As both a yogi and yoga teacher, I am always learning more about yoga and what my body is capable of, I am also constantly monitoring my students and looking at what their bodies are capable of doing. Every now and again, there will be asanas (yoga poses) which challenge not only my students, but myself too. When that happens, I work slowly and use yoga props (blocks, belts, wheels) to move with balance & control. My latest prop is the TRX Suspension Trainer (yes, really!).
TRX, leaders in functional, suspension training equipment has recently launched TRX For Yoga, enabling you to perform asanas which you can’t do unassisted. The adjustable straps are sturdy, encouraging the use of bodyweight and targeted muscle groups to help you strengthen, advance & deepen your asana.
Here are just a few poses you can achieve with the aid of the TRX Suspension Trainer:
TRX Eka Pada Koudinyasana
Progression 1 With the straps adjusted to mid-calf, position yourself on the ground facing away from the anchor point with the feet in the foot cradles. From the plank position bring one knee towards the shoulder on the same side. Return the leg to the starting plank position. Repeat on the other side.
Progression 2 Progression 2 of this pose is a slight modification of Progression 1. This time as you bring your knee toward your shoulder, add a push up. After repeating on the other side, cycle through the series until you’ve had enough.
Progression 3 In this progression, place one foot in both foot cradles with your hands in front of you in the plank position. Bring the free knee to the shoulder on that side, bending the elbows as you do. Place the knee on the back of the arm and hold. If your flexibility and the strap length allows, you can extend through the foot of the bent leg to bring the leg closer to forming a straight-line position. Repeat on the other side.
Progression 1 Adjust your straps to mid-length, and begin this progression (TRX Low Lunge) facing away from your anchor point. Place one foot into the foot cradle with the knee on the floor. The opposite foot should be placed in front of you with your knee bent. Carefully place your hands onto the front thigh, and adjust the hips so they face forward. If available, you can bend the back knee and reach the same hand back to grab either the straps or the handle.
Progression 2 In this progression, place yourself so you are standing in front of the straps with one foot into both foot cradles. Bend the back knee and reach the same hand for the straps. Keep the chest lifted and try not to dump all the weight forward. Use the straps to continue lifting the foot up. Grab the handles to deepen the stretch. Reach the opposite hand forward.
Progression 3 From progression 2, reach back with the opposite hand to grab onto the straps. Place your hands along the straps so that they are right next to each other. As you ground through the standing leg, begin to walk the hands down closer to the foot as your flexibility allows. Press the foot into the straps as you create tension by pulling with the hands either in the handles or further up on the straps. Maintain a lifted chest.
Progression 1 This is also called a TRX Standing Split. Stand facing away from the anchor point with one foot in both foot cradles. Slowly lower your hands to the ground in front of you. The leg that is in the Suspension Trainer extends further toward the ceiling. Walk your hands as far back as you can. To release out of the pose, slowly walk your hands and the non-suspended leg forward towards the anchor.
Progression 2 Starting from the TRX Standing Split, press your hands strongly into the floor and drive the back heel forcefully into the foot cradles to bring the non-suspended foot off the floor. Bend the free leg and bring the knee to the chest. Drive the suspended-heel strongly into the foot cradles. Squeeze the belly-button into the spine to engage the core.
Progression 3 From progression 2, try lifting the non-suspended leg towards the suspended leg. Keep tension on the straps. Engage the core, continue to press the hands firmly into the earth. To come out of the pose, slowly lower the non-suspended leg back down to the ground. Carefully begin to walk the hands and the non-suspended leg forwards towards the anchor. Carefully remove the foot cradles.
TRX Warrior 2
Progression 1 Adjust the straps to mid-length. Stand beneath your anchor point with one hand on each handle. Step forward with one foot into a lunge position and then turn out your back foot 90 degrees. Press down into the handles to engage under the shoulder blades. Turn your head so you are looking over the front fingertips.
Progression 2 In this progression, follow the similar set-up as progression 1, but grab both handles with the back hand. Maintain the front arm at even height and continue to engage through both arms evenly.
For more information and TRX For Yoga inspiration, see: https://www.trxtraining.co.uk/yoga