Vie Active Workout Series Part II: Yoga/Pilates with Cherida

Posted on 10 July 2014

Welcome to Part II of the Vie Active Workout Series by our newest Vie Activist, Cherida Forde. Cherida, owner of Sydney based YP Active, challenges the body and mind through a fusion of yoga and pilates moves that will leave you feeling invigorated and refreshed. She tells us why the combination of Yoga and Pilates is so beneficial for the body and shows us her favourite moves that you can do at home.

Cherida wears the Black Leopard Lori Zippered Sports Bra and Black Leopard Lauren Compression Tights

1. What are the benefits of a yoga/pilates workout?
I could go on forever with the answer to this question but to keep it short and sweet both Yoga and Pilates are designed to give the body many benefits from enhancing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity to increasing flexibility, balance and mental clarity. 

2. What are the best pre and post workout snacks for this type of workout?
You don't want to eat anything too heavy before a yoga pilates workout as you are exercising your core a lot. Nuts & seeds with some dried fruit, veggie sticks and hummus or nut butter, protein shake, green juice, piece of fruit etc.
3. What are your gym bag essentials to ensure you're equipped for this type of workout?
Water and coconut water, gym towel, yoga mat (if you prefer to use your own) also tight fitting gym clothes (the Vie Active compression tights are perfect!)

4. What are your favourite yoga/pilates exercises that can be easily done at home? 

Single Leg Crunch
Start on your back with hand behind the head and both knees relaxed in at the chest.
- Inhale to prepare
- Exhale activate the shoulders by drawing the shoulders down and away from the ears as you lift the head to a hover.
- Inhale to hold.
- Exhale, navel to spine as you take your right elbow towards your left knee whilst extending your right leg.
- Inhale back to the hover
- Exhale to the other side.
Repeat 15-20 times on each side 
Benefits: all of your abdominal muscles including the deep, side and top layer are toned with this excerise. Believe it or not it actually also strengthens the calf muscles and front of the thighs and teaches co-ordination of the upper, lower, left & right sides of the body.

Side Leg Circles
Start in side-lying position, the lower leg bent - heel in line with the buttocks. Extend the top leg long with the toe softly pointed.
- Inhale to prepare
- Exhale, navel to spine, and begin to draw small circles with the top leg in one direction 12 times, breathing into it.
- Reverse rotation and then repeat on other side.
Benefits: limbering and strengthening top leg hip joint, firming the buttocks and the side of the leg whilst creating definition in the leg.

Begin on all fours - wrists directly underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale to prepare
- Exhale, navel to spine, as you arch your back up towards the sky (stretching like your an angry cat) at the same time let your head and tailbone drop down towards your mat (imagining that you are bringing your head and tailbone together).
- Inhale reverse the curve of the spine so your tailbone moves up and your chest moves forward and up. Your head moves as a long extenstion of the spine (dont let your head fall back).
Repeat 3-4 times
Benefits: Stretches the front torso and neck, provides gentle massage to the spine and stomach organs with also stretching and strengthening the spine.

Down Dog with Dog Hovers
Start in childs pose with arms out slightly wider then shoulder width. Grip through the fingers and pads of the hands and active the shoulders by roating the armpits under and sliding the shoulders down and away from the ears.
- Inhale prepare.
- Exhale, navel to spine and push through the palms of the hands coming up onto the toes and lifting the pelvis as high as you can.
- Inhale push the heels towards the floor, coming into Downward Dog. Whilst in this pose work with lifting the tailbone high, taking the weight out of the wrists. Place even pressure through the hands and feet, the neck soft and released, working the heels down towards the mat.
From Downward Dog
- Inhale, come back up onto the toes and then bend the knees to hover off the floor
- Exhale, push back up onto the toes
- Inhale, repeat the hover.
Repeat 6 hovers then hold in Down Dog for 3 full breaths before repeating entire sequence 3-5times
Benefits: Strengthens wrists, shoulders, and builds endurance and stamina in upper, lower and middle body, stretches the whole back of the body from ankles to wrists.

Plank - One Arm Balance
Start on all fours with wrists directly underneath the shoulders and shoulder width apart and knees directly underneath the hips and hip width apart.
- Inhale to prepare.
- Exhale, extend one leg back and then the other. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
- Inhale to prepare
- Exhale, navel to spine as you place right hand into the centre of the mat and turn to the left with your left arm up towards the sky and your left leg & foot is stacked on top of your right hold for 5 breaths.
- Return back to plank for 3-5 breaths and then repeat with left hand in the centre.
Benefits: improves balance, builds core strength, stregthens legs, arms, shoulders and wrists, stretches the wrists and lengthens the spine.

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