Source and Credit: Fix.com

Save Your Shoulders: How To Keep Your Shoulders Strong and Healthy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1462979299923{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”]WRITTEN BY KELLIE DAVIS for Fix.com[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1462979318245{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”]Looking after your shoulders is key. Practising yoga is a great way to open up your shoulders and relieve soreness from spending time hunched up at a computer or desk all day. This post by Fix.com shares some simple exercises to improve your shoulder strength.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Your shoulders aren’t just muscles; instead, they’re part of a complex area of the body comprising multiple bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that allow you to move your arms and position your hands anywhere you need them to be. Being proactive with shoulder health by including strength, mobility, and posture training in your exercise routine will keep you primed for movements big and small and help prevent pain and injury.

Humans are great at manipulating the environment to use their shoulders as little as possible. However, many of us neglect to take our shoulders through their full range of motion, and the less we use our shoulders, the more issues we may face. For example, it’s easy to reach the top of our heads to put on a hat, but we may avoid reaching for something high overhead, using a stepladder instead.

It’s never too late to work on shoulder health. Let’s take a look at why our shoulders are so unique, what causes common issues, and how to improve shoulder health to prevent future pain, strain, and injury.

Why are the Shoulders Unique?

Our shoulders are complex joints that rely on muscles to hold everything together, while the bones and ligaments give our arms freedom to move in all directions. Your shoulder allows you to reach overhead, to the side, across the body, behind the back, and everywhere in between. This type of movement requires numerous muscles to work together in specific patterns, with the shoulder using the three bones and four joints that make up the shoulder complex.

When compared to joints such as the knee or the elbow – which can only flex and extend – the shoulder requires more free movement, which makes it a less stable joint. A complex arrangement of ligaments, tendons, and muscle keep the bones in place and create a delicate balance of free movement, allowing the joint to flex, extend, abduct, adduct, internally rotate, and externally rotate.

The Deepest Layer

The first layer of the shoulder consists of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collar bone). The clavicle is the bony attachment between the trunk and the upper limbs. The clavicle attaches to the sternum or chest bone on one end and the acromion or scapular on the other end.

This articulation forms the top of the shoulder. The scapula begins here and forms the back of the shoulder girdle, which glides along the first seven ribs to extend the arm. The top end of the humerus, known as the humeral head, fits into the shallow glenoid cavity of the scapula.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source=”external_link” alignment=”center” external_style=”vc_box_border” external_border_color=”white” custom_src=”https://www.fix.com/assets/content/19653/anatomy-shoulder-joint-001.png” caption=”Source: Fix.com” css=”.vc_custom_1462792216021{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Ligaments, Tendons, and Muscles

Ligaments are soft tissue structures that connect bones to other bones. The shoulder ligaments hold the three shoulder bones together and keep them stable. Tendons are tough cord-like tissue that hold the muscles in the shoulder to the bone. The first layer of muscle in the shoulder is the superficial muscle (extrinsic), which includes the pectoralis major, trapezius, deltoid, and latissimus dorsi. The second layer is the deep muscle (intrinsic), which includes the pectoralis minor, subclavius, levator scapulae, rhomboids, seratus anterior, subscapularis, and teres major.

Here’s what all that anatomical terminology boils down to: the muscle within the shoulder complex supports the ligaments and tendons so they can hold the bone in place. Without adequate muscle strength and tone, the support structure experiences wear and tear. Additionally, if the muscles are not used correctly to move the bone when taking the shoulder through a full range of motion, damage may occur to the soft tissue. It’s important to build strong, healthy muscle tissue within the shoulder and to learn to move the shoulder properly to support the bone and other soft tissue.

Common Shoulder Problems and Causes

Due to our shoulders’ wide range of motion, they are more prone to pains, strains, stiffness, and injury. Moving correctly is the key to keeping the shoulders healthy. When movement is compromised, we may experience limited range of motion, tender spots, and other ailments.

Common pain complaints typically occur in the shoulder blade (scapular), middle trapezius, and rhomboid muscles. Long hours seated at a desk, spending a lot of time during the day with arms internally rotated to talk or type on the phone, and poor posture can result in muscles being overworked into bad positions, especially the deep pectoral muscles. Sitting hunched over a computer or tablet all day can shorten the deep chest muscles and over-stretch the deep upper back muscles, causing instability and imbalance. Acute pain may also occur in the shoulders during heavy lifting, intense exercise, new activities, or trauma, such as fractures or dislocation. Trying a new exercise or playing a sport for the first time can cause pain resulting from improper muscle use or poor stability.

Pain in the shoulder – whether chronic or acute – can be triggered by tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis), instability, arthritis, tendon tears, impingement, or bone fractures.

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Movements That Compromise the Shoulder

When shoulder pain or limited mobility occurs, it’s best to allow the shoulder to rest and heal until the pain subsides enough to take the shoulder through a good range of motion. Pain or stiffness during exercise or daily activity often stems from improper movement, such as using the biceps or upper arm muscles as the prime movers in a row exercise rather than taking the scapula through a full range of motion. This improper use of the scapula can create an inability to press or lift overhead.

It’s important to use the muscles in the shoulder and upper back to move the surrounding bone. When you press overhead, the scapula should glide up and down with the weight. When you row a barbell or cable, the scapula should glide toward the spine and back out again. When the scapula moves properly, it helps maintain a good position for the humeral head in the rotator cuff (in other words, the ball stays in the socket).

As noted above, poor posture can compromise proper movement during exercise. Slouching causes the scapula to move away from the ribs, which puts it in a suboptimal position when pressing, pulling, throwing, or swinging the arms. Standing correctly allows you to pull the scapula down and into the ribs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source=”external_link” alignment=”center” external_style=”vc_box_border” external_border_color=”white” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” custom_src=”https://www.fix.com/assets/content/19653/build-shoulder-strength-003.jpg” css=”.vc_custom_1462801516187{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 20px !important;}” caption=”Source: Fix.com”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Conclusion

Practicing good posture along with these suggested strength and mobility exercises will improve the long-term health of your shoulders. Take time every day to check your posture, especially during work hours or downtime when you are relaxing on the couch. Small changes to your daily habits go a long way when it comes to decreasing pain and increasing movement within the shoulder complex.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sources:

https://www.fix.com/blog/keep-your-shoulders-strong-and-healthy/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row seperator_indeed_locker=”” lk_t=”ism_template_1″ lk_io=”default” lk_dm=”0″ lk_thm=”0″ lk_tuo=”0″ lk_dt=” ” css=”.vc_custom_1447888745435{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image source=”external_link” external_img_size=”200×400″ external_style=”vc_box_rounded” custom_src=”https://www.fix.com/assets/content/15434/kellie-davis-portrait.jpg” href=”“https://www.fix.com/blog/authors/kellie-davis/“” css=”.vc_custom_1462979967004{padding-right: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;}” caption=”Source: fix.com/blog/authors/kellie-davis/”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1462979655817{margin-right: 10px !important;margin-left: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;}”]

About Kelly Davis

Kellie started her career as a fitness writer in 2009 with a blog. That has led to co-authoring a women’s strength training book called Strong Curves. She currently attends graduate school at The George Washington University and lives with her husband and two children.

Find out more about Kelly at: https://www.fix.com/blog/authors/kellie-davis/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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FREE Manchester Broga class in May!

Broga founder Matt Miller will be running two Broga classes at the OM Yoga Show on Friday 20th May.

For more information take a look at the show’s  website

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Why CrossFitters and bodybuilding enthusiasts should practice yoga

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Matt Miller, Broga Founder

When I first started my yoga journey only 4 years ago, one of my first teachers, who is an famous yogi, told me: “Matt, if you want to be any good at yoga you are going to have to stop your other training totally for about 6 months. Oh, and would you consider a vegetarian diet?”

Right, so that was not going to happen!

Broga founder Matt Miler was a professional bodybuilder. Credit: GlenMitchellPhotography

Broga founder Matt Miler was a professional bodybuilder. Credit: GlenMitchellPhotography

And also good luck trying to tell me I am going to have to give up everything I worked so hard for! (At the time I had just won third place in the superheavyweight division of a UK bodybuilding championship). No chance.

But I remember thinking that there must be a way to be flexible, strong and aesthetic. One of my bodybuilding idols, Flex Wheeler, was a Mr. Olympia contender as well as a ranked martial artist and seriously flexible to boot.

CrossFit provides a great full-body workout. Credit: AberroCreative

CrossFit provides a great full-body workout. Credit: AberroCreative

So following the lead of one of the greats, it turns out that both are possible. By alternating hypertrophy training days with active recovery/mobility days of the same trained area, the muscles tend to heal and rebuild in the more extended state. Finding a good yoga class, or even better, hot yoga class is perfect for this.

The trick is to avoid overtraining and properly allow the muscles to heal by not training the same muscle group until it has fully repaired, which is going to be between 3-6 days.

And what about the CrossFit crowd?

Everyone outside the box pokes fun at CrossFitters for their cult-like obsession:

But lets give credit where it is due. CrossFit made workouts fun again, not to mention socially interactive.

Ok, it has the highest incidence of injury of any recreational fitness activity, but that is EXACTLY why CrossFit needs yoga!

Yoga brings many benefits to CrossFitters. Credit: Alex Van

Yoga brings many benefits to CrossFitters. Credit: Alex Van

We all know CrossFit is all about reducing time and increasing reps but when we rush we also have a greater chance of forgetting the amazing technical direction we have been given by our CrossFit instructors.

And while I know CrossFitters do stretch, it turns out not everything can be solved by a 10 minute stretch with a band and rolling around on a lacrosse ball à la The Supple Leopard.

You can’t have a decent massage in 10 minutes, nor can you have a proper stretch in that time either. Only with a full and proper 60-90 minute yoga session can you slow down from trying to hit a PB on your FRAN (a CrossFit move consisting of a couplet of barbell thrusters (a front squat/push-press combo) and pull-ups), and actually listen to and connect with your body.

Yoga reduces risk of injuries for professional sports players. Credit: Broga

Yoga reduces risk of injuries for professional sports players. Credit: Broga

Yoga has been incredibly well documented to reduce the occurrence of sports injuries in athletes and prolong the career of professional players. And to prove that point, all NBA and NFL athletes now have required yoga practice in their training regime.

So ladies and gents, ditch the Reebok basketball shorts and hoodie and break out the Lycra shorts and get ready to sweat, hurt and work in a whole new way that will ultimately help you be BETTER at your sport in every way.

: Broga works on improving strength and muscle tone. Credit: Broga

Broga works on improving strength and muscle tone. Credit: Broga

Are you going to be an amazing bendy and graceful yogi? No, probably not. But that isn’t the goal. And hey, you just might even surprise yourself and realise you’re not as bad as you thought![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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FREE Manchester Broga class in May!

Broga founder Matt Miller will be running two Broga classes at the OM Yoga Show on Friday 20th May.

For more information take a look at the show’s  website

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Bestfit Magazine interview

Do you even stretch, bro?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Nick Judd for BESTFIT Magazine (Image Credit: BESTFIT Magazine)

BESTFIT Magazine’s Nick Judd shares his experience of a Broga class.

It’s early afternoon in South London on a grey and moody Tuesday, and BESTFIT is being put through our paces in a small gym space under a series of archways, home to Soho Gym.

Tube trains rumble overhead. A glass wall separates our small group from those nonchalantly going quietly about their business outside and, at this precise second, I’m a little jealous.

I see puddles grow as rain pounds the streets. There are puddles closer to home, too, puddles of sweat. I’m dripping [the room is 30-degrees], and I’m not the only one. The only reason I know this, is because some dude I’ve never met before is sweating all over me.

Meanwhile, my whole upper body is shaking. My core is at the point of failure, and not for the first time in the last 60 minutes. I’m laying on my front but with my torso extended towards the ceiling.

My arms are locked behind my head and my elbows are being held back in a vice-like grip by said sweaty gent. His arms shake as he attempts to prevent my upper body from crashing into the pathetic pool of sweat in front of me.

Our master in command demands we hold our current positions for a few more seconds yet. We obey.

This is Broga. It’s yoga, but not as you know it, and it’s brilliant.

Still only three years old, Broga is gaining a large and loyal following across in London and, increasingly, around the rest of the country, Europe and even across the rest of the world. After one intense yet satisfying session, we can see why.

Just as it’s a misconception to assume yoga is mainly for women, the same could be said of the assumption that Broga, though designed with men in mind, is just for guys.

bestfit mag - stretching

BESTFIT loved the Broga class they attended Credit: BESTFIT Magazine

My group, to prove the point, has a 50/50 mix of men and women. Many of the instructors are female, too. However, there is something infinitely more masculine about telling mates you’re doing Broga, and not yoga.

I’m a regular visitor of vinyasa sessions and I’ll be the first to admit I feared not only being the only male at my first class, but also the prospect of being surrounded by candles while listening to some form of pan pipe music.

Not all yoga is the same, of course, some forms are more spiritual than others, but Broga is successfully breaking down established myths and stereotypes by bridging the sexes and taking the – many – benefits of yoga to the masses.

“The class you’ve just done is the perfect equalizer of genders,” explains Matt Miller after our session.

Matt is Broga’s founder and, it’s fair to say, he does not conform to conventional yogi expectations. You might recognize him from The Fat Fighters on Channel 4. He was the affable super trainer with the arms bigger than your thighs.

“There were moments in your session where there were requirements of strength that some of the women found difficult. However, as you noticed, they weren’t the only ones! Yet there were also flexibility aspects that the women found easier than the men, so the great thing is that you can’t laugh out loud at any failure at any stage of a Broga session because the tables can turn pretty quickly. I think that’s a nice feeling for everyone involved to have, to know that whatever your level of strength or flexibility, you won’t be at the bottom of the barrel.”

Our class begins by aligning the spine while focusing on the regulation of our breathing. “Breathing is hugely important and it doesn’t come right away,” explains Matt. “As you get into it, you realize how important it is.”

Bestfitmag class stretch

Find BESTFIT’S yoga special in issue 18 Credit: BESTFIT Magazine

We then do a warm-up of vinyasa, which consists of five basic movements tied together in a sequence, all with coordinated breathing. “That’s what we call ‘the flow’, and you repeat that flow so it becomes a rhythm,” he continues. Things then escalate quickly.

“That’s the point of our classes,” Matt explains, “they build.” A lot of movements flow together and they’re then repeated. “You might not get one movement straight away, but I’ll bring that train round again and again so that you can start to learn how to grab on and put these movements together.

“We then work the chest with a series of movements designed to give you the idea of what a yoga push up is, and how that might differ from your normal gym practice.

We then hold these positions, add isometric positions, leg splits, dives… we’re just adding load to the movements, much like you would move the pin to a heavier weight in your gym apparatus.

“We then explore the idea of locking shoulders in place in a side-plank circuit. The movements again get progressively harder, culminating in a rock-star plank position. We move into a series of dynamic and repetitive shoulder movements, punishing leg hops and another series of stretches.”

Then comes the partner-based work, a signature of Broga’s sessions.

“Part of each session is what we call ‘the brotherly’ bit, where you help the person next to you. This isn’t something you identify with yoga, but we feel by helping people it helps to build a sense of community. Yoga is traditionally a singular experience. That’s not for us. Yoga should be about making friends, having other people sweat on you and having a laugh about it.

“To finish, we perform chest openers, move into table-top positions and do a bit of abs work… then we deconstruct the session. The class as a whole is quite chaotic, so this is the bit where we bring it back down to a resting state, and where we try and encourage positive visualization both in terms of your body and in your life as a whole.”

Ours was the primary class, but you can progress to the chest session, shoulders, legs and a full-body workout in 40-degree heat. All classes follow a class syllabus, which Matt explains can be particularly useful for guys.

Bestfit Magazine interview

Credit: BESTFIT Magazine

“It means they know what’s coming, which then means they can plan their other workouts around the classes. I think women are a lot happier to go with the flow sometimes and that’s why yoga appeals, whereas men want progress, traction and trackable results. They want to plan their week, and incorporate a class like this around their other training.

“I’m always trying loads of yoga classes and sometimes I’ll think a certain class is a wasted hour. Yet the range is so vast. Some of it is spiritual, and that’s why so many men are sceptical about it, but I’ve found some more useful than an hour in the gym.”

The idea that men shouldn’t do yoga is slowly eroding. More and more sports stars are incorporating it into their training. For example, even in the early 2000s, Ryan Giggs, who played at the highest level until his late 30s admitted his longevity owed as much to his yoga as his healthy eating.

Now, more and more sportsmen and women and celebrities are utilizing the physical and mental benefits.

“I can’t tell you how many people come to my classes and ask, ‘you’re the teacher?’” explains Matt.

People expect to see a flexible female, but yoga is all about functional movements and that applies to all of us. Everything in the fitness world right now is aligned to mobility and functional movement, and while things like CrossFit can get you where you want to be, I believe yoga does it quicker, safer and ensures you’re even stronger.”

I can believe it. My hour session was more focused and intense than any previous experience with a personal trainer.

“We’re not really doing anything different to anyone else; we’re working with the same concepts – Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Jivamukti – and just presenting them in a different way. We’re putting these movements together and repeating them in sets of repetitions of five or ten, just as you would train in the gym.

“At the very least, I’m hoping that Broga is able to open up the yoga market to more people and perhaps just make it cool. I just want people who might not previously have considered doing it, to give it a go.” We’ll be back, that’s for sure.

Through repeated practice you can generally track progress of your mobility and openness. If you learn to do this for yourself then you can maintain positioning for longer and will learn about your own body awareness – must more effective than having someone do it for you.

So sit up!

And while you are at it book yourself onto a Broga® back class – which works specifically and methodically on improving flexion, extension and rotation of the spine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row seperator_indeed_locker=”” lk_t=”ism_template_1″ lk_io=”default” lk_dm=”0″ lk_thm=”0″ lk_tuo=”0″ lk_dt=” ” css=”.vc_custom_1447888745435{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8902″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row seperator_indeed_locker=”” lk_t=”ism_template_1″ lk_io=”default” lk_dm=”0″ lk_thm=”0″ lk_tuo=”0″ lk_dt=” ” css=”.vc_custom_1450102657185{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;background-color: #00ffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Book yourself onto a Broga® back class

A Broga class that works specifically and methodically on improving flexion, extension and rotation of the spine

For more information, click here

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Yoga solution to back pain problems

Broga Yoga: Don’t let sitting destroy your health and back

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By Matt Miller

 

“Sitting is the new smoking,” says Prof Steve Bevan, director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness.

“The more sedentary you are the worse it is for your health.”

It’s true – take a look at these stats:

  1. According to the National Institute of Health back pain affects eight out of 10 people, whether it’s acute or chronic.
  1. If someone goes to the gym or walks for 30 to 45 minutes a day, but sits down the rest of the time, then they are still described by NHS standards as having a ‘sedentary lifestyle’
  1. One of the largest pieces of research to date on this subject – involving almost 800,000 people – found that, compared with those who sat the least, people who sat the longest had a:
  • 112% increase in risk of diabetes
  • 147% increase in cardiovascular events
  • 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
  • 49% increase in death from any cause

Broga done right can prevent back problems

So as you read this, think about how you are sitting right now and do the following:

  1. Tuck your pelvis under and engage the core muscles of the abdomen
  1. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the neck
  1. Lift your head up from the top back part (crown) of the head

Feels great, right?!  Poised and erect. But, wholly, that is actual work! Being seated properly takes thought to hold a correct spinal posture position in place – and moreover endurance to maintain it for any length of time.

The bottom line is, it just doesn’t happen for most of us. Instead we slouch and slump into a position that uses no muscular effort (but muscles are needed to hold the back in the right position!)

This laziness puts prolonged and repetitive pressure on the vertebrae in all the wrong places. Eventually our slouched spinal position becomes the natural position of the spine.

Not just in the muscles either as the connective tendons and ligaments actually shorten or lengthen in the wrong positions to accommodate.

broga-back-problems-fixed2

And there’s the rub. Connective tissues are not terribly flexible, so a bit of stretch here and there and a trip to the chiropractor are not going to go a long way in fixing alignment and relieving pain since the problem has become far more deep rooted.

And that’s where yoga comes in.

There is no other form of treatment or exercise you can do where you are forced to focus on aligning the body correctly – both isometrically and through dynamic movement.

Through repeated practice you can generally track progress of your mobility and openness. If you learn to do this for yourself then you can maintain positioning for longer and will learn about your own body awareness – must more effective than having someone do it for you.

So sit up!

And while you are at it book yourself onto a Broga® back class – which works specifically and methodically on improving flexion, extension and rotation of the spine.

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row seperator_indeed_locker=”” lk_t=”ism_template_1″ lk_io=”default” lk_dm=”0″ lk_thm=”0″ lk_tuo=”0″ lk_dt=” ” css=”.vc_custom_1450102657185{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;background-color: #00ffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Book yourself onto a Broga® back class

A Broga class that works specifically and methodically on improving flexion, extension and rotation of the spine

For more information, click here

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Teacher spotlight – Richard Timu

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Richard Timu; young at heart; New Zealander

 

2. Where do you currently live?

Battersea, London

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

My fellow yoga teacher Courtney Stefanowicz converted me.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

It was way different from other yoga styles. More action and more motivation. Nothing fluffy, and no boundaries.

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

I wanted to develop my yoga teaching to a new level.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

Being exposed to a variety of teachers, each with a specific style and their own experiences.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

I survived my first 10km cross country run.

 

8. You graduated in April 2015 – how have things developed since graduating?

More Broga students are returning than before because they enjoy maximising the mind/body benefits.

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

My goal is to build a studio that teaches Broga to a variety of teams from office workers, rowers, or runners, for them all to transform and grow.

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

Dirty Dogs – A beast of a sequence building strength and mobility.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Breakfast – Gluten free pancakes with blueberries, bananas and strawberries.

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Carrot, ginger and kiwi-fruit smoothie.

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?

Start with a Broga session on the beach followed by surfing then meeting friends for sunset and fun!

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

“Timunator” from when I played rugby.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

A friend just gave it to me. Jazz/Melodic ballad – Keith Jarrett – The Melody At Night, With You 1999.

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

Get hard or go home.

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

The place between my ears.

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Galapagos Island. A World Heritage site. Beauty of nature.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

Talk to your parents or read “The Catcher in the Rye”.

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?​

I’m a survivor. Read the story http://bit.ly/1kyzVqk

http://www.swpoweryoga.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SWPowerYoga

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JOIN US IN MANCHESTER THIS MAY!

Broga® classes at the OM YOGA SHOW. For further information, click here.

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Find purpose in your yoga-based journey

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By Nicola Rowe personal trainer, nutrition advisor and founder of inspiredbyNIC

Life without purpose is like a body without a heartbeat, a being without personality and a soul without passion. Still, silent and cold. There is so much more to life than the expectation that is put upon our lives and faulty opinions of ourselves.

All of those goals you dream of, those career choices you are too scared to take, or that personality you are afraid to reveal because it may not be accepted.

Nobody said you had to be like everyone else, nobody said you had to do the job you hate doing and nobody is holding you back except yourself and your inner thoughts! Learn to be the best version of you, not the best version of somebody else. Find your passion, your talent and inspire yourselves. The key to self-improvement is finding your reason to journey. Purpose.

As a personal trainer, I understand the importance of physical strength, achieving goals, a positive mindset and a ‘can do’ attitude. Everything and more Broga preaches.

FROM AN OUTSIDERS POINT OF VIEW

From an outsider’s point of view, many people look up to their trainers as perfection or somebody who ‘has it all’. We are all human and we all need self-improvement. As a trainer I am constantly looking for new aspects of training methods to improve my physical performance and helping my clients:  my inspiredbyNIC family.

Credit: Anna Fowler

Credit: Anna Fowler

I started inspiredbyNIC when I realised my life was turning for the better, my exercise, nutrition and inspirations were my foundations for these minimal but amazing changes. Hence the word NIC; it stands for Nutrition, Inspiration and Creation. Not just my name!

Noticing the benefits from making these little changes, I wanted to try and inspire others to experience the positive benefits I had and still do.  So along came my Instagram @inspiredbynic. Two qualifications later and the title became my business name.

We are all equal and I like everyone to feel like they are welcome into my training programmes and as part of the family. I refer to my clients as my family; in life the people you are naturally connected with are your family but it’s super important to connect with everyone else, allowing yourself to create amazing energy and inspire others is what the world needs more of. Energy is contagious, and I always say your vibe attracts your tribe.

From dance, kickboxing, cycling, swimming, ice-skating, I’ve done it. Why? Because they are all attributes with the ability to improve overall performance and aesthetics.  But this wasn’t enough. I will always remember the day when I felt like I didn’t want to send myself to bootcamp, swing kettle bells or sprint on the treadmill. I needed something for the mind, for the body and soul.

I hit a wall and needed answers, my head was rammed with thoughts and I had zero self-peace. I needed something self-centred and something holistically rewarding. Along came my first yoga class, followed by meditation.

The doors opened. I was intrigued as to what happened to myself after my practice. I felt light, centred, regenerated and worry free. The feeling I was left with was different; I wasn’t able to justify it.

YOGA JOURNEY

So I began to research yoga, it’s benefits, how it came about, what it was about and what it did to the body. I was living in the present. Learning about how yoga can balance out your emotions and create headspace was what appealed to me.

Inspiredbynic on Instagram

Inspiredbynic on Instagram

My yoga practice is continually growing and I am facing new challenges all the time, but this is what motivates me. Knowing there is always room for improvement and constant progression.

Referring back to purpose. You’re still asking yourself, what’s my purpose?
Learning what your purpose is and a reasoning to your day starts with self-practice. Practicing to be you, and the best one of that. The ability to connect with your mind and listen to your soul initiates from mindfulness and a respect for yourself. Levelling out your energetic flow will help guide you to make conscious decisions and reset your body.

Everybody deserves value and everybody deserves happiness. Your life is about your mind, body and soul. Incorporating all three allows quality and reasoning to yourself.

Relaxation, physical challenge and self-accomplishment can all be achieved through Yoga, a holistic and rewarding practice that can help you re-discover yourself. Not only does yoga inflict upon a healthy mind, it helps you to discover your body’s abilities with your unique physique.

 

But step back, because Broga is here. For all of you males or females reading this picturing a circle of people yelling ‘OMMMMMM’, think twice. Inspiring the industry from a different perspective is Broga, the new take on yoga that focuses on the more physical attributes, yet still helping the body and mind! Male or female, if you are really questioning what Broga has in store for you. I challenge you to a Broga class.

FORMULATED TO ADAPT

Practice is formulated to adapt to your personal limitations. Whether you are wanting some extra physical activity, improvement in your mental or physical health, or just looking for something fun to do. Guess what?! You’re all included.

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Focusing on all of the foundations of your body, paying attention to key parts in life that will help you to swim back into your own blood stream to enlighten your soul. Taking the time to just breathe and finding that time in the day to focus on nothing but yourself is a beautiful moment that everybody can benefit from.

Be the change you want to see in yourself.

Searching for extra inspiration is always important for continual progress, whether that be from people, your nutrition, your goals or interests. Always keeping inspired opens the door to self-improvement.

An ability to share your interests with new people and connect with new experiences will help you to find your hidden talents, interests and new friends along the way. The ability to share positive energy will feed your soul and those of others. Optimising your nutrition, radiating warm energy and allowing your personality to shine will help you on the route to becoming the best you.

Whether you are looking for a slim toned body, a masculine physique, a calming mind-set, or a daily retreat from your busy life, yoga is here to help! With the industry broadening you have the facility to work in all environments surrounded by likeminded people.

Regenerate your mind-set. Inspire your soul. Unleash your inner potential and become the best version of you.

 

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About Nicola Rowe

Nicola Rowe is a vegan personal trainer and nutrition advisor with a love for plant-based food. You can check out her website, Facebook, Twitter to keep up to date. For amazing plant-based food inspiration take a look at Nicola’s Instagram  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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Broga Launches Australia

Iron Yoga, a new Broga concept has just launched Down Under. Classes will run at The Yoga Garage in Perth. Check out their website for more information:

http://www.theyogagarageperth.com.au/iron-yoga/

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Teacher spotlight – Mark Blower

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Mark Blower, 38, British.

 

2. Where do you currently live?

Crosby, Liverpool.

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

I’d first come across Broga® while I was searching for yoga classes for athletes, I was doing a lot of sprint training at the time and felt that I needed some regular stretches but I specifically wanted to do them in a class as I am hopeless at doing them if it is left down to me.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

Ha! My first Broga® session was on the teacher training boot camp, it was definitely more a case of me getting my asana kicked. It was a tough workout, so of course I was instantly hooked.

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

I had recognised a gap in my own training and was seeing the same happen with certain people that I came across. We want to push our bodies, we know what we should be doing to allow us to keep pushing our bodies, but we don’t do it. So I saw Broga® as a way of getting those people into doing all of the good stuff that supports their training, but that also taps into that training mind set.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

It had to be the morning training sessions, everyone on the course was so up for it so the energy in the sessions was amazing. I personally took the most away from the swimming session.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

For me it was getting to grips with all of the different poses, there is so much to take on board in such a short time so knowing them before you turn up would definitely help if you are not familiar with them.

 

8. You graduated in 2014 – how have things developed since graduating?

I started running one class a week at the studio and that has now moved up to three and the word is spreading. The most rewarding feedback is from the people that had been dragged along for their first class and now wouldn’t miss one.

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

Still doing what I’m doing I hope, I love it!

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

It has got to be legs, I’m definitely in my comfort zone when it comes to the strengthening but the stretching elements of the legs session are so beneficial and now essential for me.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

If we are just going for flat out indulgence it would have to be a burger. Good quality, no nonsense, big fat juicy burger!

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Sorry but this may sound boring, plain old water. It’s all I can think of right now, maybe I’m just thirsty!

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?

Perfect but clearly not often would be to climb then ski. In that order, I’ve tried it the other way, not as fun.

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

Yes, it was selected for me during my time in the army by my first section commander, he was pretty chuffed with himself and unfortunately, it stuck. All I can do is point you in the right direction by saying it has something to do with my surname, funny but as you may guess, slightly “inappropriate”.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

I listen to a lot of music but at the moment it’s a bit of a blast from the past, Killswitch Engage. When I’m training it has to be metal!

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

I can’t really say that I’ve ever had a motto, there are experiences I draw on that make me want to “take on the world”, those combined with the right soundtrack playing in my ears and BOOM I’m off!

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

Definitely with my wife and two boys, maybe up a mountain side somewhere with the sun on our faces.

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Alaska, hands down top of my list of places I want to get to.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

Try not to take things too seriously… Oh! And get a haircut!

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?​

Out of all of the challenges I have faced, the one I am most proud of is how far I have come since leaving the army. The transition was tough for me and there were times when I thought that I would never be able to adjust to civilian life. Even now there are still challenges but I feel I have done well.

 

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Like what you see here?

Like what you see here? Then do what Mark did – join us for our summer teacher training camp in July this year! For further information, click here.

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Are you a fan of yoga, festivals and fun? New yoga and wellness festival launched this summer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Broga founder Matt Miller reveals details about Soul Circus, a yoga-orientated festival in the beautiful Cotswolds.

By Matt Miller

 

When I first moved to the UK from California a few years ago, I was totally enamoured with the idea of the British festival. Not only is it a culture we don’t have in the US but also it seemed an idyllic fantasy of what British summer country life would be like.

Sure, we have loads of summer music festivals and concerts in the States but nothing, (besides Burning Man), that is an immersive escape from the world we know everyday and a chance to escape through nature back to a simpler, carefree and more joyful life, like when we were kids.

Soul Circus Festival

Stunning Tents will be providing luxury accommodation for the festival. Credit: Stunning Tents

Since then, I have tried many of them, from boutique to balls-out party time. And I have many good, and admittedly some rather lost memories of them too.

But festivals are big business and what was once a small, perfect-sized bijou, quickly turns into a bolthouse behemoth.

This past year, my business partners Roman and his wife Ella had what was billed as a ‘festival wedding’ over the course of three days in the Cotswolds. It was to date the most amazing wedding I have ever attended. And to be honest, the beautiful photo story of their wedding in Brides magazine did not even come close to doing the magic of the weekend justice.

 

So it dawned on us. What if?

Soul Circus with Matt Miller

Broga founder and Soul Circus co-founder Matt Miller will be leading classes. Credit: Broga

We love the smaller festivals like Wilderness that cater to a John Lewis-loving middle class market wanting adventure but not skimping on luxury and pampering. But what if instead of having the wellbeing as a sideshow to accompany the music, we flipped it around and made the focus the wellbeing, and had the music as the add-on extra?

A whole weekend of just being good to yourself and enjoying nature with a little bit of raucous fun instead of debauchery with a bit of detox rehab served on the side.

We threw the idea on Stunning Tents, who supplied the Cirque de Soleil quality tents and glamping accommodations, and they loved the idea of hosting a luxury wellness and yoga festival.

Soul Circus was born.

soul-circus3

Soul Circus is a brand-new festival for this summer. Credit: Soul Circus

Wherever you are on your yogic journey, we want guests to have an ideal weekend. Our every effort is in pampering guests in every way. We decided to limit the numbers to 400 so it feels intimate but with enough people to be able to provide a wide range of delights, classes and activities.

With 18 classes a day, guests can fill their days with vinyasa flow and relaxing yin classes, or branch out and try circus aerial or kids body painting yoga.

soul-circus4

Stunning Tents will be providing luxury tents and accommodation for the festival. Credit: Stunning Tents

Whichever way you flow, you’ll learn from the UK’s best teachers who are coming from far and wide to host creative workshops and classes.

Not to mention there will be three distinct environments you will never get at your gym or studio at home: a party tent featuring DJ’s, live music and rave lighting; an ambient tent that will host both open air and steaming hot classes and an experiential tent with visual video projections on the walls to transport you to a different land.

And that’s just the yoga!! Music is the heartbeat of Soul Circus. Our experiences range from DJ-powered yoga classes to acoustic musical meditations to the electric main stage performances.

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Healthy food will be in abundance throughout the weekend. Credit: The Core

Whatever your taste, you’ll enjoy artists all day and into the secret woodland rave at night. You may even discover your next musical crush.

After a long day of activities, you’ll need some healthy sustenance. So we are handpicking local food vendors and clever street food carts who will offer quick bites throughout the day along with family style, farm-to-table dinners offering the pleasure of a delectable organic meal with friends.

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the kids or some spa time either! Soul Circus is totally family-friendly with dedicated kids activities and an on-site spa for some alone time as well!

Excited as we are?  Check out the Soul Circus website

Soul Circus will take place from the 19th – 21st August 2016 at Elmore, Gloucestershire

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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This weekend: The Hot Yoga Society Big Weekender featuring yoga star Jessamyn Stanley

Broga founder Matt will be running classes for the big yoga weekender, taking place from the 3rd – 6th March at the society’s London Bridge studios.

For more information, click here

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Broga and Lululemon fundraiser for kids charity, Special Yoga

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Where: Lululemon athletica, Marylebone, 74 – 75 Marylebone High St, London W1U 5JW

When: Sunday 28th February, 10.15am – 12pm

Entry: FREE (Entry on first-come-first-serve basis. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.)

 

Join Broga and lululemon athletica for a feel-good morning of yoga, food and drink and entertainment in aid of an incredible charity for children, the Special Yoga Foundation.

Special Yoga is an inspiring charity that provides therapeutic and life-changing yoga programmes to children with learning and physical disabilities.

Special Yoga is in desperate need of funding. Alongside our friends at Lululemon we’ve decided to step in and help. All funds raised at this event will go directly to the Special Yoga Foundation.

Feel-good Yoga

Join us at Lululemon athletica, Marylebone on Sunday 28th February at 10.15am. Spaces are limited so arrive early to avoid disappointment. The morning will kick off with a yoga class lead by Broga’s Matt Miller and Tania Brown, of Tania Brown Yoga.

While the main yoga class is taking place downstairs, Jo Manuel, Founder of Special Yoga will hold a separate class upstairs for children who regularly attend and benefit from therapeutic sessions at the Special Yoga Foundation.

After the yoga

Following the class we will move upstairs for some yummy refreshments, kindly donated by some awesome food and drink brands including The Coconut Collaborative and Rude Health.

An exciting silent auction will follow; prizes include training sessions with celebrity personal trainers such as Matt Miller, a subscription to Lifebox and much more! All proceeds will go to the Special Yoga Foundation and allow them to help more children in need.

Every guest will leave with a goodie bag packed with more products and treats donated by brands such as Inner Me.

This is a free event. You will have the opportunity to donate to the Special Yoga Foundation during and after the event.

About the Special Yoga Foundation

The Special Yoga outreach programmes offers free classes to almost 200 children a week. They also offer training to allow teachers to deliver this therapeutic program to children worldwide.

Your support for Special Yoga Foundation will help in the following ways:

▪       Subsidising the cost of 1-1 sessions and groups for the children and their families at Special Yoga Foundation, London Centre

▪       Subsidise costs in outreach work to schools, refugee centres, special needs organisations, care homes and hospices

▪       Offer bursaries for parents to take trainings to support their children

▪       Train and support in orphanages and special schools around the world

▪       Research projects to demonstrate the efficacy of our intervention

 

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To find out more about the Special Yoga Foundation go to their website. 

You can donate to this incredible charity via the Special Yoga Foundation’s Just Giving Page.

Any questions? Or would you like to donate an item to the silent auction? Please email victoria@broga.uk.

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Want to get into yoga? Here are three poses for beginners

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Broga founder Matt Miller shares three yoga poses to get you started on your yoga journey.

By Matt Miller

 

These three moves will get you mobilised and feeling better to tackle the day, a workout, or maybe even the confidence to go to a yoga class.

1. Downward Dog

Downward Dog is one of the most recognised yoga poses. Credit: Broga

Downward Dog is one of the most recognised yoga poses. Credit: Broga

Lets start with the mother of all yoga moves: the famous Downward Dog. If you have already been to a yoga class you probably heard the teacher say, “this is your rest posture, just enjoy a moment here.”

 

All you will be thinking is “F*CK THIS IS REALLY HORRIBLE GET ME OUTTA HERE!!“

 

The truth is downward dog does not lie. It exposes all your mobility shortcomings all at once. Tight hamstrings, calves and glutes? Check. Impinged shoulder and compressed sub-scapula? Yep, got those. Shortened biceps? Ok, fine, you got me!!!

 

The bottom line is that you have to master this basic move to open up your body from all the damage you have done to it through sport, inactivity, life, whatever… and it is never too late.

 

It is going to hurt for a week or two after practising this move. But the good news is that if you keep at this every day for a couple weeks straight your body will respond, open up, and sooner than you imagine it will feel more and more like an enjoyable stretch rather than sheer hell.

 

Here is how to do it:

    • Start in a high plank with feet shoulder width and hands directly under the shoulders
    • Stick your butt in the air and look at your feet
    • Press the hands into the floor like you are pushing it away and try to pull your elbows towards each other
    • Tilt your butt in the air and press your heels into the floor
    • Now run through all those points again and do them all at the same time
    • Hold for 10 long, even, breaths or half that time in two sets

2. Crescent Lunge

Move from Downward Dog into the Crescent Lunge . Credit: Broga

Move from Downward Dog into the Crescent Lunge . Credit: Broga

Next up is the Crescent Lunge, which is a natural progression from the downward dog.

It takes what you just did for the Forward Fold and brings the back into even greater extension, while also beginning the same process in the hips.

This looks so easy but so much of our day is spent lazily hunched over that slouched actually becomes the standard comfortable position for the back and consequently, undoing this damage feels wholly unnatural in the beginning.

Get over it and make the effort not be the hunchback of Notre Dame aged 45!

Here is how to do it:

  • From Downward Dog bring one leg high in the air and swing that high leg in-between your hands. If you don’t make it all the way don’t worry!
  • Drop your other knee down and make that back foot flat
  • Now adjust your front foot so it is directly under your knee
  • Lastly, extend your arms up as high as you can
  • Hold for 10 long deep breaths and try to bring your hands back and hips more forward each time
  • Go back into downward dog for a couple of breaths and repeat on the other leg

 

3. Forward Fold

Forward Fold deeply stretches your hamstrings. Credit: Broga

Forward Fold deeply stretches your hamstrings. Credit: Broga

Last up is the Forward Fold.

Again seriously, how hard can THAT be??

Hard is the answer if you have been neglecting your flexibility.

Being in a fold is the compliment to the crescent lunge extension and puts your back in deep flexion.

It attempts to take the initial stretch you felt in downward dog in the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves and go even further with it.

Here is how to do it:

  • Again, starting in Downward Dog, walk or hop your feet to in-between your hands
  • Inhale deeply and roll up the spine, lifting the hands to the ceiling
  • Then, take a big exhale and bring your fingers as close to the ground as possible. If you can touch the ground, great! If not, don’t fret, just grab the back of your calves firmly and pull your face closer to your knees
  • While you are drawing your face closer to your knees, try and lift your butt up and squeeze your quadriceps
  • Hold this for 10 long breaths trying to go deeper with each breath

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure?

Join Broga Founder and Celebrity Trainer Matt Miller on a James Bond style Safari and Fitness Adventure in South Africa from 13-22 May 2016.

Find out more!

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