Yoga Deconstructed with Trina Altman

For this episode I sat down with Trina Altman.Trina is the creator of the programs Yoga Deconstructed® and Pilates Deconstructed®, which we’ll talk about today. On top of her public, privates and online classes and courses, Trina has presented at Kripalu, the Yoga Alliance Leadership Conference and Yogaworks, among others. She also created and taught a Pilates continuing-education course for physical therapists and was part of the faculty for the Brain Longevity conference at UCLA.

Listen to the full episode here:


1- Body weight activities, repetition, and low variability adds more risks for injury. Play with load, range of motion, direction of movement, plane of movement, open chain/close chain, orientation to gravity, intensity, tempo, etc.

2- There's huge value in one-on-one lessons. You can learn faster and get an individualized, customized, personalized approach to your movement. Progression is faster, there's more possibility for leaning and it's easier to avoid injuries.

3- Pain is a bio-psycho-social event. The correlation between damaged tissue and pain is low. Everybody have a difference pain tolerance. For the same sensation, one person will identify it as pain the other as pleasure. It's really complicated.

4-Cross training is key to continue a yoga practice for a long time without sacrificing what you love by having to stop due to an injury. Think about adding external load, cardiovascular training, balance and agility, motor development, coordination, flexibility, jumping skills, and more.

5-Before you take a group class, you should know what you can do, what you can't do, what you should and what you shouldn't do. And know that those 4 things will change throughout your life and from day to day. The only way to know those 4 things is to work one on one with a teacher. That way, in a group class, you don't need the teacher for modifications, you know how to take care of your body.


  • You created Yoga deconstructed and Pilates deconstructed, can you explain what those are? And why you created them?

  • What is somatic movement?

  • What problem did you try to address with creating yoga deconstructed?

  • What in yoga/pilates was putting you at risk for injuries?

  • How can we bring more variability in our movement practice? What is the goal?

  • What can we do, inside our scope of practice, to help prevent injuries?

  • If we do have pain during yoga or everyday life activity, where do we start? What do we look at first? What are the different clues we can be aware of?

  • I know some listeners probably love the flexibility aspect of yoga and don’t naturally feel drawn to strength or stability work. How can they continue to improve their flexibility, focus on their flexibility without sacrificing their stability?

  • One thing you teach a lot and I also love to teach is regressions/progressions, can you explain how those are useful? And give an example?

  • How can student learn what modification is best suited for them?

  • How can a teacher look at the yoga cues they use all the time and evaluate the use/effect of what they are trying to do?

  • If there's no right way to do things, is there a wrong way?



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Trina Altman, BS, NCPT, received her training through STOTT PILATES® and is an E-RYT 500, YACEP®. She’s the creator of Yoga Deconstructed® and Pilates Deconstructed®, which take an interdisciplinary approach to foster an embodied understanding of yoga and Pilates and their relationship to modern movement science.

Trina has presented at Kripalu, the Yoga Alliance Leadership Conference and Yogaworks, among others. She also created and taught a Pilates continuing-education course for physical therapists and was part of the faculty for the Brain Longevity conference at UCLA.

Trina was a finalist in the Next Pilates Anytime Instructor competition in 2017. Her work has been published in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, and Pilates Style magazine and her classes have been featured on Yoga International and Yoga Anytime. She also consulted for Equinox to help develop their signature program Best Stretch Ever, which utilizes the mobility stick to improve functional range of motion, body awareness, and total body strength. Her book, Yoga Deconstructed®: Transitioning From Rehabilitation Back Into The Yoga Studio is slated to be published by Handspring Publishing in the fall of 2020.

She works out of Los Angeles at Equinox and Kaira. For more information on Trina and her online classes and courses, visit Follow her on Instagram at: @trinaaltman & on Facebook at: Trina Altman Yoga and Pilates.


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© 2017 Erika Belanger