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 teaching us heart-opening yoga poses.
Posture check—how are you sitting right now? As I write this, I'm hunched over my computer like the little work gremlin that I am. I'll probably sit like this most of today, and the rest of the work week, despite my best efforts to correct my posture. (Your writing is better when your shoulders are up to your ears and your whole body is rife with stress, right? That's how it works?) Luckily, this heart-opening sequence from Val Verdier, our Trainer of the Month and the director of teaching at Modo Yoga, can help relieve the tension we feel from sitting at our desks all day.
Here, Verdier takes us through a seven minute sequence of heart-opening yoga poses that she says will "warm the body up." Whether you're looking for a flow to do before a run or a way to cool down post-bootcamp, this one has all the stretchy goodness that you need to really make the most out of your time on the mat.
Here's the rundown: Start in a bridge pose to warm up the spine and after moving through a few up-and-down motions, find your way to table top. Taking your time to find your center, push your way back into downward-facing dog. Inhale and come into a plank pose and bend your knees and elbows, pushing into cobra pose with the chest lifted. Find your way back to table top and rotate into rolling panda pose, extending the arm toward the sky and threading toward the opposite wall. Repeat this motion on both sides and you've made your way through the first sequence of the flow.
Find your way back into downward facing dog, extending your right toes toward the sky. Pull them through to a low lunge and eventually find your way into a twist by placing the elbow on the knee to ring out the insides. Repeat on the opposite side. From downward facing dog, move into a crescent lunge, tilting the body to the same side as the bent leg. Move to a low lunge and twist the body sending the same arm to the sky as the bent leg. Repeat on the opposite side.
To finish, find yourself in a bridge pose, lifting and lowering the hips. Then, if it's in your practice, place the hands by the ears and lift into a full wheel to stretch and open the heart. Related: how crazy would the people in the coffee shop I work from think I am if I just started doing this flow right now? Also related: how much do I actually care if people think I'm crazy?
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