Friday, June 22, 2012

Using Strength Training to Support your Yoga Practice and Vice Versa Part 1

People usually stick to what they are comfortable and good at.  I mean if you have a few hours a week to workout you are going to do what you enjoy...right?

Yes of course it is FAR better than doing nothing at all, but what you like isn’t always what you need.
OR what is good best for your body J
Take for example an already super bendy girl doing yoga 4 times a week… shits gonna hit the fan!

Remember at the beginning of this year the NY TIMES article about how Yoga can wreck your body?

Just as we as humans has evolved over the years so too must yoga. Those instructors stuck in the strict constraints of the past may in fact be damaging their students.

Here at South Boston Yoga the instructors come from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Our influences include bodywork, personal training, dance, and martial arts.  These styles collide to create something wonderful. I assure you it is some of the best “yoga” you will get in the Boston area.

Since the majority of my clients practice yoga I don’t have to spend much time on mobility or flexibility in general.  My focus for them is teaching SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE, STABILITY and STRENGTH through a safe and solid range of motion.

After all most Yogi’s have a PHENOMENAL amount of body awareness without EVER having lifted a weight!

Here are just a few things to think about:

Teach students that it is ok to have anterior tilt sometimes such as in the deadlift, as opposed to continually cueing a “tucking of the tail”


In addition, teaching rack and overhead carry variations develops strength and stability in the upper back and shoulders as well as the core

-Allow your downward dog to achieve thoracic extension as well as hamstring stretch, cueing chest back to thighs with bent knees as opposed to cueing heels down.

(Notice how this causes a rounding in the low back)

Teach that lunging with both knees bent creates more strength and stability, such as in the banded knee lunge below. 


Versus constantly sitting into the stretch with the following Exulted Warrior Lunge.

Create single leg and hip stability along with glute strength by bending at the knee in single leg deadlifts.

As opposed to simply hinging at the hip with a straight base leg in Warrior III.

There is not a whole lot of supported lateral movement in yoga. Sure we forward fold to the left and right but the core is not involved there.  In order to teach the upper back and core to the support the torso I teach with the assistance of a suspension trainer.

Lateral Lunges with an exaggerated vertical torso for erector and core involvement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I strength train three days a week and yet I continue to gain strength and skill. 
Yes and you can too :) 
I have gotten to a point in my life that I don't want to spend more time in the gym then I need to. 
I need time to run a successful business, keep up with life, as well as spend with family and friends, and its SUMMERTIME :) 
In the past I have been guilty of losing sight of all that is important to me in order to pursue my goals. 
I have said this before and I will say it can have it all.

Most of you now as a trainer myself, with a specialty in strength training with kettlebells, suspension trainers,body weight exercises, along with a focus on corrective exercise.  I run my business within the largest yoga studio in Boston.  I don't train athletes, I work with everyday folks looking to gain stability, get stronger and stay pain free. 
I do however continue to have my own strength goals to keep me learning and motivated rather than stagnant  because in this industry your job is never done :)  I don't believe in "talking the talk" if you yourself don't "walk the walk".  Therefore when I post videos of myself, this is not a direct reflection of what I would do with my clients.

As promised here's my biweekly update on training ;)
As usual my workout begins with 10-15 minutes of SMFR; focusing my attention on areas that I know will need to be open on that given training day. I then move into mobility and stability exercises that target my weaknesses ie ankle, hip and thoracic mobility as well as glute and scapular stability. I prepare for traditional deadlifts with medball slam and box jump variations.
A1:Deadlifts 205X 8 with 60 sec rest
A2:I usually do some sort of hip mobility drill to ensure I rest for the given time period.
B1: Pullups 4x6,
 B2: GHR 4x10 (banded and UGLY)
C1: Bent over rows 5 x8 @ 105lbs
C2: Single leg hip thrusts with chains 4x6,
 D1:GHR sit up3x 10 @ 45lbs,
D2: Prone Trap Raises 3x10@ 5lbs

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Tasty Threesome

While I cannot always please everyone, I promise that you will love one of the next three EASY PEASY recipes! One for dinner, one for desert and one for those of you who may need to go a long time without food and aren't necessarily Intermittent Fasting!

I got a VITAMIX for Christmas and its pretty much become my BESTIE.  A few weeks ago I bought my first grill and I have been a grilling machine ever since :)
I prefer to eat fattier meats and fish at night so that I am satiated, I have found this to work best for me,  I am also the DISHWASHER so anything that is easy clean up is always a bonus. Oh and the fact that my apartment doesn't reek of fish...hahah I consider this a bonus too.

Stacey's Favorite Fitness Tools: