Feeling a little bored with your Yoga Practice this Summer? Take it into the great outdoors, like our Ambassador Bex Borucki, pictured above. It helps to change your perspecitive and what studio can beat the killer view of an ocean or stunning outdoor landscape?!
Even better, lots of studios and yoga brands offer FREE outdoor classes in the summer time! In our hometown of Boston, there are a TON of free classes being offered by Lululemon, Friends of Fort Point Channel and even the Boston Harbor Island Alliance! Check out details for Beach Yoga on Spectacle Island (a Boston Harbor Island) HERE and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these kind of events in your area!
Where is your favorite spot to practice Yoga Outdoors in the Summer?
So why does Plank® keep going on about the Mind-to-Body-to-Mat connection? The old adage of everything works better when your foundations are strong, is even more relevant if you want to consider the body as an architectural structure. The bones being building blocks that when they are correctly stacked, allow the muscles, organs and pipework to function optimally around it.
I admit that when instructors share the following talking points, although great immediately applicable reminders, they offer little insight into the how to precisely and the why beneficially…
Ground down to grow.
Build your poses from the foundations.
Root down through your feet
However have you ever wondered what Grounding down or Rooting down actually means and why it helps in the creation of bigger, freer, bolder poses. For those yogis who are curious about what it takes to create firmer foundations, here are a few yoga classes and mini workshops that have been instrumental in allowing Plank to share with you, through its heat activated Connect™ yoga mats, the importance of learning that all your poses/asanas are built from the ground up, i.e. your feet…
At Plank, we're interested in what you connect to your mat to create solid arms and strong legs. We want to follow up with tips to create great arms foundations, for poses like Downward Dog, Handstand etc… We're particarly interested in the details of hand to mat connection. If you have foundation tips or your have made your own mini online workshop & you want to share with us and your yoga loving communities, we'd love to share them for you…
*Photo above courtesy of Tiffany Cruikshank. Check out how her Alive and Active Feet are always connected to her yoga mat.
We at Plank believe that Yoga is an essential part of maintaining physical and mental strength and clarity. Don't let your practice slip just because the temperature is rising!
Here are 4 Helpful Plank Tips for Sticking to your Yoga Practice all Summer Long:
1) Take your Yoga Practice Outdoors – lots of studios and yoga brands offer FREE outdoor classes in the summer time, so keep your eyes peeled for those in your area! Check out our Ambassador, Elizabeth Rowan, below rocking her practice outdoors!
2) Utilize Online Classes – if your Summer Schedule is jam packed and you can't make it to your local studio, try out a yoga class online instead. Plank's Founder is a huge fan of YogaGlo.
3) Check for Summer Specials – many studios offer great summer deals, like 3 months of unlimited classes for a deeply discounted price!
4) Find a Yoga Buddy – taking classes with a buddy helps to motivate you and commit to showing up on your mat. Try it!
Are you traveling this #Summer and staying as a house guest with friends or family? Do you often stress over what to bring your gracious host? Well stress no longer Plankers, have we got a tip for you…
PLANK TIP: Instead of bringing flowers or food for you host, surprise them with a Plank #Yoga Mat! They'll be down-dogging and finding Ridiculous Body Awareness™ in no time at all. Plus, you'll likely be their favorite guest ever!
Pick up a Plank Yoga Mat today for your favorite host or even for yourself! We promise we won't tell. 😉
Since I chose to get on board with one of our favorite Ambassador's challenges #PlankWithBex AKA Rebekah Borucki, the go-to-fitness-is-fun guru, I landed my first plank at 2m:16s and 4 days later I'm at 2m:30s. For us at Plank®, every pose or physical activity can be taken to the next level by incorporating a little Ridiculous Body Awareness™ aka Yoga. Thus, in addition to the tips I sent to Bex, I use a plethora of yoga tools so I can #PlankOnPlank for a bit longer each day.
If you are like me and can't absorb too many tips at once, I thought I'd share a couple of additional tips I applied each time I took to my mat (preferably a Plank Yoga Mat, but any mat will do…).
Let us know if our Plank Tips help you to hold your planks for those extra 5 seconds or beyond.
Relax Your Shoulders:
Melt shoulders away from ears and feel the neck become longer
Melt INNER shoulders and feel your back soften and the neck become even longer
Bone Awareness, align rib cage in the center of the upper trunk:
Breathe fully into the back of the body, filling your back with air from OUTER shoulder to OUTER shoulder and SIDE RIBS to SIDE RIBS
Breathe fully into the mid-back, separating the back ribs and lifting the rib cage
For Plank, yoga is all about developing a Ridiculous Body Awareness in order to protect and support the body whenever strain or stress shows up. It becomes your job to center the heavy bones of the body to the center of its musculature, thus spreading the body weight, the muscles and all the supporting bits, evenly between your front, back and side bodies.
At Plank®, we make no bones about sharing that BKS Iyengar's methodology is foundational to inspire us to create yoga mats that teach the practioner how to create more solid body-to-mat-to-mind connections, thus stronger foundations…
We call it Ridiculous Body Awareness™ AKA yoga…
What I love about an Iyengar practice, is that once you think you've mastered a pose, there is still more to learn. Thus if you think you know what grounded technology is, think again…
I love this story, as paraphrased by my IY instructor, Nancy Turnquist. When working on articulating how to master Downward Dog, BKS Iyengar, practiced on ICE, yes ice. For me, this means not only do I have to seriously investigate my hand/feet-to-mat connections, I also have to pull into the midline, like crazy, like ridiculously more than I think necessary, otherwise…
If you've been practicing for a while and wondering how to take your practice to the next level, for us at Plank, without a shadow of a doubt, consider including an Iyengar Practice to your yoga regime. The rate of pose improvement occurs within one class, instead of over several weeks of a typical Vinyasa/Flow class.
Thus it's a no-brainer that we'd support this documentary to shine a light on his work and methodology. We hope you do too and if not, to at least consider taking up an IY class at least once a week, month or from time to time. Once you realise the difference a lil Ridiculous Body Awareness makes, you don't slip up, back, forward or wherever…