Tweak The Twists In Your Yoga Practice

Tweak the Twists in Your Yoga Practice

padmasana

TWEAK 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 school of Chromatic yoga—it’s the fine adjustments related to the biomechanics of each posture that create a massive impact and transformative experience in our yoga practice. When we pay attention to each adjustment and learn to integrate it in a way that develops our intentions with a particular posture, we reap the benefits of expanding our potential. In Chromatic yoga, Matt shows us how to sequence yoga practices in a way that integrates knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and technique.

The postures and drills in today’s video show us how to properly co-activate the right muscle groups in order to maximize the benefits of twists through what Matt calls the “fire line.”  

 

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WHAT IS THE FIRE LINE?

There are 5 elements in yoga philosophy. Referred to as mahabhutas, they are the following:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Space

Each element carries its own unique qualities, which go beyond the physical. Our focus today is on the element of Fire in a physical sense, but we can see how the qualities also lend themselves to our mental and spiritual development. Here are some of the qualities that represent Fire:

  1. Transformation
  2. Motivation
  3. Power
  4. Energy
  5. Presence

When it comes to the physical, Matt has developed a system that allows us to coordinate specific actions within specific muscle groups at the right time. The “fire line” refers to the coactivation of the “diagonal core line.” It creates a domino effect with these steps:

  1. Protraction of the scapulae (activating serratus anterior)
  2. Spinal flexion, then layering on spinal rotation (igniting the external obliques on one side and the internal obliques on the opposite side) 
  3. Flexion of the opposite hip (iliopsoas)

WATCH THE VIDEO

TWEAK THE TWISTS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE: CHROMATIC YOGA FIRE LINE EXPLAINED

CREATE THE CONNECTION

When it comes to twists in our yoga practice, it may sometimes feel easy to default to a more “relaxed” approach. What we learn from today’s video is the importance of timing and the coactivation of specific muscles that support strengthening the core for better twists. In the fire line, it’s all about cultivating power and front-body strength in the midline.

In order to begin understanding how to create the connection between twists and the appropriate muscles, we first see the following postures in the video:

  1. Revolved Crescent Lunge
  2. Revolved Crescent Lunge with Open Arms
  3. 2 variations of Revolved Chair

We start by creating connections through the actions of protracting the scapulae, spinal flexion, and rotation—the ability to move the upper body as a unit, rather than just moving or reaching with our arms.

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DEVELOP THE TWIST TECHNIQUE

How do we further develop the technique for twists? Well, in the video, when Matt demonstrates Revolved Low Lunge, he emphasizes “flexing” our way down, rather than just falling with gravity. He stresses how we’re essentially resisting “the fall” by pulling the rib cage back to maintain the spinal flexion as we rotate.

The last piece of the puzzle regarding the fire line is hip flexion. As we move toward Boat Pose and “sock drills” in the video, we actually practice reversing the coactivation steps. The steps of muscle activation become the following in the sock drills:

  1. hip flexors
  2. internal obliques
  3. external obliques
  4. serratus anterior

The reversal of the steps amplifies our body’s ability to respond to the actions we’re asking it to perform.

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AN ARM BALANCE WITH A TWIST

After masterful sequencing and the activation of the core, we can work towards an arm balance with a twist, like Side Crow. Again, instead of resting the hip and outer thighs on both arms, we can utilize the activations in the fire line to balance and rest on the triceps of one arm. This ability then becomes transferable to other arm balances.  

The techniques involved in these postures and drills create a stronger foundation and functional ability in our bodies overall, and this only scratches the surface of the fire line, not to mention the other elements.

Matt’s upcoming 30-hour hybrid immersion, Elements of Mastery, offers a unique opportunity to practice and learn both online and in person with Chromatic Yoga creator, Matt Giordano. This training will dive into all of the elements while immersing you in the studies of anatomy, biomechanics, and technique with a nondogmatic approach.

Secure your spot for this unparalleled opportunity!

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Breath Of Fire Immersion

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