Did you think this was going to be about getting your holiday shopping done? Well, it might be a little bit, but mostly it's about a topic I overlooked when I covered yoga trends not long ago: ab work. Seems like just about every class I go to now includes a series of abdominal exercises that leaves a burning in my midsection. Here's a few ways to turn classic yoga poses into core-strengthening crunches.
Just when I thought I'd done most every yogic take on the crunch, one of my teachers broke out this one: the eagle crunch. You do this lying on your back with your arms and legs configured as in eagle. Start with your foot on the floor and your hands overhead touching the floor too. Inhale and bring your knee and elbow together over your midsection, exhale and return to your original position. Go for 20 reps and you WILL feel the burn.
If you're pretty comfortable doing headstand in the middle of the room, you can try these crunches. Once you are up in headstand, slowly lower your legs to a 90 degree position. Then slowly bring them back up to straight, moving both legs together the whole time. Do this three times. These crunches will really strengthen your abs, preparing you to lift both your legs from the floor at the same time when first coming into headstand (as well as do anything else you need killer abs for!).
Rounding up the best yoga gifts this year, I noticed a distinctly environmental bent, which just increases the appeal of these useful and attractive products. Yogitoes PRISM Skidless (above), made of 50% recycled materials, is one example. Also check out great stuff from Klean Kanteen, be present, Timbuk2, ToeSox, Lululemon, Chocoveda, and more!