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.

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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 .

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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.

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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!

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Hip Mobility Immersion

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Strengthen Your Adductor Muscles

Strengthen Your Adductor Muscles

Incorporate These Drills Into Your Yoga Practice

activation

STRENGTHEN YOUR ADDUCTOR MUSCLES

The adductor muscles are commonly left as a lower priority when it comes to building strength in your yoga practice. It’s not that there aren’t opportunities, but more intention is required about when and how to incorporate the necessary actions that will actually strengthen this area of your body. The message from Matt is clear and simple: Engage your adductor muscles. You just have to do it! Taking action is the only way for transformation to occur.   Now, when it comes to when and how, Matt outlines in today’s video a number of different yoga postures and drills for you to include in your practice with specific techniques. It may take you out of your comfort zone, but that is exactly how you’ll develop. It’s these actions and drills that will open up your physical yoga practice to new postures, and your physical body to improved functionality.

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OVERSTRETCHING THE ADDUCTORS

In a yoga practice, the adductor muscles are often stretched without any engagement. I’m sure you can come up with a number of different postures where your adductors are in a lengthened position. Think of any wide-legged posture, such as Warrior II. How many times have you included this posture in your practice? 

The length and stretch sensation of the adductors can feel like the solution to tension or tightness in this area of your body. Releasing tension and increasing flexibility in your adductor muscles actually involves strengthening. This is why it’s imperative to be more calculated in your approach. Finding opportunities to strengthen your adductor muscles will promote their resilience and minimize the likelihood of them becoming overstretched, which can in turn cause injuries. Engaging them, however, can feel challenging, especially if you’re not used to inviting engagement into your practice.

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STRENGTHEN YOUR ADDUCTOR MUSCLES: INCORPORATE THESE DRILLS INTO YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT AVOID ACTIVATING THE ADDUCTORS

One of the first things Matt talks about in his 300 Hr. Teacher Training is the idea of resistance and how it will show up in certain areas of your life, especially with regard to creating transformation. You feel resistance when it comes to things you don’t particularly want to do, but this is also true even when it comes down to doing things you enjoy. You may love going to your mat to practice yoga, but incorporating intentional muscle activation to increase strength can be quite humbling and discouraging at times. If you want to strengthen your adductor muscles, or your whole body for that matter, Matt encourages you to lean into the resistance. It will reveal not only what’s taking place in your physical body but also more of what you need to know about yourself. This is the yoga practice. 

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TRY THESE DRILLS

Goddess Pose is the first posture in today’s video. Here, you have to abduct your legs in order to access the strengthening technique. Your adductors are in a lengthened position and feet are turned out, which will help target the adductor magnus in particular. In order to strengthen your adductors, Matt utilizes a facilitated-stretch technique.  

The next drill requires props, a wall and either a yoga block or bosu ball. This time, you’re in more of a closed position, while pressing one leg into the block. It gets your hip flexors and pectineus active. The adductors of both legs are strengthening while performing different roles.

The final drills are really variations of one another, and WOW do they challenge you! In addition to what they demand of your adductors, they also require you to integrate more of your body weight with each progression.

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ON THE OTHER SIDE OF RESISTANCE

Transformation lives on the other side of resistance. Before this is experienced, however, it’s inevitable that you will encounter challenges. A yoga practice that calls upon you to engage your muscles is effortful and can feel quite discouraging. It can tire your body more easily and therefore entice you to incorporate these strengthening techniques a little less than what’s required for actual transformation. But what you’ll find on the other side of resistance is both an unfolding of increased possibilities in your physical practice and a deeper awareness of your own fortitude.

If you want to strengthen your adductors, you’ll have to take advantage of the opportunities within your yoga practice. You can see that there are many opportunities in what Matt offers in today’s video. Once you try out the drills Matt demonstrates, you’ll find doors opening in your practice that you may not have thought possible.

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Anatomy in Motion

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Build Strength & Endurance

Build Strength and Endurance

Infuse Calisthenics Into Your Yoga Practice

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STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE WITH CALISTHENICS

There are both simple and more complex ways of infusing calisthenics into your yoga practice, especially as you get stronger and build upon various skills. First of all, movements associated with “basic” calisthenic exercises are already woven in many ways into asana practices such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga styles of yoga. What we need to understand, however, is that alongside the more traditional approaches, there are creative and innovative ways of incorporating calisthenics into our physical practice. Ultimately, what we are building over time is strength and endurance.

Matt breaks down exactly how to do this in the clips that you’ll see in today’s video, from his current MOVE Immersion. What is the reason for wanting to increase strength and endurance? Well, key components of overall health include both. If you consistently practice calisthenic exercises and/or incorporate them into your yoga practice, it’s inevitable that you’ll develop increased strength and endurance both physically and mentally.  

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WHAT ARE CALISTHENICS?

When you hear the term calisthenics, I wouldn’t be surprised if what comes to mind are some seriously strong folks doing pull-ups, chin-ups, a rude amount of push-ups or some “crazy” complicated movements requiring what may appears to be an obscene amount of coordination. You wouldn’t be wrong. The idea of incorporating calisthenics into your movement practice can be quite intimidating. The good news is that there are entry points, and they may be more accessible than you think.

Essentially, calisthenics are defined as a form of exercise where you’re using your own body weight for resistance. Exercises often associated with calisthenics are pull-ups, chin-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups, to name a few. How many times have you done chaturanga “yoga push-ups” in your practice?  How many times have you moved in and out of Malasana? Runner’s Lunge? Can you see the crossover? There is a great deal of benefit both physically and mentally. Let’s have a look.

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BUILD STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE: INFUSE CALISTHENICS INTO YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

PHYSICAL STRENGTH & ENDURANCE

Without a doubt, calisthenics are going to help you to build a solid and strong foundation. Incorporating them into your asana practice means that your approach on your mat will be an intense one. To acquire the benefits of muscle  strength and/or cardiovascular endurance, there must be repetition and vigor in your output of each drill or exercise, with minimal rest in between.  

Although calisthenics have an impact on all muscle fibers, they are said to primarily work the slow-twitch fibers (type 1 fibers). These muscle fibers are associated with endurance. Because exercises like push-ups, lunges, and squats typically involve repetition, you can see how they are easily incorporated in the context of an asana practice. The physical demand and strain on your muscle tissues creates the stimulus for them to break down and therefore adapt and ultimately grow. In your yoga practice, the capacity at which you are working does not equate to muscular hypertrophy but to a remarkable amount of strength and integrity in your body.

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MENTAL STRENGTH & ENDURANCE

The attention to skill and technique requires a great deal of focus and concentration. Depending on the level of coordination and difficulty involved in a particular exercise, you’re also building resilience and mental toughness. The drive to complete and “push through” various calisthenic exercises means that you’re also fueling yourself with confidence. You’re actually proving to yourself that you can confront the opposition in your mind that may be telling you that you can’t possibly go any further. As long as you are free from injury and pain, taking action and pushing through is what actually allows you to experience benefits like increased focus, confidence, and tenacity. The resilience you build on your mat will ultimately lead to the same type of resilience in other areas of your life.

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300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

FIVE WAYS TO INFUSE CALISTHENICS INTO YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

In today’s video, Matt outlines 5 ways to infuse calisthenics into your yoga practice. He includes both simplified and more complex options.  

First, Chaturanga Dandasana is great for strengthening your core, chest, triceps, shoulders, and the muscles in your lower body. In the clip, Matt demonstrates the transition from Downward-Facing Dog to Plank (on knees or on toes), then he doubles the Chaturanga before coming all the way down to the ground. This may be a “simpler” way to increase intensity and muscle strength, but if you are not used to using this transition, it will take some time to feel stronger and more confident in your execution.

Second, Matt demonstrates a Boat Pose to Chaturanga transition. He breaks this one down into stages in which you can slowly build your way up to a full jump back into Chaturanga. This exercise will undoubtedly challenge your cardiovascular system and build more heat in your body. It also requires more coordination and timing as you progress into the jump back.

Third are the Adductor Slides With Socks and Blocks. This one is particularly innovative: Not only do you get the cardiovascular benefit, but you also build strength in your adductors (a muscle group that can often be neglected). In the full class from which this clip is extracted, Matt repeats the drill with a timer. He encourages you to perform it quickly while paying attention to very precise articulations in the hips and feet.

The fourth calisthenic exercise involves Plank—you might call this one a Side Plank (Vasisthasana) Crunch. Here, the focus is on strengthening your oblique muscles. It requires a great deal of muscle strength to balance while holding up your body weight and performing the “crunch” in the side body with control. This exercise definitely creates fire in the body! You will feel the elevation of your heart rate. 

Lastly, Matt demonstrates another Plank variation. This one might be referred to as Side Plank (Vasisthasana) With Adductor Leg Lift. In this exercise, you are again strengthening your oblique muscles but adding in the strengthening of your adductor muscles. If you’re looking for a challenge, THIS—IS—THE—ONE! Again, the movements may appear to be quite innocent, but there is always more than meets the eye.

TRANSFORM YOUR PRACTICE

You can see that the intricacy of all of these exercises requires mindfulness, focus, and physical intensity on your part.

When you watch the video, you’ll see how Matt specifically outlines the techniques for each drill in order for you to gain the maximum benefit. This is important because what might appear to be a minor change in body positioning (e.g., the articulation of the feet as they move in and out in the Adductor Slides) can have a drastic impact on the experience within the exercises and the actual muscle groups you’re affecting.

All of the clips are from Matt’s MOVE Immersion. In each and every class, there are so many ways that Matt teaches how to incorporate calisthenics, for strength and endurance, into your yoga practice.   

If you want to practice with more strength and grace, then this is definitely the immersion to sign up for.

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 Clips Extracted From: Move Immersion

MOVE

  • Access your movement potential
  • Sweat and raise your heart rate
  • Master your breath/movement coordination
  • Increase mobility at all major joints
  • Learn to gracefully transition between postures
  • Improve your flexibility
  • Strengthen your hips, back, shoulders, and core
  • Improve your balance
  • Each class will raise your heart rate, bring you to a sweat, and return you back to a relaxed state of mind and body
  • 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

Continue Learning

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

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

read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

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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

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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.

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2

Five Drills for Greater Access

flying splits

EKA PADA KOUNDINYASANA 2: STRENGTH AND POISE

The elegant long lines of a posture like Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 require a great deal of strength and preparation. The pose also requires both ease and poise. Strength is required for more than holding the posture; it also contributes to the element of ease. There’s no doubt that this arm balance is a challenging one. If you believe that confidence is essential for a posture like this one, then you’re right! What’s appealing about working towards a posture like Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 is that you develop confidence through the preparation. How do you prepare? In today’s video, Matt demonstrates 5 drills that will help you develop the strength and poise that is expressed in the pose.  

MOVE

  • Access your movement potential
  • Sweat and raise your heart rate
  • Master your breath/movement coordination
  • Increase mobility at all major joints
  • Learn to gracefully transition between postures
  • Improve your flexibility
  • Strengthen your hips, back, shoulders, and core
  • Improve your balance
  • Each class will raise your heart rate, bring you to a sweat, and return you back to a relaxed state of mind and body
  • 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

GROUNDWORK WITH YOGA BLOCKS

Breaking up the actions between the upper and lower body can really help to refine the execution of Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2. In the first drill, Matt demonstrates an option with yoga blocks set up underneath your chest to relieve some of the effort in your arms. Doing this helps you focus on the techniques utilized in the hips and legs, which create the height and length required for balancing the posture.  

You’ll see that the first drill sets the foundation for all of the drills in the video. 

Here are the core steps in Drill #1:

(left leg forward)

  1. With hands wide and slightly behind either side of the blocks, place your left leg onto your upper left arm
  2. Lean forward and place your chest on a block or blocks (depending on the height required for your body)
  3. Create an anterior tilt of your pelvis while internally rotating the upper thigh of your left leg
  4. Take the option to straighten the front leg—your back knee may stay on the mat 

In the 2nd drill, you are repeating the same actions as above; however, you are adding on by straightening the back leg. Matt demonstrates this with socks on, making it easier to practice by gliding your back foot on the floor rather than on a yoga mat. This is the first step in creating those elegant lines.

WATCH THE VIDEO

EKA PADA KOUNDINYASANA 2: FIVE DRILLS FOR GREATER ACCESS

STATIC ENTRY WITHOUT YOGA BLOCKS

Drill #3 invites you to attempt entry into Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 from a static position, without the use blocks. Matt reminds you that entering the posture from a static position is muscularly demanding and that without the help of the blocks, it’s vital to create more stability in your upper body. If you’ve practiced with Matt before, then you know that one of the essential elements of an arm balance is to grip the ground with your fingers. As you grip the ground in Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2, it’s imperative that you lean forward to offset the weight in your lower body. While executing the actions of the hips (anterior tilt of the pelvis and internal rotation of the upper thigh bone), another action will help to solidify the pose: squeezing your thigh into your arm. This will strengthen the adductors and create maximum stability. From there, you can start to lengthen the legs out in opposite directions.  

Practicing this posture in socks and on a hardwood floor can be extremely helpful in emphasizing a more graceful extension and easier access. Matt also offers the option of bending the knee of the back leg in order to gain a little more height before you straighten the leg out.

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

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STATIC ENTRY WITH YOGA BLOCKS

In this variation of Drill #3, the blocks support the back leg. The core actions remain the same, and you’ll see in the video that Matt stacks 2 yoga blocks on top of each other. Once you have both sent your weight forward into your hands and lengthened your front leg, you can take a deep bend of your back leg (while your back knee is resting on the blocks). You can experiment with either keeping the knee down or furthering the play with balance and lifting your back knee up away from the blocks.

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ENTRY WITH MOMENTUM

In Drill #4, you’ll explore coming into Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 with momentum. This allows you to practice a more dynamic way of entering the posture, which requires a great deal of coordination. Matt explains that less effort is required of the muscular system, but you’ll notice that you’ll require a slight pull back to keep yourself from falling. This means that the gripping of the fingers into the ground will also be key in maintaining balance.   

Here are the core steps for entry with momentum:

(left side)

  1. Begin in a short Downward-Facing Dog
  2. Lift your left leg up
  3. In one continuous motion, follow the steps to place your left leg on your left arm while creating the actions in your pelvis, upper thigh, and adductors

Drill #5 reintroduces the yoga blocks to get you started at a higher height. Matt places 2 blocks, stacked one on top of the other, underneath the foot of the leg that will extend behind you. This creates a “shelf” to help you gather greater height and momentum for the movement of your front leg. A tip is to place the blocks more directly behind the leg that will eventually come forward. You’ll see in the video how this really informs your ability to shift your weight more forward. 

ONCE YOU KNOW, YOU CAN FLOW

Matt advises you to practice these drills and variations repeatedly. As you experiment with them, you’ll build strength and confidence in the posture itself, and you’ll also build confidence in how you move your body as a whole. Repeating these drills creates an imprint in your body and puts your body “in the know,” or creates muscle memory. Once your body knows, you can release a little bit of focus as regards technique and allow yourself to flow and move between postures with more grace and ease. It’s not that you leave technique behind, but you develop a trust in your body’s ability to move with a sense of assuredness. You’ll access Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 with more strength and poise, and you’ll reveal a seamlessness in your practice that helps you find your flow.

You’ll want to sign up for Matt’s Move Immersion to dive deeper into your movement potential.

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Vinyasa Immersion

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KICK UP INTO HANDSTAND

KICK UP INTO

HANDSTAND 

Master 3 Key Actions 

alignment

HANDSTAND—3 KEY ACTIONS

“Squeeze in, turn in, tuck the tail.” These are the 3 key actions for handstands that Matt explains are a must. These may sound like simple cues, and they may even be easy to execute if you’ve already mastered kicking up into a handstand; however, if the pose is brand new and/or you’ve been working at it but still can’t “crack the code,” doing these 3 key actions in addition to all the other steps to prepare yourself may be what you’re missing. Layering on the specific techniques and muscle activations that Matt lays out for you is an essential part of your journey to kicking up into Handstand.  

It’s impossible to skip the steps required when the intent is to kick up into a handstand position. This actually pertains to any posture, but if you’ve practiced with Matt before, you’ll know how much he stresses that it’s the foundations and the repetition of those foundations that really prepare the body for the desired outcomes. When you repeat these actions over and over again, you build the patterns into your body so that when it comes time for more robust movements and shapes, your body will respond.

 

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HANDSTAND PREPARATION 1 & 2

Here are the steps for Handstand Preparation 1: 

  1. Place your hands on the ground
  2. Set up your blocks behind your forearms
  3. Straighten your elbows 
  4. Elevate the scapulae (push the floor away and bring your shoulders up to your ears)
  5. Lift your heels as high as you can

Handstand Preparation 2 is a continuation of the process and includes lifting one leg up.

Here are the steps:

  1. Inner leg lifts up to the sky as high as you can
  2. Look up to the lifted leg; when you do this, it’s common for your weight to shift back. Your weight needs to go forward
  3. Lean forward into your fingers (or more specifically, into the metacarpals)
  4. Lift the bottom heel as high as you can 
  5. Push through the arms (lifting the shoulders up)

What muscle engagements are happening? The gripping of the ground leads to activations in the muscles in the forearms. The elevation of the scapulae leads not only to the activation of the muscles of the shoulders (deltoids) but also to the contraction and use of the trapezius muscles. 

This action of elevating the scapulae also helps you avoid shoulder impingement.

As you lift the shoulders up, you are getting longer through the sides of your body, which creates length and stretch through the latissimus dorsi; however, it’s the upper fibers of the trapezius that you want to strengthen in order for you to rely on the strength there rather than on the stretch in the latissimus dorsi. Additionally, contracting the abdominals will assist in bringing the ribcage back and into better alignment, reducing excessive spinal extension. The action here is to contract the abdominals while expanding. You can do this by pulling your front ribs down as you continue to push strongly through your hands.

WATCH THE VIDEO: KICK UP INTO HANDSTAND

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

HANDSTAND PREPARATION 2 WITH A CHAIR

Before we dive in, be sure to use a chair that is stable and steady on the ground. Matt can use a rolling chair due to his many years of experience in the posture. This is important, because once you set your hands on the ground, you place 1 foot on the chair prior to the required muscle engagements. The chair should be secure for you.

Once you have 1 leg on the chair, Matt walks you through the same steps as in Handstand Preparation 1 & 2. However, there are some slight differences when you use the chair. Matt cues you to feel as though you are pulling the chair towards you, while the top leg stays away from the wall.

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KICKING UP INTO L-POSE HANDSTAND

When your foot returns to the ground, it’s easy to feel very heavy towards your foot, so leaning forward into the hands is imperative.

Now, Matt stresses that the ability to balance in “L-Pose Handstand” is a must. This means keeping 1 leg low. If you can balance there, this can translate into sending both legs up to the sky. Remember those 3 Key Actions for Handstand from the beginning? 

  1. Squeeze in
  2. Turn in
  3. Tuck the tail

What do these actions mean, and why are they important?

Once you’re in a handstand position, you have to stop the movement of your hips; otherwise, you will be thrown off balance. In this stage of maintaining your balance, squeeze in means squeezing your legs together (activating the adductor and abductor muscles). Turn in means to internally rotate the thighs (activating TFL, pectineus, and hip flexors). Finally, tuck the tail (posterior tilt of the pelvis) helps to activate the hamstrings, the glute muscles, and hip extensors). Doing all of these things will help to stabilize the legs in Handstand.

With all of this, there is still so much more to this posture. Matt’s next immersion, Handstand and Meditation, begins September 7th. Gain deeper insights into what is required of both mind and body by registering for the immersion.

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: Anatomy Of Arm Balances

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!
NEXT TRAINING BEGINS FEBRUARY 2024 ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN!

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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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