Hard workouts and sedentary days combine to make our muscles feel tight. And that’s where a lengthening yoga flow comes in—by incorporating certain yoga poses and combinations into your routine, you can loosen up tight muscles throughout your body and boost your mobility.In the third installment of Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series, yoga instructor Rita Murjani—the chief of staff at mindful living brand Aduri who teaches at NYC-based studios SkyTing and Equinox—demonstrates a yoga flow that’s designed to stretch out your tight muscles, particularly those along the sides of your body. Throughout the course of this nearly 40-minute video, Murjani will take you through poses, variations, and flows that will help stretch the tight obliques along your side, as well as tight hamstrings, back, quads, hip flexors, and glutes.In this beginner yoga video, you’ll start with a bridge pose variation, where you’ll focus on your breath and centering your mind and body. Then you’ll get into the flow: You’ll recognize a bunch of the yoga poses here—especially the cat cow, downward dog, crescent lunge, sphinx, forward fold, and child’s pose—but you’ll build on several of them with different variations. (Say, for instance, the cat cow: Rather than taking this pose super slow, you’ll up the tempo here, and then switch in a different form that’ll really stretch out your hands, arms, and wrists.) You’ll also learn a few new poses too, like the lion’s breath, undulating cobra, and modified side plank. To end the yoga flow, you’ll hit a bridge pose variation once again, which will culminate in a heart-opening wheel pose.Like in all of the Yoga for Beginners videos, Murjani will guide you through modifications with the use of props like yoga blocks for any of the poses that may be too challenging. That way, you can practice this lengthening yoga flow at your own pace—and feel confident about the poses and ready to come back for the fourth installment next week!Related:
At some point, you’ve probably felt that uncomfortable stiffness of tight hips, whether it was due to too much time sitting or a hard workout. This hip-opening yoga routine can be just what you need when that occurs to loosen up your tight lower body.In the second installment of Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series, yoga instructor Rita Murjani—the chief of staff at mindful living brand Aduri who teaches at NYC-based studios SkyTing and Equinox—demonstrates a yoga flow that feels oh-so-good for your tight hips and surrounding muscles. During the course of the 45-minute beginner yoga routine, you’ll seamlessly transition through nearly 20 popular yoga poses, which work to loosen up tightness in your glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves.In this video, Murjani will take you through moves like the bound ankle pose, cat-cow, downward dog, crescent lunge, pyramid pose, baby cobra, forward fold, child’s pose, and happy baby. A particularly hip-friendly flow? You’ll go from the figure four to the warrior III to the warrior II pose, a transition which stretches your glutes, hamstrings, and hip adductors. Because this flow also includes some single-leg work, you’ll also be honing your balance, too.During the course of this hip-opening yoga routine, Murjani will also have you focus on your breath, which can help you ease into the stretches and get more out of each of them. (Plus, it’ll help you feel more centered and relaxed as well!) And if some of the moves seem a little too challenging? That’s where modifications come in. Throughout the course of the video, Murjani will teach you how to use props such as yoga blocks and blankets to shorten the range of motion in certain poses, which can help you learn how to ease into them.Ready for 45 minutes of lower-body love? Unroll your yoga mat, gather your props, and get started with this feel-good hip-opening yoga routine!Related:
If you’ve always wanted to give yoga a shot, but didn’t know where to start, this beginner yoga flow has you covered. While you’re probably aware of the many benefits of yoga—regular practitioners can enjoy everything from better balance, strength, and flexibility to improved focus, concentration, and mental resilience—it can seem intimidating for those who have never tried it before.But this guided yoga class will break it all down for you. As the first installment of Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series, this class will introduce you to the basics with a 40-minute class that will take you through all the most common poses. Yoga instructor Rita Murjani, chief of staff at mindful living brand Aduri who teaches at NYC-based studios SkyTing and Equinox, will take you through the class and offer tips and tricks on how to modify each pose for your fitness level. Along with teaching you ways to modify your poses, she’ll also introduce you to how to use certain yoga props, like yoga blocks and blankets, to help make these yoga modifications easier.Throughout the course of this beginner yoga class, you’ll move through more than 10 common yoga poses (including additional modifications and variations for each). These yoga poses include foundational postures like the hero pose, tabletop, downward dog, crescent lunge, baby cobra, forward fold, Warrior II, child’s pose, pigeon pose, camel pose, and seated forward fold. Murjani will guide you through a flow, going from one yoga pose to the next so you can learn how to incorporate all of them into a seamless yoga practice you can do at home.Ready to get started with this beginner yoga flow? Unroll your yoga mat, gather your props—if you don’t have actual yoga blocks, a stack of books can work just fine—and get ready to embark in some guided relaxation for your body and your mind. Then, come back next week for more beginner yoga with the second installment in Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series.Related:
Athleta is upping its fitness game.
The women’s athletic apparel- and accessories-maker, which is owned by Gap Inc., has launched a new social platform called AthletaWell.
“At its core, AthletaWell is really providing a safe space for women to navigate the complexities of modern-day womanhood and get expert advice on topics all rooted in female wellbeing,” Kim Waldmann, Athleta’s chief digital officer, told WWD. “[Topics] we’re afraid to ask for fear of embarrassment, or maybe they’re taboo, or we don’t want to look like we’re different than everybody else. Like, what are tips for sleep? Or fertility. Or even simple things, like I’m a DD, is there a good bra that doesn’t chafe endlessly?”
The platform also includes interest-based groups, where members can join in conversations or start their own; access to Athleta “guides,” or experts, such as yoga teachers, medical doctors, mediation guides, strength trainers, dietitians, physical therapists and motivational speakers, and links to events, both virtual and in-person around the country, such as run clubs and exercise classes, helping Athleta shoppers create community.
AthletaWell, Athleta’s new fitness and wellness platform, is available by way of desktop and mobile devices and includes a section with Athleta “Guides,” or experts in various fitness and wellness areas.
“At Athleta, we really think about it in an omnichannel kind of way, to meet the customer wherever she wants to be and wherever she wants to be,” Waldmann said. “We know that there’s so much value in driving brand loyalty and deepening our engagement without customers. We know that our loyalty program customers spend over two times more with us than our non-loyalty member customers. So, for us to be able to offer [AthletaWell] as sort of a benefit of the loyalty program, it will drive more loyalty participation. And those individuals who are much more engaged with the brand spend more with the brand.”
And Athleta has no shortage of loyal fans. The rapidly growing brand had revenues of $978 million in 2020 and roughly 200 stores around the nation. In January, Athleta set a new goal: $2 billion in revenues by 2023 and plans to open between 20 and 30 more stores a year. Three months later, the San Francisco-based business said it was also moving to Canada, launching an e-commerce site there.
For the launch of AthletaWell, Athleta is also partnering with Obé Fitness, a digital fitness platform. Athleta Rewards members will be able to access exclusive 10-minute Obé Fitness workout videos for free on AthletaWell.
“We know being active is an important part of our customers’ overall wellbeing, so we are thrilled to invest in and partner with Obé and offer the Athleta community access to this like-minded partner,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and chief executive officer of Athleta. “As our brand continues to grow, this investment creates a unique engagement opportunity for our customers and helps us build even more loyalty over time.”
Waldmann added that the partnership will help Athleta reach a wider audience.
“What we were really attracted to with Obé was just how democratic it is,” she explained. “The fact that you can get these incredible high-quality workouts, but you can watch it on your laptop, your phone, whatever screen. You don’t have to buy a really expensive piece of equipment or hardware to be able to participate. And for us at Athleta, that’s so core to our brand values.
“Obé is really the anchor partner for the fitness experience,” Waldmann continued. “But I think what you’ll see from us as we continue to build out this platform is we will continue to partner with like-minded brands that are best-in-class in their fields across the full spectrum of female wellbeing.”
Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of competition in the activewear market, which continues to expand at full speed.
In fact, during the pandemic, everyone from Target Corp. to American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s Aerie to Madewell to Danielle Bernstein’s WeWoreWhat, was trying to find their place in the world of athleisure, performance wear and wellness. On Tuesday, Lululemon revealed plans to partner with Wysdom, an artificial intelligence firm, for a digital wellbeing platform that is set to launch sometime in 2022. Even Rihanna may be getting into the game soon.
Waldmann said AthletaWell is unique in that it brings together various elements of fitness, apparel and wellbeing in one place for free.
“There are Q&A platforms out there; there are blogs on fertility and yoga. And there are plenty of fitness apps,” she said. “But there really isn’t a place for women to get access to vetted experts across the whole spectrum of female well-being. AthletaWell is about physical well-being. But Athleta is also interested in mental well-being, emotional well-being and environmental well-being.”
Athleta Rewards loyalty members have access to AthletaWell by way of athleta.com. (Shoppers can sign up for the loyalty program for free by providing an email address.) Waldmann said the brand will also introduce an AthletaWell “native app experience” within the Athleta app later this year.