Seated on ball, tall and lengthened, spine in a neutral position, neither arched nor flattened. Feet flat on the mat, hip-distance apart. Hands behind head with no tension in shoulders or neck.
One in three women has some form of pelvic-floor dysfunction—for example, incontinence, pelvic pain or pelvic organ prolapse (Christie & Colosi 2008). The start of pelvic core muscle weakness is commonly associated with pregnancy. Many pregnant women also have low-back pain and diastasis recti (splitting of the abdominal muscles at the linea alba), which can lead to the lower abdominal protrusion or “pooch” that so many women develop after childbirth or significant weight loss.
As an international continuing education provider, I experience firsthand the fitness and wellness disciplines that are popular in different cultures and countries. One consistent trend I am seeing is a shift from traditional fitness to holistic wellness. Fitness professionals are embracing the concept of training as a trilogy of mind, body and spirit. The following details offer a peek into what’s shaping the schedules in other parts of the world.
Practicing yoga with a partner can help students develop trust, strength and compassion. Try adding one or two partner poses to your regular yoga classes or a full partner class to your schedule to give students an invigorating challenge.
Worksite wellness continues to move to the forefront of employers’ concerns as sick days and injuries hamper productivity and damage bottom lines. Now, more than ever, companies are implementing programs to help employees make healthy lifestyle choices. What’s more, these programs seem to be working.
How can you help students understand a little bit more about how their bodies function? I like to introduce the concept of self-awareness in my classes. A typical warm-up, for example, focuses on isolating specific muscles, not just major muscle groups—a method that enables people to experience more fluid control in their movements. My motto is “Find it, feel it, move it.”
Find It. Find what? The intricate muscle groups responsible for “waking up” the proper muscle isolations needed for “The Stephanie Herman Method of Movement.”
Falls can be disastrous for older adults, possibly leading to long-term immobility and loss of independence. To help prevent falls, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org) recommends that seniors participate in an exercise program designed to improve strength, balance, agility and coordination.
If you are looking for a plateau buster to challenge your students, this class has been designed for you. It’s intended as an occasional class to help participants adapt to a higher level of strength and endurance through progressive overload. “Overload” is an amount of resistance (stimulus) necessary to further improve fitness; “progressive” refers to a gradual approach to introducing more work for the body to overcome. Through participating in a class like this one, students learn how to choose the resistance levels that will best meet their fitness needs and goals.