By Yoga Journal
TRX for Yoga suspension training makes advanced poses more accessible by eliminating any fear of falling, boosting essential core strength and guiding you toward optimal alignment. Yoga teacher Shauna Harrison shows us why and how to incorporate this cross-training technique into your routine.
What Is TRX?
TRX was invented by a Navy SEAL to hone balance, flexibility, strength and core stability simultaneously. The TRX suspension trainer is a versatile, portable hanging strap that can be taken on the go, set up in the home, or used in a yoga studio. The strap gives you leverage against gravity to assist you in difficult yoga poses while also working the strength and flexibility you need to achieve the pose in your regular yoga flows.
The Benefits of TRX for Yogis of Every Level
TRX is a good tool to help both beginner to advanced practitioners get more closely in touch with their bodies and explore different types of yoga poses. "For someone who has never done yoga or is newer to yoga, there are a ton of ways to use the strap to learn how to engage in the right places," says Shauna Harrison, Under Armour Ambassador, yoga teacher and representative of TRX for Yoga. "If you're in a yoga class and the instructor always tells you to draw your shoulder blades down, [you] may not understand what that means or understand how to make that happen. You can use the strap as feedback."
For the more experienced yogi, a TRX strap can introduce more play into your practice, as it assists you in safely working toward challenging poses like inversions, arm balances and backbends that may seem scary or complex in a normal yoga studio setting. With your feet in the straps, you can learn which muscles you need to engage in a pose without supporting all of your bodyweight or worrying about falling. This kind of aid in alignment lets your body learn how a pose should feel, which can actually rewire your brain and tone muscles in an unexpected way. "It's going to offer you different challenges and different assistance at the same time, so you're going to notice things that you may not notice off the strap," says Harrison.
Harrison explains that if a yogi can already place their hand on the floor in Half Moon, they won't need the strap for technical assistance in the pose. But she has found that by placing your hands in the handles, you can add a new element of challenge to an old pose. "It's great to mix it up and give your body a different viewpoint on the same realm of movement," she says.
Another added bonus to TRX training? A boost in confidence. Intermediate and advanced yoga poses like Crow, Handstand and backbends can be scary at first. The security of the anchored strap makes it easier to face those fears and feel the possibility. Harrison's favorite part of teaching TRX yoga classes is watching those "ah-ha" moments on people's faces. "There's a huge benefit of building your confidence about your practice and about your body in general," she says.
Want to Try TRX for Yoga?
TRX should be used as a cross-training tool for a normal yoga practice. "It's not intended to replace your current practice," Harrison says. "It's good as a complement to your practice."
Double-check with your doctor before trying it if you have any injuries you're cautious about. "We lay it out in progressions for a reason," Harrison says. "Make sure you feel solid at one progression before you move onto the next--don't skip ahead. Listen to your own body at your own pace."
Visit trxtraining.com/yoga for more instructional videos, online courses and to purchase a TRX Suspension trainer.