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Good Form: Integrity trumps ambition in yoga

Precision and control are more important than speed and momentum in yoga and Pilates.

August 01, 2011|Karen Voight | Good Form
(Charles Bush )

By practicing yoga and Pilates on a regular basis, you learn to train your body from the inside out. In performing moves like this one, it is important to use precision and control instead of speed and momentum.

Begin by sitting upright on a mat or a padded surface. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor. Inhale, lift your chest and lean back slightly, resting your fingertips behind you. Without rounding your upper back, raise both feet off the floor, keeping your knees bent and your shins parallel to the ceiling. Once you find your balance, move your arms in front of you, reaching your hands to the outsides of your knees. Focus on flattening your abdominals and lifting your chest with your shoulders pressed down and back.

Slowly begin to straighten your legs. It is helpful to straighten one leg at a time so you can focus on maintaining your balance throughout the exercise and not allowing your upper back to round forward. Hold the final position for 5 or 6 breaths. Release by bending your knees and returning to the start position. Repeat two more times.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."

karen@karenvoight.com

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