Samadhi

SAMADHI

Dissolving into the state of oneness.

Samadhi

Samadhi

Samadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself – that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is like the ocean. When the ocean swells and crashes upon the shore, drops of water fly up in the air. These drops are still the ocean separated by time and space. We are those drops in relationship to the bigger more expansive ocean of consciousness. For brief moments in time we arise and take shape in the form of this body, collecting unique experiences in our mind and forming beliefs and identity. In meditation, the mind has the opportunity to realize this and come back to the awareness of all that is. In those moments when the mind returns to the understanding that it is simply a drop that is apart of the ocean, there is a feeling of indescribable goodness that overwhelms our being, yogis call this Samadhi. 

How Do We Reach Samadhi?

Samadhi is the result of your Sadhana (yogic practices). For the past month, I have been offering you teachings out of the yoga sutras, weaving them through the live classes, and sharing them here on this blog. We’ve discussed  “Abhyasa and Vairagya” and “Burning Samskara” amongst many others. Why are these practices necessary to experiencing Samadhi? Samadhi is the state of being when the intellect or budhi lets go of duality and releases into the realization that it is one with all things. The intellect is incredible, it allows us to understand life on the physical plane, dividing, defining, and systematically looking for like and unlike in everything. The Intellect’s ability to separate is incredible. We have spent our entire lives training the intellect, and therefor have become really good at separation. Unity or Oneness requires that the intellect surrenders to the reality that it is one of many tools. This requires that our identity or ego also surrenders to the fullness of reality that we are yes unique individuals that are a part of the magnificent power of nature, not separate but yet a thread woven into the fabric of something much grander. The Ego gets scared of the idea that it is not most important, so you have to remind it that this means it is not less than, it is actually far more than it thinks, it is a manifestation of the vast ocean of Awareness.

Maybe you want to experience the state of oneness with the universe and are ready to jump in but where to start? The Yoga Sutras are a guide map to this, but if you are going to practice one thing only its Self Reflection, Swadyaya. You can practice Self Reflection in your asana (physical practice) by observing the sensations of your body before, during and after each posture. You can do this through Pranayama, observation of the vital energy that pulses through your system. There are endless practices of Self Awareness. Start with the live classes from the Month of March and join me for the asana and meditation practices throughout the month of April. I am committed to sharing dharma talks to inspire self awareness in order to support the dissolution of the intellect, and mergence into the state of oneness. We will be doing this together, with he support of the global community to give us power and strength. 

OneNess 

In a time when everyone is feeling separateness, moving inward to the state of oneness is more important than ever. Underneath the layers of intellect and ego that disconnects us from the whole, exists One undivided consciousness that permeates all things. It is always there, omnipresent, and it pervades all aspects of our being. The only thing standing in our way of experiencing it is the need to hold up the illusion that we have created of truth – the need to know in order to feel safe. Instead find comfort in the unknown, vast potential that is at the core of your being. Thanks for tapping in with me Enjoy your practice!

 

Recommended For You

boundless freedom

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • SHOULDER BIOMECHANICS
  • TANTRIK YOGA TEACHINGS
  • 4 POST CLASS MEDITATIONS
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • SALE Price:$98 

BIRDS OF PARADISE

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$98

BEST STARTER PACKAGE

  • 6 YOGA CLASSES
  • 2 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 6 PEAK POSTURES
  • 6 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$78

JOURNEY TO BLISS

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$98

KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$98

JOURNEY TO THE HEART

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$128

BACK, NECK & SHOULDERS

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$128

LIVESTREAM PACKAGES

Continue Learning

5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....

read more
Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....

read more
WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

Flip Dog Dilemma – 3 Shoulder Actions for Wild Thing. Is the popular yoga pose “FLIP DOG” worth it? If you practice or have been to a modern vinyasa or power yoga class than you know that flip dog is a popular posture that is called out somewhere toward…

read more
Samadhi

Samadhi

SAMADHI Dissolving into the state of oneness.SamadhiSamadhiSamadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself - that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is...

read more
Flying Pigeon

Flying Pigeon

FLYING PIGEON Key Actions to Balance in Flying Pigeon PoseFlying pigeonFlying Pigeon: BalanceFlying Pigeon is an exceptionally challenging pose for several reasons, strength, balance, flexibility for starters. Learning to balance on the hands requires tremendous...

read more
Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

Triangle Pose Triangle pose is an iconic posture in yoga that has tremendous benefits for increasing hip range of motion by creating more flexibility of the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh muscles). There are several potential strength benefits that triangle...

read more

Newsletter

When You Subscribe You Will Instantly Get 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.

CONTACT

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Samskaras and Neuroplasticity

Burning SAmskaras

 

Dissolve Thought, Emotion and Behavioral Patterns

 

Does your family put your spiritual practice to the test? 

Have you been making leaps and bounds through your yoga or meditation practice – feeling better day to day, learning to take a breath in the challenging moments and ultimately living life more freely from a place of joy? The Yoga practice helps us move in that direction and then we go back home for a holiday gathering with our family and suddenly we are right back where we started. Why is that? What is it about family, care takers, or being in the home we grew up in that pulls us back into our old patterns of thought, emotions or behaviors? According to the yoga tradition its because of Samskaras.

What ARE SamskaraS?

A samskara is often translated as the groove or pattern of the mind and directly relates or corresponds with our actions or behavior. Samskaras begin forming at the very moment we step into our body. Our parents, or the ones who raise us are largely play a major roll in the forming of our Samskaras. When we were children our lense of perception was colored for us, we were taught to see the world the way our parents, teachers, and society saw it. At some point in our journey we woke up and began to self reflect, recognizing that perhaps the lens we’ve been looking through is not the truth. Lets look at this lens of perception as a window – the window has a lifetime of dirt and grime, and the yoga, meditation and self inquiry practice help to clean the window little by little, allowing us to see life more clearly so we can experience it as it is rather than as we believe it to be. 

The analogy I use in the video below is another way of understanding Samskaras. I explain that Samskaras create grooves in the mind like the groove of a river in a mountain side. The river carves out the earth little by little though repetition and time and eventually becomes powerful. Our mind  (thoughts, emotions, beliefs, perception) is exactly like the river. Starting when we are young it begins to look for like and unlike experiences and collecting them  as beliefs and perception. This helps us to determine safe and unsafe situations, and forms our communication: “when I cry, caretaker brings me food”, or perhaps “when I cry, no one responds”. Through repetition these observations become our perception, or the grooves of our mind. We may then form the opinion that it is good or bad or effective or ineffective to express ourselves a certain way. We form beliefs about others and the world we live in. 

Now that you have began your yoga practice you have likely begun the process of burning away your Samskaras, How do you know? If you are behaving differently: more patient, kind, respectful, loving, emotionally stable or vulnerable, light hearted, joyful, etc. Burning Samskaras or old patterns allows us to live in the now, where the magic of life exists, and the world feels exciting and new again. 

WHY DOES BEING AROUND FAMILY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I HAVE NOT GOTTEN ANYWHERE?

Because the vast majority of Samskaras were formed at a very young age they have had a life time to get stronger. Like the river that has been digging its way into the earth, the longer it has been flowing, the deeper the groove. The samskaras that were formed as a child are triggered by experiences that are closest to the ones that formed them in the first place – typically your parents, siblings or caretakers. Or you might be most triggered by people in your life that most resemble them which could be your boss, teacher, in-laws, friend, etc. You may have been working on yourself for quite sometime, burning away the outer layers, only to show up at a family gathering or holiday dinner and notice your blood boiling, ready to argue, run away or just plain give up. There is an old saying that goes something like “if you think you are enlightened, visit your family”. How perfect that statement is as a reminder that yoga is a practice not a one time product purchase to solve your issues – we need to continuously stoke the fire of transformation to experience freedom from our Samskaras. 

Burning Samskaras

Burning Samskaras means is recognized in modern psychology as Neuroplasticity – our brains capacity to change our neurological patterning. While much of our childhood patterns are formed without our awareness, it is awareness that allows us to burn what no longer serves us. Awareness is also what allows us to choose how we want to feel, act, think and exist in this world. Awareness is a state of being that floods our conscious mind when we are present in the here and now. Have you ever watched yourself think a thought, or witnessed the sensations of your body, or decided to take a breath instead of react? The part of you that is aware of thoughts, emotions, and actions is awareness and Awareness is something you can strengthen just like a muscle. How do you strengthen it? The 4 main practices are Yoga, Meditation, Breath Work (pranayama), and Self Inquiry. Self Inquiry is also the result of the first three practices, as it is our “awareness” that creates the inquiry. Self inquiry is the process of asking your self questions, observing your thoughts, emotions and behavioral patters, and reflecting upon your actions and reactions. Through repetition, your awareness builds strength and awareness slowly burns away old patterns – literally the brain forms new neurological “wiring” which changes the way we act or react in any given situation. 

Anchoring

There is much that is beyond our control such as life circumstances, and outcomes of our actions, but what we do have control of is the inner landscape of our mind and our actions. That might seem like a large task, and it does take time an routine practice of yoga and meditation (see Elements of Mastery for both), however there is one thing you can do right now to help you maintain your ground when you step back into the all too familiar family dinner or holiday celebration. 

“Create and Anchor” This is what I call having an intention, but I use the imagery of an anchor so when the seas get rough, you hold tight to the ocean floor and stay deeply grounded in your intention. The questions to form your intention are

  1. How do you want to feel?
  2. How do you want to Act? 

Anchor your self into the answers of these questions by asking yourself how you want to feel/act the moment you start to feel your blood boil under the surface of your skin, or when you just want to run or hide. When you notice yourself falling back into your old patterns hold tight to your anchor and do not let go. You may need to excuse yourself and take a few breaths or do a quick sun salutation, and that is ok! Be compassionate, the river is incredibly strong but you are indeed stronger. 

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!

Continue Learning

5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....

read more
Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....

read more
WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

Flip Dog Dilemma – 3 Shoulder Actions for Wild Thing. Is the popular yoga pose “FLIP DOG” worth it? If you practice or have been to a modern vinyasa or power yoga class than you know that flip dog is a popular posture that is called out somewhere toward…

read more
Samadhi

Samadhi

SAMADHI Dissolving into the state of oneness.SamadhiSamadhiSamadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself - that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is...

read more
Flying Pigeon

Flying Pigeon

FLYING PIGEON Key Actions to Balance in Flying Pigeon PoseFlying pigeonFlying Pigeon: BalanceFlying Pigeon is an exceptionally challenging pose for several reasons, strength, balance, flexibility for starters. Learning to balance on the hands requires tremendous...

read more
Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

Triangle Pose Triangle pose is an iconic posture in yoga that has tremendous benefits for increasing hip range of motion by creating more flexibility of the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh muscles). There are several potential strength benefits that triangle...

read more

More Recommendations

Handstand Training

Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This collection of the top 12 most effective exercises will make you rethink how you approach handstand and what is possible.

View Details

Hips Workshop

In this workshop you will practice specific techniques to open your hips, finding greater rang of motion and freedom. Each action in the body is carefully layered and clearly articulated to provide you with success.

View Details

Dance With The Flames

Change is Inevitable but transformation is a choice. Step into the fire and dance amongst the flames in this live workshop! You will get the full energy of being in the class room, strengthen your hips, and free your heart.

View Details

Newsletter

When You Subscribe You Will Instantly Get 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.

Still Have Questions? Email Matt Directly

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Transformation Equation

The Transformation Equation

 

 

A.C.T

Deep inside every one of us exists a desire to be the best we can be during this short time that we have here in this life. It may be covered up by insecurities, shame, guilt, or the business of our day to day lives. You owe it to yourself to live a life that feels amazing and has a positive impact on everyone around you. Reading this means you are already stepping in the right direction, only those called toward a path of self-awareness would get excited enough at the word “transformation”. Most would be terrified of the word and back away entirely. Acknowledge your courage and continue seeking the tools that support your growth.  

A.C.T is the acronym I use for the Transformation Equation, it stands for Awareness + Conscious Action = Transformation. Before we go over what I mean by this lets first get clear of one thing. Transformation in the spiritual sense of the word is not the same as change. Change is inevitable, it’s happening all around us, within us and it is unstoppable. Try to take control and stop change and you will always lose as it is a law of life. On the other hand, Transformation is a choice. While everyone longs to transform their lives and live at their highest potential, few are willing to risk the comforts of the known over the adventure of the unknown. Stepping into your potential is not without risk, you can try and calculate it but ultimately you have no idea what lies ahead. All you can control is what you do with the time that you have. Do you choose to face the challenges that are required for you to step up into your potential, or do you sit back living in the known stagnancy of day to day tasks? 

Dance With The Flames

Do you have struggle with tight or weak hips, low back discomfort, or emotional stress? This workshop will provide you with a step by step approach to increase flexibility,  strength and peace of mind. Evoke your inner fire and dance through life, the journey starts now!

AwARENESS + CONSCIOUS ACTION = TRANSFORMATION

    Step 1. Awareness

    Awareness is required before action if you want your efforts to produce positive outcomes. Action without awareness will still be productive but as we know it often causes burn out and unfavorable results. Awareness can only be built through routine exercises of self-inquiry and observation. Self-inquiry is focused contemplation, asking yourself the questions to better understand your patterns of behavior. Most people are terrified of self-awareness simply because they don’t want to see all the aspects of themselves that they do not like. While it is true that you will see the darkness of who you are, you will also grow to see your amazing light that permeates every cell of your body. You cannot see your inner magnificence without cleaning off the lense that you see your self through, which means you’ll have to be willing to see aspects of yourself that you are not proud of. No matter how much we each deny it we all want to be the best we can be and that requires facing our internal challenges, cleaning our lense of perception and inquiring about who we are and why. Self-inquiry takes tremendous courage but as a result, we become self-aware, grateful for the person that we are, relaxed in our being, confident, filled with love to give, able to receive, more productive, less burnt out, more joyful and so on. 

    Step 2: Conscious action

    Action in alignment with awareness leads to profound results. Conscious Action requires awareness in every step, re-evaluation, and clear communication with anyone you are carrying out the actions with. Awareness produces a clarity inside of who you are and what you want to create with the time you have in this body. However, without Conscious Action, you can never grow into your potential. Potential is a trajectory, a path that you walk not a destination. Your potential could simply be to become a kind-hearted, loving human being, or it might be bigger than that: one who pulls others around them into their potential. Your potential will always grow as you take steps toward it – stay in tune through self-inquiry, and Consciously take action in alignment with it. 

    Result: Transformation

    Transformation is the inevitable result of your awareness and actions. The choice to transform your current life for the person you are becoming is one that very few people take in this life. Transformation can not happen without Awareness because without seeing your own magnificence you can never expand upon it. If all you see is your self-doubt and insecurities, and you spend your energy hiding them from the majority of people you connect with you will never have the energy to move forward. Do you choose to hide or do you choose to get courageous, see and share yourself, and expand into the person you are becoming? Watch the video below to see more about how to make use of the transformation equation and build the courage to step into your magnificence potential, you deserve it. 

    Create a Life You Love

    Place your energy on what you want to create in your life so that the short life that you get to live is filled with love! If you are lookin to go deeper, I taught and recorded a workshop live called Dance with the Flames  which uses the theme of stepping into the fire of transformation in order live the life you deserve. I sincerely hope you make use of the transformation equation and it serves you for the many years to come!.Please share your comments, questions and experiences. I look forward to hearing from you.

    DANCE WITH THE FLAMES

    A rare and exciting experience that will take you through an incredible adventure in both body and mind.  If you are looking to step into the fire of transformation so you can joyfully dance with the flames, this is the perfect workshop. Filmed was filmed live to bring you the fullness of energy! 

    Continue Learning

    5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

    5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

    5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....

    read more
    Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

    Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

    NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....

    read more
    WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

    WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

    Flip Dog Dilemma – 3 Shoulder Actions for Wild Thing. Is the popular yoga pose “FLIP DOG” worth it? If you practice or have been to a modern vinyasa or power yoga class than you know that flip dog is a popular posture that is called out somewhere toward…

    read more
    Samadhi

    Samadhi

    SAMADHI Dissolving into the state of oneness.SamadhiSamadhiSamadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself - that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is...

    read more
    Flying Pigeon

    Flying Pigeon

    FLYING PIGEON Key Actions to Balance in Flying Pigeon PoseFlying pigeonFlying Pigeon: BalanceFlying Pigeon is an exceptionally challenging pose for several reasons, strength, balance, flexibility for starters. Learning to balance on the hands requires tremendous...

    read more
    Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

    Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

    Triangle Pose Triangle pose is an iconic posture in yoga that has tremendous benefits for increasing hip range of motion by creating more flexibility of the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh muscles). There are several potential strength benefits that triangle...

    read more

    More Recommendations

    Handstand Training

    Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This collection of the top 12 most effective exercises will make you rethink how you approach handstand and what is possible.

    View Details

    Hips Workshop

    In this workshop you will practice specific techniques to open your hips, finding greater rang of motion and freedom. Each action in the body is carefully layered and clearly articulated to provide you with success.

    View Details

    Dance With The Flames

    Change is Inevitable but transformation is a choice. Step into the fire and dance amongst the flames in this live workshop! You will get the full energy of being in the class room, strengthen your hips, and free your heart.

    View Details

    Newsletter

    When You Subscribe You Will Instantly Get 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.

    Still Have Questions? Email Matt Directly

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    UNLOCK YOUR HIPS

    UNLOCK YOUR HIPS

     OUTER HIP STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY FOR THE LOW BACK AND S.I. JOINT

     

    THE LOW BACK AND S.I. JOINT

    Low back pain, or S.I. Joint instability are quite common for many people and the cause seems to be a mystery. What most people done realize is that pain is usually the result of weak, or under developed muscles resulting in over compensations of other muscles. In other words, the body develops patterns that are perhaps not the best when it comes to our well being. Why does it develop patterns? All of nature adapts to the environment. As beings of nature we do exactly the same thing – the body adapts to what we give it. If we give it a shape and hold that shape for the majority of the day then it will develop patterns of elongated muscles and shortened muscles. Some of the muscles that tend to cause problems for the low back that are often over looked are the ABDUCTORS of the Hips. 3 of themuscles that make up the abductos are the Gluteus medius, Gluteus Minimus and T.F.L. You can see in the photo to the right (or below if you’re on mobile) that the gluteus medius attaches to each side of the pelvis and to the top of the thigh bone. 

    LOW BACK PAIN

    The two sides of the pelvis are actually independently mobile structures due to the sacrum that lies in the middle which has a joint on either side that is called the S.I. Joint. This joint allows the pelvis on each side to move. This is a blessing but could also be a curse if the abductor muscles are out of balance. If one side is tight and the other flexible this could cause the pelvis to tilt, potentially resulting in low back discomfort, or scoliosis. This was the case for me.

    Growing up I played Hockey which strengthens the abductors. Unfortunately I favored my right leg significantly which caused an over development and shortening of the musculature on the right side resulting in scoliosis and back pain throughout high school and college until about a year into yoga when I finally learned how to unlock my hips!

    S.I JOINT

    Now for other people, the low back isn’t affected but the S.I. Joint is. This seems to be most common amongst women, especially those that have had children – the ligaments tend to me more lax and so the sacrum can move inside the two sides of the pelvis resulting in pain on the beck of the pelvis or radiating through the lower back near the pelvis and sacrum.

    THE SOLUTION

    There are many muscles that surround the pelvis that can pull on either side of the ilium or sacrum which could create pain, so where do we begin? Often times it can be overwhelming and ineffective to target all the hips and back muscles every yoga practice and so it is useful to focus on one area per practice. In the video below I share with you ways of working on the Abductor group for strength and range of motion. You may find that one side is not as strong as the other – if this is the case I recommend strengthening the weaker side which will help bring the abductors into balance. 

    I do have a workshop called Hips: Rock and Unlock Em that I created as a way to target as many of these muscles within one practice. You could start there to get a feel for what areas of your hips are underdeveloped or out of balance.

    In addition I highly recommend the JULY IMMERSION which focuses on the Chakras. The first 5 practices of that immersion will awaken your strength, flexibility and awareness of the muscles that surround the hips. 

    OPEN YOUR HIPS AND HEART

    The July Immersion takes you on a 12 Class Journey through the Chakras and the elements, to develop your strength, flexibility and awareness of each energy center and the corresponding muscles. There is a heavy focus on the Hips in the Earth, & Water classes, and the Back in the Water and Air classes, balanced by Core strengthening in the Fire section.

    THE STEP BY STEP APPROACH

    “Dream big, start small, then connect the dots.” This quote from Dan Millman’s Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior has been the foundation of my yoga practice from the moment I stepped on the yoga mat. It was that book that led my to yoga in the first place, and that line that became a mantra in my head from that moment on. How does it apply to the asana practice? Most people come into the yoga practice and feel something magnificent and of course they want to come back. At some point, regardless of how egoless we believe ourselves to be, we become attracted to the external postures of the yoga practice. It’s typically innocent of course, we associate a feeling with certain postures, on a subtle level we believe that we attain them we will feel strong, powerful, fearless, light, free, at peace, worthy of love, kindness etc. On an intellectual level we usually know that this is not reality but we get pulled into it anyway. The beautiful thing is that we are being pulled into practice and the practice reveals what we need to learn. So I wouldn’t ridicule this process, but rather as you walk the path remind yourself that everything you wish to feel already exists within you and rather than expecting yoga to do the practice for you, step into. the feeling you crave and let that amplify your practice. This is what it means to practice with intention.  

    All that being said while we are living in this body we want to take care of it and allow it to reach its highest potential which includes movement practices, stability practices, dietary, hygiene, mental health, creative expression, and so on. When I say highest potential, I don’t mean an end result or destination but rather a trajectory that gets us to walk the path. The purposes of this blog is to support your physical well-being in regards to your body. Asana is the practice that cultivates our body awareness, but most of us focus on the postures instead of our body and as a result we are left with thousands of shapes and alignment cues. A short cut to body awareness is to put your body first, and the pose second! What does that mean? There are only a few major joints to learn in the body, and each has a few movements available to it. There are muscles that surround each joint that create this movement. If you use your asana practice to become aware, proficient or even masterful in each movement then you will no long be perplexed when you see a new pose, you will know exactly what is need to put your body in that shape. You will grow to understand your limitations and your abilities becoming your own best teacher.  

    THE CHROMATIC SYSTEM 

    I created Chromatic Yoga based on this concept of small steps toward our potential. Each month we have a focus in our classes, a Physical Through-Line (PTL), and a Thematic Through-Line (TTL).  The PTL is the one muscle group or joint action that we pull through an entire class, or workshop, while the TTL is the similar but for building awareness of the mind and subtle energies of life. Because I encourage Chromatic Teachers to be authentic with how they teach, each will have their own way of creatively sharing the PTL and TTL. This month PTL – Abductors of the hip, is the focus of the video below. These are just a few ways to strengthen and become aware of the muscles. 

    To find a Chromatic Yoga Teacher near you be sure to visit us at www.ChromaticYoga.com 

    3 Steps to Master the Abductors

    1. Awareness: learn the sensation of activating the abductors
    2. Strengthen: the muscle group through various postures in your yoga practice.
    3. Practice: activate the abductors over the course of time, through as many yoga postures as possible until you can easily activate them on command in any posture!.

    Step 1. Awareness

    The first step to building awareness of any muscle is to intellectually understand where it exists in the body. The abductor group is generally located in the outer hip/pelvic region. In addition to the intellectual understanding you must learn what it feels like to activate this muscle. For this its typically easiest to “create a boundry” and press into it. So here I have placed a hand outside the knee and I press into the hand which creates the action of abduction and engages the abductors. 

    Step 2: strengthen

    Next you will want to develop strength in accessible postures. Typically choosing static postures for “isometric” engagement is a safe and stable way to strength. Isometric means activate the muscle without movement of the joints. For this video I chose Chair pose to share with you. With feet about hip width apart, push your yoga mat apart with your heals while keeping your knees pointing straight forward. Note: if your pelvis is tucked under you may not be able to access the abductors, stick your buttocks upward.

    Step 3: Practice

    Lastly you will need to learn how to activate this muscle group through range of motion. This means not only choosing a wide range of static yoga postures to activate the abductors in, you will also want to do the movements that it creates. For this I chose fire hydrant pose, both abducting the upper hip by lifting the leg up high, and the lower hip by squeezing the pelvis inward. Because the foot is on the ground, moving and rotating the pelvis away from the foot is abduction. You will feel it in your outer hip muscles.

    Mastery Leads to Discernment

    Why become masterful at anything? Mastery is not an end goal, it is simply a state of heightened awareness and capability. To become masterful in your physical body is not a chore but rather a privilege. Getting to know this vehicle that we have for only a short period time is a form of respect and love. There is no end to mastery, just like there is no end to potential, its simply a trajectory, or path that we walk out of respect to the greater energy that pulses through us. Mastery simply means that we can asses what is appropriate for the well being of our body at any given time, and we have the tools to do whats necessary to feel better. While we will always have blind spots, we can minimize the vast amount of guesswork by taking the step by step approach to understanding our body – one muscle group or joint action at a time.

    To apply this approach to the body,  I recommend practicing The July Immersion – 12 Yoga Classes, 4 Guided Meditations – and Hips: Rock and Unlock ‘Em!  online workshop is a journey through what I call the 4 quadrants of the hips, supporting you on the path toward mastery of the inner thighs, outer hips, posterior chain, and hip flexors. 

    Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em

    Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access, and can enjoy the benefits today!

    LIVESTREAM PACKAGES

    boundless freedom

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • SHOULDER BIOMECHANICS
    • TANTRIK YOGA TEACHINGS
    • 4 POST CLASS MEDITATIONS
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • SALE Price:$98 

    BIRDS OF PARADISE

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
    • SALE Price:$98

    BEST STARTER PACKAGE

    • 6 YOGA CLASSES
    • 2 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 6 PEAK POSTURES
    • 6 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
    • SALE Price:$78

    JOURNEY TO BLISS

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
    • SALE Price:$98

    KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
    • SALE Price:$98

    JOURNEY TO THE HEART

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
    • SALE Price:$128

    BACK, NECK & SHOULDERS

    • 12 YOGA CLASSES
    • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
    • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
    • 12 PEAK POSTURES
    • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
    • SALE Price:$128

    Continue Learning

    5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

    5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

    5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....

    read more
    Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

    Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

    NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....

    read more
    WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

    WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

    Flip Dog Dilemma – 3 Shoulder Actions for Wild Thing. Is the popular yoga pose “FLIP DOG” worth it? If you practice or have been to a modern vinyasa or power yoga class than you know that flip dog is a popular posture that is called out somewhere toward…

    read more
    Samadhi

    Samadhi

    SAMADHI Dissolving into the state of oneness.SamadhiSamadhiSamadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself - that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is...

    read more
    Flying Pigeon

    Flying Pigeon

    FLYING PIGEON Key Actions to Balance in Flying Pigeon PoseFlying pigeonFlying Pigeon: BalanceFlying Pigeon is an exceptionally challenging pose for several reasons, strength, balance, flexibility for starters. Learning to balance on the hands requires tremendous...

    read more
    Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

    Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

    Triangle Pose Triangle pose is an iconic posture in yoga that has tremendous benefits for increasing hip range of motion by creating more flexibility of the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh muscles). There are several potential strength benefits that triangle...

    read more

    More Recommendations

    Handstand Training

    Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This collection of the top 12 most effective exercises will make you rethink how you approach handstand and what is possible.

    View Details

    Hips Workshop

    In this workshop you will practice specific techniques to open your hips, finding greater rang of motion and freedom. Each action in the body is carefully layered and clearly articulated to provide you with success.

    View Details

    Dance With The Flames

    Change is Inevitable but transformation is a choice. Step into the fire and dance amongst the flames in this live workshop! You will get the full energy of being in the class room, strengthen your hips, and free your heart.

    View Details

    Newsletter

    When You Subscribe You Will Instantly Get 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.

    Still Have Questions? Email Matt Directly

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Chaturanga Alignment Part 2

    Chaturanga Alignment Part 2

    3 Steps to Apply Shoulder Actions

    Integrating Shoulder Actions

    Integrating the 3 Necessary Shoulder Actions into your practice can be complicated, so to help you I have come up with 3 Steps to Master your Chaturanga. If you haven’t yet watched Chaturanga Alignment: 3 Necessary Shoulder Actions  then it is best to start there and come back to this afterwards. The 3 step process will help you develop “Muscle Intelligence” or the awareness of how to create specific actions in your body to find less complicated positions which require less strength and give you the space to explore new sensations. If done consecutively these steps will build the strength over time that will make chaturanga feel light and free.

    Most of us sitting at our computers are not able to get up and start practicing, but if you do have the liberty of doing so, practice along with this video. If not then simply watch and come back to it at another time so you can practice along – this is meant to help you apply the actions not just understand them.

    Be patient with yourself as you work through each of the exercises – techniques take time to embody.

    The Intention 

    Perhaps the most confusing thing in the yoga community is the myriad of opinions about how to do each pose. Part of the reason for this is the differences each of us have from body type, to personality, to experience. Additionally, however,  each of us offering a path has a different intention behind our set of alignment cues or muscle actions. It is for this reason that I want to be clear that this is only one approach, and I am happy to provide for you the benefits and the challenges that come with this way. This approach to Chaturanga comes with the intention to build strength in multiple forearm muscles, the seratus anterior, triceps, external rotators of the the humerus, and the pectorals major. With all of these muscles working together to build strength you will inevitably feel more stable and light in your chaturanga and jump back to chaturanga, and also you will be well prepared for arm balances. If you have no intention of building strength in your upper body or practicing arm balances, there might be better ways of practicing Chaturanga. If you have a movement pattern that does not allow you to do protraction without upward tilt of the scapula then you might be better suited to a softer approach for a while. If you are experiencing chronic strain or compression in your wrist joints you may find leaning back in your chaturanga may be either better or worse for you. I mention this not to deter you from fully understanding and integrating this approach to chaturanga, but to help you to understand that there is never and will never be one correct approach to anything. What is good for you now may not be good for you later, and what was good for you yesterday may not be good for you today. This may be hard to grasp but if you try to keep an open mind and let yourself explore various approaches with the utmost attention to detail, you may find a greater sense of mastery in your body than you could ever find by doing one posture “the right way”. If you are ready to build strength, and/or set your self up for arm balances and jump backs then let’s get started together!

    From Chaturanga to ARm Balances

    Because the majority of the arm balances do not require the elbow joint to be bent at 90 degrees I recommend practicing Chaturanga in the same way. Rather than bending the elbows so the shoulders are at the same height as the elbows, keep the elbows  straighter with only a small bend .

     

    3 Step Integration

    When learning to integrate new muscle engagements or structural alignments into your practice, it is beneficial to simulate the shape with less stress on the muscles and joints. This usually entails changing your relationship to gravity. In the video, and in the 3 steps below I show you how to do this by doing chaturanga at the wall first, and then on your knees before trying the full posture. Doing these steps often provides a greater proficiency than simply trying it all out right away. This is because your body will always fall into its normal patterns when it’s asked to hold all your weight. We have to shake things up a bit to learn something new. 

    Step 1 - Chaturanga at The Wall

    Regardless of your level, doing chaturanga at the wall and applying the three shoulder actions is huge in helping build masterful proprioception. This is the most important step in my eyes, especially since you’ll have plenty of time in class to practice step 2 and 3. Taking all the weight off of your body and just applying the actions until it is fully integrated and completely clear in both mind and body will be the best thing you can do. Mastery is not about halfway getting something, but rather nailing it down so that it will never be forgotten regardless of how long you leave the subject of study. Rock this exercise several times for several days/weeks and you will be well set up for building strength rapidly. Strength builds rapidly when our actions are precise in our body.

    Step 2: Chaturanga on Knees

    To be honest, when I take a vinyasa class I do the first 5-10 chaturangas on my knees to get my body and mind linked together prior to floating back. Chaturanga on the knees is a great way to practice the actions with slightly less body weight. This is where you will begin building muscles appropriately, so be as precise and mindful as possible so you are strengthening the muscles required for the 3 shoulder actions. My best advice is start with your shoulders a little bit past the wrists to simulate the leaning forward when coming from plank. With your knees on the ground you can’t actually shift forward so you’ll have to begin by placing your knees closer to your wrists than you normally would. Second, make sure you create one long line from shoulders to knees, without breaking at the hips.

    Step 3: Plank To Chaturanga

    When attempting full chaturanga with a block, it becomes easier to compensate and “fake it” and either over engage in muscles that are not efficient for the actions, or simply getting caught up in compression – placing your bones in the way of the movement in order to slow the movement down – SEE  FIRST VIDEO when I talk about “Upward Tilt” of the scapula.

    Mastering these shoulder actions will not only make your practice of chaturanga easier and more enjoyable, but will open up a whole new world of power and strength in your arm balances.

    If you find yourself struggling to integrate the actions in this version I highly recommend focusing on the first two options for about 3-5 months and then coming back to this. 

    Complexity

    The shoulders are incredibly complex and as a result it takes quite a lot of self practice and study to gain any sort of mastery.  I break things down into small steps so that you are able to integrate the actions in your body more easily, however these steps are just the beginning. Let these actions settle into your body over time; rather than forcing them into every chaturanga, pick one acrtion to focus on in your classes and first observe what you are doing before you make changes. little by little try to apply the action and notice what it feels like each time. This is a highly effective approach that build patterns in the body and awareness in the mind. If you are interested in more shoulder strengtheners and stretches check out the Handstand Training, it comes with several videos that directly target the shoulders. Thank you for stopping by, please share your comments, questions, or requests for other blog topics!

    Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em

    Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access, and can enjoy the benefits today!

    Continue Learning

    5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

    5 Step Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

    5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....

    read more
    Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

    Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief 3 Step Release

    NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....

    read more
    WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

    WILD THING YOGA POSE 3 SHOULDER ACTIONS

    Flip Dog Dilemma – 3 Shoulder Actions for Wild Thing. Is the popular yoga pose “FLIP DOG” worth it? If you practice or have been to a modern vinyasa or power yoga class than you know that flip dog is a popular posture that is called out somewhere toward…

    read more
    Samadhi

    Samadhi

    SAMADHI Dissolving into the state of oneness.SamadhiSamadhiSamadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself - that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is...

    read more
    Flying Pigeon

    Flying Pigeon

    FLYING PIGEON Key Actions to Balance in Flying Pigeon PoseFlying pigeonFlying Pigeon: BalanceFlying Pigeon is an exceptionally challenging pose for several reasons, strength, balance, flexibility for starters. Learning to balance on the hands requires tremendous...

    read more
    Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

    Triangle Pose: Trick to Avoid Hip Impingement

    Triangle Pose Triangle pose is an iconic posture in yoga that has tremendous benefits for increasing hip range of motion by creating more flexibility of the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh muscles). There are several potential strength benefits that triangle...

    read more

    More Recommendations

    Handstand Training

    Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This collection of the top 12 most effective exercises will make you rethink how you approach handstand and what is possible.

    View Details

    Hips Workshop

    In this workshop you will practice specific techniques to open your hips, finding greater rang of motion and freedom. Each action in the body is carefully layered and clearly articulated to provide you with success.

    View Details

    Dance With The Flames

    Change is Inevitable but transformation is a choice. Step into the fire and dance amongst the flames in this live workshop! You will get the full energy of being in the class room, strengthen your hips, and free your heart.

    View Details

    Newsletter

    When You Subscribe You Will Instantly Get 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.

    Pin It on Pinterest