David Beckham's Yoga Instructor Shona Vertue Recommends Two Postures for Beginners
Shona Vertue, yoga instructor to David Beckham, has a signature yoga practice that incorporates lunge-like and squat-like movements—as well as variations of glute bridges. But she says if you wish to take away anything from her practice, it would have to be two simple yet underrated postures. These require your particular attention. They will help you develop stronger and more supple muscles.
“They’re not very sexy positions,” she says. “But they’re beneficial for the body. Think of it as an investment in your health. You can wake up for two minutes to just do a few things.”
Here Are the Top Two Yoga Postures Recommended by Shona Vertue
1. The "Ragdoll" Pose
Here's how you do it:
- To begin, assume the ragdoll pose by dropping your head forward and allowing your arms to hang loosely down from each side of your torso.
- Rock gently from side to side, allowing your legs to stretch out behind you as you gently bend your knees.
- This pose releases tension in your neck and shoulders, stretches out, and lengthens your lower back and hamstrings.
2. Balancing on One Leg
Here's how you do it:
- One of the most demanding poses is utthita hasta padangustasana, which involves balancing on one leg.
- To begin the pose, slightly bend both knees and lift your knee towards your chest.
- Keeping the standing leg slightly bent, hold the other foot with both hands and stretch it out in front of you.
- Vertue recommends the move for runners, as it helps with hip mobility and strength.
In her experience, the best way for people to maintain their fitness as they age is to do a series of simple exercises in the morning, such as sit-ups and stretches. This can help them not only stay fit but also ward off common ailments associated with aging.
Shona Vertue believes that yoga offers more than just suppleness and flexibility—it also supports digestive health. Westerners often focus on the aesthetic benefits of yoga, but there is more to it than that, she says. "A lot of the postures directly massage and stimulate those digestive organs."
She mentions an asana in which you lie on the floor and place both hands around one knee, drawing it back up toward your armpit and releasing the opposite leg down so that it is flat against the floor. It's called the Wind Relieving or Pavanmuktasana.
While in a deep squat position, you can massage your internal organs. But most of us stay seated for hours on end nowadays. Our digestive systems have evolved to work best in squatting positions.
Shona Vertue does not think people need to spend hours at the gym every day. She recommends that everyone get up and move around at least once an hour.
According to Shona Vertue, if you devote 20 minutes, or even 10, in one training session per day, that would be better than attending one class per week because it will help you improve your physical fitness throughout the week.
Shona Vertue's own training regime is a mix of yoga, weightlifting, and gymnastics. She suggests that clients add two to three weekly sessions of resistance training to their routine, in addition to regular yoga.
While yoga can be a great way to start the day, Vertue says the best practice is one that shows results over time. This may not be obvious when you look at the seemingly additional activities some yoga practitioners take on with conventional exercise equipment, like barre classes and weights.
But according to Shona Vertue, what’s key is making sure you are doing the basics—balance, too—in order to maintain this steady musculoskeletal activity. A daily 10-minute stretch will make all the difference 2 hours down the line.