Written on October 23, 2012 at 9:00 am , by Colleen Travers
Challenge a runner to a toe touching contest and you’ll probably bend yourself into a pretzel before they make it past their shins. That’s because running can tighten muscles like your hamstring, IT band and calves if not properly stretched and cross-trained. But lucky for you (and us!) we got the top five yoga poses Andrea Orbeck, fitness consultant and Heidi Klum’s secret weapon uses to train the supermodel to celebrate the launch of HealthyChic.com, a new site for yoga and fitness lovers to find curated gear from pros like Orbeck, yoga instructor Anita Goa, track and field coach Scott Cohen and others. Below, Orbeck explains why all runners should start incorporating these poses into their cross-training routines.
“When training Heidi or any runner, I focus on poses that open up the muscles that tend to make us tight from repetitive habits, like sitting all day or exercise-induced tension,” she says. “By working on poses that open the hips, lengthen the psoas (the only muscle that runs from front to back and top to bottom and is usually the culprit for back pain), stretch the hamstring and open and lengthen the lumbar. When these muscles are properly opened and lengthened, we dodge back pain and can continue to run and do our favorite exercises.”
5 Yoga Poses Runners Must Do:
- Child’s Pose: When our tailbone is seated on our heels and our arms are outstretched, it opens up the lumbar spine and gently opens our quads, too.
- Happy Baby Pose: This makes for a happy runner! It opens up the lumbar spine and hamstrings and when legs are open to the sides, stretches inner thigh muscles.
- Pigeon Pose: My personal favorite! This can bring immediate relief to tight glutes, groin, back psoas, and even the shoulders and pecs. Everyone from a runner and a model, to a mogul and mom will know the stress from these muscles.
- Warrior Pose: This movement provides some hip flexor stretch, but also activates the quads and core. Holding it before transitioning out bears weight on the quads statically and is great for balancing and conditioning.
- Goddess Pose: For runners especially, this is a great way to open up the inner thigh muscles and chest while letting gravity give you some much deserved “me” time.
Written on September 25, 2012 at 10:24 am , by Colleen Travers
September’s Top DVD: Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey
Best for: Someone who wants to go past downward dogs and learn how to best channel your inner calmness through yoga.
Why it’s a star: Normally we give you the top DVD’s to sweat to, but to celebrate National Yoga Month; this flick is our top pick for discovering your true self through yoga. After losing her mother to a battle with cancer, journalist Suzanne Bryant went on a journey to the West to interview prominent yoga teachers and learn about the different practices to help herself and others to find peace with their mind and lives. “Your mind is like a muscle,” Bryant says. “I had been practicing yoga since 1991 and became a teacher in 2000, but it wasn’t until I started a daily practice that I felt that mental shift of being able to control my mind. Now whenever I feel anxious I’m able to close my eyes and instantly calm down. It is a powerful thing.”
Sprinkled in with interviews of yogis from all over the world are a few celebrity appearances. Christy Turlington-Burns, who wrote Living Yoga: Create a Life Practice as well as Russell Simmons share how yoga has changed their lives. “Christy Turlington-Burns is someone who is able to be in both worlds and can channel peace in everyday life, which is incredibly important,” says Bryant. “Not many people knew Russell Simmons practiced yoga, so I thought he would be able to motivate people that are his audience to find a way to use this path to be a better person and contribute to the world. He told me that he used to think his anxiety drove him, but after practicing yoga and quieting his mind he realizes how much more productive he can be.” For anyone going through a tough time or just wanting to learn how to chill out after a stressful day, this film is a front row seat to the best yoga teachers in the world telling you how.
Where to get it: amazon.com, $14.99
Written on September 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm , by Colleen Travers
Already feeling a little frazzled and it’s only Monday? Get centered plus save some cash by celebrating National Yoga Month with Exhale Mind Body Spa on Thursday, September 20. The spa is launching its second annual NamasDAY, with complimentary yoga classes throughout the day and an evening yoga party with DJs, giveaways and goody bags at night. And yes, a healthy cocktail or two!
To find a location near you and book your complimentary class, visit exhalespa.com/namasday. You’re already feeling a little less stressed, aren’t you?
Written on September 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm , by Colleen Travers
We were amazed last year when we saw this video of West Hollywood Equinox instructor Briohny Smith doing some morning yoga in her viral video, “The Contortionist.” And we weren’t the only ones. Since then Briohny’s video has gotten almost 4 million views, leading her to create another one with her hubby, Dice Iida-Klein doing acro yoga for the Q by Equinox blog. Both yogis say this type of yoga takes a lot of balance, trust and communication (which also sounds like the formula to a happy marriage!). By the looks of it, they’ve got the yoga and Mr. and Mrs. thing down pat. Enjoy!
Written on September 4, 2012 at 9:20 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Dionne Evans, editorial intern
By now, we know there’s an array of ways you can lend a helping hand to your favorite charity: completing a race and fundraising, volunteering, or donating no-longer-used products are just a few. But what about moving into downward dog or conquering the handstand? Yep, that’s an option now, too.
The Yoga Aid Foundation, an international nonprofit organization, is known for holding yoga events in the name of raising funds for various charities. Started by Clive Mayhew and wife Eriko Kinoshita, the foundation hosts traveling events through “The Challenge” series.
The Challenge is an event led by a set of 12 instructors who, for two hours, practice yoga to raise money for selected charity partners. But that’s not all: On September 9, The Foundation is dreaming big.
Hosting the first Yoga Aid World Challenge, this 24-hour yoga relay incorporates prestigious yoga teachers, like Shiva Rea, who will raise money for 15 humanitarian-based charities. The goal for this event is to raise $1 million in donations – all of which will go to the chosen charities. Taking place in over 200 locations in 20 different countries, the worldwide relay will start at 8 a.m. in Sydney, Australia and end at 6 p.m. in Los Angeles. Sessions last two hours and are free of charge, though a donation is strongly encouraged.
For more details and to see a list of the chosen charities: visit their website.
Now you tell us: What’s your favorite way to give back?
Written on September 1, 2012 at 7:42 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern
No matter your occupation, lifestyle or fitness level, we could all use time to connect with ourselves. Trouble is, it’s not so easy to come by. Well, it will be a whole lot easier this September to find some quality me-time (and get a step closer to our strength and flexibility goals) with National Yoga Month and Athleta stores.
All month long, Athleta will be hosting FREE Saturday yoga classes in-store. And that’s not all! Starting on September 1, check your local Athleta store or Athleta.com/yogamonth for a schedule of other events, tips and giveaways, including the chance to win a private yoga session and shopping party at Athleta. Now that’s a pretty good reason to team up with the community for some sun salutations, don’t you think?
More from FITNESS:
- Yoga’s Surprising Health Benefits
- Blast 500+ Calories Doing Yoga
- Mind Over Manners: Yoga Class Etiquette
Written on July 30, 2012 at 10:23 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern
One of the best parts of yoga is moving to the hypnotic music that pulses through every stretch. But sometimes the more traditional yoga songs may not be as effective as modern rock beats when it comes to finding inner tranquility.
Wait, what did we just say? That’s right, rock music might help you chill out, if that’s the genre you typically prefer. Studies show that self-selected music often does the best job of calming someone down after a stressful period.
For those who want a slightly heavier beat during their next om session, we’ve whipped up a playlist featuring some of the best in the genre, bringing you one step closer to pure relaxation. Rock on!
Now you tell us: Would you want to hear rock songs during yoga?
Written on July 20, 2012 at 8:50 am , by Marianne Magno
Half of all U.S. adults will take at least one weekend getaway this year, according to a Harris poll commissioned by Ford. Are you one of them? We’re definitely down for a quick roadtrip, but after all the planning, packing and driving, 48 hours can seem like seconds. We talked to Julie Morgenstern, an organizational pro and author, to get tips to make your weekend escape as smooth-sailing and relaxing as possible.
Here’s what you need to do before taking your car for a ride:
1. Always be prepared: Keep these things in your vehicle in case of emergencies:
- Tools and a spare tire
- Phone/iPod charger
- Travel information (reservation documents, maps)
- Change/dollar bills for parking and tolls
- A small medical kit (band-aids, aspirin, Neosporin)
2. Snack smart: Bringing healthy snacks will help you save money and eat well on the go. A cooler or insulated bag will help keep fruit and vegetable slices fresh. Non-perishable foods like nuts and energy bars are also good for on-the-go eating.
3. Log on: Use programs like SYNC and MyFord Touch to input rest stop destinations — food, bathrooms, landmarks — into your navigation system. Ford’s innovative technology lets you find hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations, visitor centers, with more than 14 million businesses in the directory. “It’s best to plan to stop every one and a half hours to stretch and change scenery,” says Morgenstern.
Read on for simple yoga techniques you can do in your car to stay stress-free.
Written on May 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Rebekah, or Bex, is one fit lady who makes it clear that loving life is really the most important thing she could teach anyone. A mother of four beautiful children, she’s a fitness and yoga instructor in south Jersey who—get this—has her own chickens, goats and organic garden, despite living in an urban area. Neat! Read on to find out how she stays happy and healthy, then check out Bex Life for more inside scoop on all things fitness (with some farming, of course).
My favorite way to work out: My best workouts are always with my husband. He has never been a fitness person, and he just started training with me recently. Witnessing his transformation and progress from week to week is so motivating, and it compels me to work harder toward my own goals.
My fitness mantra: There’s no excuse not to workout. There are fitness opportunities everywhere! You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment. You just need you and a little imagination. I’ve gotten amazing workouts just lugging my laundry basket up and down the stairs or running around the playground with my kids.
My go-to fit snack: Bananas! I often joke that I have a four-a-day banana habit, but it’s completely true. I don’t think I could ever get tired of eating them—in smoothies, made into ice cream, with peanut butter, etc. I’ll take them however I can get them!
Written on May 7, 2012 at 10:04 am , by Marianne Magno
For someone who’s gotten used to the nonstop sounds of NYC, doing a yoga class in complete silence is, well, a foreign concept. Which is why I was glad to hear that SLT Yoga officially opened their doors in NYC this May. The offspring of Pilates-based SLT (Strengthen Lengthen and Tone) combines Vinyasa yoga with popular tunes to sustain and enhance your energy throughout the hour-long routine. I worked up a sweat while giving my muscles a much-needed stretch session and my mind a feel-good recharge.
SLT co-founder Erin Jacques, who led our class, shared her playlist so you can move to the music on your own mats.
- “Changes“, Tupac
- “Good Day,” Greg Street Presents Nappy Roots
- “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction
- “Payphone,” Maroon 5
- “Kush,” Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon
- “We Built This City,” Starship
- “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
- “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” Jay-Z
- “Never Forget You,” Lupe Fiasco, featuring John Legend
- “Your Love,” Nicki Minaj
- “Rocketeer,” Far East Movement
- “Slice,” Five for Fighting
- “Empty,” Ray LaMontagne
Tell us: Do you prefer yoga with complete silence or need a soundtrack to move with?