Shoulder Connections

Shoulder Connections

3 Postures for Increased Mobility

shoulder stability

SHOULDER CONNECTIONS

To increase mobility in our shoulders, we must first understand how they move, so we become more connected with their function and how they inform a variety of yoga postures. The exploration with intentional techniques is the key to gaining access to these postures. 

In regard to heart-opening postures, “shoulder connections” are also about understanding how the retraction of the shoulder blades affects the chest, rib cage, abdomen, and spine. In today’s video, Matt demonstrates the shoulder actions needed to access 3-Part Cobra, Upward Dog with blocks, and Wild Thing. The way that the retraction of the shoulder blades is applied in these postures will not only create the desired heart-opening shape but also strengthen the muscles necessary for healthy shoulder mobility.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

SHOULDER MASTERY

WORKSHOP SERIES

    •  3 livestream workshops and replays
    • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
    • Improve low-back health
    • Shoulder mobility + heart openers
    • Shoulder strength + arm balances
    • Inversions, binds, neck & shoulder release
    • 6 hours of continued education
    • Gain strength and stability
    • Increase range of motion, flexibility, and mobility
    • Step-by-step guidance: Everyone can follow and participate
    • Educationally infused: Learn while you embody
    • Livestream optional; all workshops available as livestreams (see dates below) and as on-demand replays for life
    • Automatically receive access to the replays immediately after the livestream

    3-PART COBRA

    The sequence of actions in this posture teaches us the ability to authentically stretch the front body and strengthen the back body. There’s a greater requirement for us to recruit the muscles in the upper body due to the decreased reliance on the hands to hold us up (if we allow it). In the video, Matt starts the sequence of lifting the upper body off the floor by first using the leverage of the hands; in order to reduce compression in the lower back, he sends the rib cage forward, then pulls the belly in and up. Here’s the key though: It’s the activation of the rear deltoids, the retraction of the shoulder blades, and the action of pulling the chest through the shoulders that creates the “bowing of the spine” required in all backbends. 

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    SHOULDER CONNECTIONS: 3 POSTURES FOR INCREASED MOBILITY

    UPWARD-FACING DOG: PREPARATION WITH BLOCKS

    If we pay attention to the smaller, more intricate details within the application of techniques in a posture, the benefits become more profound. First, Matt demonstrates the simple action of turning the fingers outward on the blocks. Lifting the shoulders up and back now becomes more accessible, which encourages the action of external rotation in the arms, promoting retraction of the scapulae and allowing for more opportunity to contract and strengthen the rear deltoids, rhomboids, lower fibers of the trapezius muscles, and the latissimi dorsi. The final action is to push the hands down into the blocks to access increased spinal extension along with greater heart opening.  

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    WILD THING

    In Wild Thing, there are 3 shoulder actions that help create more expansion and mobility in the shoulders. First, we lift the bottom shoulder up, move it back (retract), and then bring the bottom wing tip of the shoulder blade around. These actions send the chest forward and up. The posture is different, but the same actions apply here as in 3-Part Cobra. In the full class, Matt reminds us that it can be easy to lose the integrity of the positioning of the shoulder once we start to lift up into the pose, but if we continue to connect with the sensation of muscle contraction between the shoulder blades, there’s more success in maintaining the shoulder position. Ideally, the chest is above the height of the shoulder. In order to gain shoulder mobility, we must build strength and endurance in the muscles associated with and connected to the shoulders. Stretching alone will not have the same effect.

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    300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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    • Get 500 hour certified
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    • 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

    SHOULDER MOBILITY

    Shoulder mobility means having the ability to move the joint through the full range of motion. We can see why this is beneficial when it comes to heart openers: In order to find expansion, we need to be able to move the shoulder joint freely and safely. Strengthening also means better stability. In postures like Wild Thing, where we’re balancing on one arm, stability and strength are a must for a solid foundation.  

    Exploring the shoulder actions multiple times within a practice helps us record the biomechanics in our bodies. This is the reasoning behind the layering of actions and postures in a Chromatic Yoga class.

    In the 2nd week of Matt’s current 3-part workshop, Shoulder Mastery, he delves into shoulder strength for arm balances. Register and get access to this class and to last week’s class about the shoulders and heart openers.

    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: Shoulder Mastery

    lotus pose online yoga classes

    ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

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

    Continue Learning

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    Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

    Deep Dive Into Chaturanga

    Shoulder Action Controversy

    shoulder stability

    DEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA

    Earlier this week, Matt posted a video on his Instagram page highlighting the shoulder blade movement that takes place in Chaturanga—moving from protraction to retraction. This can be a tricky subject, and it was cause for some discussion in the comments on that video. He goes into more detail here

    When we’re taught to do something (such as the execution of a yoga posture) a certain way, it may be difficult to consider an alternative. The Chromatic yoga approach, however, is a nondogmatic one and requires that we create our own understanding through action and being open to new possibilities. There is always room for perspective. Now, Chaturanga can be a challenging posture due to the strength it requires, but in today’s video, we see a breakdown of the steps and gain insight into the anatomy in order to make informed choices in our yoga practice.

    chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

    SHOULDER MASTERY

    WORKSHOP SERIES

      •  3 livestream workshops and replays
      • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
      • Improve low-back health
      • Shoulder mobility + heart openers
      • Shoulder strength + arm balances
      • Inversions, binds, neck & shoulder release
      • 6 hours of continued education
      • Gain strength and stability
      • Increase range of motion, flexibility, and mobility
      • Step-by-step guidance: Everyone can follow and participate
      • Educationally infused: Learn while you embody
      • Livestream optional; all workshops available as livestreams (see dates below) and as on-demand replays for life
      • Automatically receive access to the replays immediately after the livestream

      SEQUENCING FOR THE SHOULDERS

      The intelligent sequencing offered in a Chromatic yoga class helps us prepare our bodies for optimal positioning in a given posture.

      In Chaturanga, there is a tendency for the scapulae to anterior tilt, causing the shoulders to punch forward into the anterior portion of the shoulder capsule. Over time, this can cause pain and/or increased wear and tear on the joint, not to mention the implications it may have for the neck, shoulders, back, and chest. What’s necessary is a healthy degree of external rotation. Matt demonstrates a few drills with a strap and blocks that help pattern the body in how to create the external rotation required for the pose. Why is this important? These drills teach us how to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, which will help stabilize the shoulder joint and recruit the serratus anterior for a stronger descent in Chaturanga.

      WATCH THE VIDEO

      DEEP DIVE INTO CHATURANGA: SHOULDER ACTION CONTROVERSY

      STRAP SETUP FOR THE SHOULDERS

      These drills help us understand the foundations of the shoulder mechanics for Chaturanga.

      Pull the Strap Apart

      Here are the four key actions:

      1. Take an underhand grip of the strap.
      2. Pull the strap apart.
      3. Move the shoulder heads back.
      4. Bring the elbows in and forward.

      This drill is not static; when watching the video, we see that there is actually movement back and forth, which will help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

      Block in the Palm & Between the Elbow and the Body

      This drill can be done without  a block; however, the block between the body and elbow adds that extra awareness of activation and reminds to keep our elbows more narrow.

      Essentially what’s happening here are movements back and forth between the internal and external rotation of the humerus. Holding the additional block in the supinated palm of the same arm helps emphasize the required external rotation for Chaturanga.

      STRAP SETUP FOR THE SHOULDERS

      These drills help us understand the foundations of the shoulder mechanics for Chaturanga.

      Pull the Strap Apart

      Here are the four key actions:

      1. Take an underhand grip of the strap.
      2. Pull the strap apart.
      3. Move the shoulder heads back.
      4. Bring the elbows in and forward.

      This drill is not static; when watching the video, we see that there is actually movement back and forth, which will help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

      Block in the Palm & Between the Elbow and the Body

      This drill can be done without  a block; however, the block between the body and elbow adds that extra awareness of activation and reminds to keep our elbows more narrow.

      Essentially what’s happening here are movements back and forth between the internal and external rotation of the humerus. Holding the additional block in the supinated palm of the same arm helps emphasize the required external rotation for Chaturanga.

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      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

      CHATURANGA AT THE WALL

      Transitioning to Chaturanga at the wall takes us to a closer setup of what position our bodies will be in. Of course, we are perpendicular to the floor in this variation, but we can negotiate hand and shoulder placement without the strength element. Matt has shown us variations at the wall before, and they are always helpful in navigating a posture.

      One of the key points in this variation, however, is the push through the heel of the hands. This action both brings the bottom wing tip of the scapulae through the arm bone, which encourages the head of the humerus to pull back, and it helps recruit the muscles of the serratus anterior. We also gain a “band of stability” in the upper body once this is in place. Once we’ve explored here, it’s time to take Chaturanga to the mat.

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      • 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 PROTRACTION TO RETRACTION?

      In the video, Matt demonstrates how the shoulder blades come in towards one another on the descent portion of Chaturanga. This is what might conjure up some controversy. Matt explains that we’re not just easily allowing them to come together; instead, we’re still trying to resist the retraction in the lowering phase until we’re almost at the ground level. It’s therefore a “fight” between the actions of protraction and retraction of the scapulae.

      Remember the “push through the heel of the hand”? This ignites the protraction. The goal is to allow the shoulder blades to retract at a slow pace. Too often, we find that if there is no retraction, we can fall into the anterior tilt of the scapulae more easily. If there is no movement of the scapulae, it can affect the muscles in the front and the back of the neck by causing more strain.

      ALLOW MOVEMENT TO TAKE PLACE

      In this full workshop (The Shoulder Reset), Matt explains that going from protraction to retraction means that we are allowing the shoulder joint to move as it was designed. We are allowing gravity to do its job. When allowing the movement from protraction to retraction to take place, we are creating an eccentric contraction, which will offer a smooth descent. It will also translate into creating lightness and ease in a jump back.

      The good news is that Matt’s offering a 3-part workshop series this month, Shoulder Mastery The education we can look forward to will have a profound effect on our yoga practice overall.  

      Part I is all about shoulder mobility and heart openers, and Part II delves into shoulder strength and arm balances. Part III tackles inversions, binds, and neck & shoulder releases.

      Click Shoulder Mastery to register.

      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: The Shoulder Reset

      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

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      read more

      THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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      • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
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      Headstand and Forearm Stand

      Headstand and Forearm Stand

      Master This Imperative Shoulder Action

      scapula elevation

      HEADSTAND AND FOREARM STAND

      Getting straight to the point, the imperative shoulder action in Headstand and Forearm Stand is elevation of the scapulae. This is the best way to fully participate in developing your potential in these postures. It may seem like a simple action, but it’s important to understand the broader scope of what’s involved. More than just lifting your shoulders up towards your ears, it’s the activation of muscles like the upper trapezius, serratus anterior, and the triceps, along with freedom in the neck, that help support this action. In today’s video, Matt outlines a number of drills that will assist you in finding the appropriate amount of activation and strength to achieve balance, stability, and freedom in Headstand and Forearm Stand.

      chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

      THE SHOULDER RESET

      2-HOUR LIVESTREAM WORKSHOP!

        • Technique-infused 2-hour workshop
        • Non-dogmatic alignment awareness
        • Chest/heart flexibility
        • Increase active range of motion of the shoulder
        • Learn shoulder anatomy as you practice
        • Strengthen rotator cuff for stability and shoulder health
        • Gain access to shoulder-focused postures
        • Debunk popular alignment
        • Skillfully guided sequence by the founder of Chromatic Yoga, Matt Giordano

        DOWNWARD DOG–DOLPHIN DRILL

        This first drill can be approached in two different ways:

        1.  The first approach to this Headstand drill starts in a shorter Downward-Facing Dog in which your body is still in a diagonal position. You then proceed to play with movement between moving your head gently down towards the ground, which requires a softening in the shoulders, and pushing the floor away with your forearms, creating more elevation of the scapulae and pushing your body back. Matt reminds you not to move back to a point where you feel pain in your shoulders as a result of greater compression in the joint. 
        2.  In the second approach, you’ll walk your feet in to become more vertical (closer to Headstand or Forearm Stand position). It’s important to note the slow lowering of your head towards the ground in order to build greater strength in the elevators of the scapulae.

        WATCH THE VIDEO

        HEADSTAND AND FOREARM STAND: MASTER THIS IMPERATIVE SHOULDER ACTION

        HEADSTAND PREPARATION

        It may be simpler to understand why elevation of the scapulae is important in Forearm Stand: The goal there is to take your head completely off of the ground. Why is elevation of the scapulae also imperative in Headstand? Well, implementing this action will reduce pressure on your cervical spine, that is, in the neck.  

        If you are going forward with this exploration, then you will feel some weight in your head in the starting position (feet down). To reduce this weight, Matt advises you to take your gaze towards your belly button to get longer in the back of your neck and/or to take the opportunity to strengthen your serratus muscles, along with the trapezius, by pushing the floor away to the degree that allows you to lift your head further away from the ground. This movement may be slight or moving more towards Forearm Stand.

        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

        FOREARM STAND DRILLS

        Once you’ve explored some of the added layers in Headstand from the video, you can move on to explore your potential in Forearm Stand. This of course requires increased elevation of the scapulae in order to lift your head off the ground.

        This time, start with your head completely off the ground. Proceed by lifting one leg up at a time. If you’re close to a wall, like Matt is in the video, you’ll see how he demonstrates a controlled hop.

        Now, if you’re looking for a bit more, you’ll see Matt’s demonstration utilizing a chair in the video. This can be more intense, but what Matt explains is that it’s helpful to remove the balance element from the drill because you can work on strengthening and deepening the connection to the awareness of the range required in the scapulae in order to lift.

        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

        PROTECT YOUR NECK

        Keep in mind, the best choice to avoid injury or the aggravation of any known discomfort in your neck is to stay away from Headstand completely. However, what’s offered in the video tutorial, assuming it’s safe for you to explore, are ways to intelligently approach the practice of Headstand and Forearm Stand with a deeper understanding of how to prepare your body. The drills teach you how to build strength and mobility concurrently. You’ll learn how to strengthen muscles like the trapezius, serratus anterior, and stabilizers of the neck, but the basis for this strengthening comes from the important action of elevating your scapulae. This action is the catalyst for unlocking your potential in these inversions.

        Register today for The Shoulder Reset, a 2-hour livestream workshop on January 28th, where Matt will dive into technique, anatomy, and the biomechanics of the shoulder joint.

        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: Shoulder 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

        Accelerated Handstand Development

        Accelerated Handstand Development

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

        read more
        Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

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

        read more
        Lotus Foundations

        Lotus Foundations

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

        read more
        Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

        Hips and Eka Pada Galavasana

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

        read more
        Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

        Hip Flexor Health For Better Movement

        Hip Flexor Health for Better MovementstretchHIP FLEXOR HEALTH FOR BETTER MOVEMENT Healthy hip flexor muscles are associated with both stretch and strength. Although we’re going to focus more heavily on strength in this article, always note that both strength and...

        read more
        6 Postures For Hips and Lower Back

        6 Postures For Hips and Lower Back

        6 Postures for Hips and Lower Backstretch6 POSTURES FOR HIPS AND LOWER BACK When we're interested in learning about postures that help us with our hips and lower back, it’s simply not good enough to find a video or practice that says that certain poses will help with...

        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.

        Bound Ardha Chandrasana

        Bound Ardha Chandrasana

        Technique, Accessibility, and Expression

        BOUND HALF MOON

        BOUND ARDHA CHANDRASANA

        As Matt shares the 5 Powers of Consciousness from Tantrik yoga philosophy in his current immersion, The Power of Bliss, he reminds us that they are powers that exist within us and are present all around us. You can see a brief breakdown here. These teachings can be applied when discussing Bound Ardha Chandrasana, and there is a lot to say. In the full class, Matt describes this pose as one of the most challenging (this is subjective of course), but that leaves room to interject discussion of the 2nd power of consciousness, Bliss (Ānanda-Śakti), into the conversation. When considering what Bliss means when it comes to Bound Ardha Chandrasana, you’ll also have to also make room for how technique (or knowledge, Jñāna-Śakti), accessibility, and expression play a role.  

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        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!

        WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF BLISS?

        I was asked this question once by my osteopath, and I gave an answer about a feeling, a moment in time when I felt happy. Starting to delve deeper into philosophy in my 300 Hour studies with Matt has definitely challenged my previous answer.

        Matt explains the teachings so well, stating that Bliss (yes, with a capital B) is not a feeling of just finding happiness, or of “being in a state of bliss” because things are going the way you want them to at a particular moment or in life. Rather, it is the awareness (Cit-Śakti) that even in struggle, you can experience Bliss because you are here, in the human experience. Your mere being is an expression of Bliss itself and all that your experiences encompass.  

        If Bound Ardha Chandrasana is challenging and you’re feeling frustrated in the process, Bliss is actually present.

        WATCH THE VIDEO

        BOUND ARDHA CHANDRASANA: TECHNIQUE, ACCESSIBILITY, AND EXPRESSION

        GROWTH AND EXPRESSION

        The same is true if Bound Ardha Chandrasana comes to you quite naturally. Bliss is also present in this state. This is where we come to understand that it’s more about where we are along the journey of Bound Ardha Chandrasana and not about the achievement of the posture itself. It’s about the knowledge we are gaining and about each individual experience. Your ability to express yourself fully in any variation of the posture is what contributes to the deepening of  your relationship with the practice of yoga and the power that exists within you.  

        On the Chromatic Path to the posture, there are variations and preparations for you to learn from, sit with, and grow with. Matt’s classes offer a plethora of options for you to carve your own path.

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        VARIATION AND PREPARATION

        In today’s video, Matt starts off by demonstrating the techniques involved in Bound Side Angle. Important cues like the internal rotation of your arms, along with bowing deeply forward, create an accessibility to the bind that you may not have thought possible. Now, working this way in Bound Side Angle or even Bound Triangle (which he also demonstrates) doesn’t necessarily make the pose “easier.” This approach just offers options and access points for you to explore. The postures are opportunities for you to explore the techniques, gain knowledge, and discern what is appropriate for you to express at any given time. Matt offers the option for you to explore a half bind, or none at all. When you play the video, you’ll hear him discuss the importance of finding the love within yourself to express outwardly in the form or variation you’ve chosen.

        300 hour teacher training online

        300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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

        • Get 500 hour certified
        • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
        • Expand your teaching skills
        • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
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        • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

        FROM TECHNIQUE TO BLISS

        You could quite easily argue that it’s not a road from technique to Bliss; they actually very much permeate one another. Bliss exists within acquiring the knowledge of the techniques involved in Bound Ardha Chandrasana. Being present in the fullness of each step reminds you of the fact that you have an ability to explore your body in this way and that both your experience in your body and your experience with postures like Bound Ardha Chandrasana will change over time. The intricacies that Matt demonstrates in the video, like where to place your Drishti (gaze), where to place the weight in your feet, how to ignite your glutes—are all part of the power that exists within you. Bask in the glory of this expression in the Power of Bliss Immersion.

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

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        Article by Trish Curling

        Videos Extracted From: Power of Bliss 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

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        THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

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        Compass Pose

        Compass Pose

        Variations to Challenge Balance and Flexibility

        balance & flexibility

        COMPASS POSE VARIATIONS

        Compass Pose, especially the variations Matt offers today, will challenge you, and not necessarily in the ways you might think. Most obviously, it will challenge you in the lateral flexion of the spine and the extensive amount of shoulder and hamstring flexibility required, but even more than that are all the lifts, drops, and turns, or maybe better said, the articulations and/or actions in the joints, that make it that much more challenging. However, with challenge comes reward. You’ll see that both variations provide an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the posture because of the step-by-step techniques you’ll follow and because of how your body responds within the posture. After reviewing today’s video clip, you’ll be empowered with 2 variations of Compass Pose that will test your ability to stay present while increasing strength, balance, and flexibility.

        lotus pose online yoga classes

        THE SPLITS

        • Improve flexibility of hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and glutes
        • Hanumanasana Splits
        • Center Splits
        • Vishvamitrasana
        • Standing Splits / Ekapadasana
        • Extended Side Plank / Vashisthasana
        • Straddle entries for inversions, with modifications for all levels
        • Moderate Vinyasa style with alignment, technique, and biomechanics
        • Sequences are anatomically informed and carefully crafted
        • 12 Classes: All levels appropriate
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        ANATOMY OF COMPASS POSE

        Although Compass Pose is a seated posture, it does require balance. After all, one leg is lifted while the other is grounded to the floor. Lifting the top leg requires strength in the outer hip muscles (gluteus medius & minimus).  Because you grab hold of the foot of the top leg, you might argue that Compass Pose is both a passive and an active stretch. A healthy approach to this lifting and opening is to activate those outer hip muscles to create more abduction, rather than relying solely on the flexibility of the adductors and the hamstrings. Next up are your shoulders and back muscles. Gaining access to grabbing hold of the foot requires an engagement of the rhomboids to create more opening in the shoulders. In addition, there are 2 actions that are key to putting it all together.

        WATCH THE VIDEO

        COMPASS POSE: 2 VARIATIONS TO CHALLENGE BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY

        COMPASS POSE VARIATION 1

        It’s the 2 additional actions we’ll see now that bring the pose together.

        In this variation, the bottom knee is bent. Matt shows you how to “snuggle” into your lifted leg while leaning and putting your weight into the bent (or seated) leg, seting you up for success. Leaning your weight to the side allows for a hike of the hip—the first action. This lifting, along with the activation of the rhomboids to pull your shoulder back, allows you to more easily guide your foot. Matt explains that keeping the hike of the hip means that your pelvis is at an angle in which your leg doesn’t have to fight against the hip joint, ultimately making it easier for shoulder opening. The second action is the internal rotation of the hip as you lift the leg. Internal rotation helps maintain the lift. 

        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

        COMPASS POSE VARIATION 2

        In this 2nd variation of Compass Pose, the bottom leg is straight and mimics Center Splits early in the setup. Once you’re in the posture, extending the bottom leg all the way out further challenges your balance and flexibility. In order to maintain better balance, you can emphasize internally rotating through both legs for more stability in your base.  

        Now, remember when I mentioned that Compass Pose can be viewed as both an active and a passive stretch? In the full class, Matt takes the pose to the next level and offers the option of letting go of the foot and relying on both the active flexion of the hip and the activation of the outer hips. Do these actions remind you of anything?  If you said Vishvamitrasana, then you’re right. So much of what Matt offers here is exactly what you need to prepare for Vishvamitrasana (also known, among other names in English, as Flying Compass Pose).

        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

        WITH CHALLENGE COMES REWARD

        The challenges you encounter might be in those finer details (hiking up and internally rotating the hip), or perhaps the inability to balance on one side is preventing you from utilizing the flexibility available to you. If you do find balance, incorporating the internal rotation may either throw off your balance or make it hard to maintain. The truth is that building on one step at a time while honoring the current state of your body will help you reap the rewards over time.  

        Matt’s current Splits Immersion will both challenge you and guide you toward the mastery of these techniques.

        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: The Splits

        Yoga for Core and Breathwork

        BREATH OF FIRE

        • Moderate Vinyasa-style classes
        • Core strengthening & integration
        • Master your breath with pranayama practices
        • Access your core in arm balances, heart openers, twists, forward folds, inversions, and more
        • Learn where and how to breathe in challenging postures
        • Each class will include one pranayama (breathwork practice) and several core strengtheners
        • Access your core muscles: deep, superficial, anterior, posterior, and lateral 
        • 12 Classes: All levels appropriate
        • Lifetime unlimited access to all
        • Attend the livestream OR practice the replays any time that’s convenient for you

        $148.00

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        THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

        When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

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

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