Spinal Freedom In Revolved Low Lunge

Spinal Freedom in Revolved Low Lunge

5-Part Twist Technique

anjaneyasana

REVOLVED LOW LUNGE TECHNIQUE

You’re going to multiply the benefits of twisting postures with this 5-part twist technique. There are already benefits you may knowingly and/or unknowingly receive from incorporating twist postures into your asana practice, but this is going to take it to a new level. This technique is going to show you how you can strengthen your body and be more intentional about how you execute twist postures. In today’s video, Matt breaks down this technique in Revolved Low Lunge. The technique can be applied to other twisting postures in your yoga practice, but Revolved Low Lunge is a great way to explore the technique with a solid base.

TWISTS & FOLDS

TWISTS & FOLDS

  • Strengthen core muscles of rotation and side bends
  • Improve spinal mobility
  • Improve spinal flexion for seated postures
  • Strengthen your back and deep core
  • Access greater flexibility of the hips for seated postures
  • Classes will bring you to a sweat and back down to a relaxed state
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THE BENEFITS OF TWIST POSTURES

So, what are some of the benefits of twist postures? At the most basic level, there’s nothing like the “feel good” sensation they provide. Twist postures are often a nice go-to when you are experiencing tension in your back. It’s almost an intuitive response of the body to twist when we want to “get the kinks out,” so to speak. Twists also play a role in increased circulation and mobility. “Twists do affect our mobility (movement of organs in relation to each other) and our motility (movement within an organ),” which also promotes increased circulation. This is not to say that no other factors are involved, but there is a contribution. Twists are an important part of creating a more balanced asana practice.

Kaminoff, Leslie & Matthews, Amy. Yoga Anatomy, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL 2012

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SPINAL FREEDOM: 5-PART TWIST TECHNIQUE

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SPINAL HEALTH & FREEDOM

“The spine is literally the ‘core’ of the body. It is the deepest, most centrally located structure.” David Keil, in Functional Anatomy of Yoga, goes on to explain that there is a variety of structures in the body that are directly and indirectly attached to the spine. This delineates the importance and weight that the spine carries in your body.  

In order to experience “spinal freedom,” you must have a level of both strength and fluidity in the spine. Your experience on your yoga mat always depends on your intention regarding a particular pose and/or practice. It also depends on what you know about your body. In regard to twists and the 5-part technique he utilizes in Revolved Low Lunge, Matt talks about this approach to the technique. You’ll see in the video (and read in the breakdown) that there are several muscle activations that take place. These activations can be executed to suit your body’s individual needs. Matt details that if you are hypermobile, which he talks about in the full video from which today’s clip is extracted (see below), it may be more appropriate to hold onto each activation as you continue up the ladder of steps. This will help to create more stability. If the opposite is true, then you may perform the activations one at a time, because implementing the activations one at a time helps create more movement. Whether your intention is to stabilize or to create more movement, both are necessary in order to maintain spinal health. 

Keil, David. Functional Anatomy of Yoga: A Guide to Practitioners and Teachers, Lotus Publishing, Chichester, England. 2014

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MOVEMENTS OF THE SPINE

Within this twist technique, there is so much more than rotation in order to increase your body’s potential. The technique, demonstrated in Revolved Low Lunge, shows you how to create movement with the strength of the rotators of the spine and the abdominal muscles. Instead of relying on a more passive execution, using the strength and push of the rear deltoids and triceps to deepen the twist, this technique provides an opportunity to create more strength and integrity so as to support spinal stability and freedom of movement. You’ll see in Matt’s demonstration that multiple movements of the spine are implemented in order to fulfill the technique. You’ll also see a degree of axial extension (lifting and lengthening in order to activate the transversus abdominis); spinal flexion (to initiate the twist); a degree of lateral flexion on each side of the body; and lastly, spinal extension in order to create the backbend within the twist. Exploring all of these movements of the spine supports the ambition to create stability, strength, flexibility, and mobility. Let’s break down the steps of this technique in Revolved Low Lunge.

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5-PART TWIST TECHNIQUE

In truth, the technique can probably be broken down into 4 parts, but there’s no getting stronger or going deeper in any yoga posture without setting a foundation and becoming more aware of your breath within each step.

In the video, Matt goes through the steps multiple times to offer a focus on the technique itself, the muscle activations taking place, and the breath-pairing alongside the technique.

Steps in Revolved Low Lunge

(Left foot forward)

  1. Set the foundation—pull your knees together and pull your belly up
  2. Round the upper back and twist
  3. Side bend up to the sky (left waistline shortens)
  4. *Pause and wait, breath in, then side bend back towards the thigh (close the gap—right waistline shortens)
  5. Backbend (with option to open the arms)

Breath-Pairing Steps

  1. Take a breath in and pull the belly in and up as in Cobra; as you exhale, round the upper back and initiate the twist
  2. Inhale, side bend the left ribs up to the sky (you can also hold the side bend for some of the twist)
  3. Inhale in the side bend; on the exhale, the right-side body gets short, so side bend towards the ground
  4. Inhale backbend
  5. Twist more on the exhale

REQUIRE MORE FROM YOUR TWISTS

Approaching twists in this way offers you the opportunity to be in more control of your body, both on the mat and in your everyday functional movement and activities. Moving in this way creates more confidence. It may be more challenging to ask more from your body, but the payoff is extraordinary. Not only will you experience a deeper twist, but the sensations you are left with also reveal the strength and integrity you are creating in your body. The advantage of exploring this twist technique in Revolved Low Lunge is that you can remain closer to the ground, which removes the added balance element. You can safely delve into the technique and then later apply it to more complex twisting postures. Take the opportunity to dive deeper into the possibility of twists in Matt’s December 2022 immersion, Twists & Folds.

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Spinal Awakening

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TWISTS & FOLDS

TWISTS & FOLDS

  • Strengthen core muscles of rotation and side bends
  • Improve spinal mobility
  • Improve spinal flexion for seated postures
  • Strengthen your back and deep core
  • Access greater flexibility of the hips for seated postures
  • Classes will bring you to a sweat and back down to a relaxed state
  • 12 Classes: All levels appropriate
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all
  • Attend the livestream OR practice the replays any time that's convenient for you

$168.00 $138.00

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deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

DEEPER TWISTS

INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINE

DEEPER TWISTS

DEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: “FIRE LINE”

Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice, or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both strength and flexibility are required for deeper twists, but let’s shine the spotlight on strength as we take a deeper look into how we can unlock our true potential when it comes to the execution of twisting postures in our asana practice.

YOUR INTENTION FOR THE TWIST

Twisting postures in yoga are known for their multitude of benefits. Let’s understand though that our intentions behind various twisting postures and the ways in which we execute them can benefit vs. harm our bodies to varying degrees. We may also have very different reasons for incorporating twists into our asana practice. If the goal is to create more of a therapeutic experience, then gentler twists may be the appropriate approach to take. If the intent and/or purpose is to work more deeply into a twist, then there are ways to heighten the experience with proper awareness and activation (we’ll see this shortly with Matt’s unique approach). Whether there is some level of vulnerability due to injury or not, doing things like pushing through the arms or trying to force more deeply into a twist can in fact cause harm, and this is never the desired outcome.

 

Online yoga to improve mobility

MOBILITY

ONLINE YOGA IMMERSION

  • Key techniques to increase flexibility
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  • 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

Yes, all movements on or off the mat will indeed place varying degrees of pressure on the discs in our spine, and, outside of the body’s natural resilience, there are ways in which we can create more integrity to support these movements. Although simply by twisting, we increase the amount of pressure on the spinal discs, twisting is also the answer to the question of how to increase their health.

Our discs require nourishment, and I love the sponge analogy — the “squeeze and soak effect” — when considering how to stimulate this nourishment. An appropriate twisting action or posture can actually help to equalize the pressure in the discs by supplying them with fluid, which allows them to expand. This creates more space and shock absorption between each vertebra, allowing your spine to react with more resilience to movements that create more weight, pressure, and/or impact in your body.

Now, Matt’s approach to twists is quite unique and extremely effective. His approach asks you to bring your focus and awareness to where you can create activations with more intention in order for your body to respond with greater ease. 

WHAT IS THE FIRE LINE?

If you’ve been following Matt and/or practicing with him, then you are familiar with his Chromatic Approach to yoga. Regarding the physical practice, we understand this approach as systemic with a deep awareness of how we move our bodies and progress to a “peak posture.” Something Matt created is the  idea of  the “Fire Line,” which he describes as a kinesthetic chain of muscle activation, or a co-activated line of muscle, or a co-ordinated engagement of several muscles in order to gain greater access to balance, strength, stability, and flexibility.

MUSCLE ACTIVATION IN THE FIRE LINE

Matt starts off by explaining that we first bring our attention and awareness to the serratus anterior on one side of the body, which funnels into the external obliques through the linea alba, then traveling underneath the external obliques on the other side of the body to the internal obliques, which then go down to the opposite hip bone.  

The Fire Line branches off “like a river” in 2 directions. The 1st branch goes to the outside of the gluteus maximus down through the IT band and connects to the outer shin. The 2nd branch goes from the inside of the hipthe iliacus and/or psoas muscle, which is on the inside of the bowl of your pelvis and attaches right at the inner thigh, where it meets the pelvis inside of the femoral head (inside of thigh bone). This all travels in the same direction, where we find the adductor group, which runs at the inside of your leg; some of the muscles in this group attach down at the shin.

We draw a thread of connection all the way through. Through Matt’s dedication to practice and his experience with his own body and with teaching and observing his students, he realized that activating this line allows the yoga practitioner to execute a variety of different twisting postures with great integrity and ability.

He highlights that the “center of the fire” is right at the core. We must recognize that the fire goes inward and creates a rounding through the back of the body. The key is to bring awareness to this rounding by exaggerating a pulling back of the ribcage.

With all of this in mind, we can see why strength plays a key role. Instead of just “dumping,” or forcing our bodies into a twist, we very thoughtfully engage the muscles in this Fire Line to more safely and deeply experience a variety of twisting postures.

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SPINAL AWAKENING

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REVOLVED CHAIR POSE

Take a close look at Matt’s deliberate actions in today’s video.  What we see is not only the chromatic approach, the build, the preparation; but we see the activation of the fire line in order to avoid the collapse into Revolved Chair Pose.

When we approach twisting postures with strength as the anchor, not only do we execute twists with more purpose, but overall we feel more empowered in our bodies and our practice.  What a beautiful outcome.

Imagine getting this type of insight on your practice on a regular basis, and being able to integrate it into your mind and body. Online Immersions with Matt are the perfect way to get techniques like the fire line into your practice. Each immersion consists of 12 all levels classes so you can advance your body awareness and deepen your practice.

If you have been practicing with the immersions than you know exactly how powerful and effective they are.

But what if you want to share this knowledge with others? Take advantage of the opportunity to study with Matt in his upcoming teacher trainings.  His 200 and 300 Hr trainings are open for enrollment.

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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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