Category Archives: Yoga

Virtual Yoga Studio: How To Sequence Single Leg Downward Dog Into Warrior I Pose

Sequencing Warrior One Pose From Single Leg Downward Dog

Video by Alexy Almond from Pexels

Benefits: Opens hips, strengthens backside, stretches calves, strengthens back, strengthens and stretches posterior thigh, stretches abdominals.


As with all exercise programs, when using exercise videos that appear on this site, you need to use common sense. The Yoga exercise is this video is not recommended for those who are sedentary, or who are beginners. Don’t attempt this Yoga sequence, if it’s too difficult for you. When starting an exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider.

4 Step Back Solution

Got an achy back?  You’re not alone.  Back pain is the number 2 reason for doctor visits, and one of the most common reasons for missed work.

What should you do if your back hurts all the time?  First, check with your doctor to find out whether your back ache is caused by daily habits, muscular weakness, or an accident.

If your doctor tells you there is structural damage to bone, ligament, tendon or muscle, he/she may prescribe medication,  and/or a treatment plan.

If your doctor discovers that the reason for your back pain is muscular weakness, or daily habits, and that participating in regular exercise will help, then you can begin doing exercise.


1) Stretch your back with Yoga poses, or Pilates exercises.

2) Strengthen your core muscles, especially the abdominal, and back muscles. Muscles work in pairs. That’s why they should be strengthened, and stretched in equal measure.

3) Avoid sleeping on your stomach.  When you sleep on your stomach, your pelvis tips forward, tightening the low back muscles.  In the morning you’ll wake up with a backache. Instead, sleep on your side, or on your back.

While you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help stretch your back muscles.  While sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees to ease your low back.

4) Practice the pelvic tilting exercise.  This exercise stretches your low back muscles.  Pelvic tilting can be done while standing against a wall, lying on your back, or seated on a chair, or on an exercise ball.

IRENE PORTRAIT picassa blue borderIrene Pastore is a native New Yorker, health and fitness blogger, and personal trainer. Irene owns this website, and writes all the blog posts. For her complete bio, visit the About Page.

Copyright 2016 Irene Pastore and Tour De


Core Exercise For Equestrians

Back Strengthening Exercise

With the exception of a few urban areas, we live in a country that encourages sitting, because our towns and cities are planned around the automobile.

We sit at the computer, in front of the TV,  on the job, at the movies, dining out, and commuting to work.  .

Hamstring Stretch

In many cities and towns, sidewalks are inadequate for pedestrians,  making the car an absolute necessity, even for short, walkable errands.

Prolonged sitting weakens our muscles, makes us lethargic, creates a weak core, which in turn, develops poor posture. Medical doctors consider sitting to be the new smoking.

Do you have a job where you’re sitting most of the day?   Do you have chronic low back pain?  Does your neck feel stiff?  Are your muscles so sore you can’t sit down? Is the time spent riding your horse not as enjoyable as you’d like it to be?

Targeted exercise provides solutions to remedy these problems.


Yoga Warrior 2 Hip Stretch

The muscles of the abs, back, pelvis and hips, make up the core. Strengthening these muscles is important, because the core stabilizes the spine, and  protects it from injury,

While you’re moving, the core controls the position and motion of the torso over the pelvis.  A strong core improves sports performance, and maintains healthy posture.


Pilates Ab Exercise

Targeted exercise provides solutions to help you get rid of muscular tension, and weakness, develop better posture on and off the horse, and makes riding more effective.


Pilates Mat and Reformer exercises are designed to make your core muscles strong.

If you’re not inclined towards Pilates, no worries, you can opt in to a fitness-based core exercise routine, using specialized core equipment to get the job done.  Core exercises can also be performed without any equipment.


If you’re a Yoga fan, there are many poses that will strengthen your core muscles, stretch your Psoas, Back, and Hamstrings.

As you can see, there are many ways to stretch and strengthen your muscles.  Here are a few suggestions.

Stretch the Psoas Muscle because this inner hip muscle tightens up when you do alot of sitting.   Stretch your Back to release tension in tight muscles.

Yoga Back Stretch

The Hamstrings are the muscles of the posterior thigh.  Theses muscles tighten up from excessive sitting.  If you frequently do stair climbing, or cycling ,you should be stretching your Hamstrings on a regular basis.

Strengthen ;your Back and Abdominal Muscles, because these muscles work as a team to keep your posture healthy, and your spine well-supported.

Copyright 2015 Irene Pastore and Tour De Core Personal Training 


The Lunge Stretch For Tight Hips

Stretching 101

Basic Hamstring Stretches








Back Care for Equestrians


Riding is a strenuous sport that requires the equestrian to maintain a neutral spine, while sitting in the English or Western saddle.

The saddle, is literally a backless chair, offering no support for the spine.  The rider must generate support using strong core muscles.

Little needs to be said about the debilitating effects of back pain for equestrians.  No one wants to, or should ride, when in pain.  The more uncomfortable you are, the less you’ll be able to enjoy being with your horse. He’ll miss you too.

Learning what causes back pain, and taking preventive measures, will bring many happy riding years.  The easiest, and most cost-effective solution, is exercise.


Regular exercise is highly recommended for prevention of back pain, and maintaining a healthy back.

Pilates and Yoga keeps riders both strong and flexible. Pilates strengthens your back and abs, Yoga stretches critical areas important for riding, as well as developing tranquility.

Fitness-derived core exercises are an excellent method to strengthen and stretch muscles that are vital for riders.


  • Muscle spasm
  • Awkward twisting, or bending motions
  • Incorrect lifting a heavy object
  • Spinal trauma
  • Bending down and abrupt turning around
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Sports injuries
  • Aging
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor sitting or standing posture
  • Arthritis


  • Back Pain is one of the most common causes of doctor’s visits in the United States
  • Back Pain affects most people at least once during their lifetime.
  • Untreated back pain can make daily activities difficult or impossible.
  • Back pain affects about 60 to 80 percent of American adults,
  • More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.
  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion yearly on back pain.

From the American Chiropractic Association and The American Academy of Pain Medicine


  • Over-the counter pain relievers
  • Hot or cold packs
  • Exercise
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Complementary or alternative treatments
  • Injections
  • Surgery

Copyright 2014 Irene Pastore and Tour De Core Personal Training

Yoga Improves Senior Balance


There are many types of Yoga poses: standing, seated, twists, balancing, lying on your back, abdomen or side.

Balancing poses may be done while standing, seated, or on your hands.

Yoga can strengthen overall, and deep core muscles that are important for maintaining good balance.

If you’re over 55 and would like to learn a beginner level standing balancing pose, consider the Tree Pose a good choice.  The pose can be modified to suit individual ability.


Set up the pose as shown in the photograph above.

Stand on your right foot for 10 to 30 seconds.  Repeat on your left foot.

If you’ve never balanced on one foot, it might be difficult at first.  Just keep practicing, and don’t overdo it.

It’s traditional to do Yoga barefoot.  However, if you feel more comfortable wearing shoes, that’s fine, as long as the soles are non-skid.

Practice the Tree Pose on a non-slippery floor.  If you want to invest in equipment, purchase a sticky mat.  Go barefoot while using a mat. Socks can bunch up on a sticky mat, and cause you to trip.


Use A Wall For Support

Stand facing a wall.  Place both hands on the wall for support, instead of having your hands in front of you. Hands are shoulder width apart.

Use A Lower Foot Position

Place your foot on the lower part of your leg, instead of higher up.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training