Welcome to Trainer of the Month Club, our brand-new fitness series, where we tap the coolest, most in-the-know fitness leaders to create a month-long fitness challenge. On Mondays, we have our “sweat drops” where you’ll get access to the week’s workout that you can follow along at home. This week, Val Verdier is taking you through a beginner yoga flow.
Before I started doing yoga, I was so intimidated by it. In a way, it's like you're venturing into a fitness studio to not only work out, but to learn a new language (all yoga moves are typically said in their Sanskrit names, after all). I couldn't tell my tadasanas from my savasanas.
That's why I'm particularly grateful for all of the gentle, noob-level, beginner yoga classes. Since yoga's so incredibly beneficial to your mind and body, it's gotta be approachable for everyone. This August, our Trainer of the Month is Val Verdier, a pro yogi from Modo Yoga, who's here to start this yoga challenge off with a beginner flow.
It's perfect whether you're completely new to yoga, or just want to brush up on some basic postures. All you need is about seven minutes and your mat, and you're good to practice the flow pretty much anywhere.
Ease into this 7-minute beginner's yoga flow with Val Verdier
1. Child's pose: "It's a great pose to start with, and whether you need a break in your practice or need to take a breath, child's pose is your home base," says Verdier. Bring your toes together with knees about mat-distance apart, and press on your hands to move your hips back, bringing your head and upper body to the floor.
2. Table top: From child's pose, reach your arms towards the front and separate hands shoulder-distance apart, while pressing your hands onto the ground. Inhale as you come forward into table top, shoulders over wrists, knees underneath hips. "This is a really nice home base posture that gives you stability," she says.
3. Plank: Once you have stability in table top, extend your legs one at a time towards the back of the room into plank pose. Keep your belly engaged.
4. Downward facing dog: Lift your butt into the air and bring softness into your knees, bending them a little to give your hips time to warm up. It's not about how far your heels can go towards the floor, but more about spreading onto your hands and reaching your body back, lifting your sitz bones up and back.
5. Warrior I: Lift your right leg up towards the ceiling as you breathe in, and bring that foot to the top of the mat. You can use your arm to help you out. Bring your foot forward and the back foot into the ground. Press on both feet, inhale, and lift your arms up into warrior I. Your right hip moves back as you lengthen forward, chest up, and a little upper body backbend.
6. Warrior II: Open into warrior II with your right hand straight in front, and your left straight behind you. Your left foot should be facing forward, and the right foot towards the front of the mat with your front knee bent at 90 degrees. Shoulders should be over your hips as you keep your arms long.
7. Reverse warrior: Bring your left hand onto your thigh, inhale, and lift your right hand back over your head. Your hands will then move down towards the floor.
8. Modified flow: Move into plank pose in the modified flow. Bend your knees, bend your elbows and control your body as you come down in one line onto the floor. Lift your chest up into cobra pose, then press on your hands and knees through to table top and then downward facing dog.
9. Warrior I: Lift your left leg high as you breathe in, and step the foot towards the top of the mat. Bring your back heel down onto the floor, hip-width distance apart with your feet grounded. Lift your arms up into warrior I. Have strength in stability, lift your gaze, lift the belly, and engage both of your legs.
10. Warrior II: Open up into warrior II as you breathe in, bending the front knee over the ankle. Press the entire outside of the right leg towards the back of your mat and sit lower into the pose.
11. Reverse warrior: Bring your right hand to your thigh, left arm up. Windmill your hands down towards the floor to plank pose.
12. Half chaturanga: Bend your knees into a half chaturanga, bending your elbows halfway down. Move into upward facing dog or cobra. Breathe comfortably with your shoulders back, and move into downward facing dog.
13. Bridge: Lift out of your hands, bend your knees and come down to the floor. Place your feet hip-width distance apart, arms towards the front, and roll your body down toward the ground for the base of your bridge. Make sure you can graze the back of your heels to ensure your knees are on top of your heels to protect your knees and lower back. Press on your feet, inhale, and lift your pelvis up while pressing on your hands. If you want to go deeper, roll your shoulders underneath the body, interlock your fingers and press your arms onto the floor with your pelvis lifted. Stay for a few breaths.
14. Savasana: Let your hands go and slowly roll your body down onto the floor. Extend your legs into savasana.
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