Emphasize stability and mobility with a combination of disciplines.
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Yoga sticky mats enhance the experience but are not required.
MUSIC: Mindful, slow music with no distracting, steady background beat works best. Choose songs that promote introspection and relaxation.
PROTOCOL: This class experience trains proximal stability first (primarily through yoga) and then enhances and challenges that stability by adding distal mobility (primarily through Pilates). The addition of energy work (tai chi) at the beginning and end completes this triplanar functional core class. The exercises celebrate all spinal movements (flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation). Although the Feldenkrais Method® is not specifically referred to in the body of the class, whenever we perform an exercise with eyes closed to promote a more mindful inner journey, we invoke concepts from this discipline.
• Teach participants to breathe in the way that is most natural for them.
• For a more traditional approach, hold yoga-inspired postures for five breath cycles on each side, breathing through the nose. For every Pilates-inspired movement, inhale through the nose to prepare, and exhale through the mouth during the main movement.
• Teach only as many repetitions as is safely challenging.
• Cue participants to avoid holding their breath.
• Remind students to continue breathing in each discipline, regardless of the specific technique.
Teaching Tools: I've found that the following formula works best when leading fusion formats, because it promotes consistency. Every section begins with the letter "P" to help you remember the steps:
• pose and position (How do we set up and prepare for this posture?)
• purpose (Why are we doing this?)
• prana (How should we breathe?)
• progression/regression (How do we increase/decrease the difficulty for all levels?)
• past (Which discipline inspired this exercise?)
Lawrence Biscontini, MA, has won instructor-of-the-year awards from ACE (2002), IDEA (2004) and Can-Fit-Pro (specialty presenter, 2004). He is an international wellness and spa consultant and possesses multiple personal training and group certifications. Find out more about him at www.find lawrence.com.