About Joe Pace

Joe is the Founder of Icewater Yoga. Fascinated by the intersection of yoga and sport, his goal is to help athletes develop a consistent yoga practice. He lives in Claremont, CA with his wife, Jill.

Best Yoga Pose for Runners

Low lunge is the best yoga pose for runners, and here’s why:

Runners use their legs to move forward. That’s obvious.

The muscles they use to move forward are the mainly the hip flexors (to pull the knee up) and the hamstrings (to pull the legs back), and quads (to stabilize the knee and strike the ground).

Of course, running activates all sorts of other muscles and, also of course, there’s no one yoga pose that can address every part of the body. For my body, when I run, low lunge (also known as anjaneyasana) gives me the shape I need to touch the most crucial parts of my body that tighten up from running.

My hip flexors get torched when I run. Maybe it’s something to do with my form or cadence, but they always seem to be the most worked body part after I run.

With low lunge, this area is addressed directly. Starting with one knee on the ground and the other lunging forward, the hips can draw forward to create a massive stretch up the psoas and adding a slight backbend lifts the stretch into the core (which feels pretty great).

So we have the hip flexors covered and I’m not going to be selfish and leave it there just because that’s what I need most. From this same position, you can do two things:

  1. Massive quad stretch: Drops the hands to the floor (or a block) and twist toward your front leg, maybe grabbing the back foot with your hand or a strap.
  2. Massive hamstring stretch: Shift the hips back and straighten the front leg, folding forward over that leg to any degree.

These two positions are, technically, not a low lunge, but the low lunge shape gives you easy access to move from pose to pose, even flowing a little bit, to get a smart warm-up or cool down for the major running muscles.

Yoga and running go very well together because each complements what the other lacks. In a way, running is the push and yoga is the pull.

To all the runners out there, is low lunge your favorite pose? If not, what other poses do you like to stay moving?

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

The Science Behind Warming Up: Dr. Pablo Costa

About this Episode:

Joe and Pablo talk about the science behind warming up, breaking down different warm-up techniques and verifying myths.

About Pablo:

Dr. Costa has a Doctorate in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oklahoma under the mentorship of Dr. Joel Cramer. Dr. Costa has authored and co-authored more than 150 research publications, book chapters, conference presentations, and abstracts. In addition, he is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR), is member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Research Committee, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and serves as a reviewer for over 35 journals.

Interest Areas:
Dr. Costa’s primary research interests involve the non-invasive assessment of neuromuscular function and the physiological effects of exercise on health, fitness, and performance using surface electromyography (EMG), transcutaneous nerve stimulation (evoked twitches), and other methods to non-invasively examine neuromuscular performance. Areas of research he has been involved with include resistance training, sports nutrition, balance, body composition, injury risk, flexibility, acceleration, and rate of force development.

Current projects:

Dr. Costa’s current research projects include:

— The effects of high intensity interval training on exercise and post-exercise caloric expenditure
— The effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation on peak torque, muscle imbalance, and injury risk
— The effects of short-term resistance training on contralateral strength gains and muscle mass
— The effects of stretching on performance, injury risk, and postural stability

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Start your two-week free trial: https://icewateryoga.com/product/monthly-subscription/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.

Top 5 Yoga Poses to Improve Strength

Yoga isn’t just a bunch of stretching.

I have a lot of conversations about yoga with all kinds of people. It’s fun and interesting to hear people’s perceptions about what yoga is and what it does for the body.

The more I learn about yoga, the more I realize how broad the actual term is and how vastly representative it can be. On the physical side of yoga (yes, there are other sides) there are countless styles, approaches, and techniques. Of the classical and time-honored traditions of yoga, I can’t say that any of them has a specific focus on “stretching”.

So, when I’m discussing the topic of yoga with someone and they say something along the lines of “yeah, I could really use more stretching”, I mostly feel disappointed in the way yoga is portrayed in the media because of how misleading it is.

Yoga isn’t about stretching, it’s about balance.

Many bodies are imbalanced when it comes to range of motion, so a lot of the yoga out there adapts and becomes more stretching oriented. But, that doesn’t mean that yoga can’t be an impressively strengthening practice.

If you allow it to be, your yoga experience can be a source of complete and balanced full body strength, especially if you have a basic understanding of technique, so you don’t hurt yourself in the process.

This video and post serves as an introduction to the top 5 strengthening poses in yoga, the proper technique to do them correctly and for the maximum benefit, and a few extra tricks to make the poses dynamic and expansive.

Here are the poses we’ll cover:

  1. Plank: Learn to engage the whole body equally and safely in this static, isometric hold.
  2. Chaturanga: Not a pushup, but a pose. Alignment in this pose is absolutely essential to avoid wear and tear on the shoulders.
  3. Chair: Moving into the legs, set up your basic alignment and practice a relatively advanced concept to make it more of a strengthening pose for the pelvic floor.
  4. Horse: A major leg strengthening pose that can optional include dynamic movement in the legs and upper body.
  5. Locust: My favorite yoga pose. Not glamorous, but the best pose to complement our sitting-intensive lifestyles.

My hope is that this video will give you a starting point for establishing strength with your yoga practice and also begin to appreciate the strengthening aspects of the practice.

Yoga is a lot of things. Stretching is certainly one of them. Strengthening is also one of them. Can you find balance between the two on your journey to discover what lies beyond them?

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

How to Eagle: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, we build up to full eagle pose in five steps, piecing the pose together as we go.

Full Eagle Pose has a lot of things happening at once, mainly a bind in the upper body, and bind in the lower body, and one-legged balancing.

To start out, the goal is to minimize variable and give you a pose that a) allows you to set a foundation of strength and body awareness for the pose while also getting some of the primary benefits of it. Enter step 1) Chair pose with a Bearhug (when’s the last time you have yourself a bear hug? I bet you’re due!)

The next steps add complexity, bit by bit.

Step 2 brings the arms into a half-bind and introduces a one legged balance without a bind.

Step 3, the arms stay as in step 2 and the legs move into a half bind.

Step 4, legs the same, arms into a full bind.

Final step, arms in full bind, legs in full bind (aka the full pose).

If you followed the steps closely, you’ll notice that the progression alternates between skills and range of motion development in the upper body and lower body.

When we add complexity to the upper body, the lower body stays the same as the previous step, and vice versa.

This approach is how to truly ingrain yoga poses and, honestly, any other acquired skill. Bite size pieces that progress upon the previous step won’t be as gratifying in the short run, but you’ll ultimately get to your goal a lot quicker and maybe learn something along the way.

The bonus here is you’re giving yourself bear hugs all the way through, which isn’t a bad step to add every now and then.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Wellness and Determination: Andrew Sealy

About this Episode:

Joe and Andrew talk yoga, health, and wellness, and Andrew shares a personal story of how he worked through a series of challenges to launch his podcast.

About Andrew:

Andrew Sealy is a connection catalyst, a Yoga artist, and a movement creator.

His days are spent traveling to find adventure, practicing to cultivate growth, and constantly absorbing wisdom to creating new experiences that he shares with love to his friends around the world.

He finds joy in interviewing Yogis from all walks of life to share their inspiring stories on the Yoga Revealed Podcast.

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Start your two-week free trial: https://icewateryoga.com/product/monthly-subscription/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.

How to Headstand: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

Learn how to be effortlessly upside down.

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, headstand is broken down into 5 simple steps with an introduction that establishes the most important aspect of the pose: the foundation.

Without a strong understanding of the proper alignment of the headstand foundation, you’re essentially putting all of your body weight on your neck (very bad) and risk crashing out of the pose.

With the foundation established, we move into a carefully planned, step-by-step sequence of poses leading up to the full pose, which is the 5th and final step.

Here are the steps that will be covered, in order:

  1. Align: Stay low to the ground and apply the fundamental principles of the headstand foundation
  2. Lift: Use your understanding of the headstand foundation to bear weight in the arms (and not the neck) in a familiar shape.
  3. Wall: Next, we go upside-down for the first time, but in a low-to-the-ground little package with the support of the wall, if needed.
  4. Extend: Still at the wall, we take our low-to-the-ground package and extend the legs to the ceiling, creating the classic headstand shape, with the wall there, just in case.
  5. Full Pose: With technique and practice established, we’re ready to take headstand to the middle of the room. No walls this time, because we don’t need them. Our foundation and body awareness is all that’s necessary.

There are so many headstand tutorials out there that teach the pose in a risky way. I put this step-by-step guide together to provide better information than what’s currently available.

There’s no need to fear headstand if you have the proper training. So, watch the video, ask any questions you have, and fear no more.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Top 5 Yoga Poses to Improve Balance

Certain yoga poses have a way of representing more than just our physical state.

When you start to develop a regular yoga practice, certain types of poses start to become simpler, and others just stay hard.

Once you pass the beginner phase of yoga and you have a good grasp of basic yoga technique, the next layer that you’ll face is how your psychological state translates into your yoga practice.

In the busy and sometimes frenetic culture most of us operate in, it’s had to lead a balanced life. Every moment brings more things grabbing for our attention, places to go, things to do, and people to see all pulling us in multiple directions at once.

No matter how physically able your body is, balancing poses tend to be tougher when you’re carrying mental imbalance from life’s busyness onto the yoga mat.

In my experience, my ability to sustain a balancing pose is directly related to how balanced or imbalanced my life is at any given time. If I’ve maintained a healthy work-rest balance, my trees and half moons tend to be sturdy. When I’m super busy and under-rested, I fall out over and over again.

So here’s a little exploration in the challenge of balance. This video covers 5 different ways of practicing balance — 4 poses on the feet (or, better put, foot) and 1 focused on the upper body.

Here are the poses and the way they’ll challenge your balance:

  1. Tree: Can you balance on one leg while in contact with the other leg?
  2. Knee Lift: Can you balance on one leg without contact with the other leg?
  3. Warrior 3: Can you balance with one leg behind you?
  4. Half Moon: Can you balance when your body is sideways?
  5. Side Plank: Can you balance on one arm and one leg?

As always, I offer tips and options for you to explore each of these poses in a way that makes sense for your body.

As you come back to these poses over the course of your yoga practice, notice how their quality tends to fluctuate with your state of mind. This is one of the first clear signals of the mind-body connection brought to the surface by a yoga practice.

Enjoy it, learn from it, and stay curious.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Doctor/Strength Coach: Dr. Andy Galpin

About this Episode:

Joe and Andy discuss the physical aspects of yoga and different approached to physical training as well as balancing immediate and delayed gratification.

About Andy:

Dr. Galpin has been an Assistant Professor at California State University, Fullerton, since 2011, but spent the first 18 years of his life in rural southwest (Rochester) Washington. He was fortunate enough to win a Division III National Championship in Football while earning his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science at Linfield College (2005).

Dr. Galpin spent time as a strength and conditioning/performance coach for a variety of clients that included numerous high profile professional athletes (MMA, BJJ, MLB, NFL, NHL, PGA, Special Forces, etc.) as well as various clinical populations (diabetics, permanently disabled, stroke victims, obese, etc.). He received his Master’s degree in Human Movement Sciences from The University of Memphis (2008) and his Ph.D. in Human Bioenergetics from Ball State University (2011).

Dr. Galpin is an active member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, American College of Sports Medicine, and American Physiological Society and still actively coaches/competes in Weightlifting (Olympic-style)and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Interest Area:

Dr. Galpin’s research interests include the acute responses and chronic adaptations to human skeletal muscle (both at the whole muscle and single cell level) following high intensity/velocity/power exercise. Dr. Galpin utilizes skeletal muscle biopsies to assess muscle fiber type, substrate concentrations, and cellular signaling protein activity.

Current projects:

Dr. Galpin’s current research projects include 1) advanced methods of individual human skeletal muscle fiber typing, 2) describing the impact of non-traditional modes of anaerobic exercise, and 3) characterizing impact forces of professional mixed martial arts/kickboxing/boxing strikes.

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Start your two-week free trial: https://icewateryoga.com/product/monthly-subscription/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.

Top 5 Stretches for the Inflexible!

You don’t have to be “flexible” to do yoga.

One of the most popular excuses I hear when people tell me why they don’t do yoga is that they’re not flexible. Without exaggerating at all, this is pretty much the same thing as saying “I don’t exercise because I’m not in shape”. It just doesn’t make sense.

The issue is yoga often gets misinterpreted as a flexibility competition, where naturally flexible people have a stage to show off how rubber-band-like their hamstrings are. From this perspective, I can see how yoga might not be the first option for people with relatively less range of motion.

Thankfully, no one is taking score in a yoga class and, honestly, nobody cares how flexible you are. Sure, that person in the corner might have a deeper forward fold than you, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing yoga any more than you are.

When we look at yoga as a place to explore our range of motion, we can’t use flexibility as an excuse for not doing yoga anymore. No matter what you’re flexibility, there’s always an edge to explore and use to learn more about yourself.

Most poses can be done by anybody, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll look the same. Back to that person in the corner, they might not need a strap or block to do a pose, and they might be folded in half three times over, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also do the pose in your own way.

And that’s what this video and post is all about — giving you the tools and knowledge to do five major categories of yoga poses even if you live in a relatively stiffer muscular system.

Here are the categories we’ll cover:

  1. Forward Folds: Learn how to use a block and a strap to get a huge hamstring stretch without compromising your low back
  2. Shoulder Flossing: Just like flossing your teeth, shoulder flossing is something everyone should be doing. Also like flossing, anyone can do it.
  3. Low Lunge: One of the best yoga poses out there for counteracting the effects of sitting. Take this one slow and do your best to not allow your hips to pitch forward (which brings excess pressure into the low back).
  4. Figure Four: We tend to store a lot of stress and psychological baggage in physical locations — the hips are a major repository for this type of storage. Figure four is a perfect introductory outer hip stretch to give you a chance to stretch out stuff that’s not just physical.
  5. Cat and Cow: More of a transition between poses than a “stretch”, but an absolutely crucial movement for the spine, which often gets ignored in common stretching routines.

If you consider yourself “inflexible”, I would strongly recommend that you bring some yoga into your life and use this tutorial as a jumping off point to do yoga in a way that’s productive for your body and not competitive with others.

Educating yourself with videos like this isn’t a bad place to start!

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Top 3 Beginner Yoga Mistakes

The biggest mistakes beginners make can’t be seen.

Coming into yoga from the world of sports and/or fitness, it’s easy to shun some of the details mentioned in class. Some people never learn to appreciate these finer details and I feel sorry for them — their yoga will most likely never enjoy the finer aspects of a true yoga practice.

I totally understand how a newer yoga student might struggle with all the newness that comes with yoga. There’s so much to figure out on the external side of yoga that it becomes almost impossible to pay attention to the internal practice.

We all want to look like we belong and nobody wants to look like they have no idea what they’re doing no matter what they’re doing.

That’s why I’m here to tell you that, in yoga, what you look like on the outside matters far less than what you feel like on the inside. Not to sound like a kids T.V. show, but you’re truly missing the point if you ignore how you feel in a yoga class.

Of course, you don’t want to injure yourself, so some external alignment is necessary, but the biggest mistakes I see new yoga students make relate more to the mind. Most yoga students (and teachers) tend to not notice these things, which is why you can look like an expert yoga student but actually have no idea what you’re doing.

What you can’t see is how much someone is competing with themselves or others, how much listening they’re doing to the teacher or their body, or how focused they are on their breathing.

These are the three biggest mistakes beginner students make: 1) competing, 2) not listening, and 3) not focusing on breathing as the priority.

We tend to take habits from other fitness modalities and plunge into yoga with no intention of changing our approach. For athletes, it’s nearly impossible to not compete with others and, if they can do that, it’s even harder not to bring some form of self-competition onto the yoga mat. When we compete in yoga, we get injured. As athletes, the sport already brings enough risk for injury, so the competitive attitude in yoga is only putting your body at an unnecessary additional risk.

When you’re not listening to your body or teacher, you miss important warnings that signal potential harm and you ignore the possibility to expand your understanding of the practice.

When you put the breath anywhere other than the top priority, you break the link between body and mind and, essentially, reduce the practice to exercise instead of something truly life-changing.

If you can improve in these three areas, even though most people won’t notice, you will be doing yoga while everyone else is just exercising.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Yoga for Athletes Entrepreneur: Lizzy Chiappy

About this Episode:

Joe and Lizzy discuss the path to starting a yoga franchise and studio, the world of “intense” ballet, and Lizzy’s experience dealing with major change and turning that struggle into success.

Lizzy is an impressive businessperson and representative of yoga for athletes. You can learn more about her primary business Yogalete using the following link: http://www.yogaletetraining.com/

About Lizzy:

Lizzy Chiappy is a dedicated professional health and fitness leader who is passionate about integrating the benefits of yoga into athletes’ lives.

As the founder of Yogalete, Lizzy has incorporated years of experience, multiple fitness certifications, and research studies with the University of Miami to create an active recovery yoga program specifically geared towards athletes.

Lizzy has taken her skills to the classroom, teaching about the effects of yoga as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami. She has facilitated over 700 athletes ranging from youth and collegiate to amateur and professional sports.

As a lululemon athletica ambassador and a STOP sports injuries affiliate, Lizzy strives to deliver effective programming and training to athletes, athletic staff, and yoga teachers.

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Learn more about us: https://www.icewateryoga.com/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.

How to Handstand (Before You Can Handstand)

Handstand Before You Can Handstand

I promise, this makes sense.

“Handstand” technically refers to balancing the body weight on the hands with the legs overhead.

Now that we have that definition in place, can you see the loophole?

Before I tell you, let’s compare our definition of handstand to the most common definition of handstand.

For most, “handstand” means something very specific: balancing a completely vertical body, legs together and pointing straight and vertical, body completely motionless.

This rigid definition of handstand is what makes us think we can’t handstand. But, our new definition is broader and allows for a lot of customization.

Have you figured out the loophole yet?

It’s the legs. Your legs don’t have to be completely vertical and pressed together for you to be doing a “handstand”. All you need to do is balance your weight on your hands with your legs overhead.

So, what can you do with your legs to handstand (our definition) before you can handstand (old definition)?

That’s what this video is all about. In it, you’ll learn how to use your legs to 1) lower your center of gravity, 2) widen your center of gravity, and 3) use a support system.

By doing these three things, your chances of balancing your weight on your hands is going to be much more realistic and you can start intelligently working towards that old definition of handstand (which is really only one version of the pose).

Working smarter, in this way, will make your handstand journey much more fun and exciting. Enjoy.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

How to Koundie 2: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, we piece together Hurdler pose (also known as Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2) and, just like a hurdler, you’re going to need a lot of range of motion in your hips to be stable in this pose. So that’s where we start.

Step 1 is all about adductor (inner thigh) stretching and mobility work. You need this area to be functionally mobile in general, but it also helps to have this range of motion for Hurdler.

Step 2 is about building strength in a flowing movement that approach the entry to the pull arm balance. You might be familiar with the “knee-to-elbow” movement if you’ve ever take a flow or vinyasa yoga class before. Unlike most classes, our approach is for you to slow this movement down as much as possible so you can own the strength you develop and notice the changes in your hip mobility over time. No momentum here, friends!

In step 3, we make one small change to step 2 — holding the knee to the elbow instead of touching and releasing. If your looking core core, arm, and shoulder strength, this step is going to be money for you.

Step 4 respects the fact that you probably haven’t developed quite enough hip mobility to take the full pose yet, and also respects that you’ve earned at least an attempt at the arm balance. So, here you’ll keep your front knee bent and work towards the body awareness needed to lift the back leg off the ground and counter balance by drawing the chest forward. (Ain’t easy).

Finally, after potentially months of work, you’re ready for the full pose, drawing the front knee to straight and, having earned arm balance body awareness in step 4, hovering and flying over the mat with ease.

This is a great first or second arm balance for newer students to play with. It’s generally pretty safe as long as you respect your hip mobility and aren’t afraid of falling on your face a few times.

As a side note, avoiding face planting is a really good motivator for figuring out how to arm balance.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

How to Koundie 1: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, we build up to Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 or EPK1 (sorry, there’s really no great English name for it).

This arm balance requires a lot of familiarity and range of motion with twisting on top of a lot of upper body strength and body awareness

The goal of this 5-step progression is to nail one skill first before moving to the next and, ultimately, doing multiple skills at the same time.

Start with a simple twist to build strength and functional mobility in the spine, then build core and upper body strength, then do the simplest twisting arm balance. These first three steps isolate the three most important skills separately, then step 4 and 5 bring them all together.

Step 4 is essentially the arm balance in a slightly simpler leg variation, and step 5 is the full arm balance, legs split, floating above your mat.

Be careful and patient — this one takes time and skipping steps isn’t going to get you there any quicker.

If you can control your instinct to rush through the steps and be patient enough to let this pose develop over weeks and months, you’re core and abs and shoulders and spine will all be better for it.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

The Holistic Approach to Coaching: Josh Warren

About this Episode:

Joe and Josh discuss his unique approach to coaching tennis and dig into concepts such as neuromuscular balancing, ashram life, and biomechanics.

About Josh:

Josh Warren, MS, LMT, founder and developer of Integrated Tennis, a unique integration of sport psychology, yoga, and muscle balancing concepts. He holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science concentrating in Sport Psychology from Ithaca College.

As Head Women’s Tennis Coach, Josh started Husson University’s first tennis team in 2015 in Bangor, ME. They rapidly advanced by winning their conference and making it to the NCAA Tournament in just four years while the team maintained above a 3.5 GPA.

Josh also assists Yoga Teacher Trainings and Positional Therapy Teacher Trainings at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Mountains, Stockbridge, MA.

Learn more about Josh at http://www.integratedtennis.com/

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Start your two-week free trial: https://icewateryoga.com/product/monthly-subscription/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.

The One Thing Nobody Realizes About Handstand

We only see one thing when it comes to handstand: the handstand.

Like an upside-down statue, not a single body part is moving and it looks like they can just hold it forever.

What we don’t realize about handstand is your ability to do it has more to do with what happens before handstand than what’s happening while your handstanding.

Most attempts to handstand pay very little (if any) attention to the entry into handstand, but it’s secretly the most important part of handstanding and is the main determining factor in whether or not you’ll have a successful handstand.

I don’t want you to be that person who just jumps and hopes (and probably crashes), so I made this video explaining how to enter into handstand with a plan.

The main focus here is how you use your body, especially your legs, to enter into handstand with poise and control so you can hold your handstand with poise and control.

More specifically, this video review the follow seven options for entering into handstand:

  1. Tick Tock
  2. Single-Leg Press
  3. One-Knee Bend
  4. Tuck Up
  5. Pike
  6. Straddle
  7. Press

Some are more advanced than others, but any of them will give you a strong entry into handstand.

Having a plan and a purpose is so important when it comes to any challenge we face. Here we learn the skill of planning with a purpose so we can bring it into our everyday lives (not just handstand!).

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Considering the Past and Future: Kevin Boyle

About this Episode:

Joe and Kevin discuss Kevin’s fond memories in the party and rave culture before being laid off from his corporate job and having his “hand forced” to pursue the career he always wanted: teaching yoga.

About Kevin (in his words):

By age 25, I was overweight, anxious and a little bit lost in life.

I was the least athletic boy in school, partied heavily (and happily!) in my 20’s and lived for the weekends.

One evening, my Dad sat me down for a family intervention and I knew something had to change. Luckily for me, it was at this time that a good friend encouraged me to train for a triathlon (which I thought was some sort of chocolate bar) and that began my journey into health, fitness and wellbeing.

In the last 10 years, I’ve left the corporate world, trained as a yoga teacher and I’ve been flat out teaching since; in YogaHub, Elbowroom, Samadhi, at WellFest and in India!

I’ve studied with Bryce Yoga & Josh Summers and am now accredited with 600 hours of professional development under Yoga Alliance.

Most recently I’ve become involved in training teachers and teaching online.

In my classes, I love to share my experience of yoga in a way that is accessible and fun for everyone.

Learn more about Kevin at https://kevinboyleyoga.ie/ and on his podcast “The Yoga Life”.

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Start your two-week free trial: https://icewateryoga.com/product/monthly-subscription/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.

Why You Can’t Handstand | 3 Biggest Mistakes

Most people can’t handstand.

Are you willing to accept the three main reason why you’re a non-handstander?

It’s easy to make excuses for yourself and tell yourself it’s just too hard, but the reality is you’ve probably been misinformed about how to do handstand and this is leading to the three biggest mistakes I see in handstand (and in sports, in general):

  1. You’re overworking
  2. You’re rushing
  3. You’re afraid

These three things, especially when combined, make it almost impossible to take on any challenge with poise and grace.

My theory is that by improving on each of these mistakes in your handstand practice, you will be able to start eliminating them from other aspects of your life. I believe this will make you a better athlete, competitor, and person.

So, this isn’t just about handstand, it’s about being efficient (not overworking), having a plan (not rushing), and building experience and confidence (not afraid) in everything you do.

For now, let’s start with three things you can do to improve your handstand, today.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

How to Forearmstand: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

Forearmstand is extremely versatile and creates the perfect balance between inverting and arm balancing.

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, we focus on the forearmstand, also known as pincha mayurasana (which translates to feathered peacock pose).

Full disclosure: this is my favorite arm balance. Here’s why…

First, it requires a respect for technique that many poses don’t really require. To stand on your forearms the technique isn’t very complicated, but if you’re unaware or don’t pay attention to it, the pose completely crumbles. (The first part of the tutorial gives you a detailed understanding of alignment and technique for forearmstand)

Also, the process towards the full pose requires a respect for process. You need to take your time as you create more strength and range of motion in the shoulders and also the hamstrings (to enter the pose smoothly and without momentum). You also need to give yourself time to develop the body awareness to balance with a lower center of gravity (which this tutorial will show you how to do) before straightening the legs into the full pose.

Also, once you start to get comfortable being upside down, you’ll notice that you can spend longer and longer periods of time holding the pose and you build strength and refine your alignment. With a refined understanding of how to make the pose lighter and more effortless, you get the benefit of an extended inversion (like headstand) and an extended arm balance (like handstand).

Headstand and handstand are both great poses, but headstand tends to be less physically engaging while handstand is often difficult to hold for very long. Forearmstand is the perfect middle ground between the two.

Finally, once you’ve got the pose down cold, it becomes a versatile starting point for interesting leg variations, backbends, and transitions. I cover these options in another tutorial, but just know that the party doesn’t end once you’ve gotten into the pose. There’s always more to explore.

To give you a well-planned program to work towards the pose, here’s how this tutorial breaks out the different skills you’ll need to make it happen:

  1. Plank: Shoulder and Core strengthening
  2. Dolphin: Every benefit of plank plus beginning to get used to the inversion aspect of the pose
  3. Dolphin Leg Lift: Dolphin with a little more intensity and inversion
  4. Wall: Balance on your forearms with alignment, a low center of gravity, and a safety net
  5. Full Pose: Move away from the wall and work towards straightening the legs overhead

As always, respect the process, take your time, and pay attention to the little wins along the way. There’s no sense in rushing, you’re going to be practicing yoga for a while. Just do your practice and everything will work out.

Start using yoga to live athletically: https://www.IcewaterYoga.com

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

Breathing Tradition Meets Science: Robin Rothenberg

About this Episode:

Joe and Robin discuss yoga breathing techniques and how modern science has uncovered the truth about breathing practices described in ancient yoga texts.

About Robin:

Robin Rothenberg has trained yoga teachers since 1999. Certified in both Viniyoga and Iyengar yoga (through 1992), with additional training as a Spiritual Director and Buteyko Breathing Educator, Robin brings a unique weave of traditions into her practice. Since 2014, the EYT Therapist Training has been an IAYT Accredited Yoga Therapist Training Program, with Robin as Program Director.

For the past three years, Robin has immersed herself in a personal study of the breath, of the ancient teachings on pranayama, and the science of respiratory physiology. The result of this inquiry has her calling for a “Breath Revolution” in the yoga community. Her new book, to be released in the Spring, ‘Restoring Prana: A Guide to Pranayama and Healing Through the Breath’, suggests a serious re-evulation of the ‘big breathing’ habit, and a scientifically supported return to the roots of yoga which teach us to retain prana, by minimizing breath while increasing breath suspensions.

About Icewater Yoga:

Icewater Yoga is an online yoga platform offering hundreds of classes designed specifically for athletes.

Start your two-week free trial: https://icewateryoga.com/product/monthly-subscription/

Questions:

Email us at info@icewateryoga.com to ask any questions you have about the podcast or anything else.