YOGA FOR PERSONAL TRAINERS PLANK This basic pose, which looks like the top of a push-up, provides weightbearing work for the hands and arms, says Weiler, who is also (STRENGTH & CORE) the executive director of Academy of Holistic Fitness in Nashville, Tenn. Begin on hands and knees, wrists under shoulders. Gaze Click to add text between the hands, lengthen the spine, and press down through the arms. Draw the abdominals in toward the spine and avoid collapsing the chest. Tuck the toes, step back and lengthen the body so the spine is in neutral and the body and neck are aligned. To modify, lower to the knees and/or forearms.
YOGA FOR PERSONAL TRAINERSUPSIDE DOWN PIGEON This beginner-level pose stretches the outer hip and iliotibial band of the bent leg, says Rountree, who (FLEXIBILITY) lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Lie face up on the floor and bring the knees over the belly. Cross the left ankle over the Click to add text right knee and reach through to grasp the right hamstring with both hands. Flex the left foot, keeping the tailbone on the mat at all times. To deepen the stretch, pull the right knee in toward the body. Repeat on the other side.
YOGA FOR PERSONAL TRAINERSCOBRA Keeping the front of the hips on the floor can feel great for the hip flexors—key muscles of the core—for clients who have been (FLEXIBILITY & CORE) sitting all day, says Rountree. This is also a great pose for undoing hunched (kyphotic) posture, she adds. Lie belly-down with the top of the feet touching the floor and the thighs Click to add text engaged. Place the hands adjacent to the top of the ribcage and roll the shoulder blades down the back. Slowly peel the chest off the mat, keeping bent elbows tucked into the ribcage, and hold for up to 30 seconds before slowly working in reverse until the forehead touches the mat. Repeat this several times, coming up higher each time while keeping the hip bones glued to the floor.
YOGA FOR PERSONAL TRAINERSTREE (STRENGTH & STABILITY) Tree teaches proper pelvic balance in an asymmetrical stance and hones mental focus, says Weiler. “Tree introduces the notion that there is a distinctive text Click to add mental component involved in attaining and maintaining balance, equanimity and ease,” she adds. Stand tall with the big toes and ankles almost touching. Bring the hands to the heart-center (palms touching in front of the sternum) and shift weight to balance on one leg. Bring the opposite foot to rest on the ankle, calf or thigh, avoiding the knee. The hips should stay level. Keep the hands at the heart-center or, for more challenge, reach the arms overhead.
YOGA FOR PERSONAL TRAINERSCHILD’S POSE This posture provides a gentle stretch for the back as well as hip and knee flexion, and ankle extension, says (RELAXATION & FLEXIBILITY) Weiler. It’s a great end-of-workout relaxation pose. In a kneeling position, sink the hips back toward the Click to add text heels, lowering the torso toward the thighs. Reach the arms out in front for Extended Child’s Pose (forehead placed on the floor) or, to modify, bend the elbows and lower the forehead onto the forearms. Rest and relax.
YOGA FOR PERSONAL TRAINERSYOGAFIT’S THREE-PART BREATH (BREATHWORK & MENTAL PEACE) Breath work (or pranayama) is an important part of a traditional yoga practice. “Many of us spend much of the day disconnected from Click to add text our bodies and our breath; reconnecting is one of the prime benefits of yoga,” says Rountree. Plus, it’s portable: “Your client can use this technique anytime,” adds Shaw. With your client comfortably lying or sitting in a calm area, try this YogaFit- recommended sequence: On an inhalation, bring the breath deep into the lungs, filling them from the bottom first. Fill the lower portion (belly expands), middle area (ribs expand), and finally the uppermost (chest area) portion of the lungs. Exhale and let everything go, emptying the lungs.