Today, we've got some funky challenges ahead 😉This week, we are setting the ground work for the rest of the challenge. Everything will feel tough the first time, but give yourself a break! For many of us, this is the first time we've ever done anything like this. So let's get started!
Action items for Thursday, April 23rd:
Fitness Challenge: Handstand, headstand or crow pose challenge
Inversions are overlooked in the fitness world, but they are one of the best core strengthening exercises out there! Here are some tips on how to start off your poses:
Handstand: This is the toughest pose on the list, requiring balance, core strength, shoulder strength and a nice solid wall!
Notice there are a LOT of things to keep in mind when in a handstand. You need to keep your whole body "active" as in flexed and aware instead of relaxing.
1. If this is your first time attempting a handstand, get into a crouch facing away from your strong, sturdy wall. Roll your shoulders back to set them in place and place both hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart.
2. Step up onto the wall at head-height, inverting yourself, but not fully extending your legs over head. Stay here for two breaths and return to your starting position.
3. Repeat process, this time walk your feet high on the wall.
4. Try to walk your hands in closer to the wall if you feel comfortable.
5. Repeat 5 times with 60-90 second break in between.
A headstand uses your head an elbows to create a tripod for your body to balance on, making it easier than a handstand, which only has two points of balance.
1. Interlace your fingers to create a "basket". Place on top of head.
2. Place head on ground, keeping your "basket" on top of your head. It is pertinent that your neck stays strong and firm during the entire exercise to avoid injury.
3. Start your headstand by tiptoeing your toes in towards your head. You are trying to get your hips over your shoulders as much as possible before leaving the ground.
4. Brace your core. You should not be "kicking over" to get your legs in the air, everything needs to be controlled. Kicking up too soon will cause you to fall over.
5. Test your core strength and balance by bringing one leg up, keeping it curled into itself. Do little toe jumps off the ground with your grounded foot.
6. Once you get the motion of #5 down, take both legs and curl them overhead. Do NOT extend your legs yet, you will fall! Stay in this inverted child's pose for as long as you can and come back down.
7. Repeat for a maximum of 5 attempts. Any more will risk exhausting the muscles and lead to injury.
Focus on getting your balance right with this fun yoga pose.
Video walkthrough here.
1. Start in a low squatted position. Spread hands and place shoulder width apart on the ground.
2. Place your knees on the outside of your arms, placing your knees on the back of your arms. I like to place mine right above my elbows to create better balance.
3. Raise up onto the balls of your feet as high as you can, giving yourself additional height and making it easier to get into the position.
4. Look about a foot in front of you on the floor while slowly tilting yourself forward.
5. Repeat for a maximum of 5 attempts.
Lifestyle Challenge: Cook something new!
I know that I am guilty of repeating the same "lazy meals" over and over. Usually, chicken and rice. It's healthy, but I know I can be better than that! Try a different recipe with the ingredients you have available to you - if you need help with recipe suggestions, this sight is AMAZING!
You just type in what you have on hand, and it'll give you recommendations on recipes! It's awesome.
Mindfulness Challenge: Don't Argue With Anyone
This might be easy for some of use that don't see other people during quarantine, but it sometimes feels inevitable! Arguing is never a good idea, people usually want to prove themselves right and rarely will consider another point of view.
Nutrition Challenge: Double veggie intake
This can be as simple as replacing your morning and afternoon snack with an apple, celery, broccoli, or salad!