Glutes & Hamstrings

Glutes and Hamstrings

8 Skills and Drills for Activation

strength

Glutes and Hamstrings

How many times has your yoga teacher said “feel your glutes” in a particular posture in a yoga class, but you’re not sure exactly what that means or what it’s actually supposed to feel like? You can easily lose or misunderstand the connection to the sensations in your body unless you’re intentional about locking in to each action in your asana practice. It’s more than that though—it’s also about learning the techniques to actually make the connection. Learning effective techniques and implementing them can help you to get to know your body in a deeper way, and this can very effectively change how you move. In today’s video, Matt highlights 8 effective ways for you to connect to your glutes and hamstrings in order to strengthen them for better functionality overall.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

BLISSFUL HIPS

December 2023 Immersion

  • Technique-infused yoga classes
  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
  • Improve low back health
  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
  • Improve posture on and off the mat
  • 12 classes included
  • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

Registration now open!

LEARN THE TECHNIQUES

An excellent approach to connecting to your glutes and hamstrings is to learn technique. This provides a focus and removes the pressure of trying to randomly figure out where and how to feel what you may believe you’re supposed to feel. It also helps you explore your body in a safe way. In Matt’s approach, instead of just going through a variety of postures that are “prescribed” to fire up your glutes and hamstrings, Matt provides a direct how-to, which means there are articulations and repetitive actions that help you connect with certainty to the sensations in your glutes and hamstrings.  

Strength is more than building muscle and resilience; it’s a skill. The skills and drills that Matt offers create a solid foundation for transformation and connection in your body.

WATCH THE VIDEO

GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS: 8 SKILLS AND DRILLS FOR ACTIVATION

TRANSFORM THESE STANDING POSTURES

In Low Lunge, Matt demonstrates how to access your glutes and hamstrings effectively. To ignite your hamstrings in the front leg, drag your front heel back while creating a posterior tilt in the pelvis. When you also press down the front heel, your glutes will spark up.

In the video, Matt maintains the same actions in Warrior II, Goddess Pose, and the Pyramid variation he demonstrates. Pressing down through your heel and pulling your feet towards each other contracts and activates your glutes and hamstrings.

The Supported Warrior III “leg lift” variation offers specific pelvic articulations that are key to connecting to the sensations in your glutes and hamstrings, and Crescent Pose Slides are an effective glute and hamstring strengthener.

Incorporating these skills and drills will help you understand your body more deeply .

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

GLUTE BRIDGE AND TABLE TOP VARIATIONS

These potentially more “traditional” movements to activate and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings are also executed with different levels and unique articulations in the video.  

One of the first ways to really find connection in these variations is to remove your yoga mat! Matt wears socks on his hardwood floor. Wearing socks forces you to dig in a little deeper into the floor to find steadiness.  

Matt offers 3 variations of Glute Bridge and 4 variations of Table Top. What’s nice about exploring the different variations is that you have the opportunity to find out where your needs are on each side of the body. This is where growth and understanding take place.

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

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

When it comes to the hamstrings, you may often think about how to become more flexible in that area of the body; what may be neglected is that to create integrity in your muscles, there must be a healthy degree of strength.  Strength is often associated with glutes, but why, and how can you strengthen them effectively? If you strengthen your glutes and hamstrings effectively, you support your ability to propel your body forward in your daily movement. Applying these safe and effective techniques will contribute to your hip health and thus your overall health.

Register for Matt’s December 2023 Immersion Blissful Hips in order to learn and to expand your current toolbox for strength!

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: Hip Mobility 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.

3 Ways To Stretch & Strengthen Your Neck

3 Ways to Stretch and Strengthen Your Neck

Home In on the Awareness of Your Posture

NECK MOBILITY

STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN YOUR NECK

A common postural tendency or pattern for so many is slouching, which includes forward head posture due to the amount of time spent at a work desk or on a variety of digital devices. Functioning in this way may seem unavoidable due to work/life responsibilities, but welcoming in a level of awareness and actions you can take to shift this pattern will ultimately contribute to greater wellness. 

If you’re holding tension in your neck and upper back, the techniques Matt offers in today’s video will help stretch and strengthen the appropriate muscles in your neck. It also means that you’ll find more freedom of movement, which may also lead to less tension. The key component is the awareness that you’ll nurture throughout the process. There isn’t any “fix” without awareness. This part of the equation must also be implemented.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

THE POWER OF BLISS

November 2023 Immersion

  • Moderately paced Power Yoga classes
  • Perfect blend of movement, alignment, and technique
  • Inspirationally themed to give meaning and power to each practice
  • Tantrik philosophy: The 5 Powers of Consciousness
  • Teachings of the Yoga Sutras
  • 12 classes included
  • Livestream optional! All classes available on demand after livestream's complete

Registration now open!

SVADHYAYA AND AWARENESS

If you want to transform your experience, you must first be aware of your state of being. In my previous blog, Take Action in Flying Pigeon, we touched on the area of understanding the 5 Powers of Consciousness, which Matt explores further in his immersion The Power of Bliss and delves into in greater detail in his 300 Hr. Teacher Training. In Chromatic Yoga, Matt draws on the original teachings of the Yoga Sutras and beyond. He stresses that the key aspect is self-inquiry, Svadhyaya in the Yoga Sutras. This relates back to the first power in the 5 Powers of Consciousness from the Tantik perspective, which is Cit Śakti (the power of awareness itself). The power of awareness leads to the journey of Svadhyaya and therefore the discernment you need to take the right actions.

WATCH THE VIDEO

3 WAYS TO STRETCH & STRENGTHEN YOUR NECK: HONE IN ON THE AWARENESS OF YOUR NECK

TECHNIQUES FOR THE NECK

When you’re experiencing neck tension, it can be quite challenging to shift your awareness from discomfort or pain to the possibility of ease. Part of the formula to create ease is to stretch and strengthen your neck. This is important because the muscles of the neck can become shortened, weak, and tight from constant poor positioning such as forward head posture. Pulling your chin in and your head back and up, without puffing your chest out, can help to stretch the sternocleidomastoid muscle. On each side of the neck, this muscle attaches to both the sternum and the clavicle and then to the mastoid process towards the rear side of your skull.

Adding in rotation can also promote strength and flexibility in your neck. These may be “simple” actions, but it’s imperative to be aware of the execution of these techniques within a given posture.

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

3 POSTURES FOR THE NECK

It can be easy to remain on autopilot in any given yoga posture, especially if you’ve executed the posture many times before. Matt outlines how to stretch and strengthen your neck in 3 “basic” yoga postures.

In Warrior II, you’ll see how Matt pulls his head up and back before initiating the next step, the rotation. When the rotation is added, along with the awareness to shorten one side and lengthen the other, what you achieve is an engagement of the sternocleidomastoid on the front side and a lengthening on the back side. What’s even more effective is the self-adjustment of pressing your head into your hand in order to get more in touch with the positioning and sensation. When exploring Pyramid Pose and High Lunge, the experience in both of these postures is changed by adding the same techniques (without the rotation). 

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

MAKE THE SHIFT

If you shift your awareness within a yoga posture, you’ll transform your awareness in your everyday posture. Once you have incorporated these techniques on the mat, how many times can you incorporate them into your everyday life? This is part of Svadhyaya, the practice of self-inquiry, on the physical level. Of course Svadhyaya goes beyond this aspect only.  

Matt emphasizes that it’s not about staying in this position all the time but about training yourself to stretch and strengthen your neck muscles more often. Like anything else, these repetitive actions will stimulate the muscles to respond and ultimately make the shift to more freedom.

Register for Matt’s November immersion, The Power of Bliss, to go deeper into the awareness of your body and mind. 

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: Chromatic Yoga 15-Hour 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.

hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

KNEE HYPEREXTENSION

HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSE

KNEE HYPEREXTENSION

KNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTTANASANA, PYRAMID POSE

When it comes to our asana practice, more often than not, the subject of our knees is a hot topic. Typically, we’re looking for ways to minimize pain and/or strengthen the knees in order to feel stable when holding certain joint alignments or while bending and straightening our legs during transitions from one posture to the next.  

It’s not unusual to utilize props like blankets or an extra roll of a yoga mat under our knees in an effort to minimize painful sensations in postures where our knees are making direct contact with the floor or our yoga mats.  

In regard to creating more stability or feeling stronger in a particular posture, we may utilize yoga blocks, a wall, and/or a chair to help us maintain better alignment in order to hold ourselves up for a longer period of time without concern for our balance.

Online yoga to improve mobility

MOBILITY

ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

  • Key techniques to increase flexibility
  • Strength development for mobility and range of motion
  • Learn postures: Hanumanasana (Splits), Extended Side Plank
  • Active and passive mobility for shoulders, hips, and spine
  • Improve spinal twists, heart openers, shoulder openers, and hip openers
  • Find greater ease in seated postures
  • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
  • When and how to do active, passive, and isometric stretching

$148.00

MORE INFORMATION

PARSVOTTANASANA/PYRAMID POSE

Pyramid Pose is a single-legged forward fold that requires a reasonable amount of hamstring flexibility. This can affect us in a couple of different ways.

As practitioners, we may fall under two different categories. When exploring a posture like Parsvottanasana, or Pyramid Pose, we may be the type to either hyperextend in the knee (due to overflexibility in the hamstrings), or we may overbend in the knee to compensate for the lack of flexibility we are experiencing in the hamstrings. In both scenarios, be mindful to straighten the leg to the degree that’s possible without overdoing either end of the spectrum. So, what category do you fall under, and how can you support your practice in a way that provides you with the tools you need to stay safe?  

In today’s video, Matt provides thorough examples of ways we can take action to level up our capacity for strength and flexibility in Pyramid Pose.

HYPEREXTENSION OF THE KNEE

How does this happen?

Hyperextension of the knee may develop over time for those of us who have spent a great deal of time creating flexibility in our hamstrings and are arguably “overflexible” in this area. This often means we lack strength and/or have neglected to put effort into activating the hamstrings.

Matt explains that if we are hyperextending through the knee joint, we are creating pressure there and that this is the key point. If there is evidence of pressure, this is cause for concern. The pressure comes from overly straightening the knee. It’s actually not about the angle of the knee but about whether or not we are placing pressure there.

ACTIONS TO CREATE STRENGTH

Action 1

In the video, Matt shows us how to press the big toe and pinky toe down while lifting up through the heel, which activates the gastrocnemius (calf muscle that attaches to the back of the femur bone), causing the knee to bend.

Action 2

He adds on the action of activating the hamstring by pulling the ball mound of the foot towards the back of your mat while the heel is lifted. This will contribute greatly to the strength of the hamstrings. Engaging the muscles helps us hold the joints in better alignment, therefore also addressing our need for better stability and balance.

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

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

OVERBENDING THE KNEE

While some people struggle with hypermobility, others struggle to straighten the leg. In the latter case, the hamstrings are caught in a shortened holding pattern. Just stretching over and over again will not teach the body to release tension. There is, however, a solution to gain range of motion, and it too involves activating our muscles — in this case, it’s the quadriceps, the 4 muscles of the thigh. Their primary role is to straighten the knee. Matt demonstrates how we can achieve this by pulling the kneecap up. This action of “reciprocal inhibition” contributes to our ability to find better range of motion and improved flexibility in the hamstrings over time. 

Understanding our bodies and getting in tune with our tendencies unlocks opportunities for a fuller experience in our postures.
Once we tap in and take the necessary actions, what we uncover is limitless potential.

This potential is waiting for you in Matt’s current 12-class immersion, titled Mobility. You get lifetime access to this immersion, in which Matt takes you on a journey through the major areas of the body, exploring how to increase mobility while simultaneously developing greater muscular strength and integrity. Instead of sacrificing your joints for the sake of achieving a posture, you will learn how to keep your joints safe by developing the necessary strength in each area of the body.

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

This is for you if you are interested in deepening your yoga practice, building your confidence, learning how to create a class, and sharing this practice with friends, family, or beyond. Yes, it’s for all levels, ages, etc.

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

This training is definitely for you if you are already certified at the 200- or 500-hour level but want to take your teaching career and practice to the next level. In this training, you will learn Anatomy, Biomechanics, Postural Techniques, Intelligent Sequencing, Breathwork, Meditation, Heart-Centered Philosophy, Theming, Business Structure, Marketing, Social Media, Branding, and how to build a sustainable and successful career!

Article by Trish Curling  @anioyoga

Video Extracted From: The 200 & 300 Hour Trainings

Online yoga to improve mobility

MOBILITY

ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

  • Key techniques to increase flexibility
  • Strength development for mobility and range of motion
  • Learn postures: Hanumanasana (Splits), Extended Side Plank
  • Active and passive mobility for shoulders, hips, and spine
  • Improve spinal twists, heart openers, shoulder openers, and hip openers
  • Find greater ease in seated postures
  • Improve mobility and posture off the mat
  • When and how to do active, passive, and isometric stretching

$148.00

MORE INFORMATION

Continue Learning

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Painhip mobilityHIP OPENING WITHOUT KNEE PAIN "Hip opening” in a yoga class just sounds glorious if we feel confined or constricted in this area of the body and our intention is to transform this experience. The term may not sound glorious,...

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

Strengthen Your Ankles

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

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

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

read more
Titibhasana Techniques

Titibhasana Techniques

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

read more
Air Line Activation

Air Line Activation

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

read more
Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

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

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

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

Pin It on Pinterest