$168.00

 

HIP MOBILITY

This fire hydrant pose hip technique gives you an opportunity to flex your “hip mobility muscles”  Mobility is the ability to find better range in the joint with more control and strength and these techniques provide just that.  Better hip mobility means better function in your everyday life.  In the context of your yoga practice, it means greater confidence on your mat during transitions and within the execution of specific postures.  

In Matt’s upcoming Hip Mobility Immersion, you’ll come away with a better understanding of your hips and what you specifically need to focus on in your yoga practice to take you to new heights.

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: Anatomy In Motion Immersion

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 26, 2023 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN
NEXT TRAINING  BEGINS FEBRUARY 18, 2023. ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN

Continue Learning

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge 5 Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5 part twist technique.   There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

read more
King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

read more
Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

read more
Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability To New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose.  Will I fall?  Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

read more
Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix At The Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment  and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice.  There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there?  Side Angle pose is a perfect example of...

read more
Open Splits

Open Splits

Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often.  It does require a considerable...

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.

full side plank and modifications

FULL SIDE PLANK WITH MODIFICATIONS

STEP-BY-STEP VASHISTHASANA BREAKDOWN

FULL SIDE PLANK

FULL SIDE PLANK AND MODIFICATIONS: VASHISTHASANA

USING THE WALL AS A PROP

Full Side Plank (Vashisthasana) has many modification options and variations to help make it more accessible or more challenging. I love teaching this posture with a foot on the wall to increase stability and provide a frame of reference for shifting the weight out of the hand and into the foot. 

Some people avoid props, thinking of them as a “crutch.” For sure, they can be used as a way to avoid challenges if that is your intention, but they can also be used to increase body awareness and help you develop technique. Props are neither good nor bad; it’s just a matter of how and why you are using them. Is it that you want to avoid challenge or that you want to face challenge intelligently and appropriately?

In the video tutorial below, I show how to modify side plank by placing your top foot on the wall. This reduces the required balance and will allow you to focus on the foundations of the posture, like the strength of your hand and wrist. Press your thumb and pinky fingers into the ground. Then focus on your bottom foot, pressing the instep of your foot into the wall. Eventually, you will be able to place the whole standing foot on the ground, which will give you strength and the power to lift the hips up. Lastly, keep your shoulder externally rotating, as indicated in the video.

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

VITALITY: RIGOR & RELEASE

Get back to feeling energized and alive — 12 all-levels vinyasa & meditation classes to increase your energy, focus, and mental clarity

 

  • GET BACK TO FEELING ENERGIZED
  • ALL-LEVELS VINYASA CLASSES
  • HIPS, TWISTS, HEART, SHOULDERS, NECK, AND CORE
  • GUIDED MEDITATIONS TO DE-STRESS, INCREASE FOCUS, AND GAIN MENTAL CLARITY

Full Side Plank & Modifications • Vashisthasana at the Wall

This Side Plank tutorial footage is taken from the July 2021 Immersion, titled BALANCE

Full Side Plank Setup

What I don’t discuss in this particular clip is how the setup of this posture is exactly like Wild Thing. This means your pelvis is more open toward the sky, while in standard Side Plank, your feet are stacked. The spine is in a backbend as well, unlike the standard variation, where the spine is neutral.

There are other alignments you could explore, but these will tend to give you the greatest access to the full Side Plank variation where you grab the top foot and extend the leg. If you want to practice the full class, be sure to check out Class #9 of the July 2021 Immersion, called Balance

 

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
  • Business, branding, marketing, and social media skills

Three Full Side Plank Modifications and Variations

  1. Foot on the Wall: Once you rise up into Wild Thing, place the back foot on the wall and push your weight toward the wall, even if it means both knees are bent. This is not only okay but an indication that you are doing it properly.
  2. Tree Pose: The next step is infinitely more challenging because it requires greater balance and flexibility. Take the foot off the wall, similar to Tree Pose but without placing the foot on your inner thigh (though that is also another variation). I suggest pushing your knee into your hand to get your hip flexors active. Hip flexor strength becomes key when you attempt to straighten the leg. Often the tension of the hamstrings is too much and people have to let go of the foot. If your hip flexors are strong and used to engaging in this position, then they can help out by keeping the top leg closer to your upper body, lessening the chances that you’ll have to let go of the foot when extending the leg up to the sky.
  3. Full Side Plank or “Extended Vashisthasana”: Pull your knee in as tight as possible in order to grab your foot. Either stay as a modification or begin to kick the foot to the sky, straightening the top leg. Pro tip: It’s helpful to keep the bottom, weight-bearing leg bent while extending the top leg upward. 
Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

VITALITY: RIGOR & RELEASE

Get back to feeling energized and alive with 12 all-levels vinyasa & meditation classes to increase your energy, focus, and mental clarity.

 

  • GET BACK TO FEELING ENERGIZED
  • ALL-LEVELS VINYASA CLASSES
  • HIPS, TWISTS, HEART, SHOULDERS, NECK, AND CORE
  • GUIDED MEDITATIONS TO DE-STRESS, INCREASE FOCUS, AND GAIN MENTAL CLARITY

Can’t Straighten Your Legs?

This is normal and really shouldn’t be your focus. This is an incredibly physically demanding posture that requires extreme flexibility. Even with slightly bent knees, the posture is still visually stunning and, I would argue, even more biomechanically sound because bent knees typically trigger more muscle engagement.

 

 

Edited by 300-hour Chromatic yoga teacher, Donna Morin.

 

TOP RELEVANT RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Balance Immersion: 12 Classes Focused on Balance (video above is taken from this immersion) 

2. Arm Balance Immersion: 12 Classes – 12 Arm Balances

MORE WAYS TO DEVELOP YOUR PRACTICE

  1. Live Immersions: 3 classes per week
  2. 200 Hour Training: Get certified
  3. 300 Hour Online Training: Get 500hr certified
Arm Balances

ARM BALANCES

Learn 12+ arm balances while expanding your knowledge of the body and increasing your body awareness. All classes are 75 minutes and ALL-levels appropriate 

  • Crow Pose, Side Crow, and variations
  • Flying Pigeon, Koundinyasana 1 & 2
  • Titibhasana, Bhujapidasana
  • Handstand, Forearm Stand, and many more!

 

SALE PRICE: $198.00 $128.00

Continue Learning

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge 5 Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5 part twist technique.   There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

read more
King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

read more
Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

read more
Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability To New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose.  Will I fall?  Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

read more
Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix At The Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment  and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice.  There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there?  Side Angle pose is a perfect example of...

read more
Open Splits

Open Splits

Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often.  It does require a considerable...

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.

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

GARUDASANA – EAGLE POSE

How to Double Wrap the Legs

Eagle Pose

GARUDASANA – EAGLE POSE

Why is it hard to double wrap the leg?

Garudasana, known as Eagle Pose, is a challenging hip opener and hip strengthener. It’s useful in developing balance, but for many people, double wrapping the leg is not accessible. For sure, some people have no trouble at all, but others are completely perplexed.

There are three reasons why it would be challenging for you or your students to double wrap:

 

  1. Lack of flexibility of the abductor muscles (outer hip muscles). These are the muscles that are lengthened when we cross our legs.
  2. Lack of strength of the standing hip abductor muscles. This is a bit confusing unless you watch the video below. The standing hip abductors help to elevate the opposite side of the pelvis, making it more possible to cross the top leg over the bottom leg.
  3. Lack of technique and timing. In most cases, if you are not applying deliberate technique while moving into a pose, you will be entering the pose the hard way, which means you will only be able to do the postures that match your set of physical muscular patterns. This is a disservice, not because you will miss out on the poses but because you will miss out on the opportunity to change your muscle patterns. In the video below, you will see the timing and techniques for getting into Eagle Pose with double-wrapped legs.
yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

HIPS & HAMSTRINGS IMMERSION

  • Increase range of motion of your hips and hamstrings
  • Learn techniques such as facilitated stretching
  • Release stress patterns, discomfort, or pain in your hips, back, and knees
  • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
  • Learn postures: Pigeon, Lizard Variations, Lotus, Eagle, Hanuman, Fire Log, Seated Straddle Splits, and more!
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

How to Increase Flexibility of the Abductors — Outer Hips

If flexibility is inhibiting you from accessing Garudasana and you want to find ways to access your greater range of motion of the outer hip muscles, there are a couple postures you can work with. Any posture that includes crisscrossed legs will be useful and effective in increasing abductor flexibility. Although there aren’t many traditional postures, aside from Eagle Pose itself, one that comes to mind is Gomukhasana, Cow-Faced Pose. However, I would say that Eagle Pose should usually precede Gomukhasana because Eagle Pose requires less flexibility. The posture that I use in the Hips and Hamstrings immersion to prepare for Eagle is a straight single-leg forward fold with crisscrossed legs.

 

How to Get into the Straight-Leg Crisscrossed Forward Fold

  1. Start in Lunge Pose with your right foot forward.
  2. Heel-toe (move) your right foot to the left side of the mat.
  3. Step your back left foot to the right side of the mat so that both legs are crisscrossed.
  4. I suggest using block under both hands prior to the last step.
  5. Straighten your legs to a degree where you are stretching without strain.

IMPORTANT KEY ACTION: Wag your tail bone to the left to increase the stretch along the outer hip and IT band. If that’s too intense, wag your tail to the right to decrease the outer-hip stretch.

the best yoga teacher training for alignment

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

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

WHY LACK OF ABDUCTOR STRENGTH HOLDS YOU BACK IN EAGLE POSE

Strength of the abductor group (outer hip muscles) is super important for two reasons. First, the standing hip abductors are what lift the opposite side of your pelvis, which allows you to cross your top leg over. Second, without outer hip strength on the standing leg, you would struggle to balance the pose! Outer hip muscles play a major role in balancing any single leg pose. If you find it challenging to balance Garudasana, then you will want to start with a strength-training routine for the abductors. We focus in on strengthening these muscles in the Hips and Hamstrings Immersion

FREE VIDEO TUTORIAL: HOW TO DOUBLE WRAP LEGS IN GARUDASANA, EAGLE POSE

This video clip was taken from Class #3 in the  Hips and Hamstrings: 12 Class Immersion

HOW TO DOUBLE WRAP THE LEGS

 

    Notice in the video that I am focused on squeezing the outer standing hip inward and lifting the opposite side of the pelvis upward as a result. This allows the thigh bone to more easily cross the midline of the body. You will also notice that my thighs are significantly rotated inward; this helps to access the wrapping of the legs as well. In the class leading up to this tutorial, we used a wall to eliminate the necessity to balance while working with these actions. In this video, I joke about the use of a wall, but I highly recommend you try it that way.
yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

GET CERTIFIED & HIGHLY QUALIFIED TO TEACH

  • Deepen your practice of yoga
  • Learn to share the practice with others
  • Build your confidence in speaking
  • Learn postures, biomechanics, alignment, and techniques
  • Learn how to structure a class and sequence postures

HOW DO I INCREASE FLEXIBILITY OF MY HIPS FOR OTHER YOGA POSTURES?

The easy answer to this is to practice in such a way that you are deliberately strengthening each muscle group around the hips. To learn more about what muscle groups are involved in hip opening, check out the article I wrote on The 4 Quadrants of The Hips, where I share my methodology and approach for my personal practice and in my teaching. Once you understand which muscles surround the hip joints, the next step is to begin strengthening each muscle group. Strengthening one muscle group through range of motion will increase the flexibility of the opposing muscle group. This is the magic of an educated and deliberate practice — we take the guesswork out, and efforts are more effective in achieving intended results.

To increase your strength and flexibility of the hips, you can join the Hips and Hamstrings Immersion,which will take you through twelve 75-minute online yoga classes, each focused on a different pose and the relevant muscle group(s). I take you through creative ways of strengthening, then I provide you with effective techniques for stretching and accessing various yoga postures.

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

HIPS & HAMSTRINGS IMMERSION

  • Increase range of motion of your hips and hamstrings
  • Learn techniques such as facilitated stretching
  • Release stress patterns, discomfort, or pain in your hips, back, and knees
  • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
  • Learn postures: Pigeon, Lizard Variations, Lotus, Eagle, Hanuman, Fire Log, Seated Straddle Splits, and more!
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

Continue Learning

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge 5 Part Twist TechniqueanjaneyasanaREVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5 part twist technique.   There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive...

read more
King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations

King Pigeon Variations Full Body Awareness for Your ShouldersmobilityKING PIGEON If you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll be aware of the domino effect or the ripple effect of how a yoga posture unfolds. Matt brilliantly breaks down every pose with care and...

read more
Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose

Reverse Plank Pose Scapular Retraction For Back StrengthPURVOTTANASANAREVERSE PLANK POSE Asymmetry is a common issue when it comes to our asana practice. Opportunities to work on strengthening muscles in the back body are much more infrequent than opportunities to...

read more
Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks

Crow Pose On Blocks Take Your Shoulder Stability To New HeightsSTABILITYCROW POSE  It’s not unusual to have a healthy amount of fear and hesitation when it comes to finding balance in crow pose.  Will I fall?  Am I strong enough? Will I hurt myself? One of the most...

read more
Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose

Side Angle Pose Shoulder Fix At The Wallupward rotationSIDE ANGLE POSE Stop for a moment  and think about how many times you lift your arms overhead in any given asana practice.  There are plenty of opportunities, aren't there?  Side Angle pose is a perfect example of...

read more
Open Splits

Open Splits

Open Splits Follow This Flexibility FormulaSAMAKONASANAOPEN SPLITS Open splits is one of those postures that may not always make it into your asana practice, but there are a number of good reasons for it to start showing up more often.  It does require a considerable...

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.

BLACK FRIDAY: 30% OFF ALL ONLINE IMMERSIONS!
10
days
10
hours
10
minutes
10
seconds
BLACK FRIDAY: 30% OFF ALL ONLINE IMMERSIONS!
10
days
10
hours
10
minutes
10
seconds
Congratulations, your 30% discount code has been applied and will be reflected at the very bottom at checkout page
Overlay Image
BLACK FRIDAY SALE! Congratulations, your 30% discount code has been applied and will be reflected at the very bottom of the checkout page

Pin It on Pinterest