Friday, February 18, 2011

Tomorrow's the WSU Yogathon!

I'll be helping with check in and the sale of Yoga mats (no free rentals, so bring your own or buy one for $5) tomorrow morning at WSU. The Yogathon will be hosted in the Student Union Bldg ballrooms which are upstairs from the cafeteria and the bookstore.

There will be four hours of Yoga classes, free for anyone with an active WSU ID card. If you're a member of the community and want to join in, just bring a $5 donation and you'll have access to all the great classes.

Some of my favorite instructors will be there, including Kathi, who got me hooked on Yoga years ago when I was a student. I've been privileged to take classes from three of the four instructors and I guarantee you'll love each of them for their differences and strengths.

If you can't make it this week, then come back next Saturday at 9:30 (in the gym) for my class. It's always free with your Wildcard and for the regular Saturday classes, mats are provided.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tummy Toners - Criss Cross

Criss Cross is one of the fundamental exercises I almost always require in my Pilates classes. It's a great way to target the entire core, especially the obliques, which can be a hard muscle group to work.

For criss cross, begin with a neutral spine on the mat. Supporting the head with your hands, lift it off the mat while bringing the knees to a 90 degree angle.

From here, you'll cross the shoulder to the opposite knee while lengthening one leg. One leg comes in, one leg goes out. With each exhale, your legs move and your shoulders cross up and over the torso.

It's important to keep the elbows wide and the neck long. Attempting to bring the shoulder across the body, rather than the elbow, will increase the effect on your core. It will take more abdominal strength than if your elbows just flopped around to touch your knees. Repeat this criss cross exercise at least six times.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tummy Toners - Double leg lift and lower

On Monday, my Pilates class did this leg lift, and my abs are still sore today. I love when that happens!

It's optional to have one's head lifted off the mat while doing this leg lift/lower, so choose what suits your needs today.

To begin, start with some warm up exercises, and ensure that your spine is connected to the mat. Throughout the double leg lift/lower, the tailbone should not lift from the mat. Use that as an indicator you've reached your max if you feel the tailbone lifting.

The starting position is pictured below; sealing the legs together, lift them skyward. Contracting the abs and inhaling, slowly lower those pointed toes to any degree of difficulty, remembering to keep the tailbone connected to the mat.

Your legs may end up at a 45 degree angle, or they may be more parallel to the floor. It's up to you and your abdominal strength. Grow into the pose with practice!

When your legs have reached their target, exhale to lift them back to the starting position. Your spine should be long, your tailbone should stay connected to the mat, and your core should always be engaged.

Repeat the double leg lift/lower at least 6 times.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BOGO Yoga sale

Don't forget- for the entire month of February you can purchase one Yoga pass at Farr West Tumbers and get one half off. That's awesome savings for the Tuesday night and Friday morning classes. Passes are only $5 if paid 24 hours in advance, so you can get a second class for only $2.50 if you hurry!

In addition to the discounted cost, there's always free childcare if you need to bring the kids. They can read books, do puzzles, watch movies and play with Annette while you get the Yoga fix you need.

Mats are not required, but are helpful to enhance your practice. See you there!

The Pilates Body

Save 50% today only on a month of unlimited access to The Pilates Body in Ogden. Located on North Washington Blvd, this studio is ready to help you use your own body to get fit and have a whole month to fall in love.

For only $40 you can come and go as you please, sampling the Pilates, HOT Pilates or Zumba classes to your heart's content (literally!).

Other Pilates opportunities can be found HERE.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yoga in Ogden

If you're looking to get some Yoga into your weekend, then look no further! Check out this list to see what venue and time works best for you and grab your mat!

10am at Farr West Tumblers
12pm at Borrowed Earth Emporium
4:30pm at Bikram Yoga Ogden
5:45pm at Yoga Jo's

9:30am at WSU (free with active ID card, $6 without)
11:15am at Borrowed Earth Emporium
4:30pm at Bikram Yoga Ogden

9am & 4:30pm at Bikram Yoga Ogden
10am & 11:15am at Borrowed Earth Emporium


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adult Dance & Fitness

How I wish I had the ab strength for a class like this- acrobatic, gravity-defying workouts on the poles or silks at Blue. Groupon teamed up with Adult Dance & Fitness to offer 10 classes for the jaw-dropping low price of $29. 10 classes are valued at $179, so if you've ever wanted to start an intense regime of fine tuning your body, now is definitely the time.

I have a friend who recently started these classes for a new and fun workout and it's truly amazing what she has trained her body to do. The strength she's gained is incredible. You can check out her blog for more information and to see how fun it is for anyone who's willing to push their limits.

Photo from Addicted to Pole Dancing.

Balance Posture- Seated Eagle Pose

This is one of my favorite balance postures because it can also stretch tight shoulders and a tight back.

Seated Eagle Pose can be done at varying degrees of intensity depending on how well-balanced you feel on any given day.

Begin by gently bending your left leg, using it as your base. Your right leg will gradually find a comfortably challenging resting place around the left, standing leg. It can rest with just the toes crossed over the left foot, touching the mat, or you can continue to wrap your right leg around the calf of your left.

Adding to the pose, you can incorporate your arms. With the left arm on bottom, place the right on top. The fingertips of both hands will rest at the elbow of the opposite arm. The next step is to slide your elbows together, lifting the hands to the sky, wrapping them if flexibility allows you to do so. The elbows are lifted high, in front of the face for maximum effect. You may feel a comfortable stretch in the back and scapulas (shoulder blades).

Once you have held the posture on your left leg for at least four breaths, unwrap and repeat on the other side. Note that the gluteals are aligned over the heel of your standing foot, and do not stick out behind the body. A strong core is essential to successfully executing Seated Eagle Pose.

Photo from

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pilates Mat Exercises

There are a number of fundamental exercises that make up an effective Pilates routine. Throughout any of the postures, it's always important to use the core and breath to maximize effect.

A good warm up is essential to having a safe practice so try some of these before getting started:

-Imprint your spine on the mat. Lay flat with knees bent, arms at your side. Moving with your breath, gently rolling your tailbone up away from the mat and back into it again. Focus on deep inhalation and exhalation to help warm the body internally. Imagine the mat is cradling each of your vertebrae as you gently roll the tailbone up and down. Repeat at least four times before moving on.

-Roll like a ball on the mat. Using the core as the powerhouse for this exercise, place your hands behind your knees as you lay on your back on the mat. Begin rocking gently with your breath, working toward lifting the shoulders off the mat in a seated position. Continue rocking, rolling back onto the spine, tucking the chin and lifting the glutes off the mat. Repeat at least four times before moving on.

These two exercises help "wake up" the spine and increase awareness of the core.

A third warm up exercise is the swan. It encourages use of the muscles surrounding the spinal cord, and it helps warm the gluteals, hips and core.

-After rolling like a ball, stop in a seated position. Gently move onto all fours and lower your body onto the belly on the mat. It is important to imagine lengthening the body from head to toe in Swan. With this in mind, use the core to lift the shoulders and chest off the mat. The legs may lift as well, as long as length is maintained. The hands hover above the mat and are not used to press the body up off the mat. It may be helpful to imagine that the mat is freezing cold, and you must pull the abs up away from it. There are many variations depending on strength, so work on the fundamentals of Swan before adding a greater back bend to the posture.

These are just a sampling of the warm up exercises found in a Pilates workout. Every body is different, so adjustments can be made to compensate for your needs on any given day. The best part of Pilates is that it uses your own body as resistance, and can be done without any fancy props.

I'll have more workouts later in the week, so stay tuned!

All images from

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Unlimited monthly access!

Living Social is offering a discount for Pure Workout in SLC; for $29 you can have unlimited access for one month to the facility, including classes. The deal will also include body analysis, so let Pure Workout help you shape your fitness goals and your body!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yogathon at WSU

On February 19, from 9am until 2pm, WSU will be hosting a Yogathon. You'll be able to participate for free with an active Wildcard (University ID) or for only $5 you can join as a member of the community.

$5 for FOUR Yoga classes? Yup.

Bring your mat and be ready to learn fundamentals of Yoga, do Yoga for athletes and more. For details, check out WSU's website and descriptions of the classes offered that Saturday. I'm hoping to see you there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where you can find me

Currenly, I am available to instruct private/group Yoga or Pilates sessions in one studio space.

Farr West Tumblers
3677 N Highway 126 Suite S
Farr West UT 84404

Times are subject to studio availability and can be provided upon request.

I currently teach scheduled, Yoga drop-in classes at the same location:

Drop-in Yoga at Farr West Tumblers
Tuesdays 8pm
Fridays 10am
Pre-pay (24 hrs in advance) = $5
At the door = $10
*Bring a new participant and get a FREE class
Childcare = FREE

I teach scheduled, Pilates drop-in classes at two other locations:

Wasatch Therapy
5349 S Adams Ave. Parkway Suite A
Ogden UT 84405
Mondays 4:30pm
Drop-in is $10; a 12-punch pass is $100
*First class is FREE

Drop-in Pilates classes at Weber State University
Thursdays 8:45pm
Students/Faculty = FREE
Community = $6

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Buy one, get one Yoga sale!

For the month of February, Farr West Tumblers has a new discount to offer: BOGO!!

For every full-priced pass you purchase, you get another half off. With three class times to choose from each week, that gives you a lot of options for your passes. Additionally, you can still stock up on free classes by bringing a new friend with you.

Childcare is always free at Tumblers, and all ages are welcome. Please give Annette a call to take advantage of this BOGO Yoga/Pilates sale: 801-731-8011.

See you there!

Pilates pushup

In Yoga and Pilates, there is a pushup posture. I've heard it called many things: high-to-low pushup, chataranga, Pilates pushup, and four-limbed staff pose.

The point to keep in mind is how it's performed, regardless of what you want to call it.

The mistake I often see is when students allow their elbow to bow out away from the body, more like a military pushup. In both Yoga and Pilates, the elbows are encouraged to hug the ribcage while the fingers point forward with the crown of the head.

Making this adjustment may mean that you don't lower down as far as you do in a military pushup. There's no shame in that! I've been practicing Yoga for over 5 years and there are days when I only lower an inch or two in my pushup. Every practice will be different and that's the joy of it.

For more detailed instructions, and to see more photos, visit this demonstration.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pilates breath

Pilates breath, also called Lateral breath, differs from Pranayama slightly. Instead of always breathing in and out through the nose (as is taught with Pranayama) Lateral breath encourages exhaling from the mouth.

In my personal experience, this helps with fluidity in the aerobic Pilates exercises. Breathing in through the nose can also help warm the body faster than if one breathed through the mouth on the inhale. In both Yoga and Pilates, keeping the body warm is key to success- the muscles will feel more relaxed and elongated with warmth.

There is no "wrong" way to breathe when exercising, but there are ways to improve your performance through modified breath. Please note that you won't be singled out if you're breathing differently than your neighbor. When I instruct a class, I just want to hear my students breathing; it's nothing to be shy about! We all have to breathe!