A little extra help with Yoga

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First of all, are you doing yoga? No? Why not? Haven’t you been reading my blog? Don’t you know what yoga can do for you…athletically or otherwise? No? Well, read this previous blog “Yoga for Triathletes (or anybody for that matter)” and then start doing your yoga!!! It is good for you!!!

If you are already doing yoga and you are struggling with it, I want to encourage you to get yourself one or two yoga blocks. Yoga blocks are not expensive and can be purchased through Beachbody (www.xtricoaching.com then hit the “shop” button) or at a regular store like Wal-mart or Target. However, there are some alternatives that you may already have around your house if you are exercising. The first is a set of pushup stands (perfect pushup, Beachbody pushup stands, etc). The second alternative would be a set of larger dumbbells (25s or 30s would probably work well). These options are probably not as good as yoga blocks because they are harder to move around and could cause you to stub your toe on them whereas the yoga blocks are soft…but they will do in a pinch.

So what would you use these yoga blocks or alternatives for and how can they help you with your yoga? Well, one of the most obvious ways (which is shown frequently by Daniel Haas in Yoga X) is to use the yoga block when you can’t touch the ground in a particular pose because you aren’t flexible enough (yet). Examples would be in half moon, reverse half moon, triangle pose, standing splits, etc. This really does help you learn to do these poses. Don’t think of it as “cheating”…it is just temporary…as you get more flexible you can work your way down to touching the floor and not using the yoga block.

One particular place that yoga blocks or the alternatives can help you that is not demonstrated in Yoga X or anywhere that I have seen is to use the yoga blocks when you swing through from downward dog to runner’s pose. If you place your hands on the yoga blocks, it brings your chest off the ground a little and gives you more room to swing your leg through. Then you can slowly work your way down to being able to swing your leg through with your palms on the ground. This method was brought to my attention by my Dad (it is still weird to me that my Dad does yoga…but pretty cool). He discovered this by using his 30lb dumbbells to help him swing through. Tony Horton tells you to grab your leg and pull it the rest of the way through if you need to but I think this is a more encouraging way of working toward being able to swing through. Try it…it may just help you take your fitness to a new level.

I hope this information helps you in your fitness journey. Namaste.

Ryan Chapman
B.A.S.E. Training

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