Many of us have a large stability ball at home and have no clue what to do with it. Enjoy just 10 minutes with me and your stability and I know you and your stability ball will develop a whole new relationship together. 10 minutes of core, this video will leave you quivering, feeling like you've done your body good in 10 minutes flat!
With Hope Zvara
Heel Squat is a great wake up morning move, or a pre-run, yoga, TRX or get your day going release. This simple exercise focuses on the plantar tendon, Achilles tendon, calves and hamstrings; basically the entire back of the legs (great for calf cramps, plantar fasciitis, tight lower back) .
1. Squat down as far as you comfortably can (if necessary place your hands on a chair at a distance in front of you).
2. Allow your body weight to sit back towards your heels, but do not sit your heels to the ground, think of them hanging off a curb.
3. Slight contraction in pelvic floor and abdomen and finally reach your arms as far forward and down in front as you can. Remember that your arms are an extension of your back body, so get a stretching!
4. Relax your glutes and let your sit bones sink down into your stretching pants.
5. Hold here for five breaths.
6. Now work in repetition, Inhale lengthen the legs, and exhale back into heel squat. Speed is not the goal but rather release. If you have tighter hamstrings please do not fully straighten the legs, give your body time to release, your lower back will thank you.
7. Repeat this series 10-15 times.
8. Now go out and get moving.!
Side Body Series with Hope Zvara
1. From a kneeling position extend your right leg out to the side and turn your toes forward, anchoring into the outer side of the foot, keep the ankle in neutral and the thigh engaged.
2. With arms at “T” Inhale reach to the right and Exhale slide down the extended leg. Keeping the pelvic-core strong and engaged feel the side body open and extend.
3. Look upwards or down and find a position for the neck in rotation. Continue to breathe and work to reach from the bent knee to the extended arm.
4. Be playful yet mindful of moving the torso open or slightly closed and find where the pose best serves you.
5. Other arm variations: Tuck top arm behind the torso and work to rotate open, rotate the arm inward towards the ear and extend the arm alongside the head and ear. As you rotate the torso open rotate your arm towards the ear.
6. On your next exhale rotate the torso down towards the extended leg. Inhale work to lengthen and exhale work to release deeper. Keep your core strong and allow your hips to press back and you reach towards the leg.
7. Either hold on to the foot with the hand or extend your left arm or both arms beyond the foot to continue the length in the spine and back muscles. If needed prop up on blocks if your hands will not meet the floor. Remain her for ten breaths.
8. Inhale open back up and extend your left arm towards the sky.
9. Pause for two breaths.
10. On your next Inhale draw your body upright with the arms at a “T” position.
11. Exhale and top to the left, placing your left hand under your left shoulder, fingers point away and the fold of the elbow rotates in line with the middle finger.
12. Keep foot (on floor), bottom knee and hand in line with each other and rotate the extended leg to be parallel with the floor, inner foot parallel with the floor (no external rotation).
13. Inhale and lift the right leg up towards hip height. Keep the chest open and the body stacked. Check the lifted leg to make sure you are in line with the hip and the inner thigh is facing the floor.
14. Exhale and lower the leg towards the floor working on contracting the pelvic floor, Inhale and lift the leg back to hip height slowly and controlled, being aware not to let the body shift and move.
15. If you are feeling hip or glute pain, check the rotation of the leg/hip, hip flexor pain work to internally rotate the leg more, glute pain work to open the hip up more.
16. Continue with the lift and lower for 10 times.
17. After the 10th time keep lifted and with a strong torso and obliques pulse the top leg for a small 3” lift ten additional times.
18. Exhale lower the leg to the floor.
19. Inhale, take a moment and Exhale using your core, float back to an upright position.
20. Inhale, and balancing, bring the extended leg back to kneeling.
21. Repeat the opposite side.
22. Repeat the weaker or tighter side implementing 2:1 ratio.
Join Hope for a quick ten minute yoga workout to bring more vital energy to the spine and open the hips. Enjoy!
Got 10 minutes? When you exercise effectively the length of time becomes irrelevant. Join Hope for a quick ten minute workout in this great squat series using a weighted ball (don't have a weighted ball use a hand weight or even a soup can). Just ten minutes of breathing and body toning will leave you energized and feeling great about what you accomplished. Make a commitment to this series for a week and see the difference! Choose any one of my other videos to finish up with a great cool-down or yoga sequence. Namaste
Join Hope for a great class focusing on body opening, effective back bends with great instruction will leave you feeling open, refreshed and ready to let go of yesterday and jump into today.
Yoga, Fitness, Stretch, Workout, Back Bends
The joys of having a baby is more than anyone can ever describe, and as a mom of two, myself, I have found that unless you consciously choose to incorporate your little yogi into your practice, we often then choose not to practice at all. And for others the choice is to practice (exercise) without that little ball of joy nearby or incorporated into that very important part of your life. Yoga is a huge part of my life and my family’s life, my son Harper (now four), and my daughter Meredith (now 2) were from day one my little yogi buddies and walking buddies, they did (and still do) everything I do. Because to me, my mindset was my kids were going to be a part of my life, a part of my practice and a part of my studio, I wanted them to know no different, just like some want their kids to learn a certain prayer or family tradition, I wanted my kids to learn to live a holistic-yogic lifestyle from early on.
Like many exercise to me is important, but a mindful practice where it is a part of your lifestyle is even more important. Here are some examples: We all go for a walk (my two dogs and two kids) and we talk about why fresh air is important and how Mother Earth loves that we enjoy her and that we don’t litter(we usually are on a quest to pick it all up) and why that isn’t a good choice. I have taught my kids how to breathe and how they can use their breath to help them in stressful situations. I have a yoga room and my children adore spending time there, we take turns using my reformer, weights, and yoga mat, we teach each other poses, bounce on the bosu and I explain how bouncing is healthy for the lymphatic system and stretching is good for your muscles and mind, and building strength will help you get big and strong like your Momma and Papa.
For some in today’s society the parents may be healthy but they keep that to themselves, for many, eating salad and lean chicken at dinner, but then feeding the rest of the family greasy foods. Or going out for a hike or tending the garden but leaving the kids inside watching T.V. At my house if I want to practice yoga (while my kids are awake) or go for a walk it’s either with them or nothing. And more important than me staying physically fit, is for them to see me take care of myself in all I do and incorporate them into it; so as they get older it’s no different than brushing their teeth, reading books and taking a bath. To them I want it is simply how things have always been, and these skills are skills that can and should be taught by the parents. Now sure they crawl all over me in plank and slide down my back in Downward Dog, and that at times gets to be a little much, but that won’t be forever and yoga to me is more than exercise it’s tapping into the inner self and connecting, isn’t it for you?
To continue to read this article by Hope Zvara visit MindBodyGreen.com
Core work made simple on your yoga mat! Join Hope for a great 20 minute practice that will get you fired up for the day, most people use hip hurting moves that leave your hip flexors screaming and in pain. Core work really can be simple and effective. Follow up your heart pumping 'all body" core class with essential hip release asanas that anyone can follow for a great start or end to your day.
Great supplement to any athlete or workout.
Hip Release, Yoga, Core, Hip Stretches, Core Asana
Core strength isn’t just about looking thin; your core is your identity center and connects all your movements. For these reasons and more, having core strength will improve your mind, body, and soul.
1. Learn deep abdominal breathing (DAB). Most people in today’s society are chest breathers, and this kind of breathing leads to a slew of side effects like anxiety, asthma, sleep disturbances, stress, poor digestion, and constipation just to name a few. Distance yourself from chest breathing by practicing deep abdominal breathing before you get out of bed in the morning and when you lay down to go to sleep. DAB is a great technique to help bring more awareness to your core, the center of your being. Here’s how to practice it:
Sit ups are a sure fire way to damage your back, neck and hip flexors. Remember the Physical Fitness tests in school, who can throw themselves up and down on a wrestling mat the most in 60 seconds is in shape. WHAT? Who in the world is coming up with these tests? No wonder as adults we are throwing ourselves all over the room thinking and feeling like we are getting our bodies in shape. If you never do another single sit-up in your life you will be better off.
So what if you could engage in a exercise that would turn on more core power in less time and guess what, less effort? When I teach classes of any sort and especially core based classes most new-Be's feel the urgency to go fast and go really what they would call deep in the hopes of getting a better workout. And I am pretty sure I have pissed a few students off from time to time because I hold them back. And it's not the kind of holding back you are probably thinking, but rather the kind of holding back that will actually require more core power and more control.
As a teacher I see this often, other teachers and students trying to replicate moves they have seen in a magazine or others do in a class or at home. The only problem is they don't really know what they are doing, what they should be using and how to activate deep core muscle.
So today all you need is a small ball, or what some call a mini ball and take your time, go slow and focus more on stability than mobility. Think baby steps. A child will never learn to walk before he or she learns to stand and so on.