Virabhadrasana II or Warrior 2 is a great asana for strengthening and stretching the legs and ankles and stretching the groin, chest and shoulders.
Step by Step Guide to Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2).
• Take the legs wide apart and turn one foot out to 90 degrees and turn the other foot slightly in.
• Ensure the heel of the front foot at 90 degrees is aligned with the heel of the back foot.
• Raise both arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides with the palms down.
• Exhale and bend the front knee lowering the body straight down to bring the thigh parallel to the floor, if possible.
• Ensure the knee is aligned with the ankle and not drifting forwards or inwards.
• Anchor the position by ensuring the outer aspect of the foot of the back leg is firmly rooted to the floor. Keep breathing.
• Keep the body upright and don’t lean forwards, reaching the arms out.
• Turn the head to gaze at the front hand.
• Hold this position and when ready reverse the position of the feet and repeat on the opposite side.
Yoga or Pilates...decisions decisions? Some people tend to get carried away trying to prove that one is better than the other. I like to practice both Pilates and Yoga.
Pilates is based upon the teaching of Joseph Pilates. Pilates primarily increases muscular balance and strength, improves core and back strength and improves posture thus facilitating the ability to optimally function occupationally and recreationally. Yoga can include the practice of postures, breathing exercises and meditation which helps to greater improve flexibility and bring peace to the mind and body.
Remember teachers have different styles, intensities and approaches. One person can have an intense Yoga teacher and a mild Pilates teacher and vice versa. Also different people respond differently to different stimuli. Flexible people with weak abs might find Pilates more intense than Yoga. Conversely, someone who has a strong core and is muscle bound might not break a sweat in a Pilates class but be crying in Yoga...well maybe not crying but you get the picture.
As well as being involved in the fitness industry for some 15 years, I'm also a registered Health Professional and have numerous qualifications from BTEC level through to degree and post graduate level in a variety of areas relating to sports science, sports massage, biomechanics, nutrition, coaching and fitness and health including Yoga, Fitness Pilates and Tai Chi qualifications.
After a 3 year break looking after my 3 year old son, I decided it was time to get back to business. “What is my business after a 3 year break?” I specialise in Radiology Magnetic Resonance imaging and other than the emergence of some new imaging applications, thankfully not much has changed there.
As for the fitness industry, well surprisingly there hasn’t been that much change there either. Having an awareness of how quickly trends can come and go in the industry I decided to take a look at what’s been happening in the big chain gyms. The biggest change seemed to be the addition of classes such as Yogalates and Fitness Pilates which seemed to fit nicely alongside the traditional Mind and Body classes such as Yoga and Pilates that were as popular as ever. I felt really inspired after trying out a few of the classes and decided it was time to spice up my own workouts.
Why not make it a New Years Resolution to give both Yoga and Pilates a try, whether it's a traditional class or a hybrid class which fuses both Yoga and Pilates. Try and remember just do what works for you and enjoy.
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