Accelerated Handstand Development

Accelerated Handstand Development

inversion

ACCELERATED 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 regular asana practice or not, there is always room for improvement. Learning and understanding the intricate skill sets are imperative. These are the things that will expedite our development. This doesn’t mean that it will happen fast but that we are equipped with more knowledge to apply to our physical practice, which will enhance our results.  

There are a number of different areas for improvement when it comes to a better handstand, and one that might be overlooked is pelvic alignment. The drills and skills from today’s video provide the roadmap towards the final destination of a well-balanced handstand (pun intended lol).

 

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

10-DAY HANDSTAND PROGRAM

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

  • Safe, systematic, and effective
  • 10-day training plan with guided daily tutorials
  • 2 livestream workshops: Replays are automatically included if you cannot attend live
  • Learn the most anatomically aligned and efficient handstand
  • Acrobatic training skills made easy and accessible for regular people
  • All levels appropriate
  • Build YOUR handstand, honoring your body and its unique strengths and challenges
  • No experience required
  • Variations for all levels, from 0 experience to professional hand balancers
  • BONUS: Zoom meeting (available to waitlist members only for the first 24 hours of registration opening): On Day 3, we will meet on Zoom for group coaching and personalized feedback!
  • SPACE IS LIMITED FOR THIS TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST SUPPORT POSSIBLE

PELVIC ALIGNMENT TENDENCIES

In an upright position, knowing the difference between anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis may be easier to negotiate. At other times, it may be harder to determine. In the full class, Matt explains that many of us have the tendency to posteriorly tilt the pelvis when standing, which may be because we are trying to find the least amount of energy exertion by placing more weight into the hip joints. 

The opposite is true when upside down in a handstand. Here, the tendency may be to anteriorly tilt the pelvis (especially if there is a wall behind us). We might feel that the safer place to be is behind us, so the hips move in that direction. This tendency does not serve us in a balanced handstand away from a wall. In this case, the posterior tilt of the pelvis is a must.

WATCH THE VIDEO

ACCELERATED HANDSTAND DEVELOPMENT: POLISHING PELVIC ALIGNMENT

SPHINX TO HOLLOW BODY & CRESENT POSE

To find balance in a handstand off the wall, we must polish our pelvic alignment. We don’t start by trying this in handstand; first, we must strengthen and train the appropriate muscles in other postures and drills. In today’s video, Matt begins by demonstrating 2 ways to implement this strengthening and training in our regular practice.

Sphinx to Hollow Body

In this demonstration, we are guided through 4 phases. It is a very slow and controlled process that not only strengthens the core and upper body, it also helps us understand how to effectively isolate and articulate the movements of the rib cage and pelvis.

Crescent Pose

Here we really learn to train and develop the tucking of the tailbone—the posterior tilt of the pelvis—against straightening and lengthening the back leg. When doing this, we’re activating the quadricep and gluteal muscles at the same time. This will translate well when transitioning upside down.

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

HANDSTAND WALL DRILLS

Included in the process of handstand development is the practicing of pelvic alignment when we’re inverted in the context of drills. The handstand drills in today’s video are done against a wall. They provide the opportunity to place our feet on the wall in order to focus on the placement of the pelvis into a posterior-tilt position.

  1. First, without any props, we gain the understanding of how important it is to push through the shoulders to initiate greater movement of the rib cage back, which initiates the desired “straight stacking” of the body. When the action of the posterior tilt takes place, our feet become lighter.
  2. This is the same drill with the use of a chair, which can assist by offering more control to get upright. The exit here can also assist in practicing a safer exit when we start practicing away from a wall.
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

PROCESS & TRANSFORMATION

We can never escape going through the processes our bodies need when we’re working towards a given yoga posture, and those processes are always individual. The muscles we need to train, the techniques we need to develop, and the knowledge we need to acquire will vary at different times throughout the process.  

Matt always says that a posture like a handstand is evidence that we have tapped into increased mastery of the understanding of our own bodies. This is the true gift of the process on the journey towards transformation, not achievement.

Matt’s 10-Day Handstand Program works to systematically expose our greatest potential.  

Transform your relationship with handstand by registering today!

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: Handstand & Meditation 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

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Strengthen Your Ankles

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Yoga Props & Your Practice

Yoga Props & Your Practice

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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...

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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...

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Double Stag Handstand

Double Stag Handstand

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read more

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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.  

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!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

#1 Tip To Advance Your Practice

Dharana: The Mastery Approach

#1 Tip to Advance Your Yoga Practice

Dharana Leads to Mastery 

There are multiple reasons why we practice asana (the physical practice of yoga), but most of us would agree that the primary one is that we feel better afterward. Asana offers us an opportunity to get to know our body on a deeper level because it demands the full attention of our mind. You can’t mentally check out while holding a balance posture; you must stay present. It’s that type of absolute focus that allows us to advance in anything we do. In the yoga sutras, the harnessing of our mind’s attention to focus on one thing is referred to as Dharana. We can get to the state of Dharana on and off the mat. It’s a skill that can permeate every aspect of our life. To become masterful at anything we do, we must practice this single-pointed focus. So how do we do it in our asana practice?

The challenge most of us face is that our only measure of progress in the asana practice is the attainment of postures. I say asana specifically because the yoga practice includes far more than the study of the physical body, and for this discussion, I want to target the development of our physical awareness. If the postures are our only measurement, then we subconsciously will strive for the ability to achieve more of them so long as we feel safe enough. On the other hand, if we don’t feel safe then we will likely hold ourselves back from our potential. I’d like to invite you to focus your attention on something more specific in your physical practice: targeted, intentional muscle activation and the sensations you experience while doing so. Instead of practicing many postures, focus on fewer postures with several muscle activations. The body has a tremendous amount of muscles, so limit your options by focusing on one area of your body i.e. the hips, shoulders, spine, ankles, core, etc. This is how I structure my Elements of Mastery immersion, I take you through simple postures while targeting each area of the body throughout the weekend or online course. In the video below, I give the example of how to activate 3 different muscle groups in the “hips” category for one single posture, lunge pose.

What Does it mean to be advanced?

The practice of yoga is always about developing some form of awareness through intentional actions. Advanced in the physical practice of asana means heightened proprioception of the body or “Body Awareness.” Understanding how to activate the various muscles of the body in order to move your bones/joints and be able to feel the sensations of these actions is what qualifies an advanced practitioner. For some, that may result in complex postures that require flexibility and strength, and for others, it might be living a more pain-free life. In any case, “advanced” is not aesthetic, it’s functional, which may or may not be visually pleasing to someone watching. The recent interest in fascia, the connective tissue of the body, has revealed many findings in modern research. While researchers are just a few years into the study of connective tissue, studies are showing the correlation between proprioception and chronic pain – those that are less aware of and capable of moving or activating certain areas of their body also experience chronic pain in these areas. What that means for us practicing yoga is to use the practice to develop greater body awareness if we want to decrease chronic pain. Watch the video below to see how I explore different muscle groups within a simple lunge posture

4 KEY MOVEMENTS

To simplify your adventure, let’s look at one way of breaking down potential engagement into 4 directional movements.

  1. Squeeze in: This can be any movement where the extremities are moving or are trying to move toward each other, or more specifically toward the midline of the body. It can also mean the front body contracting inward toward the center of our core – a full tuck position or balasana-child’s pose. In anatomy terms, I am referring to Adduction and Flexion of the body.
  2. Push Out: This is the opposite engagement or movement- away from the midline or when the front body expands like you are stretching out after a good night’s sleep. Anatomically speaking, this is Abduction and Extension of the body.
  3. Turn in: When the Extremities Rotate toward the midline of the body
  4. Turn out: When the Extremities rotate outward and away from the midline.

In addition, you have side bending and twisting. Side Bending is a push out on one side and a squeeze in on the opposite, while twisting the spine is a rotation along the central axis. My suggestion is to start with the four key movements as they will provide a strong platform to work with.

ELEMENTS

Another approach toward simplification of the complexity of the body is using the elements of nature (Earth, Water, Fire, Air). This is the basis that I use for the Elements of Mastery both the online version and live immersions. With the elements, you can still refer back to the 4 Key Movements.

Earth: The way I structure the earth practice in EOM is we look at the foundations of our postures – the two main connectors to the earth are the feet and the hands. There are 4 main directions of the ankles and if you practice these joint articulations throughout your standing postures, you will gain mastery over the feet and ankles; the same is true for the hands.

Water: The Element of Motion and Emotion appropriately relates to the hips which are the main area of our body that initiates movement from one place to another. The video above is a great example of hip activation in one posture. To really dive deep into developing awareness of the hips check out Hips: Rock Em and Unlock Em

Fire: Relates to the Core. The four directions of core activation are Flexion, Extension, Rotation, and Lateral flexion. Of these, Flexion and Rotation are most accurate to the element of Fire. To get to know these best you will want to practice Parts 3 and 4 of Elements of Mastery.

Air: Air relates to lateral flexion and extension of the spine along with thoracic diaphragmatic breathing. Practice Parts 4 and 5 of Elements of Mastery.

4 KEY MOVEMENTS

By exploring the multiple options within just a few postures, you will gain tremendous insight into your body.  When you focus your attention in this way, more advanced postures will likely become accessible simply because of your increased ability to activate muscles and move your joints. This masterful approach done over the course of time will increase the health of your muscle tissue leading to an increased range of motion and greater strength.

Dharana is the practice of focusing your attention or harnessing the full power of your mind. Now you know how to apply it to your body, but you can also apply this skill to anything you do.

Elements of Mastery

The most in-depth online yoga immersion offered by Matt Giordano. This immersion contains several full-length workshops focusing on how the body relates to nature’s elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, & Space. In addition to deepening your physical practice, you will learn anatomy, adjustments, and the approach to Mastery!

Product Bundles

Get access to 3 or more products so you can develop your yoga practice in a well-rounded and enjoyable way right from your home! You will not only save money but you will also have unlimited access to feeling better in your body and mind!

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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TOP RECOMMENDATIONS 

Handstand Training

Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This 2 part course consists of the top most effective exercises will increase your strength and technique so you can easefully balance a handstand.

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SHOULDER REVELATION

In this 12 class immersion  you will practice specific techniques to strengthen and unlock your shoulders. Each class focuses on a specific joint articulation and muscle group so you gain mastery in the shoulders.

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HEART OPENERS

Finally, a 12 class immersion designed specifically to help you discover the freedom of heart openers. Learn how to avoid uncomfortable compression, and awaken your true range of motion in a step by step manner.

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