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Fit Tip Friday: PiYo Flip

There are so many postures and poses in yoga that are near and dear to my heart: triangle (Trikonasana), downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and of course, the for-so-long-elusive-but-now-conquered-BOOYAH handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana).

But one in particular has me fully in love right now, and it’s the PiYo Flip (essentially, Wild Thing or Camatkarasana with some fun foreplay).

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Now, BIG WARNING: please please please do not try this or any move you see on the Internet without speaking with your health practitioners to see if this or any backbend/inversion is appropriate for you and please please please modify this for your own needs. I am certified as a group fitness instructor and teach this posture in my classes, but that doesn’t mean I want you to go flipping around without a few precautions, OK?

The PiYo Flip works all of your muscles — your shoulders, back, glutes and legs, and it especially takes good core strength to perform with good alignment. Here’s my girl Chalene Johnson, the creator of PiYo Strength, demonstrating:

{Jump to :34 in or follow this link to be taken directly to the PiYo Flip part of the video.}

A few things to keep in mind:

1) This should only be attempted after a good warmup — with special focus on your shoulders and spine. You’ll be doing a small backbend, no matter your modification, so make sure everything is good and loose.

2) Start in plank position and when you’re ready, lift your right foot up in the air and bend your knee so your foot is close to your glutes {SEE THIS VIDEO FOR ANOTHER DEMO}. Grounding into the left foot on the mat and engaging your shoulders and core, gently drop your right foot on the left side of your mat (crossing behind your body) and land with your toes on the mat, your knee bent and your hips facing the ceiling.

3) Engaging your core, press your hips toward the sky, extend your left leg, letting your toes go loose, and gently extend your right arm over your head and toward the front of your mat.

4) Gently bring your foot back to the right side of your mat, lower your foot to the ground, come back to plank pose and either start again with the left leg or take a child’s pose for rest between the postures.


{That’s me above — I should have been bending my right knee, with toes on the ground rather than flat foot — see? It’s yoga practice, not perfect.}

That’s the move! Now, a few modifications:

a) If you’re not ready to do this from full plank position, try it with your knees on the ground. You’ll still start by bending your knee and bringing your foot toward your glutes, but then you’ll pivot on your knee when crossing the leg behind your body.

b) If you need something more advanced, start in downward dog position and when you’re ready, lift your right foot up in the air so you’re in single-leg downward dog, or three-legged dog. Grounding into the left foot on the mat and engaging your shoulders and core, gently bend your right knee and start to drop your right ankle and leg toward the left side of the mat. The more you bend, the easier this move will be (because you’ll have a shorter distance to the ground).

This move is a lot of fun, looks super cool (yeah, yeah, that’s not what yoga is about but come on, these are the days of Instagram!) and works your entire body.

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Be Here Now

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

BE HERE NOW. Live with intention. Make the time if you can. And if you can’t, be present for those short stretches, whenever they come. Time flies. So soar!

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