Today is the LAST DAY of our BOGO #Sale!
Happy New Year from Plank Designs!
Happy New Year, Plankers! This January, we challenge you to GET CONNECTED and kick off the New Year… with a major twist!
We've partnered with our friends at Juil to help you get back to the basics as we challenge you to think about the following: "What does connection mean to you?"
As you know, Plank Designs is all about firm foundations & Juil stresses the importance of grounding through their magnificent footwear, thus, we thought it was appropriate to help aid in this foundational connection.
Here's your chance to enter to WIN your very own Plank Mat and a pair of Juil's! (Valued around $184)
You can thank us later, in the meantime go ahead, and #GetConnected.
In order to WIN this Prize Package, you must do the following 3 Things:
2) Tag 3 friends that you want to share this giveaway with in your comment.
3) Enter the contest by going to: http://info.juil.com/plankdesignsnewyearsgiveaway1-0
Easy peasy! The contest will run from Jan 1st – 8th and we will draw a winner after that.
Get Fit with our Ambassador Antonio Aniello
Meet our newest Ambassador, Boston-based Yoga and Pilates Teacher Antonio Aniello!
You teach Yoga and Pilates in Boston and are known for giving a hard core workout! What are your best tips for staying trim through the Holiday Season and into the New Year?
If you want to get stronger and more fit, I believe that it really all comes down to technique. Without it, you end up wasting energy and the exercises aren't nearly as effective.
During the Holiday Season especially, I also try to make sure I'm expending as many calories as I'm ingesting. The key word is try – no one is perfect and it's okay to indulge a little here and there, as long as you're working it off!
In the long run, it's all about finding a routine that fits your schedule that you can stick to in order to make progress.
We know you love your Plank Yoga Mat because it makes you work extra hard during your Yoga Practice. What has your experience with your PYM been like thus far and what benefits do you think it offers you and your students?
Not to sound like a broken record, but once again, it all comes back to technique. MyPlank Yoga Mat has intensified my practice lately mainly because it makes me realign myself using the right muscles and therefore connect more deeply to the mat and within my practice.
Almost immediately after starting to use my Plank Mat, every plank, down dog, and up dog became deeper. There's definitely a deeper connection of the hands, up the arms, and into the shoulders that really fires up my forearms. For a few days, my forearms felt like they were maxed out. Shortly after that subsided, I began to notice a deeper practice overall.
What's your favorite Pilates Exercise right now and why?
I recently suffered a wrist injury that has taken plank out of my #1 ranked Pilates exercise, so I had to find something new. Crisscross with the ring (see above photo) is currently my favorite thing because it's quick to burn and the rotation gets the obliques as well as the low abs involved!
What projects, trainings, etc. are you working on or are excited about for next year?
Continuing to learn is probably the coolest thing about teaching Pilates and Yoga! Next year, I'm hoping to get some formal training in barre style Pilates and also looking to take some inversion workshops on the yoga side.
It's November which means the Holidays are just around the corner! It might seem hard to believe that another Holiday Season is upon us, and while for many, this time of year signifies overindulgence and stress, it doesn't have to. Plan ahead and get your shopping done early!
This month, we are offering 20% OFF our Plank Connect Yoga Mats thanks to our friends at MINDBODY Exchange.
Just use online code MBO20 at checkout at www.plankdesigns.com. Hurry, this deal ends on .
Pick one up for yourself, or get a head start on that Holiday Shopping for your favorite yogi! Firmer foundations and ridiculous body awareness are just a click away…
This month at Plank, we're all about Bad Habit Breaking, in life and in our Yoga Practice!
By using a Plank Yoga Mat (PYM), we've been able to break the habit of collapsing into our joints, by focusing on creating firmer foundations through our hands and feet. However, when we use a grippy mat, we lose our foundations and sink into our joints because we are relying on the stickiness of the mat to root us down, not our own body strength.
The PYM is a mat that asks the practioner to think before doing, not just simply to do. So next time you are on your mat, be conscious of whether or not your are sinking into your joints, or using the strength of your foundations and muscles to hold your poses. If the answer is "sinking"…then it just might be time for a new mat!
Check out this awesome photo of our Ambassador, Elizabeth Rowan, rocking her firm foundations in Handstand.
What bad yoga habits have you been able to break by using a PYM? Comment below, we'd love to hear!
This month, we are proud to feature our newest Ambassador, Julie Starr-Wood, a rockstar Nutritionist and Yoga/Barre Instructor based out of Boston, MA.
As a well-known Nutritionist and Yoga/Barre instructor in the Boston area, a common theme in your message is that developing good habits sets up a strong foundation for your health. How do you make this real and applicable for your clients and students?
When someone comes to see me, I make it clear that I am a guide. I'm not here to tell people that there is ONE diet for them or ONE right answer to their optimum wellness. They in fact, are my boss! In order to succeed in a wellness program, there needs to be trust. I get to know my clients/students, their lifestyle, their needs, and then work from there. I see no point in handing someone a list of nutrition do's and don'ts without knowing how they feel about food, which foods they like/don't like, etc. When you work with me I get to know where you shop, where you eat, your trainer, your sleep patterns – everything! It's my job to help you through the difficult shifts that are required to make positive change with as little stress as possible.
Many of us get overwhelmed during this busy time of year, especially as we head into the Holiday Season. Can you give us your Top 3 Tips for Maintaining Balance in Your Life Throughout the Fall?
Fall is my favorite season! There is nothing better than Fall in New England. My Top 3 Tips for Maintaining Balance through the Holiday Season are:
1) Don't go into the holiday season thinking that it is something to STRESS over in regards to food. It's something to embrace and enjoy! Shifting the way you think about situations alleviates anxiety, which helps maintain healthy eating habits.
2) Keep your house stocked with positive trigger foods. What are these? We all have those foods that when we eat them, they make us feel healthy and like we are doing something good for our bodies. They are different for everyone. Mine are: arugula, coconut, and parsley! So whenever you feel like you have indulged too much or are unbalanced, grab a positive trigger food and you will feel much better.
3) Remember the basics to eating healthy. Drink water, eat balanced meals, don't wait to long between eating, and slow down. When we take time to enjoy what we eat, it keeps us mindful and also allows us to digest our food and recognize fullness.
We hear you are loving your Plank Yoga Mat! How has it changed your practice and what tips are you passing on to your Yoga Students?
I love my Plank Yoga Mat! Due to its technology, it forces me to be mindful of my hands and feet, which engages my whole body while I practice. I remind my students to press into the mat with their whole hand and fingers – like they are playing a piano without missing a single key. Sometimes we favor one finger over another but it's important to evenly disperse our energy to set a strong foundation. While on the PYM mat, you can feel this even more! I also love the vibrant colors and the design of the mat.
People often ask us how our Plank Yoga Mats work exactly and why they are great training tool for firmer foundations. Well ladies and gents, here's your abbreviated answer:
The Plank Yoga Mat has traction, but unlike with a sticky mat, you have to train your muscles to work harder to create it by warming up the mat with more hand/feet connection than you currently apply.
This is a similar concept to that of the barefoot running style shoes that teach the muscles of the foot and ankle to become stronger. Just as the over padded, structured running shoe causes more damage to your foot due to lack of awareness and muscle engagement, so does an always-grippy yoga mat.
So what's the moral of this Yoga Story you ask? If you want to cheat your muscles and weaken your foundations, choose a grippy, sticky yoga mat. If you really want to work for them and strengthen your poses from the ground up, choose a Plank Yoga Mat!
Wouldn't you like to jump back into your Yoga practice this Fall with a brand new Heat-Actived Grip Plank Yoga Mat? We thought so!
The contest will run from YogaAccessories.com's Facebook Page during that time frame and tell them what caption you'd use to best describe this photo (see above) of Bex. The caption with the most likes will WIN! Good luck, Plankers!. All you have to do is visit
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…
Tara Judelle, she’s an anatomy nerd, we love her mindblowing awarenesses – http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-572-Relearn-Your-Feet.html
Elena Brower, this is a legs class where the importance of the feet is stressed as essential for creating strong legs – http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-478-Strong-Legs-Healthy-Spine-Yoga.html
Tiffany Cruikshank, this is a nice 30 minute mini foot workshop with reminders on how to, why to and when to lift the arches of the feet- http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-2326-Foot-Alignment-Tutorial.html
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.
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.