YOGA For Beginners
Exercises curated just for YOU by our very own Yoga Masters
Interview with yoga expert Caitlin Turner
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This issue includes workouts for abs and de-stressing
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p4 - Pose of the Week: Sage
p6 - Poses for tummy tightening
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Pose of the Week: Sage Poses for tummy tightening A Q&A with Yoga expert Caitlin Turner De-stressing routine
Are you stretching correctly?
Best and worst: yoga equipment
How to get involved with National Yoga Awareness Month Diet plan for a summer bod
Supplements: is there any point? Billi Mucklow’s weekly column
p7 - A Q&A with Yoga expert Caitlin Turner
23 27 30 31 32 35 38 39 41 44
Local yoga teachers in your area
Doga: Is yoga with your dog a step too far?
Competition: A weekend at a top yoga retreat Common everyday poses
Yoga vs. Pilates: what do YOU think?
Vinyasa, Bikram, Hatha... Which yoga style is right for you?
Yoga clothing: exclusive discount from White By Lole
Tips from a teacher: helpful hints to get you where you want to be
How to build your own sequence
21 Day Challenge
POSE OF THE WEEK: SAGE
As always with Pose Of The Week, start with the easiest pose and only progress when you feel comfortable enough.
Weâ€™re sure you all have your favorite yoga poses. We love ones that help you stretch out and increase your flexibility. Or the ones that help us heal or rehabilitate injured muscles. We also love the ones that relieve tension and stress. Then there are the poses are all about strength. They're challenging to do, so when you finally get into them, you feel confident, safe, and stable. Sage is one of those poses.
Sanskrit Name: (beginner's) Vasisthasana English Translation: Sage Also Called: Side Plank hg
1 Begin in Downward Facing Dog pose. 2 Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. 3 Now move your right hand over to the left so it's at the center of your mat (still at the top of your mat). 4 Roll over to your right side and plant your right heel down so you are balancing on the outside edge of your right foot. 5 You want your left foot to be stacked on top of your left foot with both feet flexed. If this is too hard, bend your left knee and place your left foot flat on the ground in front of your right leg for support. 6 Reach your left arm up above you and if you can, gaze up at your palm. Engage your right fingertips so you can take some pressure out of your wrists. 7 Stay here for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady. 8 Now drop your left hand back down and place your right hand back where it was near the top right corner of your mat. 9 Separate your feet so you are in a "top of a push-up" position (Plank). Now take a vinyasa and come back to Downward Facing Dog. Then do the other side.
Sanskrit Name: Vasistha Vrksasana English Translation: Sage Tree Pose Also Called: Sage with Bent Knee
1 Begin in Downward Facing Dog pose. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
2 Move your right hand over to the left so it's at the center of your mat (still at the top of your mat).
3 Roll over to your right side and plant your right heel down so you are balancing on the outside edge of your right foot. You want your left foot to be stacked on top of your left foot with both feet flexed, coming into Beginner's Sage.
4 Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left heel as high up on your inner thigh as possible, so it's in Tree position. Plant the sole of your right foot completely on the floor to help you stay balanced.
5 Once you're stable, reach your left arm up above you, and if you can, gaze up at your palm. Reach up with you right fingertips to take pressure out of your wrists. Stay here for five or more deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady. 6 Lower your left hand back down and place your right hand back where it was near the top right corner of your mat. Separate your feet so you are in a top of a push-up position, aka plank. Return to vinyasa and come back to Downward Facing Dog and get ready to try the Sage Tree on the other side.
Sanskrit Name: Vasistha Ardha Bada Padmasana English Translation: Sage Half Bound Lotus Pose
1 Begin in Downward Facing Dog pose. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. 2 Now move your right hand over to the left so it's at the upper center of your mat. 3 Step your right foot forward two inches, and plant the sole of your right foot firmly on the mat so your toes are pointing to the left.
3 - master
4 Then roll over to your right side and lift your left hand off the mat, coming into a side plank. Lift your left leg up bending your left knee and use your left hand to pull your heel in front of your right hip so it's in Half Lotus. Reach your left arm around your lower back and hold onto your left big toe. Gaze toward the ceiling. Engage your right fingertips so you can take some pressure out of your wrists. Stay here for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady.
5 Release your left hand back to the mat and move your right hand back where it was near the top right corner of your mat. Separate your feet so you are in a top of a push-up position (what I call Plank). Now take a vinyasa and come back to Downward Facing Dog. Then do this pose on the other side.
4 - expert
1 From Downward Facing Dog, step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
2 Move your left hand over to the right so it's at the center of your mat (still at the top of your mat). Roll over to your left side and plant your left heel down so you are balancing on the outside edge of your left foot, stacking your flexed feet. Reach your right arm up above you, and, if you can, gaze up at your palm.
3 If this feels easy, play around with grabbing hold of your left big toe. Lift your left leg up bending your left knee and hold on to your big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your left hand.
4 Stay here for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady.
5 Lower your upper hand to the mat. Repeat this pose on the other side.
POSES FOR TUMMY TIGHTENING
Excess fat around the glutes, lower back, and abs all contribute to the muffin-top effect. Fight the appearance of bulge by strengthening and lengthening these muscles, helping to tighten the body along its sides. Prepare to twist, sweat, and feel the burn with this powerful sequence.
Start off with:
Downward Facing Dog
• Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be underneath your hips. • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside-down "V" shape called Downward Facing Dog. • Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.
And then move to:
• From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between your palms and come back to Warrior 1. • Extend your arms out in T position as you rotate your torso to the left, coming into Warrior 2. Ideally, your front thigh should be parallel to the ground and your right knee directly over your right ankle. Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly above your pelvis. • Gaze past your right fingertips, holding for five breaths. Then return to Downward Facing Dog. Step your left foot forward, and do this pose on the other side.
• From Downward Facing Dog, step both feet together so your big toes are touching. • Shift your weight onto your hands and your feet equally, and raise your left leg into the air. Try to keep your shoulders parallel with the ground, and gaze at your right thigh or up toward your belly to help you stay balanced. • Stay here for five breaths, then lower your left leg down and switch sides. Once you've finished on the right, lower your leg down back to Downward Facing Dog.
• From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, and rise up into Warrior 1. Open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2. • Place your left hand on your left hip, and stretch your right arm straight out, creating length through the right side of your body. Shift weight onto your right foot, and lift your left foot up. Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder. • Distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Lift your left arm up, and gaze toward your left hand. Hold for five breaths and then release the pose, coming into Downward Dog. Then try Half Moon on the left side, then come back to Downward Dog.
ONE JET-SETTING GYPSY – A Q&A WITH YOGA EXPERT CAITLIN TURNER
BY ALFIE TURNER
Yoga instructor, jetsetter, blogger and free spirit. These are just a few words that describe Caitlin Turner - AKA Gypset Goddess. The Arizonan’s flexibility, body contortions, and grace have propelled her to become one of the most popular Yogis around.
She has tens of thousands of fans, followers and admirers around the globe - but what does yoga mean to her? And what advice does she have for you to reach your fitness goals? We asked Caitlin to share her story in this exclusive interview.
Q. Do you think yoga is losing its spiritual applications and practices amongst the masses?
A. Yoga is a different experience for everyone who practices. For some it is purely physical, for others it is more spiritual, and for many it is a mix of both. It’s not my place to tell anyone why or how they should practice their yoga. Whether it’s for spiritual or physical gain doesn’t matter to me, yoga has great benefits and can change lives. I’m happy to see new practitioners roll out their mats.
Q. What advice would you give someone just starting out in yoga?
Q. When did you get into yoga and why?
A. I took my first yoga class in 2007 when a friend invited me to go. People had been telling me for a long time that I would love yoga, and I finally felt ready to give it a try. That first class seemed impossible, but it motivated me to come back. You could say it was love at first Om.
Q. Which yoga style do you practice? Do you have a favourite style?
A. My daily practice is Vinyasa yoga, but I also really enjoy Yin yoga.
A. My advice is simple: Stick with it. Yoga, like anything else, can seem really difficult when you first start practicing. It’s easy to quit when something is hard for you, but if you keep at it and stay patient, you will inevitably get more comfortable. It gets easier the more you practice. There’s no downside to perseverance, but there is a huge upside.
Q. How has yoga helped you to deal with the mental and physical stress in your life?
A. Yoga is a great help in dealing with both mental and physical stress. When my muscles are sore, there’s nothing quite like a hot yoga class to loosen them right up. When I’m feeling mentally stressed I head straight to a hardcore vinyasa yoga class. When I take my body to it’s physical limits, my mind goes silent and it becomes impossible for me to be anywhere but in the present moment.
Q. What does your typical training session look like?
A. My typical training session is a 60-75 minute vigorous vinyasa yoga class. If I can’t make it to class, then I usually do an abbreviated practice at home and I choose a specific area of my practice to focus on (arm balances, inversions, flexibility, etc.).
Q. When you have a personal fitness goal what steps do you take to make sure you reach it?
A. With a little patience and a LOT of practice, progress always follows. Patience is hard for me, so I tend to push myself pretty hard when I am working to achieve fitness goals. That being said, I also recognise that everything comes with time and sometimes as much as I want to, I can’t force the process.
Q. Do you believe athletes should do yoga? If so, what are some benefits that they will get from practicing yoga?
A. Definitely. There are countless benefits that athletes will gain by practicing yoga, but the biggest benefit of all is increased flexibility through the muscles and joints. This helps to prevent injury so that they can keep doing what they love longer.
Q. Travel is a big part of your life. Do you gain inspiration from the different places you visit all over the world?
A. I gain inspiration and wisdom from every place that I visit. One of my life goals is to never stop learning. That’s why I love traveling so much, because there are new things to learn from every place that I visit and every person that I meet. In terms of my favorite place to visit, it’s really hard to say, because I’ve had amazing experiences on every trip that I’ve ever taken. I hit 5 continents in 2013: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, and Australia and they each have amazing things to offer to anyone who visits.
Q. You have thousands of fans all over the world. What message do you have for them in terms of staying positive?
A. Never stop believing in yourself, because your opinion has more of an impact on your life than anyone else’s ever could. Even in the face of adversity, if you believe it, then you can achieve it. Dream big and make it happen.
You can follow Caitlin’s movements on her Instagram profile: @gypsetgoddess.
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