Though yoga instructor Michael McArdle, who worked with Bethenny Frankel on her new yoga DVD Bethenny's Skinnygirl Workout admits that Frankel has an "insane" metabolism, yoga is a key component in how she maintains her lean physique. We caught up with McArdle to learn his tips for incorporating yoga into your fitness routine.
Don't be put off by the pace of yoga
If you're a regular exerciser, the thought of laying in savasana for 10 minutes may not seem like the ideal workout session. But don't let that keep you from trying yoga. "I started yoga about thirteen years ago -- I got sick of doing weights and I couldn’t play sports as much as I got older, so I’d lost a lot of cardio outlets," says McArdle. "Back then it was very spiritual, and I was like, 'can I sit through this?!' But as it became more popular, it became more dynamic, and now I rarely take any other classes besides yoga," he says. McArdle loves that you can't "burn out' on yoga, so it's sustainable through the decades.
Practice, practice, practice
For a yoga program like the Skinnygirl DVD, the only way to master it, McArdle says, is to do it 10-15 times. If you're doing yoga for fitness, look for a routine that's a mix of strength and flexibility moves, so if something is challenging for you, the next segment of the routine will be something you're already good at.
Take advantage of the flexibility
And not just of your muscles. "Yoga is something you can do at home, and I think you can get in a decent flow in about 20 minutes," says McArdle. Even if you can’t take an hour and a half to go to a class, a short yoga DVD or video will "stretch everything that you need to stretch, let you get in some strength conditioning, and some spirituality can sneak in there a little, because it’s breath before movement," he says.
Make it work for you
Yoga isn't one-size-fits-all, so take a cue from Frankel and adapt it to your tastes. "She’ll let me know, 'I hate this, can we do something else?' and then we have to switch it up," says McArdle. Don't be afraid to say so. You should also find a motivating reason that gets you to practice. "I think for her, it's trying to center her from her insane schedule," he says.