Jan 2, 2013
Don’t laugh (or judge). One of my desires for the New Year is to manifest more derriere muscle. It’s not a vanity thing. It’s a yoga thing. It’s more about increasing overall strength and less about achieving the oh-so-trendy “yoga butt.”
I’m not gonna lie, though. I think yoga butts are trendy for good reason. They do look pretty darn good. I think it’s important to realize, however, that a yoga butt is really about boosting strength and health and less about re-enforcing self-image. It’s an earned representation of full-body strength that a disciplined yoga practice may offer, which is, what ultimately, makes it desirable to me.
It’s also just as important to realize that a “yoga butt” really doesn’t exist. It’s a mere human creation and, as such, it’s something you shouldn’t be too hell-bent on. There’s nothing wrong with desiring self-improvement and enhanced strength. Just make sure you have a healthy, sensible intention backing your desire to boost your backside.
What’s more, I don’t think we (as a society) take advantage of our glutes – the largest muscles of our bodies – enough. The poor guys are used more often as cushions rather than the forceful dynamos they were intended them to be. I intend to use mine less often as cushions and get my ass in gear via more yoga.
Any physical practice of yoga may add to the appearance and strength of these meaty muscles. Warrior I, Warrior II, lunges, Chair Pose, and Bridge Pose are among many of the yoga poses that are especially booty-enhancing. For a solid butt-kicking practice, enjoy the following yoga videos that specifically target the gluteal muscles:
- Glutes with Sage Rountree – In this yoga for athletes class, build glute strength in standing lunges; move through a series of planks and stretches for the core; then finish with a sequence to stretch the glutes and IT band. Throughout, pay attention to your breath and its relationship to the poses. (76 mins.)
- Core Fusion® Outer Tabletop Position – Join Core Fusion® co-creators Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito in this free online yoga video. Learn a glute strengthening exercise to make your butt look amazing!
- I.AM.YOU. 360° Athletic Yoga – Hips, Abs, Butt and Mind with Laura Imparato – A 360-degree sensorial, personal, and exclusive kick-your-ass yoga experience that will rock your mind and body. Link breath with creative and athletic movements that are designed for all levels. This online yoga class is athletic vinyasa that is creative and funky while being strongly rooted in tradition. Please refer to Lauren’s studio website, www.iamyoustudio.com, to find music suggestions to go along with her classes, as well as break-downs of common poses. (60 mins.)
- Yoga Booty with Sarah Ezrin – You won’t have to rely on yoga pants to achieve a “yoga booty” after this 30-minute online yoga class. Targeting your hamstrings and glutes, this sequence will tone your backside while also strengthening and lengthening the muscles of the back body. Strong detail on alignment will help you to practice the poses safely and effectively. (30 mins.)
Transform your booty into a dynamic powerhouse and make it look darn good, too!
Dec 20, 2012
The holidays can really impair the core strengthening and toning process. I wouldn’t dare ask you to forgo on the sweets, so what’s the solution? Yoga. Lots of yoga. Lots of core-focused yoga.
Stay strong and toned and activate your inner power in the following selection of core strengthening yoga videos. Did I mention that all of these online yoga offerings are free? Yes, totally free and totally awesome. There’s no excuse to let your core suffer this holiday season. Hit the mat to activate and engage your center of power.
Core Fusion® Waist & Oblique Exercises – Join Core Fusion® co-creators Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito as they take you through a challenging core sequence that targets the waist and obliques. You can use any ball or yoga block for these exercises.
Core Fusion® Core Conditioning Series – Again, join Core Fusion® co-creators Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito as they instruct a core sequence that includes plank, side plank, their signature move called The Curl, and a posterior core sequence.
Core Series with Adri Kyser – Enjoy this short and sweet online yoga series, exploring some highly accessible core exercises.
Boat Pose (Navasana) with Adri Kyser – Learn the correct alignment for Boat Pose – a challenging asana that will surely enliven and strengthen your core. Try alternating between Navasana and half Navasana 10 times. For the grand finale, hold Navasana for 10 breaths. Make it count!
High Plank Pose with Chad Moline - Learn the fundamentals of High Plank Pose. After you master the proper alignment, set your timer and settle into the pose for 2 minutes.
Core Sequence Using Plank Pose with Sage Rountree – Now that you’ve mastered the proper alignment for Plank Pose, spice it up with some challenging variations.
Dolphin and Dolphin Plank Pose with Gail Grossman – After you gain intelligence in these poses, set your timer and settle into each pose for 2 minutes. Challenge yourself!
To maintain your strength and move forward, you gotta put in the work on your mat. Core strength will support all of your movements in your yoga practice and beyond, which is why it’s super important not to skip out on it. I know it might feel excruciating now, but after lots of repetition you’ll eventually realize more ease in your practice.
Dec 19, 2012
Though the storm is long gone, damage and devastation remains. Many individuals struggle daily to fulfill even basic human necessities.
You might ask yourself: How can I contribute? How can I help?
It’s simple: Do yoga.
The following yoga videos were generously filmed to support the Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort. Each time you stream one of these special online yoga classes a donation will go to one of three charities: The Mayor’s Fund, Robin Hood, or Off the Mat, Into the World/Sandy. All you have to do is hit your mat to give your support and help those in need.
Live Music Flow to Open the Heart with Cristi Christensen – Enjoy this deep, slow, live music flow, opening the hips, hammies and heart! Opportunities for arm balancing and inversions will be provided combined with live music by Masoodalikhan. To learn more about them visit their website. (90 mins.)
Core Fusion® Barre Open with Fred DeVito – Fusing the disciplines of core conditioning, Pilates, the Lotte Berk Method, and yoga, this highly acclaimed transformational fitness experience incorporates 50 years of collective teacher expertise. It allows you to work from the inside out, consistently delivering results, including washboard abs, a tighter and higher backside, and a perfectly toned body. This online yoga class is open to all levels. No experience is required, but socks are! (58 mins.)
Exhale Vinyasa Flow with Elisabeth Halfpapp – This online yoga class is geared toward the seasoned student who likes to sweat and be challenged both physically and mentally. A strong emphasis on linking breath to movement creates a steady and consistent flow from pose to pose, encouraging meditation in motion. Each flow class offers an inspiring message and a deeply relaxing finish. Leave the Ego at the door and be willing to let go! (75 mins.)
Core Fusion® Open with Elisabeth Halfpapp - Allowing you to work from the inside out, this transformational online yoga class consistently delivers results. This is an athletically paced class suitable for beginners and all levels. Experience continued emphasis on the basic Core Fusion® positions with longer duration, variations, and interval cardio training. Participants must wear socks. You may want to have a set of light dumbbells and a strap available for this practice. (62 mins.)
Gratitude & Giving Practice with Shiva Rea – Enjoy this special Prana Flow class with Shiva Rea. Take time to cleanse your body, feel gratitude for all of your blessings, and help those in need. (106 mins.)
Backbends: Opening to Your Highest Potential with Adri Kyser - In this online yoga class, you will awaken the meditative state of your practice by moving to slower rhythms to increase vitality and energy. You will dive and submerge into the divinity of back-bending while opening your heart to its fullest potential. Adri created a special playlist for this class, which you can learn more about, or purchase through YogiTunes. (60 mins.)
To enjoy more yoga classes provided for this relief effort or to participate in the live-streaming of the Off the Mat, Into New Jersey event being held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on December 22nd, please visit StudioLiveTV.
Thank you to all of the teachers for these awesome online yoga contributions!
Photo Credit: Off the Mat Philly & South Jersey via Instagram
Nov 15, 2012
Before yoga, I was an exercise addict. Hard and long runs were the norm. Daily gym visits were a given. I thought weight lifting – picking stuff up and putting stuff down – was the cool thing to do and the only sure way toward building strength. Crunches were crunched to no avail. Ab exercises were performed using machines and other comical looking gym equipment, yet generated mediocre results. So, there I was, working my butt off, and all I usually experienced was genuine exhaustion coupled with frustration for my lack of strength improvement. Then, yoga happened. Ta-da!
Once yoga and I became dear friends, I ditched all other forms of exercise. Now, that didn’t all happen at once. Yoga and I took awhile to become true, everlasting friends. Overtime, however, I realized that the only activity that was really inspiring true transformation was my yoga practice.
Gradually, the crunches stopped crunching, the weights were put down for the last time, and the long runs became shorter and more sporadic. Boy, was I relieved! I hated all those energy draining activities anyways. Mostly, I hated feeling like I had to do them to stay fit. Yoga, however, never felt like a chore or an obligation. It felt amazing in mind, body, and spirit. I genuinely wanted to hit the mat. With yoga, I hit the jackpot!
If you think yoga is simply stretching and an attempt at relaxation, you’ve been misinformed. That’s okay. I, too, held that misconception at one point. Sure…yoga can be just stretching and relaxation. If that’s what you need, revel in some restorative or gentle yoga online. However, if you need a physically energizing, strength building flow, meet Vinyasa or Core Fusion or Ashtanga yoga online. There are plenty of yoga styles out there that will, without question, give you a full-body workout and a run for your money.
In practicing these more heating, energetic forms of yoga, you will, overtime, notice augmented core strength. I’ve been an athlete since I popped out of the womb. I ran, swam, danced, shook pompoms, climbed rocks, and rowed. Out of all these forms of exercise, yoga has generated the most impressive core results. The other results don’t even come in close. Trust me: Yoga is where it’s at if you want to build deep core strength. It’s the cat’s pajamas of core advancement.
So, if you want to create a strong, sexy midsection, do yoga. Say good-bye to futile crunches, ab machines, fitness balls, and other inefficient, core improving myths.
We’ve recently added some core delights to our online yoga menu. Check out these 3 online yoga videos to get your core engaged and energized!
In this 20-minute online yoga class, strengthen your core center with some powerful exercises that work not only the front body, but also the back and side bodies. Tap into a strong sense of will power and determination in this short online yoga class. This is a perfect flow if you have an arm or leg injury, but still want to practice yoga online and build strength.
Increase your core strength, muscle tone and energy with these powerful, targeted exercises. Building core strength will support all of your movements in yoga, work, and life. The core center represents the I AM = a healthy ego and self empowerment. Practice the japa (repetition) of these dynamic movements to see results quickly. This online yoga series will build strength for the arms, legs and abdomen. Increase your energy, metabolism and manifestation in this 20-minute core-focused online yoga class.
Join Core Fusion® co-creators Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito as they take you through an online yoga video featuring a core sequence that includes plank, side plank, their signature move called The Curl, and a posterior core sequence.
Get to your core!
Jul 11, 2012
Having a yoga practice is kind of like having a romantic, long-term relationship. Upon first meeting, you experience elation. The newness of yoga is overwhelmingly euphoric, stimulating dopamine outpourings. Ah, the happy chemicals! Ah, the all-consuming attachment! At this point, you’re in the non-sustainable honeymoon phase with yoga. Inevitably, the dopamine tapers. Your relationship with yoga settles into a predictable schedule. You and yoga get it on at the same time and the same place, following the same worn-out routine. Sure, it’s comfortable. Sure, it’s easy. It’s also downright boring.
Luckily, there are ways to initiate subsequent dopamine surges. You just gotta spice things up – create a little zest. Be inventive. Be open to new possibilities. If your practice feels flat and monotonous, try pulling some ideas from this list.
- Test out a new online teacher. YogaVibes has many popular, widely respected yoga teachers to choose from. I suggest you test out one new teacher per week.
- Explore a different style you have never tried. Yesterday, for example, I tested out the Core Fusion Sport class with Fred DeVito. Core Fusion was totally unlike any other yoga class I’ve ever done, and totally NOT boring. Sometimes you just gotta take a risk on something new.
- Practice in uncharted space (roof deck, beach, park, bedroom, living room, deck, garden, sun room, etc.)
- Experiment with the vibe, the Feng shui. Light candles in an evening practice. Burn incense or essential oils. Build a temple to practice in front of complete with visuals that inspire you – pictures of loved ones, pictures of teachers, artwork, statues, treasured artifacts, etc. Change the direction of your mat in your practice space. Create some fresh yoga playlists to invite a certain mood.
- Practice yoga with a friend, a family member, or a lover. It’s always fun and different to take on a yoga session with someone new. Invite him/her over for a yoga practice and tea.
- Strike a new pose. Frankly, it’s hard to get bored with yoga when there’s always a new pose or variation on a pose to investigate. Is there a pose you’ve been meaning to try? Go find it in our Strike a Pose section – a section complete with free online yoga videos.
- Treat yourself to a self-administered massage and/or bath post yoga workout. This is an amazing way to seal off and congratulate a yoga practice.
All good relationships have periods of stagnation. So, too, will your relationship with yoga. That doesn’t mean it’s over. That doesn’t mean it’s time to move on to the next best thing. It just means it’s time to re-invent your practice and investigate some unknowns to rekindle the pizzazz.
Feb 23, 2012
Guess what, Core Fusion fans? We have not one, but two new classes from Fred DeVito for your workout pleasure!
From our permanent camera at exhale mind body spa SoHo, join Fred for athletically paced, well rounded classes, guaranteed to consistently deliver results.
Many of you have shared your stories of enjoying workouts with Fred and Lis from home with their fantastic DVDs, and how excited you are to be able to have the experience of a live class via YogaVibes. We always love to hear your stories, suggestions, and successes! Do you have a favorite Core Fusion class? Would you like more Core Fusion Cardio, Sport, or Yoga? Let us know and we’ll pass it along!
Finally, we’re delighted to share that Tammy Rowe will be filming two Core Fusion classes this Saturday, February 25. Look for Tammy’s classes soon!
Jan 24, 2012
Ever wonder about the origin of Core Fusion? Wonder no more! Core Fusion founders Fred and Lis have graciously agreed to guest-post today, answering all your questions! Take it away, guys!
The Origin of Barre/Core Classes
When we (Elisabeth and Fred) started teaching back in the early 80’s at the Lotte Berk Method, most of our students and a large percentage of our Core Fusion teachers nationwide, were little babies (or not even born yet)! That fact always blows us away because sometimes it feels like time is standing still for us in this unique slice of the fitness industry called: Barre Classes.
What are they? Where did they come from? Why are they all of a sudden so cutting edge and popular?
Let us explore these questions for you and help you to understand this fascinating journey that started back in the 60’s with a woman named Lotte Berk (ironically Elisabeth and Lotte were born in neighboring towns in Germany). Lotte was a modern dancer who injured herself while dancing and had to do focused rehabilitation in order to heal her injuries. From her background as a modern dancer and her new knowledge from physical therapy, she started a studio business in London called “Rehabilitative Exercise” on Manchester Street.
In 1969, our former mentor, Lydia Bach, traveling from the U.S.A., took her first class with Lotte and it changed her life. She stayed in London for one year, studied with Lotte and in 1971 came back to New York City and opened the Lotte Berk Method on 67th and Madison where Elisabeth and Fred lived and worked for 22 years.
In 1980, Elisabeth, fresh out of a formal ballet teacher training school, joined the Lotte Berk team (when the studio was for women only) when rose colored carpets, chintz sofas in the lounges, black leotards and fishnet stockings were the look of the day and the classes were very feminine in nature. The exercises were pure Lotte and very challenging – a unique culture was beginning to form on the Upper East Side of NYC. Fred joined the Lotte Berk team in 1984 as the first male ever to be allowed into this sanctuary and we created the first men’s program. Fred’s background as a physical education teacher and personal trainer made his transition easy – he was intrigued to teach something that actually changed the shape of the body!
From 1984 till 2002, Lydia was absentee owner who traveled the world and checked in with us every summer in our Bridgehampton Butter Lane Barn (where we would put our heads together to redirect the program for the following year). We evolved the class by making it more gender neutral. Over those years we added a weight section, incorporated all of the rehabilitative stretches to accompany the strengthening work, and grew the business to a point at which students had to reserve months in advance to get into a class. We saw revenues and attendance numbers triple in 10 years.
During this time, a student in her 6th year of study with us approached us with the idea of opening a franchise of the LBM in Greenwich Ct. Lydia made a deal with Burr Leonard and sometime in the late 80s, the LBM of Greenwich opened its doors as the first extension of the method outside of the New York region. Burr and her husband Carl expanded to 4 studios in the Greenwich area and 10 years later, their license expired and they chose to rename their business The Bar Method. Today, Carl and Burr are successfully opening Bar Methods across the country and we couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments.
We always had a vision to share this amazing technique with as many students as possible worldwide. Our vision was different from Lydia’s so we parted ways in 2002 and opened Exhale Spa on 76th and Madison, calling our class Core Fusion. This new class took all the key positions from LBM and blended them with Pilates and Yoga principles and sports conditioning to create an experience that has been wildly successful in the classroom as well as with 9 DVD’s, 18 properties, 97 teachers and over 44,000 students a month nationwide.
Other class styles have evolved from a group of our former teachers including Debbie Frank Studio, Inner Strength by Jamie Greer, The Body by Shawn McCormack, Physique 57, Nalini Method, Pure Bar, Fluidity, Bar Physique, and a whole bunch of local named brands that take the concept of what we taught in the 80’s and 90’s and have changed things up a bit to call it their own.
Who would have thought back in the day when we WERE the Lotte Berk Method for close to 22 years, teaching 36 classes a week, 6 days a week for over 15 years, that so many of our former teachers and students would create their own version of the LBM and be very successful in this industry doing exercises which today seem cutting edge but for us, has been our history? The genius behind these exercises is that you are using your body weight, primarily, as your resistance. You are using a barre that is fixed on a wall to do leg work, glute work and what we call floor bar work to isolate the core and challenge the body with not only strength, but flexibility. Seeing women in their 60’s and 70’s who have been taking our classes for 20 years who still look like they are in their 40’s or 50’s is amazing! Some of them are now taking class with their daughters, with whom they were pregnant back in the Lotte days! But for us, the best part is seeing men and teenage boys flocking to classes as they now see what we learned over 20 years ago – these exercises promote youthfulness, longevity, long lean functional muscles, and an inner calm and relaxed energy.
We look forward to sharing some of these incredible exercises through our YogaVibes online classes, so that you might incorporate them into your class or personal workout.
From our barre and core to yours,
Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp
Dec 20, 2011
For all of you Core Fusion® devotees (or anyone who is interested in learning more about this awesome work-out), this message from Fred DeVito, co-creator of the Core Fusion® program, is for you…
Congratulations to YogaVibes for creating a blog forum for our Core Fusion students to ask any questions about the class, positions, and movements.
The Core Fusion program at our exhale spas nationwide has a loyal student body that take a class an average of three to four days a week, blending all of the Core Fusion classes with Yoga.
Now, you too can take the variety of Core Fusion classes on YogaVibes, including the following:
Each class has a unique challenge with a core focus and will fulfill your strength, flexibility, cardio and core goals.
My wife and partner, Elisabeth Halfpapp, and I are looking forward to sharing our life’s work with you and supporting you on your journey to transformation.
To reach Fred, you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/fdevito or email him directly.
Dec 2, 2011
We are excited to be launching our newest online Core Fusion® Open class with Elisabeth Halfpapp, filmed at the Exhale Spa in SoHo. If you’ve never experienced Core Fusion®, but love a challenging work-out, this is a must-try!
Fusing the disciplines of core conditioning, Pilates, the Lotte Berk Method, interval cardio training, and yoga, this highly-acclaimed and publicized mind-body experience incorporates 50 years of collective teacher expertise from cofounders Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp. Allowing you to work from the inside out, this transformational class consistently delivers results. This is an athletically paced class suitable for beginners and all levels. Experience continued emphasis on the basic Core Fusion® positions with longer duration, variations, and interval cardio training. Grab a pair of socks, a light set of dumbbells and a strap, and get ready for a fun and dynamic work-out.
To learn more about some of the Core Fusion® moves, check out the following free videos on YogaVibes: Core Fusion® Hip Opening Movement Stretch, Core Fusion® Parallel Thigh Work, and Core Fusion® Pretzel Position.
Click on the video thumbnail below to take our newest Core Fusion® class with cofounder Elisabeth Halfpapp!
Nov 22, 2011
Core Fusion® fans, today is your day! The YogaVibes camera is up and running at the Exhale Spa in SoHo. In fact, Elisabeth Halfpapp just filmed her 12:15 class earlier today. Thanks to all of the wonderful students who participated!
We will be filming Exhale Spa’s amazing team of Core Fusion® teachers, including Lis Halfpapp and Fred DeVito, the co-founders of the Core Fusion® program, as well as Music Yoga Flow and other yoga classes.
Look for Lis’ Core Fusion® class online on YogaVibes in the coming weeks. In the meantime, enjoy this class from Fred and Lis filmed last year at the Exhale Spa in Bridgehampton. Click on the video below to check it out. Let us know if there is a particular Core Fusion® variety that you would like to see on YogaVibes.