Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

hip mobility

HIP OPENING WITHOUT KNEE PAIN

“Hip opening” in a yoga class just sounds glorious if we feel confined or constricted in this area of the body and our intention is to transform this experience. The term may not sound glorious, however, if we know that knee pain will accompany hip-opening yoga postures. In this scenario, it can be quite daunting to try to move across the spectrum from having tight to more open hips. On the other hand, if we’re hypermobile in this area, it may also feel a little nerve-wracking to delve into the action of hip opening. The good news, whether we are hypermobile, hypomobile, and/or dealing with knee pain in hip-opening postures, is that we can explore similar techniques when it comes to creating increased range of motion without knee pain.  

In today’s video, Matt provides us with a roadmap to mitigate knee pain in 6 essential hip-opening postures.

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  • Dogmatic alignment versus functional alignment
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  • Props for accessibity
  • Alignment alterations in the case of injuries

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTERNAL ROTATION

Nursing knee pain while engaging in our asana practice can be a point of frustration. We may associate it with fear of reinjury or with memories of “what we used to be able to do without pain.” This is why education and exploration are vital—they help reignite possibility. 

When learning about knee pain and its connection to hip-opening postures, we must further comprehend what’s involved with external rotation at the hip. When practicing with Matt and learning the Chromatic way, we quickly find out that such rotation involves much more than just rotating the upper thigh. There are detailed steps that promote both activation and stretch of the muscles that surround the hip, which helps us more safely engage with external rotation and ultimately assists in reducing knee pain. We can apply what we learn in the following postures.

WATCH THE VIDEO

HIP OPENING WITHOUT KNEE PAIN: 6 POSTURES FOR INCREASED RANGE OF MOTION

ACTIVATE WITH INTENTION

One of the best ways to prepare our bodies and increase both flexibility and mobility is to activate/strengthen our muscles. When we do this, we have better control to independently move our joints through a broader spectrum of range of motion. We benefit from having more confidence and power during physical activity. 

Warrior II variation

In the first posture (a variation of Warrior II), we’re strengthening the buttocks and outer hips. Here are some key steps:

  • Pull the feet towards one another
  • Tuck the tail under
  • Push down through the front heel
  • Rotate the toes and shin out slightly while pulling the outer front foot back—this will activate the biceps femoris (external rotator of the knee joint)

Dragonfly variation

This variation includes a specific technique and also targets the biceps femoris, which  closes the knee joint, helping reduce pain in hip-opening postures.

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DRILL AND STRETCH

Pigeon Pose

Here, we explore a more passive stretch. The trick to getting a little deeper into the stretch (particularly into the piriformis muscle) is to twist and to push the hips back. If knee pain is still present, Matt demonstrates how to further externally rotate the thigh to take the pressure off.

Goddess Pose

This time, we learn a drill to incorporate into our practice.

Once again, pulling the feet towards one another will activate the outer hamstring muscles. Instead of remaining static, we pulse or move side to side in order to engage the muscles while we’re stretching. 

Skandasana

The target here is the adductor muscles, simply to experience the stretch. It’s not about how low we can take the posture. Keep in mind that by the time we reach this point in the practice, our muscles are already prepared for the stretch.

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  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

THE ULTIMATE HIP OPENER

If we’re experiencing knee pain in hip-opening postures, Lotus Pose might be the farthest thing from our minds. Once we have incorporated the techniques into the postures discussed, the potential for this posture may become a reality. However, we still approach Lotus safely and in phases.

Preparation I

In a Baddha Konasana position, the cue Matt offers—pulling the knees back and out—is key to getting the proper placement of the foot in Lotus.

Preparation II

Executing these actions, we find out just how much they assist in providing us the ability to stack the feet or to access Half Lotus. The two actions result in the closing of the knee joint. If we are still experiencing knee pain in Half Lotus, turning the calf muscles can help release the strain.

Matt’s next online course, The Pose Factory, is full of these extra gems to help us to foster health in our muscles and support our ability to enjoy postures we may have had to put aside.

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

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Hip Release Online Workshop

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

Continue Learning

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

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read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

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Titibhasana Techniques

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read more
Air Line Activation

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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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  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
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  • 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.

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  • 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

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

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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 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. 

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

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.  

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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

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.

Pigeon Pose Possibilities

Pigeon Pose Possibilities

Actionable Steps to Refine Your Alignment

kapotasana

PIGEON POSE

The word “possibility” is so powerful—it’s deeply connected to the word “hope.” Possibilities is an even better word because that means there are multiple options, with more opportunities to find what aligns with you. Hearing this in a yoga class can really support your ability to be more at ease; there may just be an option that will assist you in your desired pursuit within a specific practice, which may turn into a favorable experience you weren’t even expecting. In Matt’s classes, you’ll find an abundance of possibilities to completely transform your asana practice in the most positive way. This can be attributed to the fact that he breaks down each posture in great detail. In today’s Pigeon Pose tutorial, you’ll come away with the knowledge of how to make appropriate adjustments for your body in various stages and variations of the posture.

online classes for anatomy of arm balances

ALIGNMENT

JUNE 2023 Immersion

  • 12 Hatha-style practices
  • Transformative and informative experience
  • Alignment and techniques for the most common asana postures
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  • Accessible and empowering modifications
  • Appropriate variations a modifications for all levels

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MORE INFORMATION

ANKLE DORSIFLEXION

Pigeon Pose is an excellent hip opener, no doubt about that, but can we even enhance this effect and increase the benefits? There are some alignment cues that can help! For example, Matt directs you towards the articulation of the ankle. You’ll see in today’s video that he instructs you to dorsiflex both feet. You might also be propped up on 2 blocks, one under the front shin and one under the buttock of the front leg, with the front foot hanging just off the block to make room for maximum dorsiflexion. If you take your attention to the back foot, this is where you can increase the stretch in the front hip. It’s the dorsiflexion of the back foot—pressing the ball of the foot down, lifting your hips up, and pulling yourself back—that creates the deeper stretch.

WATCH THE VIDEO

PIGEON POSE POSSIBILITIES: ACTIONABLE STEPS TO REFINE YOUR ALIGNMENT

PIGEON POSE CHAIR VARIATION

Grabbing a chair and incorporating it into your Pigeon Pose practice can really revolutionize your experience. A good place to start might be to sit on the chair and cross one ankle over your knee. Leaning forward in that shape can boost the stretch sensation.

Let’s look at the other possibilities Matt offers. There’s a lot to explore. Other variations with the chair offer options if you need to be higher off of the ground. At the same time, this setup presents opportunities for you to achieve greater range in your hips. By adding blocks in your setup, you can achieve significant range while respecting various progressions. 

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

PELVIC ROTATION FOR DEEPER STRETCH

Even though “getting a deeper stretch” is associated with being the “goal” when it comes to a hip-opening posture like Pigeon Pose, it’s important to be discerning when it comes to what is appropriate for you at a given time. Going into deeper range should only be considered when you can maintain a level of strength and stability in your positioning.

In the last variation, you are shown how to gradually and safely explore the range. As in the first variation, the back toes are curled under and you lift your hips up to more easily manipulate the movement of the pelvis. At this point, you rotate your pelvis towards the midline, which creates more of a twist and that deeper stretch.  

In this and any variation, you can decide how much is appropriate.

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

INCREASED HIP HEALTH

Understanding hip health begins with increased awareness of your body. As previously mentioned, taking your time as you explore alignment and range in each variation can provide you with a lot of feedback. What is presenting itself? Is it hypomobility or hypermobility? 

Healthy hips are made up of strength, mobility, stability, and flexibility. If you tend to be hypermobile, for example, incorporating strength into the ranges you explore can be extremely beneficial. On the other hand, hypomobility doesn’t mean that you neglect strength, which in this case may also be extremely beneficial. The key is to be even more cautious and patient when it comes to increasing stretch sensation and range.

In Matt’s Alignment Immersion, you’ll discover much about Pigeon Pose while building a deeper connection to your body.

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Alignment Immersion, Splits Immersion & Hip Mobility Immersion

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Prepare For Lotus

Prepare for Lotus

Standing Postures for Deep Hip Opening

flexibility

PREPARE FOR LOTUS

There are multiple ways to prepare for Lotus Pose. The 5 standing postures and the techniques that are highlighted today are from a portion of a sequence Matt shares in the first class of his current Lotus Immersion. Here, it’s not just about doing the postures themselves; it’s more about the execution and intention behind them. If your goal is to create a healthy range of motion in your hips, going through the motions simply won’t offer all that you need. In order to increase hip mobility, especially for a posture like Lotus, you must prepare your body. An integral part of the preparation is to strengthen the gluteal and abductor muscles. Utilizing techniques in standing postures like Forward Fold, Crescent Pose, Warrior 2, Extended Side Angle, and “Crisscross Pyramid” can be a wonderful first step in creating a solid foundation.

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FORWARD FOLD & CRESCENT POSE PREPARATION

External rotation and hip abduction are essential movements for Lotus Pose, as is a generous degree of hip flexibility. In order to prepare for Lotus, increasing flexibility requires strengthening first. You can start this process by strengthening your abductors in Forward Fold. In the video, Matt demonstrates a simple technique, in which you place your hands on your outer shins, that lights up your abductors.  

Strong glute muscles are also essential for Lotus because they assist in externally rotating your hip. For this reason, the next standing posture is Crescent Pose. Once again, a few simple actions help activate the glutes. Two of the main actions are the posterior tilt of the pelvis and the pressing down of the front heel. You’ll see in the video that beyond just “doing” the posture, taking the right actions brings your intentions for strength to life.

WATCH THE VIDEO

PREPARE FOR LOTUS: 5 STANDING POSTURES FOR DEEP HIP OPENING

WARRIOR 2 & EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE PREPARATION

What’s lovely about the techniques Matt offers for strengthening the glutes and abductors is that they are all self-adjustments. You have total control over the intensity, which is often conservative but still goes a long way to increase strength. Along with the self-adjustment in Warrior 2, Matt mentions paying special attention to the rotation of the back of the pelvis. Maintaining the proper direction of your pelvis is the difference between actually being able to activate your glutes and failing to achieve the desired result. You carry the same direction of the pelvis into Side Angle preparation. The techniques demonstrated here are great: Depending on the placement of your front arm, you can focus more on the glute activation or you can invite in more stretch for your adductors. Lengthening the adductors is also imperative in preparing for Lotus.

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“CRISSCROSS PYRAMID”

Whenever Matt instructs this kind of “cross action” in a given posture, it’s always so intriguing. He provides cues for certain actions that offer more than you anticipate. In “Crisscross Pyramid,” for example, you’ll experience a stretch sensation and therefore a lengthening in the outer hips. Because Matt always advises strengthening before lengthening, this posture is well placed in the sequence! Beyond the hips, if you want to truly prepare for Lotus, you must also consider the positioning of your feet and ankles. While Matt explores this in seated postures, he also begins to prepare you in this standing posture earlier in the practice. He advises you to press the big toe of your front foot into the mat while simultaneously lifting your middle toes. This action takes your ankle into eversion, which is the same as the articulation required in Lotus Pose.

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THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY

Even though Matt carefully offers the techniques within these standing postures and demonstrates how extremely effective they are in strengthening and lengthening the muscles that are required to be primed for Lotus Pose, he also reminds you to carve your own path. Ultimately, you will have your own tendencies, patterns, and challenges that you may need to rewire, so incorporating other ways that will help prepare for Lotus are very much welcomed. That’s the beauty of being able to explore multiple techniques, postures, and actions within one immersion focused on Lotus Pose. Matt’s Lotus Immersion is packed with a multitude of ways to approach hip opening from an anatomical perspective. These 5 standing postures open the door, but there is always more to uncover. Register for Lotus in order to broaden your toolkit for better hip mobility.

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: Lotus Immersion

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read more
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  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
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  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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