Looking for a way to connect with fellow yogis and yoginis?
Well, FitSugar has created Yoga Stretch and Tell - a group dedicated to sharing your yoga stories, questions, tips, and celebrations.
Need an answer to a burning yoga question? Want to share a tip that helped you open your back? Do you have a secret embarrassing yoga story to reveal? Or maybe you just held handstand without falling and need to tell the world.
Celebrate the start of Winter with a little yoga. This 10-minute flow will make you smile, laugh, and then smile some more! Mandy Ingber's yoga for happiness will help you open up the heart, appreciate who you are, and find gratitude in everyday life. With all the fun you're having, you won't even realize that you also just finished a total-body (and mind) workout. Press play to get a peek at why Mandy's celebrity clients, like Jennifer Aniston, keep coming back for more.
Circuit training is one of my favorite ways to get my sweat on. You torch calories by getting your heart rate up while building muscle with strength training — a win-win workout. My Equinox trainer, Lauren, likes 'em too. Recently she put me through the paces of the following circuit workout, and I just had to share the fun. Get ready to sweat!
There are three circuits of four exercises each. Do 15 reps of each exercise, and keep rolling through the four exercises for 10 minutes. Between each circuit, rest (stretch and hydrate) for one to two minutes. To warm up, run on a treadmill for five minutes. This workout uses 12 kg. kettlebells and a variety of dumbbell weights. As always, work with a weight that is appropriate for your strength level.
Grab your gliders and slide your way into those skinny jeans — literally! Using the Valslide or any of these alternatives, you can work your legs and core in a fun, effective way. The idea is rather simple: placing your hands or feet on two smooth pads, you can slide around in any direction — the key being control. It's a great tool if you prefer using your body weight rather than free weights or if you like to exercise from home. Here are three basic moves you can do anywhere using a pair of gliders. Ready, set, go!
Similar to running in place, this moves quickly helps you break a sweat while toning your legs. Here's how:
With the gliders under your feet, start in a basic, straight-arm plank position.
Then, as if you were actually running, draw one foot into you, followed by your other foot. Quickly continue running or "climbing" in place for one minute.
Complete three sets.
This exercise is similar to your average side lunge, but the challenge is heightened when done on a slippery surface. Engaging your core and practicing control will help to improve your balance, too! Here's how:
Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your right foot on the glider. Make a fist with one hand, and cup your other hand over it. Keep your hands in front of your chest throughout the exercise to help you stay balanced.
Put weight into your left leg, and as you slowly bend your left knee and squat down, slide your right foot out to the side. Then, as you slowly straighten your leg, slide the right foot back in. Most of your weight remains in the leg that's not moving.
Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side. To change up this exercise, you can also slide your foot diagonally behind you.
Combing a plank with a hip lift, this move will target your core without having to do a single crunch. Here's how:
Being a yoga purist might not be doing your body justice. A consistent yoga practice lengthens and strengthens muscles with time, but if you're ready to feel stronger in class now, a little cross-training goes a long way. Challenging your muscles outside of class will help you feel more comfortable and confident in new poses; maybe you'll even feel tough enough to try that Handstand Scorpion someday!
If you're a committed yogi, moving through these exercises might seem a little foreign at first. Trust that they'll only deepen your relationship with the asanas.
This fat-blasting workout video, created by Andrea Orbeck, will work your entire body in 10 minutes. Andrea has trained many Victoria's Secret models, and now she'll train you in the comfort of your living room — no props needed. So no excuses!
Press play, and follow along as Andrea leads you through this short but intense workout.
Whether you click into skis, hop on a bike, or lace up your sneaks, a strong yet flexible lower body will allow you to move with control and speed. This eight-posture lower body yoga sequence focuses on strengthening the core, quads, and glutes, while opening the hamstrings and hips, to make your body more powerful whatever your activity.
Got a tight back? Here's a fun way to open your spine and stretch your hamstrings too. I call this Backpack.
Music: "Lazy Days" by Enya
Stand back to back with your partner. Lock elbows and Partner #1 bends her knees and places her bum under Partner #2's bum.
Then Partner #1 slowly folds forward, lifting Partner #2 off the ground and onto her back. Stay like this until either partner is ready to come down. To release, Partner #1 slowly stands back up and then you can switch roles.
After you both have a turn, take a step apart and fold forward. Reach for each other's hands or legs and hang here for a few deep breaths, releasing your lower back and stretching through the backs of the legs. Stand up when you're ready.
Need to open up and stretch those tight hips and hamstrings? Not only is this a wonderful sequence to start out with before moving onto deeper poses like backbends, but it's also a great way to warm up before or after a run, hike, or bike ride.
Music: "Om Namo Narayana" by Deva Premal
By the way, I'm wearing the Simplicity Pants made by be present. I love the way they feel when I practice. They allow me to move freely and they wick moisture from my skin so I stay dry.
The jump through vinyasa is one of the toughest moves to master in Yoga, but it's an important move to learn since it brings an amazing sense of fluidity to your practice. If you've tried it a million times, and are constantly kicking your hands or crashing your booty into the ground, then you are probably frustrated.
Here's a trick to make your attempts successful and to strengthen your core muscles, which are vital for mastering the jump through. Check out the video.
Want a detailed explanation of how to do this? Then read more
It is no secret that I love working out with an exercise ball. Not only do I use a ball for core work, but one also makes a great yoga prop too. An exercise ball can support you in many stretches - like the wheel, aka backbend.
Since the backbends can sometime feel too intense, using an exercise ball as support can help you learn the pose. Plus it is just a great stretch for the front of the body!
Watch this video to see how to use the ball for your backbend.
Want some specifics on how to backbend with a ball? Then read more